Gillan was an English hard-rock/metal band that released a self-titled album in Japan and Australasia on Eastworld/Interfusion in 1978, followed by the more widely released Mr. Universe, which appeared in the U.K. on Acrobat Records in 1979.

Between 1980 and 1982, Gillan released three albums and a half-studio/half-live double-LP on Virgin. The band was formed by once-and-future Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan as a follow-through to his namesake prior band.

Members: Ian Gillan (vocals), Colin Towns (keyboards), John McCoy (bass), Liam Glenocky (drums, 1978), Steve Byrd (guitar, 1978-79), Bernie Tormé (guitar, 1979-80), Mick Underwood (drums, 1979-82), Janick Gers (guitar, 1981-82)

In July 1978, Ian Gillan dissolved the Ian Gillan Band, his vehicle for the prior two years on three albums: Child in Time (1976, Polydor), Clear Air Turbulence and Scarabus (both 1977, Island). From that band, he retained keyboardist Colin Townes, who played on the latter two albums.

For the new band, simply called Gillan, he added guitarist Steve Byrd, bassist John McCoy, and Irish drummer Liam Genockey. All three hailed from jazz-rockers Zzebra, which issued two albums on Polydor in 1974/75. McCoy and Genockey also played on the self-titled second album by folksters Maldoon, released in 1973 on Purple Records, established by Deep Purple. Genockey also held the seat in Amalgam, a revolving-door free-jazz ensemble.

Despite the jazz-rock bona fides of the three players, Gillan conceived this band as a straight hard-rock vehicle, in contrast to the more jazz-rock oriented Ian Gillan Band (comprised, ironically, of straight rock players).

Just as Gillan got underway, Townes debuted as a solo artist with the 1978 Virgin release Full Circle, a largely self-performed instrumental set with percussion by IGB alumnus Mark Nauseef.


  • Gillan (1978)
  • Mr. Universe (1979)
  • Glory Road* (1980)
  • Future Shock (1981)
  • Double Trouble (2LP half-live, 1981)
  • Magic (1982)
  • Toolbox (1991)

*sold with For Gillan Fans Only bonus LP


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