Glenn Hughes Biography
Glenn Hughes “The Voice of Rock” – is an English rock bassist and vocalist, best known for playing bass and performing vocals for funk rock pioneers Trapeze, the Mk. III and IV line-ups of Deep Purple, as well as briefly fronting Black Sabbath in the mid-1980’s.
In addition to being an active session musician, Hughes also maintains a notable solo career. He fronted the supergroup Black Country Communion from 2009-13, and California Breed from late 2013 to early 2015. On 8 April 2016, Hughes was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Deep Purple.
Glenn Hughes was born in Cannock, Staffordshire, England. He fronted Finders Keepers in the 1960s as bassist/vocalist, as well as the British funk rock band Trapeze. Hughes was recruited to replace Roger Glover as bassist in Deep Purple in 1973, though he considered himself more a vocalist than a bassist. He was reportedly uninterested in the Deep Purple job until some of the other members proposed that Paul Rodgers of Free be brought in as co-lead vocalist.
Although the recruitment of Rodgers fell through, Hughes had now become interested in the “two-lead-singer thing”, and David Coverdale was later hired as Deep Purple’s lead vocalist. The two would ultimately share lead vocal duties in the band until their break-up in 1976. Battling severe cocaine addiction, Hughes embarked on a solo career following his departure from the group, releasing his first solo album in 1977 called Play Me Out.
In 1982, he joined with ex-Pat Travers guitarist Pat Thrall to form Hughes/Thrall, and they released one self-titled album which went virtually unnoticed at the time. Part of the reason for the album’s obscurity was the inability to support it with a proper tour due to both parties suffering from drug addiction. As Hughes stated in a 2007 interview, “The Hughes-Thrall album was a brilliant, brilliant album, but we only did 17 shows because we were too loaded.”
In the mid-1980s, Hughes recorded several different albums with bands and artists including Phenomena (Phenomena, Phenomena II: Dream Runner), Gary Moore (Run For Cover), and Black Sabbath (Seventh Star; originally a solo album by Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi that was released as a Sabbath album due to record label pressure).
By the end of the decade, Hughes’ realised his ongoing drug problem was derailing him, and by 1991 a clean, sober and fully rejuvenated Hughes returned with the vocal for the hit “America: What Time Is Love?” with KLF. He also recorded all the vocals for former Europe guitarist John Norum’s solo album Face the Truth. He then re-embarked on a solo career that he has primarily focused on to date. In 1999, Hughes did a short tribute tour to Tommy Bolin in Texas, with Tommy’s brother Johnnie (of Black Oak Arkansas) on drums.
In 2005 Hughes released Soul Mover supporting it with a European tour. He also collaborated with Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi on the 2005 album Fused. Hughes then released Music for the Divine in 2006, which featured Red Hot Chili Peppers members Chad Smith and John Frusciante. Hughes toured in support of the album throughout Europe in autumn 2006.
Released on Edel Records on 17 November 2007 is Live in Australia, an acoustic CD and companion DVD of a performance at Sydney’s famous “Basement” club. The album First Underground Nuclear Kitchen was released on 9 May 2008 in Europe and on 12 May in the rest of the world.
In 2009, Hughes formed Black Country Communion with Jason Bonham (drums), Joe Bonamassa (guitar) and Derek Sherinian (keyboards).
Hughes’ autobiography was published in May 2011 by British specialist limited edition publishers Foruli. The book, titled ‘Deep Purple And Beyond: Scenes From The Life Of A Rock Star’, was co-written with author Joel McIver and featured contributions by Tony Iommi, David Coverdale, Ozzy Osbourne and Tom Morello, as well as a foreword by Lars Ulrich of Metallica. An extended paperback edition, retitled ‘Glenn Hughes: The Autobiography’, was published in late 2011 by Jawbone Press.
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