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Topfull of superlatives

black country communion V cover art

Blues Rock Review has a positively glowing review of the yet-to-be-released Black Country Communion V, and gives it 9.5 out of 10.

Not many modern outfits give me the itch to dust off my old Led Zep and Deep Purple records. Then again, Black Country Communion are no ordinary sons. A renowned supergroup that suffuse the sky with the black smoke and soot of the Black Country (an area of England’s West Midlands), and the patriotic stars and stripes of America, their camaraderie was (and thankfully still is) immediately evident.

If you thought classic rock was dead and that old-school punch had been knocked out long before 2010 (the year of BCC’s self-titled LP), allow me to introduce you to this outrageously talented line-up. Keyboard phenomenon Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater) and blues-rock titan Joe Bonamassa make up the American contingent. The other half of this musical power plant are the two boys representing the Black Country — thunderous drummer Jason Bonham and the ageless, evergreen ‘Voice of Rock’ Glenn Hughes.

They pick out Red Sun as the big hit of the album.

Continue reading in the Blues Rock Review.

18 Comments to “Topfull of superlatives”:

  1. 1
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Well, that sounds properly enthusiastic alright.

  2. 2
    Ivica says:

    14 06 a new album is released. There is no promotional tour !!!!!?????. Glenn and Joe (solo of course) play festivals during the summer, concerts in America in the fall (solo of course 🙂
    Not serious. a great band without logistics
    They could support DP on the new tour ? … That would be an AWESOME RNR DOUBLE like tennis Federer and Nadal

  3. 3
    Kosh says:

    Awesome review, and from what I’ve heard it’s going to be a pretty fine album…

    For all his detractors, Glenn can still produce sublime highs and wonderful timbre… time to move on from lambasting his Bolin era ‘addled’ screaming worst… he’s matured like a fine wine, and live Glenn leaves the rest of his contemporaries in the retirement home of rock…

    This new album will deliver some absolutely superb music, I’m not so sure the new effort from Purps will be in the same league… in spite of us all being delighted it exists at all.

    Cheers 🍻

  4. 4
    Phil says:

    Red Sun has that Chis Cornell Soundgarden fell about it. That ain’t such a bad thing.

  5. 5
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Glenn is the DP family member with the largest Grunge influence in his writing, that showed as early as on his 1996 Addiction album, he really picked up Seattle vibes on that (and they never left him subsequently).

    I’m no great Grunge fan myself (and especially Soundgarden tested my endurance on how extremely you can break Western European harmony rules, i.e. playing a major chord where a minor one should go and vice versa, Black Hole Sun makes me wince with its – to me – angular chord and key changes, but I realize that I am in a minority and that they meant the world to a lot of people, they also had admittedly a sound of their own), but it shows that Glenn kept an open ear for new developments in music and was able to incorporate them in his writing.

    Me and Grunge just never came together. I scratched my head at Nirvana, Soundgarden and even Pearl Jam – Alice in Chains was the only band I really liked from that scene. In the doses Glenn employs Grunge influences in his writing, I’m just about ok with it.

    Chris Cornell’s death – a fine singer –


    was of course tragic.

  6. 6
    Daniel says:

    Name three truly memorable tracks on this album, let alone ten. Glenn needs a strong songwriting partner and Bonamassa doesn’t have that skill, unfortunately. Pat Thrall, come to the rescue.

  7. 7
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Much as I share your view and personally hold that the Hughes Thrall album is among the ten best works of the wider DP Family (outside of DP core releases), Daniel, I have serious doubts that Glenn and Pat could reignite their once so fruitful relationship. Thrall complemented Glenn nicely with his combination of Pop (poppy influence on Pat Travers, poppy side of Asia, Meatloaf, Tina Turner) and Prog-jazzy (Stomu Yamashta, Automatic Man, proggy side of Asia) sensibilities. He was also a studio wizard (Glenn OTOH likes to get things done quickly in the studio, generally prefers the first or second take as the final one etc).

    It’s now 15 years ago that Glenn “the Dramatic Diva” in one of his usual impatience fits called a halt on Hughes Thrall II


    and I remember how disappointed I was about that piece of news at the time.

    How Glenn’s noticeable Grunge leanings and Pat’s preference for sophisticated, smooth sounds would go together today is anyone’s guess. Hughes Thrall were thinking man’s AOR (with a touch of New Wave), the early 80ies should have been their dream era, maybe their time is irrevocably gone? I always find that even on these pages here, exhilaration about what a kick-ass record the Hughes Thrall album was is somewhat muted/shoulder-shrugging. Not much of an AOR crowd here.

    I would still love to hear what they have unfinished in the can.

  8. 8
    Daniel says:

    I think Glenn’s still in a bit of a musical straitjacket, unfortunately, a situation he has created for himself. I read a new interview with him in which he was asked if his next solo album will be a rock album or the soul album he wants to make in reality? Glenn answered that it was a cocky question but an important one and then went on to explain that he still owes one final album to Frontiers, going back to the California Breed days. They have requested a rock album and he will deliver that to them. If it had not been Frontiers, it would have turned out a little differently, he says, but adds that the songs are amazing. This is not the first time we have heard this, so I am keeping my expectations low but hope to be positively surprised. He is starting to repeat himself, both in terms of lyrics and vocal melodies. The divine and the great divide, up on the hillside waiting to receive etc. The feeling of having it heard it all before is very strong on BCC V. Restless more or less sounds like Little Secret from their second album.

  9. 9
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I wish he would would concentrate on his funk love once more and record another Play Me Out, Feel or First Nuclear Underground Kitchen. Undiluted.

    A thing that strikes me is: Why doesn‘t Glenn get three or four young black cats together and tour with them his funk repertoire? For all his unabashed love for black artists, and with Stevie Wonder and James Jamerson being his role models, Glenn has never toured or recorded with black musicians. I wonder why that is. He could have formed his own Mother‘s Finest long ago – yet he doesn‘t. Is he concerned that some of his – let’s use a newish term here – “culturally appropriated” Blackness might not survive the comparison to the real thing? (I would have no such concerns, his love for and devotion to Black Music is real and he’s adept and convincing at playing/singing it.)

    What would happen if an established black funk/RnB producer did a Rick Rubin on Glenn and he’d record a solo album with a few modern Rap/HipHop stars guesting? Time is running out for him to do such a project. Get it out of your system, Glenn!

  10. 10
    MacGregor says:

    ‘Play that Funky music White boy’ springs to mind Uwe. Yes I have thought that as well. Who knows, sometimes it doesn’t sit well with some people, others don’t mind at all & respect that. The jury is still out on that one. Cheers.

  11. 11
    MacGregor says:

    It has made me wonder for a little while now, are these BCC albums a contractual obligation that was signed at the very beginning. All the hype & all that initially went with it & Glenn Hughes saying that he has hundreds of songs etc, or something like that. Bonamassa wanting to venture into the ‘rock’ world or at least attempting to. Five albums now & counting. A manufactured band if ever there was one that looks good on paper etc. Cheers.

  12. 12
    Uwe Hornung says:

    My understanding is that BCC were a brainchild of producer, engineer, co-writer and -lyricist Kevin Shirley who had worked with everyone separately and brought them together. He likes to do things like that.

    I don‘t have issues with „manufactured“ bands as long as their output is worthwhile. Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin were both “put together” after a master plan, so was Asia. There are bands that follow the “we’re mates from school or grew up in the same neighborhood”-recipe (The Beatles, Genesis, Status Quo, 10cc) and others don’t. You can even trace the origins of Police to Eberhard Schoener (yes him!) bringing them all together. And the Eagles started out as Linda Ronstadt’s hand-chosen backing band.

  13. 13
    MacGregor says:

    Deep Purple was created by Blackmore & Lord, also Simper perhaps. Remember the name origins & also Blackmore asking Evans, ‘do you have that drummer with you, bring him also’. Led Zep was Page’s calling & Linda Ronstadt having those Eagles guys in her backing band, they were already a band as such. Frey & Henley decided themselves to form a band together & with Ronstadt’s approval approached Bernie Leadon. They then approached Meisner. Not put together by an outsider is where I am coming from. Asia were definitely a ‘manufactured’ band & The Police also from my memory. Anyway it was the fifth album release by BCC comment of mine Uwe, that has me wondering as to possible contractual obligations. What else could it be? I could be wrong of course. Why does this band keep getting together to record ‘new’ music & then ‘implode’ as such? It is a strange one indeed in many ways
    (embarrassing could be a way to put it) & no doubt there are plenty of fans frustrated by the lack of live concerts. Anyway it makes for plenty of innuendo & comments & of course if making a soap opera type of drama movie we ask the proverbial question, who is responsible? It could be a collective of many issues, not just one person as such. Come on Netflix, get your act together. Cheers

  14. 14
    DeeperPurps says:

    Uwe @12 & MacGregor #13, I seem to recall that yes indeed, it was Kevin Shirley who was the “matchmaker” of the original incarnation of BCC. All seemed wonderful at the start with a follow-up album “2” a few months later and some concerts. But the wheels started to fall off the cart sometime in early 2012 accompanied by a lot of public acrimony between Hughes and Bonamassa; and with Shirley very publicly taking Bonamassa’s side of things. It’s telling that Shirley and Bonamassa are still working together…..Shirley continues to be Bonamassa’s producer. I get the sense that BCC was simply about raising Bonamassa’s profile by coupling him with well known names in rock. Just look at his live albums….there is plenty of musical name-dropping going on in those with the various guest appearances by the greats (eg: Paul Rodgers, Eric Claption, et al). Bonamassa and Shirley’s commitment it seems, is simply to JoBo solo. BCC is a side project only, and maybe contractually obligated as well.

  15. 15
    MacGregor says:

    Seems I was wrong with my memory of The Police formation. Copeland departing from the Curved Air band was looking for a band to form & previously had noticed Sumner (Sting) & eventually approached him. They initially had another guitarist before Andy Summers. Summers upon hearing about those two musicians became interested in joining their new band. Something along those lines. Cheers.

  16. 16
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Your story complements mine, Sting and Andy Summers first met in a Eberhard Schoener project, Schoener of course knew Summers from having played on Jon’s Sarabande. Never mind how a year later or so he would sell himself imagewise as a Punk/New Wave Musician. 🤣 Police, by their respective pedigrees, were as “unpunk” as it gets, but that was nothing a bit of blond hair dye and a decent haircut couldn’t change in public perception.

    This was four months prior to the release of their debut album and their first UK TV appearance:


    Schoener has always claimed that he was the one to talk Sting into doing that falsetto thing, Sting has denied that. Whatever.

  17. 17
    MacGregor says:

    That clip was an eye opener for me, I have never heard that before. Annoying falsetto indeed from Sting & I can see why they wanted to rock out. Although his Roxanne vocal is annoying to my ears also, but a good song it is. Getting in tune with the times etc. Copeland just wanted to get busier after his Curved Air stint. The progressive rock genre was fading fast. Cheers

  18. 18
    MacGregor says:

    DeeperPurps @ 14 – thanks for the BCC, Bonamassa & Shirley information. Seems like they stick together those two, sort of explains things indeed. Cheers.

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