Mention the name Glenn Hughes to a lot of people and you will get a different answer each time as to who he is. Some don’t know of him, some mistake him with a sporting identity, some get it right and some just get it so wrong. However, if you are a fan of music, there is a pretty good chance that you would have come across the works of Glenn Hughes.
Especially the melodic AOR rock style of Glenn Hughes.
This primer course is based on showing a few of the big songs Glenn Hughes was involved in and then it moves over to that fertile Nineties post addiction period that was more or less ignored due to the musical landscape. However by no means is the list complete.
Released in 1974.
I found out about the “Burn” album by back tracking the origins of David Coverdale after the Whitesnake album from 1987 exploded. Yep, in 1987, I had no idea that David Coverdale was in Deep Purple. Actually the only Deep Purple song I knew at that stage was “Smoke On The Water” and that is because Triple M, the local rock radio station played it to death. For kids that grew up with Google, guess what it didn’t exist back then.
So it was harder to find out information about our favourite artists. Not impossible, just harder.
This meant purchasing expensive U.S magazines and reading the interviews and the reviews. Or if I didn’t have the money it meant grabbing the magazine at the newsagency and reading it there, much to the disgust of the newsagency owner.
He was a Portuguese fellow and he saw me that many times in his shop that he eventually started mentioning to me when the latest, “Hit Parader” or “Circus” or “Faces” or “Metal Mania” or “RIP” or “Metal Edge” was in.
Then he told me a little important secret about the newsagency business. That whatever doesn’t sell for the month, he returns back to the publishers. So he said that he will give me the magazines that I like then albeit with the front cover desecrated.
“Burn” was also my first introduction to Glenn Hughes. It was an immediate hit for me.
The song is credited to Ritchie Blackmore, David Coverdale, Glenn Hughes, Jon Lord and Ian Paice and you can hear the jam ethos throughout it. The performances are all top notch and the song showcases all of the members’ abilities.
There is also a version of Glenn Hughes singing it from start to finish that appeared on his solo album, “From Now On…” as a bonus track.
“When Love Finds a Fool”
It is a co-write between Glenn Hughes and Don Dokken and it was on the Don Dokken “Up From The Ashes” solo album that was released in 1990 on the Geffen label. There was a lot of money spent on that album by the Geffen company, however the interest in Don Dokken’s career was already dwindling down to just the hard core fans only.
On the Don Dokken recorded version, Hughes provides backing vocals only. It was the first song I clicked play on when I got home due to the Glenn Hughes writing credit.
And I loved it. To paraphrase like Yoda “A ballad it was” however it was delivered with a passion that was undeniable.
“The Only One”
It’s written by Glenn Hughes and Swedish guitarist Eric Bojfeldt and produced by Bruce Gowdy.
The song appeared on Hughes’s solo album titled “From Now On…” released in 1994. The album is a favourite of mine and the album has a well-rounded, polished and melodic AOR sound. And what a backing band.
Hughes was supported by a band of Swedish musicians including Europe members John Levén, Mic Michaeli and Ian Haugland as well as guitarists Thomas Larsson and Eric Bojfeldt.
Let the Viking invasion begin. Max Martin might get all the press for his pop songs, however the Swedes always had great musicians and songwriters.
“Crying For Love”
A brilliant ballad that appeared on the 1996 album “No Strings Attached” by the band Liesegang. Actually Liesegang is guitarist Bill Liesegang and his roots go back to the early Eighties NWOBHM movement and the band Xero. Actually his roots go back even further, to 1969, when he was asked to join David Bowie’s band.
Liesegang is renowned for being a guitarist that was doing all the guitar theatrics in the late Seventies that Steve Vai and Joe Satriani became famous for years later.
“Still The Night”
It’s history goes back to 1982. Originally planned for the second Hughes/Thrall album, the song ended up appearing on several other releases. It was recorded by the super group “Phenomena” project in 1984.
The version that I like is the John Norum version that appeared on Norum’s solo album, “Face The Truth” in 1992.
The song is written by Glenn Hughes, Pat Thrall and Paul Delph (RIP). Paul Delph was another talent who worked with an eclectic bunch of musicians before his death from HIV/AIDS complications.
“The Look In Your Eye”
It appeared on the “Hughes/Thrall” album released in 1982. The vocal is the starring element. How good is the pre chorus and then the falsetto melodies in the chorus.
“I don’t need anybody else
To try to run my life
I don’t need the way they try
To tell me what they think is right
We don’t need anybody else
To take what’s yours and mine
We don’t need anybody else
It’s just a waste of time”
I didn’t hear this album until a decade later. Because I didn’t get into the whole Grunge and Alternative scene. What I did do is get into purchasing records from second-hand Record Shops and the Hughes/Thrall album was one such gem. It is definitely a hidden gem of melodic hard rock.
Pat Thrall is a very underrated guitarist. A craftsmen who understands what the song needs and plays to suit.
It appeared on the “Phenomena II – Dream Runner” album from 1987. Music and Lyrics came from Mel Galley. Actually Phenomena is a super group formed by record producer Tom Galley, Metal Hammer magazine founder Wilfried Rimensberger] and Tom’s brother, ex-Whitesnake guitarist Mel Galley who played with Glenn Hughes in Trapeze and on Hughes’s Seventies solo album.
What a super group line up for the recording of Surrender.
Vocals – Glenn Hughes
Guitars – Mel Galley
Keyboards – Leif Johansen
Bass – Neil Murray
Drums – Michael Sturgis
It is one of my favourite cuts.
“Face The Truth”
It’s from John Norum’s solo album of the same name released in 1992 and the he song is written by Glenn Hughes and John Norum. For those that don’t know, John Norum was the original guitarist in the band “Europe” and played on their first three albums including the mega one, “The Final Countdown”. He is also in the film clip? Then he was replaced by Kee Marcello for the tour, and the two follow-up albums that came in “Out Of This World” and “Prisoners In Paradise”. He is back as the guitarist of Europe when they reformed back in 2004.
How good is that guitar riff?
It just rocks and rolls the song to glory. If you have listened to early Europe, you will hear that “Euro-Metal Sound” that John Norum is famous for.
The song is a melodic rock gem and it is post the excellent work that Norum did with Don Dokken on the “Up From The Ashes” solo project.
“You Keep On Movin”
It goes back to 1975 and the “Come Taste The Band” era of Deep Purple with another guitarist that departed way too young. Tommy Bolin. Now that was another talent that is no more. Tommy Bolin and Paul Kossoff are my two heroes. Guitarists that just wanted to jam and play.
The song is actually written by David Coverdale and Glenn Hughes. The version that I was listening to is from the 1994 solo album “From Now On….”.
This is what we’ve lost in the transition from capturing spontaneous creations to capturing well thought out and analysed rewritten over and over again creations. That effortless feel in a song as it builds to a crescendo.
“So Much Love To Give”
Very Hendrix like and that is not surprising at all when you see that Hendrix devotee Craig Erickson is the guitarist and the songwriter.
It’s up there in the blues rock vibe of “Mistreated” from the Coverdale/Hughes era of Deep Purple.
It’s a Glenn Hughes and Craig Erickson composition.
Actually Craig Erickson is a very underrated guitarist in the blues rock genre.
The song was released on Hughes’s first solo album titled “L.A. Blues Authority II: Glenn Hughes – Blues” after he kicked his drug habits in 1991 and it is another all-star line up of musician friends that assist in the album’s creation. As Glenn once stated it was his first album since finding his higher power. And of course it was Mike Varney who got the project rolling. For those that don’t know, Shrapnel Records was founded in 1980 by Mike Varney.
And Shrapnel was different from all of the other labels because it focused on bands featuring guitarists of extraordinary ability and it was the main label leading the neo-classical shred movement.
If it wasn’t for Shrapnel Records artists like Yngwie Malmsteen, Marty Friedman, Jason Becker, Paul Gilbert, Tony MacAlpine and Vinnie Moore would have either not been identified or taken longer to identify.
“King Of The Western World”
It is the opening track on the 1996 Liesegang album “No Strings Attached” that also has the excellent “Crying For Love” that I mentioned above.
It’s the GUITAR!
The Steve Stevens inspired “Atomic Playboys” riff that kicks it off. Talk about a riff!
Then it goes into a Journey style verse. For those that don’t know Bill Liesegang, make sure you check him out. Another underrated musician and songwriter.
“Not Necessary Evil” and “Cry Of The Brave”
Both of these songs appear on “Sacred Groove” the first solo album from George Lynch released in 1993. As a fan of George Lynch, I really enjoyed these little gems.
Glenn Hughes came into the Lynch stratosphere back when Glenn Hughes was hired to sing on the demos that would become the self-titled Lynch Mob album, released in 1992. The album features the vocals of Robert Mason who legend has it, had Glenn Hughes teaching him how to sing the songs.
There are just so many connections and relationships in the career of Glenn Hughes. And really, that is what having a music career is all about.
Building connections and fostering relationships.
Just look at the body of work that I have mentioned so far and all the different musicians that have been involved with it. How many musicians in the last 10 years have achieved anything close to those relationships?
It’s all about the band they are in and just that band. God forbid if someone tried to jam with another band. That would be cause for instant dismissal.
Mike Portnoy comes to mind as the only musician that is putting his name out there on different styles of music and with different musicians.
“Make My Day”
It’s the opening track from the “Amen” album by Manfred Ehlert. Written and arranged by Ehlert it is Glenn’s vocal performance that brings the song home.
There is a keyboard riff there that reminds me of “The Final Countdown” from Europe.
The song is written by Tom Galley, Richard Bailey and Mel Galley, but it is the vocal performance by Glenn Hughes that knocks it out of the ball park.
Mel Galley is another guitarist that deserves more attention for his work output. Maybe not having the look of a glam rocker hurt his career in the Eighties, but there is no denying the work that he did with Trapeze, Whitesnake and Phenomena.
This song appeared on the supergroup “Phenomena” project in 1984.
“Lay My Body Down”
It is written by Glenn Hughes and virtuoso guitarist Thomas Larsson.
Another musician from Sweden and the land of the midnight sun. It is a musical Viking conquest.
The song appeared on Hughes’s solo album titled “From Now On…” released in 1994.
“In Your Eyes”
It is from the 1992 John Norum solo album “Face The Truth”.
It is a song written by a super group committee. The writers are Glenn Hughes, John Norum and Peter Baltes from Accept fame, who along with John Norum just finished a stint with Don Dokken.
One thing that is clear is the many relationships that Glenn Hughes as formed. Music is a common language for all walks of life and there is no greater ambassador than Glenn Hughes.