Who Cares

Ian Gillan and Tony Iommi

Review score: 73%

Review Date: September 2012
Reviewer: Paul Jack
Source: Rock Hard Reviews
(www.rockhardreviews.com)

Amazon UK: Buy CD | Buy MP3 / Amazon US: Buy CD | Buy MP3

Remember Rock Aid Armenia? No? Well I do. A very worthy cause. I even bought the VHS back in the day. It's was the rock and metal version of Live Aid, with no end of famous rock personalities contributing to a very special version of Smoke on the Water, all in the name of charity supporting the victims of the Armenian earthquake.

Here in the present day, rock legends Ian Gillan and Tony Iommi and pals, including Iron Maiden's Nicko, the late, great Jon Lord and others are still doing their bit to improve the lives of the Armenian victims, above and beyond the call of duty.

And all in a good cause, we are blessed with the release of Ian and Tony's quirky double album WhoCares. The album contains a couple of rockin' good new tracks and a massive collection of old and rare tracks. Let's see what's in the case:

Out Of My Mind

A great new metal number from WhoCares, which I call a supergroup. Out of My Mind would not sound out of place on the classic Black Sabbath album Born Again. Proper old school heavy rock.

Zero the Hero

Possibly my favourite track from Sabbath's Born Again, Zero the Hero sounds much better here than my original vinyl copy did. A great new mix of the old classic.

Trashed

A second track from Born Again, this is a hard fast number all about what happens when certain celebs mixed booze and fast cars. For those who haven't heard the story before, Ian's liner notes recount the true story behind the song. On a personal sad note I can't listen to Trashed now without thinking about one time Sabbath drummer Cozy Powell.

Get Away

Ian Gillan sings on this light and poppy track, which reminds me of Holly Valance.

Slip Away

I owned a copy of the album Fused by Tony Iommi and Glenn Hughes. Slip Away is from that recording session and let's be honest, deserved to be on Fused. It's a good track, so if you like Fused you'll like this.

Don't Hold Me Back

A lighter sounding rock song from Gillan's Toolbox album, the vocals take precedence over the guitars. Ian shares his personal feelings here, in the liner notes you can read why the lyrics are so important.

She Thinks It's A Crime

This is a rare light rock track from Ian's past. I've known a few women like the one he sings about.

Easy Come, Easy go

A gritty, retro guitar intro makes this rare track sound like a seventies rather than a nineties number. The sort of song with a catchy chorus likely to stick in your mind. Slightly reminiscent of some old Alice Cooper, which is a good recommendation.

Smoke On The Water

Fabulous version of this legendary track, featuring the late, great and sorely missed Ronnie James Dio sharing vocal duties alongside Ian Gillan for this live recording at the Royal Albert Hall. I already heard this track on the Deep Purple and Friends album, which I recommend.

Holy Water

A long, haunting intro finally leads us into a great new track by WhoCares. Listen to the lyrics, they resonated with me, bringing back memories of certain moments in my life. I like a wee dram of this brand of holy water myself on occasion.

Anno Mundi

An old Black Sabbath number from the their Norse mythology album Tyr. I remember loving this track when I first heard it, although I reckon Sabbath sound a bit like Queen here. Sacrilege, no? This is a fantastic rock song, and Tony Martin does a great job on vocals. Sure, it sounds dated now, but it is a worthy addition to this charity collection.

Let It Down Easy

Another one which should have been on Fused! Glenn Hughes and Tony Iommi have got another, ballsy number hear. Only those lucky Japanese rock fans got their hands on this before now, so the inclusion on the WhoCares collection makes things right. A great, modern, catchy number.

Hole In My Vest

Hey, I remember buying Gillan's Naked Thunder album when it first came out. I was staying with mates in the great city of Newcastle at the time. Hole In My Vest is a light pop rock song. I have to disagree with what it states in the liner notes though – this track would have fitted in with the rest of Naked Thunder. That's a compliment by the way.

Can't Believe You Wanna Leave Me

From Gillan And Glover's Accidentally On Purpose album, which I only ever bought from on cassette tape in the bargain bucket for a quid by the way, Can't Believe You Wanna Leave Me is classy blues done very well.

Can I Get A Witness

Reminding me of Blues Brothers, this is a Marvin Gaye song. Gillan reunited with his sixties buddies from The Javelins in 1994 to record the album from whence this fun track is taken.

No Laughing In Heaven

I remember the original release of No Laughing In Heaven, it was on my vinyl copy of Double Trouble. This is the Garth Rockett and the Moonshiners version, with a bit more keyboards than I remember. The vocals sill take centre stage though. It's good, catchy, just don't sing it in church.

When A Blind Man Cries

A live, acoustic version of an extreme oldie from Deep Purple. The lyrics were always overdone, which Gillan acknowledges . Listening to the slow, sad and moody When A Blind Man Cries takes me back to yesteryear.

Dick Pimple

This is the absolute hidden gem on the WhoCares album. Cheeky and cheerful Deep Purple caught in a happy-goes-lucky jam, generally messing around and having a good time. Definitely a must have for Deep Purple fans. Simply fantastic.

Conclusion

Buy it! It's all in a good cause, so do your bit and buy a copy. The overall feel of the album is that of a very quirky collection of tracks from some very skilled musicians. Ranging from heavy metal through to some jazzy numbers, there's something here for any old school rock fan. Maybe you'll expand your musical tastes a bit, or maybe you'll just pick out a few favourite tracks to play over and over. Either way, it's for charity so cough up and buy a copy, you know it makes sense.

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Disk 1

  • Out Of My Mind
  • Zero The Hero
  • Trashed
  • Getaway
  • Slip Away
  • Don't Hold Me Back
  • She Thinks Its A Crime
  • Easy Come, Easy Go
  • Smoke On The Water

Disk 2

  • Holy Water
  • Anno Mundi
  • Let It Down Easy
  • Hole In My Vest
  • Can't Believe You Wanna leave Me
  • Can I Get A Witness
  • No Laughing In Heaven
  • When A Blind Man Cries
  • Dick Pimple