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Ian Gillan Band - Child in Time CD (album) cover

CHILD IN TIME

Ian Gillan Band

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Tarcisio Moura
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Ian gillan first solo efford since he left Deep Purple is probably his most obscure also. Maybe this is due to the fact he came back with a different style his audience (mostly DP MKII fans) were expecting. So child In Time - and its obvious connections with his former band - is a misleading title. There is very little of his old hard rock/heavy metal delivery, even if he did include a new version of the old Deep Purple classic (a recording company´s pressure? Suggestion?). He definitly was more interested in exploring his pre-DP roots in both soul and R&B. And for that he put together a fine band that included sixties veterans like the ex Spencer Davies Group guitarrist Ray Fenwick and bassist John Gustafson (Roxy Music, among many others).

The first track, Lay Me Down, is the closest this CD gets from a straight hard rock tune. It´s a short but good hard rock/funk mix with some good guitar and bass runs and a fine Jon Lord styled organ solo in the middle. The second one, You Make Me Feel So good, might have caught his fans completely off guard with a explicit funky groove and a even more explicit black music chorus. The remaining tracks on the first side of the original LP go the same way: blues, R&B, gospel. soul, funk... they remind me much the kind of controversity Deep Purple´s Stormbringer aroused when they added this kind of influences to their sound via Glenn Hughes and David Coverdale.

Side two of the album is the most experimental and, dare I say it?, progressive. There are only two long tracks: a new version of Child In Time and the 11 minute let It Slide. While the former is still good but nowhere near to the definitive version DP recorded during the In Rock sessions, the latter can be called a kind of ´progressive gospel´, if there´s such a thing. Unfortunatly it is also very boring.

So, as a whole, even if the band is excellent and the singer is in great shape, this is not IGB´s best moment. They would eventually grow much more confident. powerful and convincing in 1977´s Clear Air Turbulence. Child In time is interesting affair, but little more than that. Recommended only for fans and collectors.

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Send comments to Tarcisio Moura (BETA) | Report this review (#201056)
Posted Thursday, January 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars The line that's drawn between good and bad

During his 11 year absence from Deep Purple beginning in 1973, Ian Gillan almost retired from the record industry. He ventured into non-musical business ventures but the lack of success of these, plus pressure from fans, led to him forming the Ian Gillan Band in 1975. The initial line up included such rock dignitaries as John Gustafson and Ray Fenwick together with Gillan's former band mate Roger Glover. Despite Gillan's low profile in the intervening years, he had in fact continued to write and record with session musicians, and a number of the songs here were already a couple of years old. This explains the puzzling writing credit on "You make me feel so good".

The album title is of course taken from what is arguably Deep Purple's finest song, which appeared on the "In rock" album. Affectionados of that song and album though should approach this set with some caution as the use of the title can in a very real sense be misleading.

The first side of the album consists of five incredibly short songs, the longest of which runs to just 3˝ minutes. The opening "Lay me down" has the feel of an outtake from the "In rock" sessions with guitar and organ competing for dominance behind the familiar voice of Gillan. The following "You make me feel so good", the only song to survive from Gillan's earlier work with a band of session musicians, is a plodding, bluesy number. On the plus side, it features some of Gillan's trademark screams, and some nice slide guitar by Ray Fenwick. Just as the song is becoming interesting though, it fades.

"Shame" is surely the lowest point of the album, this stumbling mid-paced slightly funky number having a nondescript melody and no character whatsoever. "My baby loves me" further emphasises the deficiencies in the songwriting department; while this track at least rocks a bit, it really is prosaic in the extreme. "Down the road" which closes the first side, boasts some of the finest trite lyrics ever written by a major rock band. "Your fire must burn, and all too soon you'll learn that love has no return, get on down, I'll meet you down the road" being the last of three equally cringe-worthy verses. The song itself is a slow blues which at least features a decent vocal performance by Gillan.

The second side of the album holds just two tracks. At around 7 minutes, the version of "Child in time" here is somewhat shorter than the original. The arrangement is slightly smoother with lush string sounds and melodic percussion. The pace remains slow throughout, devoid of the spirited middle section of the original. Gillan does indulge in some screaming, but even this seems rather tame this time around. In all, it is a decent enough cover of the song, which does at least find the band attempting to bring out their own interpretation.

The final track is the 11+ minute band composition "Let it slide". The lyrics offer an early take on Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Relax", but the song at least sees the band loosening up and creating something a bit more substantial. Do not approach the song expecting an out and out rocker, it certainly is not that. If anything the mood is relaxed and unhurried.

In all, an album of two halves really. The first side is entirely disposable and hardly worthy of an artist of the calibre of Mr. Gillan. Side two offers a degree of redemption through a couple of enjoyable songs and some improved instrumentation.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#208894)
Posted Friday, March 27, 2009 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
2 stars First album after separation of Ian with Purple, CIT is certainly one of those "transition" album, Ian not really knowing what he's willing to do, except maybe capitalizing on his finest hour with Purple. Despite a really tacky artwork evoking the Purple epic and Ian making a cover of it, the rest of the album is mostly ?In some ways, Ian built his group rather intelligently, using veterans who certainly know their crafts and chops. With ex-Quartermass Gustafson on bass, old hand Ray Fenwick on guitar, old Purple pal Roger Glover on production and added instruments and good drumming from Nauseef?.. his group is not exactly tenderfoot boys, except for maybe Mike Moran (most likely not Gayle's brother) that will get the boot after this album.

Opening on a Purplish Lay Me Down that prefigures most of the first side: five short songs that resemble it and absolutely nothing interesting , especially on the lyrics' side, but musically this is quite deceiving as well, mostly due to poor songwriting The flipside carries only two songs including a cover of the Purple epic Child In Time, and while I can't ever imagine a better version of this than the original studio (the live versions were never as good), IGB manage to give this track another life, even if not nearly as thrilling as the original., but just going by once, instead of twice in Purple, thus shortening the song by around four to five minutes. It may sound awkward saying this, but on this album, the track that sounds less Purplish is precisely the Purple cover. The closing almost 12-minutes Let It Slide starts like a spacey, where the multi-layered tracks were probably not the best solution,

Gillan's first album seems a bit schizophrenic with the two sides (or facets) of the album being radically at odds, the first containing uninteresting but tight songs, while its opposite plays on a much more relaxed but also much worthier (for progheads anyway) duo of tracks, but certainly not enough to make this album worthy of your shelves. .

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#245420)
Posted Tuesday, October 20, 2009 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Vocalist Ian Gillan is best known as the powerful singer during DEEP PURPLE's most popular phase, D.P. being one of the legendary bands of early Hard-Rock/Proto-Metal. Becoming tired of doing the "same old thing ", Gillan tried to distance himself from the music bizz altogether. After spending a considerable amount of time as a motorbike mechanic, he decided on re- igniting his rock-singer career by assembling a band of professional musicians and set about recording an album , as he had many snippets of music and lyrics taunting his creative side. The band comprised of Bass-ace John Gustafson, guitarist Ray Fenwick, drummer/percussionist Mark Nauseef (whose instrument list would supply almost 50 words of this review !!) and keyboardist Mike Moran, whose rig consisted of the usual prog requirements of a Hammond, ARP 2600, Fender Rhodes, Solina String synth etc. The result was this album, 'Child In Time', named after an amazing D.P. composition from their superb 'In Rock' release, and also featured a spaced-out, meditative re-make of the song. But as it is, side 1 offered the listener with 5 short songs, funky, compact and commercial. The lyrics are rather trite "ooh, baby" done macho fashion. Lyrics aside, the track 'Shame' is the pick of the bunch here (at least for this listener) and the over-wrought, soulful ballad 'Down the Road' being quite repulsive. The best parts of these songs offer some inspired drum-work and mildly colourful keyboarding. Flip-side, the aforementioned version of 'Child In Time' is almost spiritual, beautiful and extremely relaxing. This shows an amazing contrast to the more aggressive original. Well worth hearing. The other track, 'Let It Slide', is an almost 12 minute piece showcasing atmospheric percussive arrangements, funky grooves backed with a flanged bass, and some Gilmour-esque slide guitar. The sung verses don't take up too much of the song. The lengthy instrumental break comprises of a slowly intensifying melody with a tasteful Rhodes e-piano, slide guitar and a simple but effective ARP synth solo (quite bluesy, though), and returns to the vocal section and jams out for the final few minutes with some more slide guitar and noticibly elaborate percussion. Overall, this is just a teaser of where Gillan and his band's direction was heading - their next album 'Clear Air Turbulence' would prove to be the fruits of their labour. 3 stars.

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Send comments to Tom Ozric (BETA) | Report this review (#265699)
Posted Friday, February 12, 2010 | Review Permalink
snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album is Ian Gillan's solo debut after he left Deep Purple in early 70-s. Released on small Oyster label, he didn't succeed, mostly because he didn't offer much to ex-Deep Purple fans.

Looking on this album as independent product, open ear listener can find some nice moments though. First of all - "Child In Time", remake of the possibly the best Deep Purple 's song. Not too much similar to original, no way better than it, it offers softer, warmer and much more emotional version. With many progressive rock elements and excellent Gillan's vocals.

Five first songs (all A-side) are all short and more straightforward heavy funk-rock numbers with some r'n'b elements, great Gillan vocals, but not too complex. Even if not so great, these songs are worth listening unless you hate funk in your music or are hungry to listen pseudo-symphonic organ passages once again.

Then please pay attention to line-up: ex Spencer Davies Group guitarist Ray Fenwick, ex-Roxy Music bassist John Gustafson and jazz-rock drummer Mark Nauseef (Elf, Velvet Underground), between others. Album's music is more aerial, funky, even jazzy in moments, but at the same time could be compared with heavy funk-rock Deep Purple works (with Glenn Hughes).

In all, not the best Gillan's album, but really worth listening, especially if you're interested in early heavy funk-rock albums from late 70-s.

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Send comments to snobb (BETA) | Report this review (#289140)
Posted Sunday, July 04, 2010 | Review Permalink
UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Child in Time" is the debut full-length studio album by UK hard rock/jazz rock/fusion act Ian Gillan Band. The album was released through Polydor/Oyster in July 1976. As the bandname suggests Ian Gillan Band is led by former Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan. Ian Gillan left Deep Purple and ultimately the music industry in 1973 to pursue a business career, but he wasn´t very successful at that and in 1975 he decided to put together a band and make a comeback. He put together a band of seasoned musicians. Among others his former Deep Purple colleague Roger Glover (synthesizer, kalimba and vocals), former Quatermass bassist/vocalist John Gustafson and former Elf drummer Mark Nauseef. The band was originally called Shand Grenade but the band soon decided for a name change to Ian Gillan Band. I guess they felt that Ian Gillan´s name could attract some attention to the new band and they were probably right.

The music on the album is bluesy hard rock with soul elements and occasional jazz- rock/fusion rythms. They would explore the latter element much further on their next release but on "Child in Time" it´s only hinted at. The songs are well performed and the album is well produced but there´s not much bite in the songs. This is certainly not in the vein of the more raw and hard rocking early seventies Deep Purple releases. "Child in Time" is generally a much more polished and tame affair. Even the cover of the Deep Purple classic "Child in Time" comes off a bit too nice. But as I said this is a professional piece of work and an overall decent album, which has it´s moments. It just doesn´t make my blood boil and therefore I´d say a 2.5 - 3 star (55%) rating is fair.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#599952)
Posted Friday, December 30, 2011 | Review Permalink

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