This is a regular opinion piece. It is purely MY OWN VIEWS and many will disagree with me, but that's OK, as responses and open debate are always a healthy thing. If anyone is offended by what I say, I apologise, but I just want to encourage a good healthy Tommy dialogue. Please share your views by contacting us via email or by posting on our Facebook page. ALL comments welcome!
Glenn Hughes | Purple Days
TOMMY BOLIN MEMORIAL FUND
www.tommybolin-official.com. The official site for the Tommy Bolin Memorial Fund. © 2015 | Contact us here
Glenn Hughes joined Deep Purple in 1973, replacing Roger Glover on bass duties with the added bonus of having one of the finest sets of lungs around. I always loved the combination of Glenn's higher register / hoarse vocals alongside David Coverdale's deeper, more bluesy timbre. ‘Burn’ (1973) was Mk 3's first offering and immediately showed the band in a more bluesy vein than the Mk 2 incarnation with Ian Gillan and Roger Glover. Ritchie Blackmore appeared re-energised with the ‘new blood,’ but by the time of 1974's Stormbringer, Blackmore was increasingly disillusioned with the ‘funk’ element that Glenn (AND David) introduced to the proceedings. Personally I loved the more modern, funky element, and feel that the album really showcased David and Glenn's vocals. Exit Blackmore, enter Bolin.
DEEP PURPLE MARK 4
I'm not going to go into all of the details regarding the introduction of Tommy Bolin in this opinion piece. I would NEVER say that Blackmore was better than Bolin or vice versa, that would be churlish. 1975's ‘Come Taste the Band’ was met with mixed reaction at the time, but has surprisingly (well, I don't think so) garnered a more respected place in the band's legacy over the years. To me it still sounds fresh and current and I think has actually stood the test time far more than other Purple offerings. I make no secret it's my favourite Purple album, but hey, that's just my own personal opinion...
Ian Paice was on fire at this time and I feel that the rhythm section of Ian and Glenn was a vital ingredient of the line-up. Jon Lord was arguably more subdued at this time, but nonetheless still a powerfull force. Whilst CTTB was fresh and and exciting the subsequent world tour was generally considered a disaster and, I think, rightfully so (apart from a few saving graces). The initial rehearsals and jamming (well documented) are a far cry from the lumbering Purple machine, churning out a cliched, tired and formulaic representation of the band on their world tour. Jon had to cover for Tommy's erratic performances (due to lifestyle choices) and while Ian Paice was on fire, Glenn and David's vocals were getting out of control. Maybe without Blackmore's controlling influence, the boundaries weren't there as before, and as good as vocalists they were, I feel that they belittled their talents by screaming and shrieking to the point of complete overload. Their renditions of ‘Highway Star’ summed it up for me, truly awful. Unsurprisingly the band excelled on their CTTB material and, to me, the live versions of Gettin' Tighter’ were the highlight of the show, with Glenn and Tommy feeding off each other. Hmmm, thinking about it, the Mk 4 version of ‘Stormbringer’ was also a major highlight, far superior to the Mk3 performances.
Glenn and Tommy took the majority of blame for the demise of the band, and while their lifestyle choices certainly were a compromising factor, the band were becoming a spent force regardless. It's no secret that Glenn was in the midst of a major drug addiction which OF COURSE affected his performances.
Thank god (quite literally in Glenn's case) Glenn EVENTUALLY overcame his personal demons and is incredably prolific and relevant to this day. I don't want to dwell on the negatives, but Glenn Hughes - IN MY MIND - was a vital cog in the history of Deep Purple.
I ALWAYS imagine what a 2nd album from Mk4 would've sounded like. I'd like to think it would've had the same artistic freedom that was allowed for CTTB, but somehow I feel that the whole corporate structure surrounding the band would have forced a more ‘formulaic’ Purple sound. We will never know!
Glenn Hughes (and David Coverdale) are two of my favourite vocalists of all time.
Glenn Hughes is one one of my favourite bassists of all time.
My Glenn Hughes Top 20
Alongside Robert Palmer, Jimmy Dewar, David Coverdale & Paul Rogers, Glenn is one of my favourite all-time vocalists. This is purely my own selection. I don't consider myself conventional, but f#$k It, I'm being honest and TOTALLY subjective.
From Deep Purple Stormbringer, 1974
Apparently Blackmore was so disinterested that he played the slide with a screwdriver. His loss, as the vocal is outstanding!
‘What Time Is Love’
From KLF, 1990????
The Voice of Rock.
From Glenn Hughes First Underground Nuclear Kitchen, 2008
Um... FUNK anyone? Again that lower register and soul just shines!
‘You Keep On Moving’
From Deep Purple Come Taste the Band. 1975
Originally written with Coverdale in 1973. Deemed a non Blackmore track. Beautiful with Bolin.
‘Get You Stoned’
From Glenn Hughes Songs in the Key of Life, 2003
I played this to my guitar teacher at the time - he was anti “anyone from the 70's” but became born again so to speak haha!
From Deep Purple Come Taste the Band, 1975
Tommy and Glenn at their funkiest Purple best. Ian Paice simply lights up as well. A concert highlight and for good reason.
‘I'm a Man’
From Glenn Hughes L.A. Blues Authority Vol 2, 1992
Really like Glenn's lower register delivery. Welcome back Glenn, this was his turning point!
‘I don't Want to Live That Way Again’
From Glenn Hughes Addiction, 1996
An epic from a fantastic Album. The build-up is pure class as is the song's sentiment.
‘Muscle and Blood’
From Hughes/Thrall, 1982
OK, a bit of a dated 80's production, though rather slick at the time. This song retains a 70's rock vibe with a nasty groove, great vocal!
From Deep Purple Burn, 1973
Glenn and Coverdale in perfect harmony. Hmm Blackers aint no slouch either, just sayin...
‘Take You Down’
From Glenn Hughes The Way It Is, 1999
I love the soulfelt vocal, I prefer this style to the more rock stuff, hey, just my own personal opinion haha
‘Can't Stop the Flood’
From Glenn Hughes Building the Machine, 2001
THAT RIFF!!!!!! Why this isn't considered a classic in the anals of rock is a mystery to me?
‘Walking on the Water’
From Glenn Hughes From Now On, 1994
A close call between this and ‘Body Down,’ but I rather like the lyric and funky groove of this more. A close one.
From Glenn Hughes Resonate, 2016
HEAVY, SOULFUL AND CURRENT!
‘Beyond the Numb’
From Glenn Hughes Building the Machine, 2001
I love the atmospheric feel to this. Glenn is very soulful. Quite restrained, but that's part of its charm.
‘Love Don't Mean A thing’
From Deep Purple's, Stormbringer, 1974
One of my favourite Purple tracks, TOTALLY ‘UN-PURPLE’ haha. Funky, and laid back, Glenn and Coverdale in magnificent voice.
From Glenn Hughes Play Me Out, 1977
Funked out and superb. Stevie Wonder anyone? Shit yeah! I LOVE Stevie Wonder. I think that's Pat Travers on gtr - could be wrong? Might be Mel?
From Glenn Hughes Soul Mover, 2005
WOW! Navaro on gtr and Chad on drums. Even the video rocked. Dirty, Dirty, Dirty....
‘What is a Woman's Role’
From Trapeze You Are the Music..., 1972
With Mel Galley on gtr. Glenn's vocal is very raw and the groove is totally infectious. Such an underrated song!
‘This Time Around’
From Deep Purple, ‘Come Taste the Band’, 1975
A beautiful and heartfelt song written by a confused 25 year old. Written pretty much on the spot with Jon Lord, this piece moves me everytime. I love the addition of Tommy Bolin's ‘Owed To G’ - pure class all round!