Glenn Hughes - Music For The Divine
Vocalist/bass guitarist/songwriter Glenn Hughes is a true original. No other rock musician has carved such a distinctive style blending the finest elements of hard rock, soul and funk. That astonishing voice is Hughes' calling card. He's known as a singer's singer. In fact, Stevie Wonder called Hughes his favorite white singer.
Glenn’s new solo album Music for the Divine is the latest chapter in the musical evolution of "The Voice of Rock."
Hughes, a native of Cannock, England, absorbed all kinds of influences, including early British hard rock, the Beatles and, most importantly, American soul and R&B. The sleek Motown sound from Detroit and the gritty Stax/Volt sound from Memphis left their mark on him.
The first important band Hughes was a member of that achieved notable success was Trapeze. The band's early '70s albums included Medusa, Trapeze and You Are The Music...We're Just The Band.
In 1973, Hughes joined one of the most popular bands in the world, Deep Purple. The trailblazing hard-rock legends had just weathered the departure of vocalist Ian Gillan and bass guitarist Roger Glover, but guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, keyboardist Jon Lord and drummer Ian Paice continued with the addition of Hughes and David Coverdale. Any scepticism was squelched with the 1974 release of Burn which has since been re-released on its 30th anniversary. This stunning album rejuvenated the band and stands tall among Deep Purple classics.
In the halcyon days, Purple headlined at the famous California Jam in 1974 in front of quarter of a million people. World tours via Purple’s own jet plane, “The Starship” and two more studio albums later, (the Hughes influenced Stormbringer and Come Taste the Band), Deep Purple finally split in 1976.
Now living in Los Angeles, Glenn’s first solo album Play Me Out was released in 1977. He joined former Pat Travers guitarist Pat Thrall to form Hughes/Thrall, which released an acclaimed self-titled album in 1982. Throughout the '80s and '90s, Hughes made countless guest appearances (both credited and un-credited) as a vocalist, bass guitarist or songwriter on other artists' albums.
More commercial recognition came when the KLF dubbed Glenn Hughes “The Voice of Rock”, proudly featuring him on their international best selling hit single America- What Time is Love?
Since 1992, Hughes has toured extensively in Europe, Japan and South America in support of solo albums such as Blues, From Now On..., Burning Japan Live, Feel, Addiction, The Way It Is, Return Of Crystal Karma, Building The Machine Songs In The Key Of Rock and Soul Mover.
One of the most important collaborations in Hughes' career occurred two decades ago when he began working with Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi on the legendary guitarist's first solo album. The result, 1986's vastly underrated Seventh Star, was officially credited as ‘Black Sabbath Featuring Tony Iommi’ to satisfy the record company's marketing desires. (Technically, this makes Hughes a former member of Black Sabbath too.) Hughes and Iommi remained friends and, in 1996, they began writing songs and recording together again. Those recordings were widely bootlegged, but they were eventually finished and released in 2004 as The 1996 DEP Sessions.
2005 saw the release of two albums which were greeted with commercial and critical success; Fused with Tony Iommi, and another solo album Soul Mover.
Soul Mover saw the continuation of the successful creative partnership with Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith which began with Glenn’s live DVD Soulfully Live in the City of Angels (2004). Soul Mover was voted 12th best album of the year by highly influential magazine CLASSIC ROCK.
Glenn’s latest album Music for the Divine is a rich tapestry of the soul, funk and rock which have always influenced his music. Artistically and spiritually, this album is a true representation of where Glenn Hughes wants to be right now.
The new album was recorded at the Hollywood Hills home of Chad Smith, who played drums and co produced the record with Glenn. Recording in the house (the former residence of actor Cary Grant) had a significant influence on the atmosphere of the music and the direction of the album.
Joining Chad and Glenn on Music for the Divine was long-standing musical partner JJ Marsh on guitar and another RHCP, guitarist John Frusciante. "While writing new music for this record, Chad and I thought it would be great to have John come in, write and play on a couple of the tunes", Glenn says.
A feature of the album is Glenn Hughes’ acoustic guitar playing and string arrangements, both lesser know facets of his huge talent. Music for the Divine may well be Glenn’s most fully realised album yet; "The title is very important to me", explains Glenn. "When you hear the music, you'll understand the meaning. The title speaks to me, as all the previous one's have. Divine is goodness and is a statement to the fans that really understand my music. “The album has deep lyrical and spiritual meaning. Once again is where I'm at, at the present time. I do not wish to tread into the past and so this album is a major step forward to me. This is my most honest and artistic album. I am very glad to know that things have continued to grow along spiritual lines.
“Because of the amazing changes in my life, that have happened since Soul Mover, it has given me a creative output and encouragement to make this new album. When I was growing up in England, my favourite bands & artists were always growing and morphing and continually reinventing themselves and this CD, I believe, has captured all of those elements.”
Make no mistake. The Voice of Rock never left the building.