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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Ian Gillan with Tony Iommi and Friends

Who Cares

Review by Gary Hill

An expanded set based on the concept and charity involved with the original single, this double disc set has some great stuff. Fans of Ian Gillan and Tony Iommi and any of their projects are the target audience here, but this should really appeal to fans of hard rock and metal of any kind. It’s a great set, and while it does have some songs I already own elsewhere, it’s well worth having.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1
WhoCares "Out Of My Mind" Featuring Jon Lord, Jason Newsted and Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden)

This comes in tentatively. There’s a real sense of impending doom. Then it explodes out in a hard edged jam that is very classic Black Sabbath. I love this song. It just plain rocks. There’s a mellower section in the middle of this thing. Some Eastern tones are heard later, too.

Black Sabbath "Zero The Hero"

I’ve always loved this song and the album from which it comes. It rocks out like crazy. Sure, one could argue that it doesn’t really sound like Sabbath, but when this disc was first released, I remember how it felt. I had never heard anything as heavy. Once again, Sabbath were leading the way, and this holds up well.

Ian Gillan feat. Iommi, Ian Paice and Roger Glover "Trashed"

This heavy duty rocker works really well. I love the noisy, almost raw feeling of it. In a lot of ways it makes me think of a cross between Deep Purple and Black Sabbath.

M. Rakintzis feat. Ian Gillan "Get Away" (first release on a Gillan album, only released in Greece before)

This is a huge change, but it’s also very cool. It’s got a big jazz meets progressive rock and world music vibe to it. It’s a powerful tune with a lot of changes and alterations.

Tony Iommi feat G.Hughes "Slip Away" (first time on CD)

There’s a real groove to this and while one would expect it to feel like Sabbath, I don’t really think it does. The chorus is catchy and accessible and this thing rocks.

Gillan "Dont Hold Me Back"

Arguably Gillan gives one of his best performances of the set here. This is fairly complex and especially powerful piece of music that just plain rocks. It is hard edged, but arguably qualifies as progressive rock.

Ian Gillan "She Thinks It’s A Crime" (vinyl single B-side, first time on CD)

This one clearly feels like something from Deep Purple, and not necessarily a strong DP song, either. It’s okay, just nothing special.

Repo Depo feat. Ian Gillan "Easy Come, Easy Go" (previously unreleased)

In some ways this isn’t that much different than the previous cut, but it’s definitely better than that one.

Deep Purple feat.Ronnie James Dio "Smoke On The Water" (live with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra)

This is a cool rendition, but a song that I’ve somewhat hit the saturation point with hearing it. That said, the Dio appearance is a nice touch.

Disc 2
WhoCares "Holy Water" (first time on an album)
This comes in mysterious and very much in a world music type of sound. It rocks out rather like a Deep Purple song as it continues.
Black Sabbath "Anno Mundi"

As far as I’m concerned you really can’t go wrong with Black Sabbath, and while this has a more expansive and melodic musical element than a lot of Sabbath – it’s quite soaring at times – it’s still great.

Tony Iommi feat. G. Hughes "Let it Down Easy" (first time on CD)

There’s a killer metal groove to this. It’s modern and meaty and just plain cool.

Ian Gillan "Hole in My Vest" (7" vinyl single B-side, first time on CD)

I don’t like this one. It’s not that it’s necessarily a bad song, it’s just too light-weight and pop oriented. There’s a nice horn section in the piece, though.

Gillan & Glover feat. Dr.John "Cant Believe You Wanna Leave me"

I’m not crazy about this one, either. It’s a bouncing kind of honky tonk old time rock and roll number. There’s a great saxophone solo on the tune, though.

Ian Gillan & The Javelins "Can I Get A Witness"

This is another bouncy, retro sounding tune. Somehow it’s better than the previous one, though.

Garth Rockett & The Moonshiners aka IG "No Laughing in Heaven" (rare track)

Now, this is more like it. It’s a harder rocking tune and feels quite a bit like Deep Purple. It’s somewhat stripped down, but it’s also great. There’s a cool gospel based spoken section later in the tune, too. There are other cool spoken bits, as well. In fact, this is basically like musical theater in a lot of ways. It’s also very cool. It’s one of the most unusual, but one of the tastiest, pieces on the whole set.

Ian Gillan "When A Blind Man Cries" (Live at Absolute Radio, previously unreleased)

Acoustic guitar serves as the backdrop here. While the guitar work is quite strong and effective, Gillan’s powerful vocal performance steals the show on this and makes it one of the best songs here.

Deep Purple "Dick Pimple" (previously unreleased studio recording)

With an extended humorous introduction, this is Deep Purple throwing down on some great blues. It’s a standard blues jam and reminds me a lot of the musical structure of “Lazy.” It is a killer jam. The vocals don’t come in for quite a while. There’s also some smoking hot harmonica playing on this thing. They drop it down mid-track for a mellower variant on the main sound and then bring it back up in style. They take it to some more silliness, this time musical, right at the end.

 

 
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