If a Hall Of Fame for rock vocalists was established, there is no question that Glenn Hughes should be one of the first inductees. His talents have prompted quotes such as the following
from various rock journalists: "His voice is totally immaculate, possessing a seemingly endless range", "He's amongst the greatest singers on the planet's surface", "Quite staggering vocal talents", "One of the richest and most essential voices in the rock world", and "Silky, sensuous, and stirring vocals". Accolades aside, Glenn's accomplishments certainly place him in legendary status.
Glenn was born in Cannock, England on August 21st, 1951. His first professional band was Trapeze, which formed in 1969 in Wolverhampton. Glenn stayed with the band until the summer of 1973, recording three studio albums and a compilation LP, until he was recruited into the rock supergroup Deep Purple at the age of 21. He remained with Purple until their demise in 1976, recording three studio albums and three live albums during that time.
Between 1976 and 1991, Glenn appeared on a number of impressive and very diverse projects, including his first solo album in 1977, Play Me Out, and the critically-acclaimed release by Hughes/Thrall in 1982. Unfortunately, during this time he didn't stay with any one project long enough to reclaim the popularity of his Trapeze and Purple days, though he did realize a dream of having a Number One single in late 1991. The English band The KLF had already recorded a potential hit song in What Time Is Love?, and they got the idea to enlist a world-class singer to overdub vocals on a special version of the song. Glenn was called to do the job, and it was a success, as the single topped the UK charts. Glenn was credited on the song as The Voice Of Rock, and that moniker has been associated with him ever since.
Glenn spent the first couple of months of 1992 in California's Betty Ford Clinic battling substance abuse. He emerged from the clinic in his best condition in years, both physically and spiritually.
His "comeback" began with his first solo album in fifteen years that fall with the release of L.A. Blues Authority Volume II: Glenn Hughes - Blues. That album was merely the beginning of the many recordings and sessions that Glenn would be involved with during the 1990s, including another fine solo album released in 1994, From Now On.... He then embarked on an extensive world tour in support of that album, his first-ever solo tour, and out of that came a live album, Burning Japan Live, a brilliant concert performance which emphasized the staggering vocal capabilities, live energy, and impromptu melodic interpretations that Glenn is known and respected for.
In 1995, Glenn released Feel, which showcased his songwriting and vocal abilities in a wide range of musical styles. Addiction, released in 1996, found Glenn making a fierce return to hard rock with a very contemporary sound. Glenn supported both albums with tours of Europe and Japan.
In 1998, Glenn took a well-deserved break from his very busy recording and touring schedule of the last several years and waited until 1999 to release The Way It Is, an album with tremendous depth and superb pre-production work.
With the Millenium in full swing, the year 2000 saw multiple releases for fans of Glenn's music. It started off with the first release from his newly formed record label, Pink Cloud Records, the aptly titled From The Archives Volume I - Incense & Peaches. An album consisting of previously unreleased gems, ranging from super smooth jazz to classic Glenn Hughes up beat rockers. The second release of the year came in the form of a double-CD package, wonderfully titled, Return Of Crystal Karma or R.O.C.K - which cunningly indicates the flavour of this release. Classic Glenn Hughes, a bit of Trapeze, a bit of funk, a tad of metal and a legendary ballad to boot! The third and final release of 2000 was an all time classic "must have" Christmas album, A Soulful Christmas, again courtesy of Pink Cloud Records, where we get treated to Glenn's "other voice" which sings some wonderful R&B, Jazz and very traditional renditions of both classic and newly penned songs for the Christmas season.
2001 kicked off with the third release from Pink Cloud Records, with his debut video release, Days Of Avalon. Also, a new solo album, Building The Machine, demonstrated the versatility and soulfulness of Glenn's vocal capabilities, ranging from funk driven numbers to emotional and sensitive deliveries. The year was highlighted with a worldwide solo tour that took him to Europe, Russia and South America. It also introduced his participation with the Voices of Classic Rock as a regular member, contributing on bass duties as well as solo vocal performances.
2002 turned out to be the busiest Glenn has had in nearly 20 years! It saw him perform live multiple times close to every month throughout the year! This included multiple dates with Voices of Classic Rock, Hughes Turner Project (HTP) and at near year's end, Legends Of Rock! In between the hectic touring schedule he found time to contribute to various sessions and radio appearances, resulting in many happy fans! Autumn time saw the debut of Shape 68, a new band Glenn has put together to allow him to take a crack at a more radio accessible and commercial sound. The results are stunning and will no doubt result in great success!
2003 was another outstanding year for Glenn and again out doing the previous year's crueling schedule. With nearly a dozen appearances in the USA and a full solo tour in the UK, he also managed to fit dates in Europe and South America! A new solo album was released in the first half of the year, Songs In The Key Of Rock and in the second half came the second release from Hughes Turner Project, HTP 2. Included on both records was Chad Smith on drums from Red Hot Chili Peppers, a friendship and musical respect developed which culminated with a live performance in Los Angeles featuring songs from the Deep Purple album, Burn. Joining Glenn and Chad on stage that night was fellow Chili Pepper, John Frusciante on guitar. With any luck the next year will bring about some more live performances from this hard rockin' trio!
2004, saw Glenn establish one of his busiest years in sometime. It began with a live performance in Los Angeles which was filmed and released as his first DVD, Soulfully Live In The City Of Angels. Shortly afterwards, a USA nationwide radio appearance and 2 live shows in Mexico, were then followed by trips to Japan and Europe with Hughes Turner Project, which were his longest stints on the road since leaving Purple, reaching close to 20 countries! With many other live appearances across the globe with such rock luminaries as Brian May, Roger Taylor, Chad Smith, Dave Navarro, Steve Lukather, Steve Vai and many others, fans hope that this past year prepares him for what everyone predicts will be the breakthrough year over the coming months.
2005, was an important turning point for Glenn, with Soul Mover becoming his biggest selling album worldwide to date, firmly establishing another close collaboration with Red Hot Chili Pepper, Chad Smith. With multiple European tours in support of the album, it sparked renewed interest from all quarters. One such example was inclusion on the Hollywood movie blockbuster, Stealth, soundtrack. Old friend, and Black Sabbath guitarist, Tony Iommi also called upon Glenn for his next solo project and after recruiting, Kenny Aranoff, the 3 of them headed to the studio to record, Fused. It was a huge success with the fans, and a tour was planned, but due to their record company going through financial woes, it wasn't to come about this year. There was also a low-key release featuring HTP cohort, Joe Lynn Turner, under the the monicker of Made In Moscow - recorded in Russia late in 2004, it received it's Eastern European release this year. With the touring completed, Glenn had the time to start writing for his next solo album due in the Spring of next year. Another Red Hot Chili Pepper, John Frusciante, and a huge fan of Glenn and his music, has written a song to be included and is to join him in the studio early next year. Rounding the year out, Glenn made a New Year's Eve special appearance in Kavarna, Bulgaria with local band, B.T.R, bringing in the New Year with bang and a great way of rounding out his most successful year in a long time.
2006, saw Glenn kick things off by heading straight into the studio to record his latest solo album, Music For The Divine. Joined by JJ Marsh in Los Angeles, it was recorded at the Hollywood home of Chad Smith and also includes John Frusciante (Red Hot Chili Peppers) as a contributor, both with writing, as well as guitar. Soon after Glenn headed to Australia, followed by Summer dates in Europe. Shortly thereafter, he announced he was parting ways, amicably, with long-time writing partner and guitarist, JJ Marsh, as well as the other European band members. A new band was soon introduced featuring ex-Jeff Beck drummer, Mark Mondesir, ex-Peter Gabriel keyboardist, Anders Olinder, and co-writer/producer, Jeff Kollman on guitar. Glenn was also featured on a couple of side projects from bands such as The Lizards and Quiet Riot, in addition to the Phenomena and Italian based, Moonstone, projects.
In 2007, he focused on reaching all continents across the globe, with many festival appearances. For the first time in many years, there was no new solo album released as continued work in support of Music For The Divine was the top priority, with releases in both the USA and Australia. There was a new DVD release,
"Live in Australia", filmed in 2006 while visiting Australia and Europe, featuring live electric and acoustic "unplugged" renditions of his back catalogue plus a special guest appearance from Jimmy Barnes, a mini-documentary and more! A remaster of the 1982 all-time classic album, Hughes/Thrall, featuring both Glenn and Pat Thrall, was issued early in the New Year. Other projects that were released and that featured Glenn either writing or playing bass & vocals, are the remastered 1974 recording of Deep Purple MK.III, Live in London, plus new releases from Ken Hensley (ex-Uriah Heep ("Blood On The Highway"), and Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali, ("24/7/365-Tribute to Led Zeppelin"). Although the highlight of these releases was his very own, This Time Around : An Anthology 1970-2007, a 29 track 2 CD set, the first-ever double disc career-spanning collection which pulls together not only some of the best tracks Glenn performed whilst a member of Trapeze and Deep Purple, but also the music from his various collaborations and extensive solo output.
Now, in 2008, he's focused on finishing up the recording and mixing for his next solo album, due in the Spring timeframe. He kicks off the year with a couple of live appearances in the USA, before heading out to Europe and elsewhere in the Summer.
And so with more touring and solo appearances being scheduled...it promises to be another busy year...and so the story continues...
Life is good for Glenn Hughes!