"The Glory Years" DVD (Eagle Vision; 2008)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Captured on this DVD is a blistering, never-before-released, live performance by the band Gillan, featuring legendary Deep Purple vocalist, Ian Gillan.

Originally recorded on February 18, 1981 at Oxford Polytechnic for the "Rock Goes to College," TV program, "The Glory Years" features eight popular Gillan tracks, ranging from the raucous "Unchain Your Brain" to the sobering, nuclear war-themed "Mutually Assured Destruction."

The band is awesome throughout. Musically, it's hard to beat Ian Gillan's stunning vocal style (a statement that still holds true today) and Bernie Torme's fiery fretwork. Performance-wise, I was impressed by the band's caustic, punk-ish attitude. You've just got to see Torme destroy a guitar and take down a stack of amplifiers at the end of the set. He seems genuinely pissed off (as is probably the conga player whose drum takes a direct hit by the broken guitar).

The bad news is that the concert only runs about thirty minutes or so but there's plenty of bonus tracks (more about those below) bringing the total disc runtime to about one hour. In addition, it appears that only the actual song performances were run through the soundboard. Gillan's trademark between-song banter is overmodulated and barely understandable. A minor, but annoying, problem.

The above-mentioned bonus features are interesting but hardly the stuff of the concert performance. Most are lip-synced appearances on television shows such as "Top of the Pops" while one is a promo video for "Sleeping on the Job." As I said, interesting, but not necessarily thrilling.

Still, that initial concert is very nearly worth the price of admission alone. Gillan fans will find "The Glory Years" a necessary addition to their collection.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 10 Jul 2022 15:03:28 -0400.