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Ian Gillan


As lead singer for both Deep Purple and late-period Black Sabbath, Ian Gillan stands tall among Metal vocalists, with only Robert Plant and Ozzy Osbourne as true rivals/colleagues. He has always been something of a cross between the two, with a voice that's more refined and masculine than Robert Plant's grave-robbing blues squeal and capable of operatic heights. Yet Gillan's voice inhabits the outer fringes of Ozzy territory -- conflicted, beefy and evil. His solo records have traditionally covered the same ground as Deep Purple, with a couple of poorly received transgressions into Jazz Rock. But Deep Purple most recent albums -- particularly Abandon in 1998 and Bananas in 2003 -- have been gratifyingly songful and idiosyncratic. And Gillan's 2009 solo album One Eye To Morocco follows suit, working Afro-Caribbean rhythms and Middle Eastern ideas into surprisingly tuneful, if not especially heavy, rock.
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