Glenn Hughes - Soul Mover
Born on August 21, 1952 in Cannock, England Glenn Hughes left school at the tender age of sixteen to play in various local groups. One of them, an outfit called Finders Keepers, changed their name to Trapeze and went on to rise to world fame. The Band's illustrious line-up (apart from Hughes, the lineup included future Whitesnake guitarist Mel Galley and drummer Dave Holland, who went on to join Judas Priest at the end of the 70's) brought out a total of three albums, in particular "You Are the Music, We're Just the Band" (1972) causing quite a sensation.
1973 saw two Deep Purple members, Ian Gillan and Roger Glover, leave in June of that year. With his amazing voice and virtuoso bass playing, Glenn followed their call and in turn passed on an offer to join Electric Light Orchestra. Vocalist David Coverdale was enlisted simultaneously to replace Ian Gillan and Deep Purple reached another zenith of their creative power. The "Burn" album is, without a doubt, one of the best Purple releases of all time and its successor "Stormbringer" was similarly impressive. Spotlighting the unusual combination of Glenn Hughes with his seemingly unlimited vocal range and front man David Coverdale whose bluesy timbre suited the new tracks extremely well, they turned out to be an unbeatable team. "David Coverdale is without a doubt a great shouter, but he couldn't do the high passages, which is where I came in. As far as I'm concerned we were the perfect combination", says Hughes.
Hughes also maneuvered Deep Purple into a more funky direction and that was probably one of the main reasons why guitarist Ritchie Blackmore left the group in 1975 to form Rainbow. Former James Gang guitarist Tommy Bolin replaced Blackmore and they went on to record the album "Come Taste the Band" (1975). Tragically, Bolin died of a heroin overdose in 1976, which meant the end of Deep Purple. "Tommy was my best friend. He was like a brother to me", recalls Hughes. "I had no idea he was using heroin. His death was the biggest shock of my life".
The end of the band was the beginning of Hughes' extensive travels through the whole hard n' heavy scene. The list of bands, projects and solo albums by other artists in which he participated over the course of the decades seems almost endless. From Black Sabbath's "Seventh Star" (1986), to the KLF's "America: What Time is Love" a US mega hit in which the KLF dubbed him "The Voice of Rock".
His solo albums have also been hugely successful starting with funky rock on "Play Me Out" (1977) to the legendary rock release "Hughes/Thrall" with former Pat Travers guitarist Pat Thrall in 1982 to his 1994 album "Burning Japan Live". 1995 saw the more soulful "Feel" to his more recent "Return of Crystal Karma" (2000). His release in 2001 of "Building the Machine" had a special intensity due to its excursions into the spheres of funk and soul and received rave reviews on a worldwide basis. His latest solo release, "Songs in the Key of Rock" gets back to his love of 60's and 70's rock funk. "I am living the 70's. I am wearing the clothes, playing the music and getting back to the soul of that era but without the pitfalls of it's lifestyle". A strong return to Glenn's rock and roll roots. The album featured Glenn's signature vocals combined with a vintage, yet fresh approach capturing the essence Rock and Roll.
Everything about the opening track "Soul Mover" emits soul. Right down to the smooth vocals, twangy guitar riffs, and driving bass lines. Tribal drum beats dominate "She Moves Ghostly". The song is sure to get your foot tapping and body moving. Glenn's vocals are quite empowering during that catchy chorus section. The guitars are quite subtle during most of the track, but then guest guitarist Dave Navarro cuts loose during the solo. Fuzzy, electronica style rhythms can be heard on "High Road".
Glenn is both seductive and funky with his delivery. Dual guitar licks and cosmic keyboard effects command the bluesy track "Orion". "Let It Go" is serine and passionate during the verse sections and intense and supercharged during the choruses. The fiery solo takes the track to a whole new level. "Dark Star" displays pure seventies wakka-wakka funk guitar. "Isolation" is full of so much emotion and feeling that it could bring a tear to your eye. This serenade builds to an eighties-style power ballad conclusion.
On Soul Mover, Glenn has completely blown me away. He manages to draw from his admiration of 60s-70s blues rock, but gives it a modern rock touch, making it appealing to wider range of music fans. Glenn also seems to have put more time into his songwriting.
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Over One Hour of Music PLUS a Video for Soul Mover
Glenn Hughes - Soul Mover
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1. Soul Mover