02. Five Moons
03. Over The Hill
04. Angelo Manchenio
05. Money Lender
06. Goodhand Liza
07. This Is The Way
08. Apathy (Backing Track)
09. Over The Hill (Live)
10. Smoke On The Water (Live)
11. Interview With Ray Fenwick
12. Mercury High (Backing Track)
- Ian Gillan / lead vocals
- Colin Towns / keyboards, flutes
- John Gustafson / bass, vocals
- Ray Fenwick / guitars, vocals
- Mark Nauseef / drums, percussion
- Phil Kersie / tenor saxophone (on Five Moons)
- Martin Firth / baritone saxophone
- John Huckridge / trumpets
- Derek Healey / trumpets
- Malcolm Griffiths / trombone
Ian Gillan became dissatisfied with the final mixes of the album and this delayed its eventual release. What eventually became the album Clear Air Turbulence was remixed at Kingsway before release, but the original mix had taken place at Rockfield Studios in Wales. In 1997 the original mix was released by Angel Air Records under the title The Rockfield Mixes. The Rockfield Mixes represents a cleaner (or at least earlier) version of the album. It also includes an extra track which didn't make it to the original release.
Clear Air Turbulence' was the second album from the fledgling Ian Gillan Band, the one where Ian made a concerted effort to move away from being just as the singer in a hard rock band. This was the one where jazz and funk made it's way to the forefront ? and it is probably the addition of one Colin Towns who brought this element in with him. But 'CAT' isn't the album I'm reviewing here, or is it? This is the album as it was originally mixed, before Ian decided that he wasn't happy with it and took it back to Kingsway Recorders. Instead of releasing it and going on tour, Ian cancelled the gigs and the album wasn't released until April 1977 ? a different beast to the one now in the player. Somewhat unusually for Angel Air, this is a reissue of one of their own albums, as it originally came out in 1997 but here it contains there extra songs and an interview with Ray Fenwick.
This is an album that is quite experimental in nature, but what is never in doubt is that at this point Ian was still in his prime, with some great vocals and don't be in doubt, there are some fine songs on here. "Money Lender" has a funk and rock style with some great horns and percussion. This outfit was really tight and while it may not be one that Purple fans will readily pick up, this is a strong release. Mind you, the live version of "Smoke" does show that Ray could distort it and crank it up with the best of them.