Ian Gillan on the differences between solo and Deep Purple songs: ‘I’d find something a little more acceptable’

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Ian Gillan’s career away from Deep Purple has provided him with a chance to explore different parts of his songwriting craft. Specifically, as he tells Radiorock 106.6, the songs he wrote alone gave him a chance to delve into far more personal areas.

“One of the favorite songs in my entire career, in my Top 5 solo along with ‘Child in Time’ and one or two others, is a song called ‘Don’t Hold Me Back,'” Ian Gillan says. “It was about my wife and her heart operation, you know? She was in hospital at the time, and ‘we’re breaking into your open heart.’ It’s a pure love song, and I couldn’t have done that one a Deep Purple record at that time. I don’t think I’d have been able to impose my personal passion so much into a Deep Purple song. And there are other things, political things, that maybe I could do on my own records, but I would never do on a Deep Purple record. I’d find something a little more acceptable, if you like.”

Gillan’s first stint in Deep Purple lasted from 1970’s Deep Purple in Rock through 1973’s Who Do We Think We Are. He then released a series of solo projects between 1976’s Child in Time with the Ian Gillan Band through 1982’s Magic, with a band simply called Gillan.

Ian Gillan rejoined Deep Purple thereafter, taking part in eight studio projects between 1984’s Perfect Strangers and 2013’s UK Top 20 release Now What?! More solo projects followed, beginning with 1988’s Accidentally on Purpose — recorded with Deep Purple bandmate Roger Glover. “Don’t Hold Me Back” was part of 1991’s Toolbox.

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