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Ian Gillan & The Javelins | Ian Gillan & The Javelins

Deep Purple's frontman & his mates take another nostalgic stroll down memory lane.

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Everyone has their own definition of classic rock. Including classic rockers like Ian Gillan. Deep Purple‘s longest-serving frontman may have spent the bulk of his musical existence belting out Smoke on the Water and Highway Star, but back in the day, he cut his teeth bashing out the hits of Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley with his teenage band The Javelins. And every generation or so, he apparently gets the urge to take a stroll down his own musical memory lane. Back in 1994, he reunited with his old mates for the album Sole Agency and Representation, featuring a roster of respectfully rendered rock ’n’ roll nuggets. Nearly 25 years later, this self-titled sequel picks up where its predecessor left off. Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee and Johnny Rivers, The Contours and Drifters, even Bo Diddley and Howlin’ Wolf; on this nostalgic throwback, they’re all faithfully represented and reproduced right down to the slapback vocals and doo-woppy harmonies. Were it not for the stereo production and Gillan’s unmistakable pipes, you could easily mistake The Javelins for some long-lost British Invasion combo that slipped between history’s cracks (which they sort of are, I guess). But even with those slight concessions to modernity, it’s clear these geezers aren’t interested in reinventing their wheel; they just want to take it out for a spin around the block every now and then. That’s the only point to The Javelins. But it’s the only one they need. You as well.