This year marks 20 years since the death of RAY GILLEN, one of the greatest singers from the eighties / nineties international Hard Rock scene. The American vocalist had a short but fruitful career which is covered in its entirety in this blog humble tribute.
Every project where Gillen was involved is present here: from his first official recording as part of Bobby Rondinelli's band to his final, posthumous released work with Sun Red Sun. He was featured as guest in a Savatage track, but as he only appears in a vocal duet at the end of the song I chose to leave out this one.
We have Ray's guest leads in the Atsushi Yokozeki Project and George Lynch's solo album, his wonderful participation in Phenomena as main vocalist and of course his own US band Badlands.
But as this tribute was done in a first place because a reader of this blog requested some Gillen's unreleased material, I offer you some rare stuff as well.
Ray was called by Tony Iommi to record Black Sabbath's album 'The Eternal Idol' in 1986, an although recorded most of the tracks he quit before the album was ever released due to internal troubles never clarified.
Gillen was eventually replaced by Tony Martin (another great singer), but Ray's pre-production takes are really awesome. These sessions finally saw the light of day in the 2-disc expanded set of the album released few years ago. I have chosen "Nightmare", a monster of a song.
Ray toured extensively during his stay in Sabbath and some of these concerts were caught on tape, but never released. Just listen Ray's performance on the classic "War Pigs", it is truly thrilling.
Also featured here is a rare early demo of "Stop" - one of the best tracks from the Phenomena album 'Dream Runner' (1987) - in a more 'aural' version.
There's also a demo, a never released song from the Badlands days, and the only known track recorded by Gillen as part of John Sykes' Blue Murder. He was in the band only few months, leaving the project when Sykes decided to handle vocals himself.
All these unreleased tracks were sonically cleaned by me, and I also did a really nice artwork to accompany this deserved tribute to one of the greatest shouters in Hard Rock history.
Tracklist, CLICK HERE:
RAY GILLEN - The Fire Still Burns