A very insightful and interesting piece featuring a mention or two of GLENN, written by Kjetil Rolness and published in Norwegian newspaper, DAGBLADET, a few days ago.
Thanks to Anders for the translation – full article (in Norwegian) can be found here:
“If you want to keep your pre-conceptions, you shouldn’t go on the internet. I did, and became a fan of the man I was going to write about.
It started with a concert-advert in Tuesday’s paper, quite a large colorful one, informing me that Glenn Hughes himself was coming to Norway.
Eh… Glenn… who, I also thought, maybe I’m not such a pop-expert as I thought.
The picture showed a short-haired singer with scarf and shades and bass-guitar. Clearly a rocker, but unknown age and unknown style. Then I recognised the writing of the name, from the cover of the album that was more or less the soundtrack to my teenage years. I played this album several times a day, during a certain period, actually until the vinyl was grey. The stylus and the plastic HiFi from the Seventies wasn’t that good, and the bass and dynamics were squashed. But the music blew me away, into some childhood-fantasy. The backing of lead-heavy guitar-riffs, and falsetto-screams. ‘Stormbringer’ by Deep Purple, my door-opener to the heavy rock. Now i realise that Deep Purple was as sophisticated as Led Zeppelin or as primitive as Black Sabbath, and was mentioned in the Guinness Book Of Records as the loudest playing band in the world. ‘Stormbringer’ was more than once classed their best work, (like the classics: ‘Machine Head’ and ‘Made In Japan’). And Glenn Hughes, he pl
ayed bass for two years, 1974-1976. And what’s more, over 30 years later he’s coming to Drammen, Orsta and Skanevik to present “An evening of Deep Purple”. Backed by a tribute-band. Seems brave, in bad times. And unusually a lot of confidence. Michael Jackson hailed himself King of pop. Glenn Hughes is no worse, he calls himself ‘The Voice of Rock’.
So, ‘The Voice of Rock’ is not Elvis, Dylan, Lennon or Springsteen, but a former member of a popular English heavy-rock band. A member that was not the main-vocalist or frontman (his name was David Coverdale). I had never realised that Glenn Hughes sang at all! But now he can be seen behind the microphone. ‘The Voice of Rock’ comes to Norway in two weeks.
Glenn Hughes is not the only one to make his mark in the history of rock. In 2008, there’s no end to hunch-backed legends with a guitar. No one is to small to create hype. And no one is too old or forgotten to be touring clubs and concert-halls. As a faithful reader of the heavily retrospective (but highly relevant) rock-magazine MOJO, I read the live-adverts, that look more like death-adverts. This year it’s Chuck Berry and Brian Wilson, with or without Zimmer-frame. It’s John Fogerty on “revival-tour” and the wrinkly Sex Pistols with their third comeback in 10 years. It’s reunions of Seventies radio-bands like Journey and Golden Earring, cult-bands like Big Star and Gong. Return of Eighties-things like Billy Idol, Joe Jackson, Lloyd Cole, Susanne Vega, UB40, Marillion, OMD and Echo and the Bunnymen that play the whole of “Ocean Rain” with orchestra. Groups that don’t pull enough people alone, get together, Focus, Wishbone Ash and The Groundhogs are three classic rock-acts i
n one night. Three used rock-bands for the price of one. Or what about the pastel-colored acts that invade the US this summer: Human League, ABC, Belinda Carlisle, Dead or Alive, A Flock of Seagulls and Naked Eyes? If they had a sense of humor, they would have called themselves: New Romantics From The Old Days, or something. Instead they call it “Regeneration Tour”. Rebirth of the Eighties. That’s if the male ex-stars have the hairline to regenerate the hairstyles.
“Original line-up, is another sales-argument for old hit-makers on tour. But that doesn’t mean much. That means one or two original members. Roger Hudson is appearing as the heart, soul and voice of Supertramp. The bassist and drummer from The Jam pack out venues in England under the name “From The Jam”. While Paul Weller, the man who created the band, style and songs is scratching his head. The Eagles recently reformed with original line-up, but might find themselves in competition with the serious tribute-band “The Illegal Eagles”, who do high profile tours, play Royal Albert Hall, denying being a covers-band and release albums that include “self-styled Eagles-songs”.
Rock has slipped into nostalgia that is parody like the film ‘This Is Spinal Tap’.
I was going to comment on Glenn Hughes as current prime-example. The bassist known as ‘The Voice Of Rock’, ha ha ha! Then I did one mistake: I went on the internet to check the guy out. Half the working day went by. I listened, read and downloaded, even for a charge. I became familiar with an exceptionally varied and productive musician with a solid catalogue of solo-albums, including a brand new one, and collaborations like ‘The Voice of Rock’ on the hit single ‘America, What Time Is Love’, with the famous house-duo KLF. (That probably made him laugh).
OH YES, THE MAN CAN SING! Not just in the blues-style and falsetto heavy-metal register. Glenn Hughes is a white soul singer of class. With unusually good funk-feel. Already as a teenager he played in Trapeze, an under-rated pioneer-band when it comes to soulful rock. And later, he contributed to making Deep Purple more black, purely musically. It would be as natural as incredible to see fifty-year old Glenn Hughes as singer for Red Hot Chili Peppers, worldclass funk-rockers, Chad Smith is one of them. Check out the video to Soul Mover, from the album with the same name (2005), or even better, ‘Music For The Divine’ (2006). It’s vital, reference-rich power-rock, that can punch the air out of today’s Foo Fighters fans.
So forgive me Glenn. I take it all back and wish you welcome to Norway. ‘The Voice of Rock’, you are absolutely The Great Unsung Hero of Soul-Funk-Rock. Only it’s a shame that you have to play ‘Smoke On The Water’ to drunk air-guitarists this Summer. You should have stood in front of a sold-out Oslo-Spectrum as the permanent lead-singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.”