Episode #167 – Gillan – Future Shock

Link to video episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLezugFASlQ

Disclaimer: The video used on YouTube is a byproduct of producing our audio podcast. We post it merely as a convenience to those who prefer the YouTube format. Please subscribe using one of the links below if you’d prefer a superior audio experience.

Subscribe at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Anchor.fm, Breaker, PodBean, RadioPublic, Amazon Music, or search in your favorite podcatcher! 

How To Support Our Show:

Brendan Ashbrook – Logo Designer

Welcome Our Newest Patron(s):

  • John Miceli – Joining at the $1 tier!

Thanks to Our Executive Level Patrons:

  • The $25 “Uncommon Man” Tier
    • Ovais Naqvi
  • The £10 Tier
    • Dr. Jill Breis
  • The Turn it up to $11 Tier
    • Clay Wombacher
    • Frank Theilgaard-Mortensen
    • Alan “Ain’t Too Proud To” Begg
    • Mikkel Steen
  • $10 “Some One Came” Tier
    • Ryan M
    • Jeff Breis
    • Victor Campos
    • “Better Call” Saul Evans
    • Kev Roberts &  his wonderful children: Matthew, Gareth, and Sarah

Deep Dive Podcast Network:



1981 Future Shock – Gillan (L.P Alemania Virgin Records 203 596)

Album Art & Booklet Review

  • Illustration – Alan Daniels (2)
    • Also did album covers for Girlschool
  • Illustration – Angus McKie
    • Did album covers for Vangelis and others
  • Painting [Cover] – Alan Daniels (2)
  • Photography By [Main Photos] – Gavin Cochrane
    • Photography for Sparks, Pretenders, Stray Cats, The Who, Men Without Hats, and more.
  • Gillan: “I realise that a lot of people think the album cover is rubbish. It was certainly a bit strange. But some of the photos inside were amazing. Future Shock came in a gatefold sleeve, and it was a great visual production effort by all concerned.”
  • Title based on book by same name by Alvin Toffler:
    • “Future Shock” is the term Toffler gave to the trauma that happens as a result of going through great changes in a short time.In his book he explores how people can adapt to the changes they face, and while doing that he establishes a new social norm: embracing change.
  • Gillan, later in a 2017 YouTube video: “Now this is an amazing cover. Portraits of the band, candid shots mixed with a lot of photographs from Young Artists agency that we decided were compatible with the title, ‘Future Shock.’” Well that’s the interesting part I think there . . .bit of a rebellion wnet on when everyone saw the picture because it sort of supposed to be I don’t know what . .. it makes it a little bit weird anyway . . . titled nicked from a book by Alvin Toffler at the time which was full of how exciting the future might be.”
  • Liner Notes:
    • Record Business – 11.8.80
      • It’s almost a relief to hear bands like Gillan.
    • Huddersfield Daily Examiner – 20.9.80
      • John changed from playing trumpet to guitar while at school. . . . He moved to London to continue successfully working in rock music, playing afro-jazz at Ronnie Scotts, touring world wided with Julie Felix and playing cello on a Beach Boys album.
    • Hull Daily Mail – Oct ‘80
      • As for Bernie Torme’s guitar solo we all know that HEndrix did it with feedback, but, as the report says, it was “long ago” – too long ago for some of us to remember
    • Sounds – 9.8.80
      • . . . and on certain occasions Towns creams his colleagues into the ground.
    • Sounds – 4.2.78
      • Colin Towns (Keyboards/Vocals)
      • Coming from a diverse busical background which included jazz, R&R (including a stint with Chuck Berry), Country & Western Mr. Towns almost replaced Dave LAwson in a reformed version of Greenslade. LAwson was in fact originally offered the gig with IGB, but declined and gave them Colin’s number . . . 
      • The quietest member of the band, he has been known to more than occasionally go for walks sending the rest of the group into a state of freznsy, only to re-appear just in time for a gig.
    • Virgin Release Sheet
      • Ian was presented with the aforementioned cake onstage at the end of the Friars gig, with the immortal words, “There’s only one place for this,” Gillan promptly heaved the lovingly prepared oj=bject straight onto the bald pate of one John MCCoy, the Gillan band’s odd looking bass player, Aaah, the carefree joys of yough, the fun those rock stars have etc . . ..
      • REmember Gillan is a Group.
    • Record Mirror – 16.8.80
      • BEsides it’s worth having just for the photo of John McCoy.
    • ‘Glory Road’ is ten songs where five men struggle to get worked up about piss-all . . . but there it is in the LP charts.
    • South Wales Argus – 18.10.80
      • If you’re looking for “Trouble” Cardiff Top Rank will be the right place this weekend.
    • The Oxford Times – 05.9.80
      • Before you could about “wally” he was back with his own band
    • Derby Evening Telegraph – 17.10.80
      • But when in five years time Gillan are international superstars, don’t let anybody say ‘I told you so.’ A child of three with his eyes shut couldn’t help but notice the talent they displayed at Derby Assembly Rooms on Saturday Night.
    • The Northern Echo – 25.9.80
      • Ian Gillan is 35, paunchy, dresses badly and sings worse. He ought to be a washed up has-been if ever there was one.
    • Bristol Evening Post = 7.10.80
      • Last night they showed they weren’t afraid of stretching the form beyond the head-banging format. They used colour, tone, skill and turned in some attractive, cheering music.
    • Colin Towns: “‘Breakdown’ (MCA) Young (or should that be old?) Colin has made seven albums with Gillan and out of his own with this shows he’s got a reasonable sense of dynamis to go with those semi restrained crazed vocal streams. HM’sanswer to Pop Group? Sure, Boris.
    • Bernie Torme looks like a reject Rolling Stone but is without doubt a guitarist of unique style and sound.
    • Towns, to his chagrins, isn’t about to become quite as rich as the perpetrators of “The STud” and “Saturday Night Fever.”
      • “I keep having thie word ‘prestige’ rammed own me throat,” he laments “I got very little money in the end. But I was pretty hard up before I did it anyway.”
    • New Music News – 16.6.80
      • Ian Gillan breaks new poetic ground by rhyming “ultrasonic” with “gin and tonic.”
    • Mail – 13.9.80
      • Guitarist Bernie Torme, who previously stly fronted his own band.
    • Melody Maker – 9.8.80
      • The rhythm squad of Mick Underwood and John McCoy neither of them spring chickens, set about shaking the glass from windows with a sturdy resilience.
    • Melody Maker – 30.8.80
      • There were more than 30,000 people out there, going crazy with Gillan’s parting gift.
    • Burnley Evening STar
      • Preston Guild Hall rocked to the rafters with an amazing show of affection for the governor.
    • Sheffield Star – 7.10.80
      • Mick Underwood was impressively solid behind the drums.
    • Evening Sentinel – 9.10.80
      • Torme laid his own stamp on the aged “Smoke on the Water,” using feedback brilliantly and introducing that foamous riff Hendrix fashion – with his teeth.
    • Melody Maker – 30.8.80
      • When they did eventually crash into the body of the song, the corwd made the turf tremble.
    • Evening Sentinel – 9..10.80
      • And that supreme example of The Great Poser, John McCoy on bass. He really is one of Life’s Great Uglies.
      • This quote is oddly paired up with a picture of Roger Glover from “Cornflakes and Crazy Foam.”
    • Glasgow Daily Record – 31.10.80
      • Someone aske dme the other day what I’d do with my next million and I told them I’d probably buy myself a new tent.”
    • Hull Daily Mail – 28.10.80
      • It is a pity the music did not quite match th occasion. It was too patchy, smothered in part by histrionics and self indulgence. Guitarist Bernie Torme launched into a too-long solo which was so hackneyed it quickly became boring. There is only so much that can be done with feedback, and anyway, Hendrix did it a long time ago.
    • LAncashire Evening Post – 6/10.80
      • They seemed to love it best when he dragged his guitar across the speaker sending the decibel needle soaring off the scale.
    • Ipswich Evening Star – 22.10.80
      • And guitar player Bernie Torme was really a treat to watch. He plays his Strat like a formula one racer drives is car-one hand on the gearstick; 

Other Releases:

  • 1989 CD release with bonus tracks
  • 2007 Re-release with bonus tracks with Ian Gillan retrospective liner notes
  • 2012 Re-release on vinyl with 12-page hard covered book.  Only 1,000 copies made.

Thanks to Our Core Level Patrons:

  • The $7.77 KeepItWarmRat Tier
    • Michael Vader
  • The Episode $6.66 Tier
    • Steve Coldwell
    • Arthur Smith
    • Anton Glaving
    • Mike Kattan
    • Richard Fusey
  • The $6.65 “Almost Evil” Tier
    • Kenny Wymore
  • $5.99 The “Nice Price” Tier
    • Fielding Fowler
    • Robert Smith
    • Peter from Illinois
    • Michael Bagford
    • Karl Hellberg
  • $5 “Money Lender” Tier
    • John Convery
    • German Heindl
    • Adrian Hernandez
    • Jesper Almén
    • Oleksiy The Perfect Stranger Slyepukhov
    • James North
    • Mark Hodgetts
    • Will Porter
    • Zwopper The Electric Alchemist
    • Tim “Southern Cross” Johnson
    • Percival Frequency

Album Tracks:

Side One:

  1. Future Shock (Gillan, McCoy, Tormé)
  2. Night Ride Out of Phoenix (Gillan, Towns)
  3. (The Ballad Of) The Lucitania Express (Gillan, McCoy, Tormé)
    • “Some of the tracks here, like Night Ride Out Of Phoenix and (The Ballad Of) The Lucitania Express, were based on actual incidents which happened to us on the road. I always like doing that sort of thing.
  4. No Laughing in HEaven (Gillan, McCoy, Tormé, Towns, Underwood)
    • “This is the one with No Laughing In Heaven, which is definitely my favourite Gillan track. It was really the start of me being publicly irreverent. It harked back to when I was 13 years old, asking questions at Sunday school like, ‘Father, what was the immaculate conception?’, and getting answers like, ‘You have to have faith in God, my son. Faith will guide you’. And I began to realise that I didn’t believe in religion, and that God didn’t create Man, it was the other way round. The idea of going to heaven was anathema to me. The last thing I want to do is be stuck in heaven with the sort of people I’d like to avoid! That’s where this song comes from.”
  5. Sacre Bleu (Gillan, McCoy, Tormé)
  6. New Orleans (Frank Guida, Joseph Royster) – Gary U.S. Bonds Cover
    • Simon Robinson in Stargazer #24:
      • This oldie (originally by Gary US Bonds) was sufficiently catchy to get the radio airplay, and became their most successful single to date. It’s ok I guess, though I’d have been happier to see MAD make it. The b-side (‘Take A Hold Of Yourself’) is nothing outstanding either, though it has yet more vocal experiments midway.
      • Gillan’s version or the song reached #17 on the UK Singles Chart.

Side Two:

  1. Bite the Bullet (Gillan, Towns)
  2. If I Sing Softly (Gillan, McCoy, Tormé)
  3. Don’t Want the Truth (Gillan, McCoy, Tormé)
  4. For Your Dreams (Gillan, Towns)

Thanks To Our Foundation Level Patrons:

  • The $3.33 Half Way to Evil Tier
    • Raff Kaff
  • $3 “Nobody’s Perfect” Tier
    • Peter Gardow
    • Ian Desrosiers
    • Mark Roback
    • Duncan Leask
    • Stuart McCord
    • Flight of the Rat Bat Blue Light
    • Øyvind Fjeldbu –
    • Runar Simonsen –
    • JJ Stannard
  • $1 Made Up Name Tier
    • The “Night Ride Into The Coffin” Leaky Mausoleum
    • Stephen Sommerville The Concerto 1999 Fanatic
    • Spike, The Rock Cat
    • Hank the Tank
    • Private Eyes
    • Ashen Lionel
    • Spike’s Mom
    • Blackmore’s Tights
    • John Miceli

Bustin’ Out The Spreadsheet

Reception and Charts:

  • This album is viewed by many to be the band’s peak.  It was certainly trues as far as chart position. It reached #2 on the UK chart and was their highest charting album.
  • Stargazer – Issue #24 – June, 1981
    • The outer sleeve is chronic, there are very few artists in the sci-fi field doing anything decent, and Gillan used the best, Chris Foss, for ‘Clear Air Turbulence’. The album itself didn’t live up to expectations. There seems to be a lack of musical ideas, reusing from previous albums, which are wearing a bit thin. ‘Ballad Of The Lucitania Express’ is the worst example. Much of the album sounds too rushed, which is a pity because the enthusiasm is there – one snatch of ‘No Laughing In Heaven’ shows that. Some of the tracks sound like Ian was suffering when he recorded them; such as on ‘If I Sing Softly’ and ‘Don’t Want The Truth’, both of which have a lot going for them. For my money the best cut of all is the last; ‘For Your Dreams’. It has a much more thought out feel to it, and begins to bring together Colin’s ideas and Ian’s vocal range successfully. Overall I feel Ian has let the album run away with itself, and ‘Glory Road’ seems (especially the American version with rearranged track order) much stronger.
  • Bernie would leave the band while on the road supporting the album and was replaced by Jannick Gers who finished the tour.

For Further Information:

Listener Mail/Comments

  • Comments about the show? Things you’d like us to cover?  We’d love to hear from you. Send us an email at info@deeppurplepodcast.com or @ us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Leave a Reply