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Magic (Bonus Track Version)

Gillan

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Album Review

The final release of original material from Ian Gillan's second project to bare his name, Gillan's Magic was originally issued in 1982 by Virgin Records. The label also reissued the disc in 1988 with seven extra tracks, including covers and B-sides. As the group was winding down, their sound was softened a bit on Magic. The LP was generally accepted by Gillan's staunch U.K. following; however, it failed to achieve the chart success of Glory Road. After opening with two incredible hard-rockers — "What's the Matter" and "Bluesy Blue Sea" — Magic loses its edge. Moderated cuts like "Driving Me Wild" and "You're So Right" have potential, but stall during unimaginative choruses. There are even a few straight keyboard pop moments on the inexplicable "Long Gone" that couldn't have pleased older fans. This song in particular flirts with new wave, a heretic move from a co-creator of "Smoke on the Water." The first single issued from Magic, Stevie Wonder's "Living for the City" is a spectacular flop. That, along with the bonus cover material ("Helter Skelter" and "Smokestack Lightning"), prove that Gillan's powerful but quirky scream is exclusively suited for the classically influenced, but catchy hard rock that made Deep Purple a platinum success. [The 2007 reissue of Magic contains eight bonus tracks made up of B-sides, two (previously released) outtakes and both sides of Ian Gillan's 1988 solo single "South Africa"/"John."]

Magic (Bonus Track Version), Gillan
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