After leaving Deep Purple in June 1973, Ian Gillan had retired from the music business to pursue other business ventures, including motorcycle engines, a country hotel / restaurant (with a guitar shaped swimming pool), and ownership of the Kingsway Recorders studio, where from April 1974 he began to work on his first post-Deep Purple solo tracks. These ventures all except the recording studio ended in failure. This fact, combined with a warm reception to his guest appearance at Roger Glover's Butterfly Ball live show at the Royal Albert Hall, London, on 16 October 1975 (he sang "Sitting in a Dream" as a substitute for Ronnie James Dio, who was banned by Ritchie Blackmore to take part in it) prompted him to resume a singing career and form a new band.
Initially called Shand Grenade, a combination of Shangri-la and Grenade, Gillan was persuaded by the management to change the band's name to the Ian Gillan Band. He recruited guitarist Ray Fenwick, bass player John Gustafson, keyboard player Mike Moran and Elf drummer Mark Nauseef. Using Roger Glover as producer and session musician, this line-up recorded their first album Child In Time in December 1975 / January 1976. In February 1976 Moran was replaced by Micky Lee Soule (ex-Elf and Rainbow), but for the recording of follow-up album Clear Air Turbulence he was dropped in May 1976 in favour ofColin Towns.
The band had some success in Japan but none at all in North America and only cult status in Europe, their jazz fusion direction unappealing to pop and rock fans alike. Their next album, Scarabus (1977), had more of a rock sound but retained the jazz fusion direction. Released at the height of punk rock, there was no success beyond Japan and their label Island Records dropped them.
The following year Gillan dissolved the band but retained Colin Towns and formed a new band called simply Gillan. A live album was released after the breakup.
- Child In Time (1976, #55 UK)
- Clear Air Turbulence (1977)
- Scarabus (1977)
- Live at the Budokan (Vols. 1–2, 1977–1978)
- Live: Yubin Chokin Hall, Hiroshima (2001)
- Live at the Rainbow 1977 (2002)
- Live at the Budokan (contained Vols 1 & 2) (2007)
- Anthology, CD (2002)
- Poor Boy Hero, CD (2003)
- Rarities 1975–1977, CD (2003)
- Smoke on the Water, CD, mix of IGB & Gillan (2007)
- Live at the Rainbow 1977, contains Concert 33 mins & Rarities 23 mins (2003)
- Live at the Rainbow 1977, concert only (2006)
- "Mad Elaine" / "Mercury High" (1978)