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Album Review ? Gillan: No Easy Way

Was the third time was the charm for ex-Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan?

Third time was the charm for ex-Deep Purple frontman Ian Gillan.

His first stab as a soloist bored even Purple fans to tears. Shifting to rock and abbreviating

his moniker was an improvement, but it took a third shake-up in the lineup before all the pieces fell into place.

Gillan’s Glory Road smashed into the U.K. charts in August 1980; their autumn British tour was the stuff of legend. The two-disc No Easy Way set brings that legend back to life, capturing Gillan on CD and DVD swaggering across stages on that fateful tour.

Sure, the sound’s wonky in places, particularly on the bonus tracks, but who cares when you’re swamped by the “New Wave of Heavy Metal” Gillan sends crashing over you. The setlist was drawn mostly from Glory, with a few songs pulled from the earlier lineup’s Mr. Universe, while “Smoke on the Water” invariably got an airing.

The band, especially guitarist Bernie Torme, was absolutely ferocious; the CD is awesome, but seeing is believing, and the DVD’s their crowning glory.