Unsung Heroes No.3 – Terry Reid

5 11 2007

Terry First Album

L-R; Keith Webb, Terry Reid, Bill Bonham

Terry “Superlungs” Reid was always the guy that should’ve been. Plagued by bad luck and bad management, sprinkled with a smattering of disastrous career moves, he never quite achieved the heights of his many of his contemporaries; though his amazing voice surely warranted it.  His career is littered with false starts. The chief culprit in the early days was Mickie Most, who insisted on Reid recording pop fodder that bordered on the inane and was an insult to his massive vocal talent.  Touring in the 60’s with such greats as Cream and The Rolling Stones, he nevertheless built up a loyal fanbase.

Terry and Keef

Terry accompanied by Mr.Keith Richards at The Joint in L.A.

In hindsight, his insistence that Jimmy Page should check out a young birmingham singer instead of himself for his new group Led Zeppelin looks like commercial suicide, as does his decision to turn down Deep Purple, prior to them choosing a certain Ian Gillan. But despite all this his brilliance occasionally shone through. His eponymously titled second album is widely regarded as his tour de force.

The seventies saw Terry release three albums, utilising Eddie Offord, Graham Nash, and Trevor Horn respectively on The River, Seed of Memory and Rogue Waves, but none really set the charts alight.

I admit to a little favouritism here, as I was a good friend of Terry’s drummer in his heyday, Keith Webb.  Two tracks I recommend that will have you going “Who is that guy?” are;

Season of the Witch Terry gives Donovan’s song the treatment.

Rich Kid Blues            Also released by Marianne Faithful, this is THE version.

Keith sadly died earlier this year, but Terry continues to do what he does best, including a triumphant return to Glastonbury in 2005, along with providing three tracks for the cult horror movie The Devil’s Rejects. Check him out. Terry Reid. An unsung hero indeed.

Terry at Glastonbury

Terry at Glastonbury

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Unsung Heroes No.2 – Glenn Hughes

1 11 2007

Glenn 1The second in my occasional series where I aim to highlight singers who somehow bypassed the mainstream public conciousness.

Today; Glenn Hughes

Glenn Hughes is an enigma. Ostensibly, a superstar, following his time in Deep Purple, recording three studio albums, Burn, Stormbringer and Come Taste the Band, along with a number of live albums, noticeably Made In Europe, he nevertheless continually flies beneath the radar of mass acceptance, despite a recording career that spans five decades, and recent solo albums featuring The Chili Peppers Chad Smith and John Frusciante, and Jane’s Addictions Dave Navarro.Glenn 4

Left to Right: Glenn Hughes, David Coverdale, Tommy Bolin, circa 1975

Ironically, in his time with Purple he was not the main singer, these duties handled by David Coverdale, but their vocal sparring was the stuff of legend. He hit number one once in his career, ironically, a dance track by KLF, America:What time is Love? This track proved to be his saviour, personally and professionally, as he battled against his addicitions and increasingly unproductive recording years in the mid to late 80’s.

Originally known as “The white Stevie Wonder” on account of his eery ability to produce a wonderfully soulful black voice, The KLF handed him the moniker by which he’s still known; The Voice of Rock.

He first found fame with the innovative Funk Rock trio Trapeze,  who achieved great success in many of the southern states in America, particularly Texas. After three albums, Purple came knocking and he was gone. After Purple’s demise, folowing the death of guitarist and good friend Tommy Bolin, Hughes released his first solo album, Play Me Out, an astonishing work, that owed little to Purple, and a great deal to Stevie Wonder. Hughes’ ability to wear so many hats caused confusion amongst the pigeonholing obsessed industry and public. I think its a problem that still dogs him today. Personally, I believe this ability adds to the stature of an artist, not diminishes it.

His career path was ecelectic to say the least, occasional projects with his first love Trapeze, guest appearances on albums ranging from Roger Glovers Butterfly Ball to Gary Moore’s Run for Cover, legendary collaboartions such as Seventh Star with Tony Iommi, Hughes Turner Project with Joe Lynn Turner, and the classic Hughes Thrall album from 1982, all helping to esatblish his credentials as a truly outstanding vocalist.Glenn 3

Still giving concerts of jaw-dropping quality and energy, Glenn Hughes is without doubt one of the finest vocalists Britain has ever produced. All this, and he’s an incredible bass player too! Do yourselves a favour, check him out.

Recommended listening:

Trapeze-You are the Music, We’re Just the Band 1972

Deep Purple-Come Taste the Band 1975

Glenn Hughes-Play Me Out 1976

Hughes Thrall-Hughes Thrall 1982

Glenn Hughes– Feel 1995

Glenn Hughes-Music for the Divine 2007

Kev Moore     Why not check out Unsung Heroes No.1?