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Ian Gillan Band - Scarabus CD (album) cover


Ian Gillan Band


Jazz Rock/Fusion

2.90 | 41 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The third, and last, Ian Gillan band album comes with some changes. According to guitarist Ray Fenwick Gillan was interested in getting back to a more "basic" sound, trying to skip the more jazzy and experimental elements. In other words, to give what the Deep Purple fans were expecting from him since the beginning: hard rock, shorter songs and a more melodic approach. And Scarabus is quite a big step towards that. Of course the Jazz-rock/fusion is still very well present, but the tunes are indeed much shorter, so the room for experimentation is also cut short. In the end the result is an interesting hard rock/fusion/funk hybrid. Quite good, I must say, but it would be better if the Ian Gillan band had given a little more space for soloing in a couple of tunes at least.

Listening to the album today it is clear that this kind of arrangement would not work for the period: with the rising of The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal and the success of other Deep Purple off-shots who jumped into the bandwagon like Rainbow and Whitesnake, Gillan was playing something that the new audience would not relate to. Either he would assume the cult following direction of previous Clear Air Turbulence showed or he should get another band together and play the kind fo music he was famous for. He obviously chose the latter and The Ian Gillan Band was no more.

Scarabus is an interesting album, quite transitional, with several good songs and, although ramped by the shorter running time of the songs, impeccable performances by all involved, specially the brilliant keyboardist Colin Towns. More rocking than their previous efforts, this CD has many memorable moments that should not be overlooked. It was a nice surprise, although one can only imagine how far they would have gone had they followed the paths Clear Air Turbulence opened.

Rating: 3,5 stars.

Tarcisio Moura | 3/5 |


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