Ian Gillan Band

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Ian Gillan Band
Origin England
Genres Jazz fusion, progressive rock
Years active 1975–1978
Labels Island Records
Associated acts Deep Purple, Gillan
Past members Ian Gillan
Ray Fenwick
John Gustafson
Mark Nauseef
Mike Moran
Micky Lee Soule
Colin Towns

The Ian Gillan Band were an English jazz-rock fusion band formed by Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan in 1975.


After leaving Deep Purple in June 1973, Ian Gillan had retired from the music business to pursue other business ventures, including motorcycle engines, a country hotel / restaurant (with a guitar shaped swimming pool), and ownership of the Kingsway Recorders studio, where from April 1974 he began to work on his first post-Deep Purple solo tracks. These ventures all except the recording studio ended in failure. This fact, combined with a warm reception to his guest appearance at Roger Glover's Butterfly Ball live show at the Royal Albert Hall, London, on 16 October 1975 (he sang "Sitting in a Dream" as a substitute for Ronnie James Dio, who was banned by Ritchie Blackmore to take part in it) prompted him to resume a singing career and form a new band.

Initially called Shand Grenade, a combination of Shangri-la and Grenade, Gillan was persuaded by the management to change the band's name to the Ian Gillan Band. He recruited guitarist Ray Fenwick, bass player John Gustafson, keyboard player Mike Moran and Elf percussionist Mark Nauseef on drums. Using Roger Glover as producer and session musician, this line-up recorded their first album Child In Time in December 1975 / January 1976. In February 1976 Moran was replaced by Micky Lee Soule (ex-Elf and Rainbow), but for the recording of follow-up album Clear Air Turbulence he was dropped in May 1976 in favour of Colin Towns.

The band had some success in Japan but none at all in North America and only cult status in Europe, their jazz fusion direction unappealing to pop and rock fans alike. Their next album, Scarabus (1977), had more of a rock sound but retained the jazz fusion direction. Released at the height of punk rock, there was no success beyond Japan and their label Island Records dropped them.

The following year Gillan dissolved the band but retained Colin Towns and formed a new band called simply Gillan. A live album was released after the breakup. John Gustafson said: "Gillan decided he didn’t like the band’s direction and wanted to do more rock stuff. In reality, he should have put his foot down a lot earlier. I personally was expecting Deep Purple stuff, but he let us do whatever we wanted."[1]


Ian Gillan Band/Gillan Timeline[edit]


Year Title Peak chart positions
1976 Child in Time
  • Date: July 1976
  • Label: Island
55 36
1977 Clear Air Turbulence
  • Date: 15 April 1977
  • Label: Island
1977 Scarabus
  • Date: October 1977
  • Label: Island
1977 Live at the Budokan vol.1
  • Date: 1977
  • Label: Eastworld, Virgin
1978 Live at the Budokan Vol.2
  • Date: 1978
  • Label: Eastworld, Virgin


  • "You Make Me Feel So Good"/"Shame" (1976)
  • "Twin Exhausted / Five Moons" (1977)
  • "Country Lights / Poor Boy Hero" (1977)
  • "Mad Elaine" / "Mercury High" (1978)
  • "Smoke on the Water/Mad Elaine" (1978) - live

Angel Air Records Releases[edit]