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Ian Gillan with Tony Iommi and Friends

Who Cares (Single)

Review by Larry Toering

This is the first time Ian Gillan and Tony Iommi have done any recording on the same project since 2006 when Iommi guested on Gillan's Inn, a career retrospective dual disc of re-recorded classics of Gillan's.  Before that it was a little over two decades since they worked together in Black Sabbath and later on a charity session for the earthquake in Armenia.  That session hosted a who's who of players from Alex Lifeson to David Gilmour. Skipping ahead twenty some odd years, Gillan and Iommi, along with Geoff Downes, who also played on that session all those years ago, were invited back to Armenia to see where the money for the charity went. Gillan and Iommi were apparently blown away by what they saw, a music school, and they were happy to put together another session and record a couple of tracks to re-extend to the cause for a building upgrade. Not only did they do the session but they invited Jon Lord, Jason Newsted and Nico McBrain to contribute to the cause as well, along with guitar player Linde Lindström. The result is a two track CD maxi single with a couple of tracks and some bonus video footage. It comes in a limited edition 7" vinyl as well.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Out of My Mind

Right away there is this sort of Metallica-like drone, something like Black Sabbath meets Metallica. Once Lord's keys are felt it turns into a different animal. Iommi begins to shine the second he starts riffing away and there is a classic track in the making. Gillan, comes in and we have a winner. He is rather subdued and even a tad strained but it naturally works. This is a great track, no disputing that, but it's hardly what anyone expected to hear, especially with the Lord element. Newsted provides a solid bass line and McBrain is at his thumping best. There is a video clip for this, as well, and it worked out nicely too.

Holy Water
This is another thing altogether and more akin to Gillan's work with Deep Purple and his solo efforts, as well. Iommi is still high in the mix, but he didn't write this one. Instead it was provided by the usual Gillan players and another keyboard player besides Lord. On this track Gillan shines much better. It's been a while since Gillan did any studio recording of heavier rock music, since his last solo outing was more of an Island music oriented disc. Although he is relaxed here he seems to be on the ball nonetheless, and this track is worth the price alone for the Purple fans. There are actually three guitars in this, the other two being the writer Steve Morris and Gillan recording guitarist Michael Lee Jackson with bass provided by Rodney Appleby. This is the kind of stuff Gillan's fans prefer he does, but he's not one to eat the same meal everyday. This is a treat for any rock music fan who's familiar with those involved. They pulled it all off with class
 
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