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Glenn Hughes
Songs In The Key Of Rock
Frontiers
FRCD148
· Produced By: Jeff Kollman & Glenn Hughes

· Running Time: 49.05

· Release Date: June 9

· Released: EU

· Musical Style: Hard Rock

· Links: Frontiers Glenn Hughes
94%
Songs: 95%
Sound: 90%
If for some reason you are new to Glenn Hughes, his history is colorful. Stints with Trapeze, Deep Purple and Gary Moore were interspersed with stints in rehab. But Glenn has been dry for a decade now and is clearly in the best form of his life. He has released several great albums in recent years, but this has to be one of the best.
Be it be rock, hard rock, blues, funk or pop, Glenn Hughes knows no bounds. His variations between projects and guest spots always keep fans guessing, but keen too. There's rarely a let down as far as quality and there's never a dip in performance.
Which I suppose makes it harder to keep on impressing folk - like me - that buy each and every record. I am pleased to say that the plan Glenn had in mind for Songs In The Key Of Rock has worked a charm.
This is a magnificent hard rock album that sees Glenn pay tribute to his past work in Deep Purple, Trapeze and his 70's roots. Don't mistake what I have typed here - this is an album of all new, all original material. Glenn's aim however, was to create a big 70's hard rock record and that he has done brilliantly. From Glenn's hair, to his clothes and the album cover. This is classic Hughes.
Personally I rate this, his second best record ever, behind only From Now On. Those who prefer the funky or more soulful side of Glenn might feel that this is a step backwards, but rediscovering your roots should never be discouraged, especially when such fine results as this are achieved.
Glenn has said to me that he is constantly approached by fans who love him for his work in Deep Purple, so why not satisfy those fans with a great classic hard rock record?
As one could expect, the sound is a little rawer than the usual Hughes polish, but suits the music perfectly.
Track By Track:
In My Blood opens with a thud and after a short vocal intro launches into a groovy hard rock song, engulfed in Hammond organ, a big thick rhythm section and equally meaty guitar riffs. This uptempo rocker is an ideal way to open the album and declare Glenn's musical intentions. A good catchy chorus is enhanced by some vocal acrobatics. Mid-song everything comes to a halt for a soulful interlude before Glenn really goes off!
Lost In The Zone is one of the album's best tracks. This is a mid-tempo heavy blues rocker with a stamping beat and an authorative vocal that is classic Hughes. The vibe and vocal style reminds me of the From Now On album, as if it had of been recorded in 1975. Add a soulful bridge and a big rock chorus, with an even bigger vocal, and a classic is made. The guitar playing of JJ Marsh and Jeff Kollman is simply mesmerizing, drawing comparisons to Richie Blackmore and the great partnership of Mickey Moody and Bernie Marsden.
Gasoline is a fast tempo'd blues rocker, with a funky lead guitar riff and some really raw, in your face vocals and another smashing chorus, making it one of the album's more instant tracks. The closing scream of the song has to be heard!
The tempo slows for the darker and heavier Higher Places. This is a moody rock track that is dedicated to Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. It certainly has a Zep vibe to it, with a dual approach from Glenn, soulful harmony/verse vocals with a harder edge vocal over the top.
Get You Stoned continues the dark and heavy retro vibe of the last track. A little Bad Company and a lot of Deep Purple here. This very dark bluesy rocker rolls along until the more pronounced chorus rises through the song, with another powerhouse vocal effort from Glenn. The mid-song instrumental passage is very psychedelic and is more 70's than flared bell-bottoms.
Written All Over Your Face is a mid-tempo classic rocker, with more Hammond organ featured prominently. The slow soulful verse moves smoothly into the chorus that sees Glenn's vocals adding most of the song's melody. Different to the rest of the tracks, the song builds and continues to do so through it's entire 8 minute life. Add some 'choir-style' backing vocals and an extended bluesy instrumental section and the album's epic track is complete.
At this juncture it seemed time to up the pace a little, but Standing On The Rock does more than that! This is a pedal to the metal hard rocker that will rank as one of Glenn's heaviest ever tunes, with a frantic guitar riff that borders on having a punkish vibe. A good fun hard rocker!
Courageous remains uptempo, but in a far more relaxed, with a breezy pop heart. This is another highly original track, with a funky soul/pop/rock chorus that sees Glenn take in many of the styles he capable of.
Secret Life is a terrific crunchy blues rocker with a touch of the album Feel about it, and a strong 70's funk feel.
The album flows seamlessly into The Truth, which is another lighter track with a pop/rock heart. Hammond organ dominates the verse, while a harder edged guitar riff takes the chorus. Not my favourite track on the album, but it fits the album's vibe.
After a couple of light-hearted numbers, the album seems ready to go out with a punch and Wherever You Go does just that. This bass dominated 70's rocker sees Glenn back at his roots again. The mid-song instrumental passage is pure 70's flair and the guitar solo is superb. A tasteful way to close the album - right down to Glenn's last vocal.
The Bottom Line
This will appeal to each and every fan of Glenn Hughes - old, new, in-between - it's the voice of rock at his very best singing some great material that will appeal to most fans of good, honest, old fashioned melodic hard rock. And what a vocal performance. Truly one of the greatest singers ever and an album here to match his talents and follows on nicely from the acclaimed Hughes Turner Project debut.
Recent Discography / Previously Reviewed
· From Now On
· Feel
· Addiction
· The Way It Is
· Incense And Peaches
· R.O.C.K
· Building The Machine
· HTP
· Songs In The Key Of Rock

Line Up
· Glenn Hughes: Vocals, Bass
· JJ Marsh, Jeff Kollman: Guitar
· Gary Ferguson: Drums
· Alex Ligertwood: Backing Vox
· Ed Roth: Keyboards

Essential for fans of:
· Glenn Hughes
· Deep Purple
· Rainbow
· HTP
Track Listing
· In My Blood*
· Lost In The Zone*
· Gasoline*
· Higher Places
· Get You Stoned
· Written All Over Your Face*
· Standing On The Rock*
· Courageous
· Secret Life*
· The Truth
· Wherever You Go
--*Best Tracks


14/01/05: kudi - kudi@bluewin.ch
Rating: 80
this is hard rock for him's real fans and this is good so!!
Funk/soul is boring. Hard rock is GREAT!!! The most of Glenn Hughes fans lovely his rock side and a few the funky Hughes...this is the problem!

30/11/04: dimsy - dimsyland@yahoo.com
Rating: 100
i will say that i have never listened a voice as soulful and powerful as Glenn Hughes on this album. however, i wonder on the album that i got, i didn't have 'Secret Life' but instead a track called 'Change' being listed as a bonus track. it feature Billy Sheehan and it's a gem for all melodic rock-style fans.

30/11/04: dimsy - dimsyland@yahoo.com
Rating: 100
i will say that i have never listened a voice as soulful and powerful as Glenn Hughes on this album. however, i wonder on the album that i got, i didn't have 'Secret Life' but instead a track called 'Change' being listed as a bonus track. it feature Billy Sheehan and it's a gem for all melodic rock-style fans.

17/06/04: Essar - sroth@mn.rr.com
Rating: 90
I've always read a lot about Mr. Hughes, certainly on this and other sites...and definitely in the 80's where Kerrang! made numerous mentions of his bouts with addiction.

But, outside of Deep Purple, I never actually heard his music. A friend recently (June 2004) gave me a copy of his CD and I IMPRESSED! This is hard, melodic rock of the highest order. Every song ROCKS, there's almost, dare I say it? - a majesty to the man's voice. Song after song impresses you...from the solid grooves, to the pounding rhythym section, to the guitars, to that VOICE!

The highlights are almost too many too mention. The opening 1-2 punch of "in My Blood" and "Lost In The Zone" set-up the record nicely. "Written All Over Your Face" is an epic ballad, that just keeps building with a great chorus and guitar solo with a nice nod to the Beatles at the end. "Change" is a pounder, and I would love to here guest bassist Billy Sheehan matched with Glenn's voice in the future (though make no mistake, Glenn's bass playing is superb throughout).

For me, the highlight on the album is "Courageous." The hook sticks in your head the instant you hear it. I've had people come into my office and ask, "who is this? This is cool?!?" The song is breezy and poppy, but not out of place on the record because Glenn's soulful vocals provide motor that keeps the groove going.

So now that I've discovered this, I've got a lot of Glenn's music to catch up with!

23/10/03: Lynchomaniac - Lynchomaniac@hotmail.com
Rating: 82
I've always been a fan of Glenn, but in general I have always felt that most of his solowork has been below what we all know (so well) that he capable of delivering (as shown on HTP debut)! Up until this album that is.... as this is remarkably better than I had expected! With the highlites being "Lost in the zone", "Gasoline" and "Higher places", the latter one with great drumming Bonzostyle (so basic, yet sooo cool!) and massive drumsound courtsy of Gary Ferguson! I'm actually kind of surprised on how good this album turned out to be!

07/08/03: Andrew Hall - ahall@southcom.com.au
Rating: 95
Totally agree melodicrock main review on this disc - it took a while to grow on me after BTM, but it has to be one of his finest - probably 2 or 3 after The Way it IS and R.O.C.K., I cant decide which ? they are all fantastic - Glenn is God

28/07/03: Mats Bruér - matsb@bolina.hsb.se
Rating: 98
Just a one word : EXCELLENT !!!!!
A

26/07/03: frytz - frytzsdmf@gmx.net
Rating: 99
I think this is the closest that Glenn will ever get to recording a ture classic album, that stands the test of time! From the first lines of it's in my blood you know he's right...he's got it...and so much more...I think the album rocks, but still has the funkyness I like (especially in the grooving area) from Glenn! And the vocals are just the best...! I hope that this album will get him more exposure than the last ones, he deserves it! (and by the way...I think JJ MArch is really a great player!!!!!!) nearly perfect.......

05/07/03: Laurent - jazzhard@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
I do not really agree with those who says that this album is less funky. It is differently funky and very soulful. Probably one of Glenn's more focused efforts to date.

I also do not agree that Glenn's songwriting on this album is not top notch. You can never be 100 % satisfied. Glenn has certainly written his share of average songs but most of his songs are still above what most bands can only dream of achieveing.

SITKOR is a very good and honest album perfectly balancing all of Glenn's influences. And it features his best bass playing ever.

Gary Ferguson's drumming is just brilliant and the addition of the most soulful vocalist ever on backing vocals - Mr. Alex Ligertwood - gives a new and different color to some of Glenn's music.

Unlike some other of Glenn's albums, this one is not only for die-hard GH fans and is very appealing to people who were not into his previous work.

03/07/03: Gino - bofra@pi.be
Rating: 100
Just great, for me this is a classic album. I follow Glenn since 1974, he does some GREAT things, and this album is just
perfect.

30/06/03: savacap - ka1912@otenet.ge
Rating: 60
An unbalanced cd. Starting very good with heavy catchy songs in the vein of Deep Purple but ended with weak song that nothing offers to the carrier of a significant musician and to my ears. After the high grade from your site I was expecting better music.

12/06/03: Kevin - kgp129@netzero.net
Rating: 90
Superb album and much better than BTM. First 4 tracks are the strength of the album. GH is sounding better than ever and his bass playing gets better on each album he makes. His lyrics continue to shine on this one. 'THE VOICE OF ROCK' is the man.

12/06/03: Jason R - papa_bear70@hotmail.com
Rating: 92
Damn near perfect with Mr Hughes in fine vocal form! Plenty of rockers here but still the funk undertones live on. 'Gasoline' is worth it alone!


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