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?

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14 responses

29 11 2007
John Hackney

NICE ASSESSMENT OF A TRUE ROCK N ROLL GREAT!
I PERSONALLY THINK YOU NEED TO ADD ‘SONGS IN THE KEY OF ROCK’ TO YOUR RECOMMENDED LISTENING THOUGH!

BEST REGARDS, JOHN

29 11 2007
kevmoore

You know John, I had trouble wondering what to put on the recommended listening list; his catalogue is immense- just take the two albums he did with Dario Mollo’s Voodoo Hill for example, great rock vocals right the way through. I guess my recommendation should just be “buy everything, the man’s a genius!”

21 01 2008
allan

i used to watch him every sunday at a local church hall with a band called the mail in cannock he was very influenced by steve winwood at the time used to play a rickenbacker 6 string guitar and not very well either how times change ahah his parent still live in cannock

22 01 2008
kevmoore

Yeah, i met his mum and dad backstage at one of his gigs in london a couple of years back. nice people!

12 03 2008
Alan Ellsmore

Used to watch this man way back with the 3 piece Trapeze, everyone should experience his voice live. Playing the Robin 2 June 6th 2008. Hope to see you all there.

Alan E.

12 03 2008
kevmoore

Totally agree Alan, thanks for the comment. He has to be heard to be believed. I’m hoping to catch him for my birthday in Prague this summer. Can’t wait for the new album!

29 05 2008
Alan Ellsmore

Hey Kev,

did you catch the Prague show?, good review on Glenn’s web-site. New album sounds fantastic, back to his funk/rock of some of the Trapeze and Play Me Out. Just a reminder about June 6th at the Robin 2. Also, check out September gig at the Robin with VIP tickets which includes after show party and 1:1 with Glen.

Alan E.

29 05 2008
kevmoore

Hi Alan, yep, the new album is wonderful – My constantly morphing schedule, (courtesy of BC Sweet!) meant I wasn’t in the area for the Prague show, but I’ll be at at least one of the Spain shows in September, probably Madrid. I’ve been lucky to meet Glenn a few times, and we exchange messages now and again. he was and indeed still is such a huge influence on my career. there are at least 3 tracks on my forthcoming solo album that have their roots in Glenn’s funk rock styles. – I just wish I was that good!!

15 06 2008
Alan Ellsmore

Kev,

caught the show at the Robin, aboslutely amazing, most of the show was the new album (see Glenn’s own site, fan forum, for reviews). Plenty of old fans, a particularly rowdy bunch from Liverpool, but plenty of new fans as well, including my son, will definatley be going to the September show. About 16 mins of Mistreated with about 4/5 mins of solo Glenn vocal pyrotechnics, two other songs with solo vocals as well, still the voice of rock. Do not miss this tour if at all possible. The band were all excellent, live the rock side comes over very well with that funkinees holding it all together (Chad Smith joined them for the london date).

By the way, is that you on youtube as Phil Lynott on Stars in…..

Alan E.

19 06 2008
kevmoore

Cheers for that Alan, can’t wait! and yes..thats me on YouTube as Mr.Lynott. The Gary Moore album “Run for Cover” was a bit special for me, featuring Gary AND Phil AND Glenn!! What an embarrasment of riches!

17 11 2008
alan ellsmore

Hi, Kev,

2 gigs at the Robin in Wolverhampton, 6/7 June 2009, one of particular interest.

Glenn will be performing two shows over the weekend.
Tonights show will feature Glenn and his band performing material from Glenn’s latest album FIRST UNDERGROUND NUCLEAR KITCHEN as well as music from his extensive solo career and classics from his time with Deep Purple. Expect to hear some surprises of rarely played songs, including some material that Glenn has never played in the UK before.

Glenn and his band will perform a unique and exclusive musical tribute to his former band, the legendary TRAPEZE. The show will consist of a full set of Trapeze music, including songs from the classic albums ‘MEDUSA’ and ‘YOU ARE THE MUSIC…WE’RE JUST THE BAND’.
This guarantees to be an unmissable evening as it will be the first time that Glenn will have played exclusively a full Trapeze set as a solo artist, and it will also be a particularly poignant and emotional evening as the show will be dedicated to the memory of Glenn’s dear friend, the former Trapeze and Whitesnake guitarist Mel Galley, who sadly died in July 2008.

The ticket also includes
Sunday afternoon showing of rare Glenn Hughes & Trapeze related films and etc

Maybe he will do something similar in your part of the world.

Keep up the good work.

Alan E.

3 04 2010
Alan Ellsmore

Hi Kev,

2 good nights at the Robin 2, now available from Glenn’s site on DVD.

Another night coming up in September at the Robin 2, Glenn’s new band Black Country with Joe Bonnamasa and jason Bonham.

Alan

8 04 2010
kevmoore

Its a great DVD Alan, and is already a well-worn part of my collection!

15 09 2010
julian

I’ve just picked up a copy of the new version of “Play Me Out” that I have only ever had on a 1979 home recorded cassette from a mates vinyl copy !! ….. just fantastic to hear it properly after all these years !

J

PS my missus thought it was Jess !

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