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A lot of soul

A vintage interview with a freshly purplerised (is that a word? it is now!) Glenn Hughes, that originally appeared in New Musical Express on September 29, 1973:

He’s got one of the best voices in modern music and he is also an accomplished bass player – but what did he listen to himself when he was young? What influenced him?
Read on!

Under the Influence

Interview by Tony Stewart

WILSON PICKETT: “In The Midnight Hour”.
At that time I thought it was the best record, and it came out when I first started playing in bands. It’s just the whole feel of the song and his voice, and I took off on that.

JAMES BROWN: “It’s A Man’s World”.
I dug the first things he did, but this was a complete contrast. The first time I heard it, it freaked me out, because it’s a really lovely song with a lot of soul.

BOOKER T. AND THE MGS: “Hip Hugger”.
This kind of music I like. I’ve always admired Booker T, and this is the first thing of his I loved. And I especially like the guitar, which is really simple. I just enjoy the simplicity of instruments, like the simple bass riff and drumming here. Actually there’s hardly anything there at all. It’s so laid back — which at the time was great.

Continue reading in My Things – Music history for those who are able to read.

Thanks to Geir Myklebust for the hard work on putting these online.


15 Comments to “A lot of soul”:

  1. 1
    Uwe Hornung says:

    From the same origin (Geir Myklebust)


    an interesting (and positive!) review of Come Taste The Band by the New Musical Express, back then generally not a paper to lavish praise on established heavy rock bands lightly.

    “Record Review by Tony Stewart

    There are two points to make about this album straightaway. One is that new guitarist Tommy Bolin proves to be a considerable source of material and inspiration and has laid down as many solos in one set as other guitarists would in four.

    And secondly that Jon Lord, one of the two remaining originals, is out to lunch throughout most of the set. Which could of course be indicative of disinterest … or because Bolin has the stronger musical personality and is as smart as Ritchie Blackmore when it comes to grabbing the spotlight.
    For this, and more, the album is a real curiosity.

    It`s probably their best since, let`s say, “In Rock”, epitomising perfectly all the name Deep Purple represented: high energy, barrel-rolling power and uncomprising rock and roll at its very best. But it`s basically the new boys who`ve produced this. Ian Paice rows himself in once on a joint composition with Bolin and David Coverdale, and Lord teams up with Glenn Hughes for a beautifully mellow track called “This Time Around”, which makes Jon`s trip out to Munich`s Musicland Studios worthwhile after all, while the rest of the album is taken care of by (predominantly) Coverdale and Bolin, with Hughes snatching another two joint composing honours with one or the other.

    So you`ve got to agree that it`s a pretty strange situation for three rookies to know more about the concept of Deep Purple than a couple of founding members obviously do.

    Paice, however, does show he`s an invaluable member when it actually comes to laying down the rhythms on that kit, and he and Hughes have the kind of professional relationship (at least on record) which can only be described as Hot Shit. There is after all more power and time changing, accent-making ingenuity than ever before in a Purple line-up.

    Naturally it then follows that Bolin should play a dual role. One, as “Gettin` Tighter” illustrates, to brace thick, energy-packed chords into the rhythm, and two, as a lead soloist of such tremendous talent that despite the excellent vocal harmonies of Coverdale and Hughes on the soulful “I Need Love”, he again steals the glory for his outstanding work.

    This man is an absolute maniac. Not only can he bleed the licks out on an overdrive piece such as “Comin` Home”, but he can restrict what seems a naturally extrovert style (requiring quite frequently double tracking to do what he must do but which isn`t humanly possible with only one outlet) to become almost conservative. When required – as in the dramatic tension of “Drifter”, where Bolin unloops the melody line to allow Hughes and Paice to battle their way through.

    And Lord dozes off in the corner. Well he has one other moment, besides the one mentioned earlier. And that`s during “You Keep On Movin`”, where Bolin effectively cuts a path for the organ to surface and then frames the resulting solo. Maybe Lord felt he couldn`t contribute much more, even though that one solo is truly worthwhile and something similar elsewhere would have been a welcome contrast. Yet there`s also Coverdale straining for vocal space, and justly getting it, so Lord`s obviously observing the old Too Many Cooks proverb. Whatever. Deep Purple are alive and well. This album proves it.”


    It’s noteworthy that NME’s US counterpart Rolling Stone gave the album a similarly positive review at the time (rock critics had obviously grown a bit weary of Ritchie back then and tended to champion Tommy):

    “By Kris Nicholson

    Ritchie Blackmore, Deep Purple’s central force since their creation, left the group after Stormbringer to form his own group; this is Deep Purple’s first record with new guitarist Tommy Bolin.

    The album takes off in the chunky funk-rock style of Purple’s last two albums. Distinctions don’t develop until the material becomes familiar. Like Blackmore, Bolin establishes tension between Purple’s solid rhythm foundation and his own sustained clarity and agitated upper-fret playing. While Blackmore was largely confined by this style, Bolin employs it as only one of many. His more flexible approach to writing and arranging produces a more melodic and dynamic feel. With him, Purple’s music has outgrown the predictability of the past. Textures replace a reliance on volume, and changes in tone and pace more frequently contrast and augment each other. There is evidence of give and take that Deep Purple hasn’t shown for some time. David Coverdale’s emerging songwriting talents combine with Bolin’s in “Dealer.” Lord’s more sophisticated keyboard work surfaces in several tunes.

    A visible attempt to experiment has expanded the group’s music beyond the heavy-metal trap, and this could lead them to rediscover the progressive style that somehow vanished after In Rock.”

  2. 2
    Max says:

    … being produced by David Bowie and features people like Herbie Hancock, Dennis Davis, Tommy Bolin, Dave Sanborn …

    Ahh…and did I mention the Pope – we’re like brothers – is gonna be on the cover? Picture taken by Warhol of course.

  3. 3
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Alas!, Max, ’twas the burgeoning enthusiasm of a young man! Hey, he did have later Judas Priest (Holland), Whitesnake (Galley) and Thin Lizzy (Nauseef) members on his first solo album (aftermath-semi-famous is better than nothing). Plus Pat Travers I believe who was back then making some waves before the punk deluge set him back a while.

  4. 4
    Max says:

    Uwe, of course you’re right! And I guuess it was just that Bowie was too busy living in Glenn’s house while Stevie Wonder was totally occupied worshipping his vocal talents – so they had to bow out.

    BTW: Judging from his recent vids on facebook the Voice of Rock is now gunning for the title of King of “Gärten des Grauens” …

  5. 5
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I think Bowie was genuinely intrigued/bemused by the strange fit he thought Glenn was to a white stadium rock behemoth like Deep Purple. But Bowie also had the reputation of sucking up people for inspiration and then discarding them throughout his career, so he might have moved on already by the time Glenn recorded Play Me Out. After all, Bowie moved from L.A. to Berlin (“From the coke capital of the world to the smack capital of the world!”, as he once jokingly, but succinctly put it) to lose his coke addiction; given that goal, he perhaps wasn’t all that keen to spend a lot of time with Glenn whose addiction was at this point (like Bowie’s) raging. But I get you, Max, Glenn has a habit of mouthing off.

    As regards Stevie Wonder, I think even a Glenn Hughes would have had a hard time getting past the Stevie Wonder organisation to arrange for a recording appointment. A soul-funk solo album by a Brit white kid whose hard rock band had just dissolved well past their prime? Nothing to enhance the Stevie Wonder brand really; Deep Purple wasn’t fashionable in 1976, nor was Glenn Hughes.

    But man, in an alternative universe, I would have loved to envisage Glenn playing bass on the magnificent Station to Station album and perhaps deliver a few backing vocal lines as well. I can never make up my mind whether Diamond Dogs or Station to Station is my favorite Bowie album. I liked Bowie in his decadent prime best.

  6. 6
    Gregster says:

    @5…It’s often a great choice / decision to make & realize, that you can have work & work-mates, & friends out-side of work, that may even share the same profession…I’d suggest that this is what David & Glenn shared together, among other agreeable, free-time substance-experimentation lol !

    David Bowie ran his bands like R.B. & Rainbow, in the sense that a constant rotation of musicians kept the “vibe” fresh, music interesting & ever-changing, whilst also allowing to keep negativity away, if & when its forces appeared…It also allowed someone to be the “boss”, which is often a good thing to have, depending on circumstance.

    David Bowie had many peaks during his career, though his early live material circa 1972-74 does it for me the most. That said, possibly his best work that’s representative of everything that came before, & afterwards, would be “Scary Monsters”, (& possibly the movie soundtrack to “Christiane F” which is quite good too, though mostly a compilation of tunes).

    Possibly the main reason that David & Glenn got on together so well, & ultimately could never work together peacefully, is that they were both respective boss’s / band-leaders…( Glenn with Trapeze ).

    Peace !

  7. 7
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Bowie could be very utilitarian with people – not a nice trait. But he was a skin shedder and when it was time he shed the people around him too.

  8. 8
    Max says:

    @ 5 Well… if memory serves me right Ian Paice – being ask about Bowie after his death – said something to the effect that he was too busy in the 70s to really listen to Bowie … Same goes for me. Not so much on the busy side but you get the idea. Best thing about Bowie for me are the pictures that have been taken of him beside Tilda Swinton … But I know that this is as dangerous a point of view as yours on Stargazer – though mayybe not on this forum. But everyswhere elsew it might be even braver to say so. 🙂

  9. 9
    Uwe Hornung says:

    I like Tilda AND Bowie! I find her “not from this world”-look hot and she’s one hell of an actress. That opening scene in Suspiria, the old male psychiatrist? That is her under prosthetics (she also plays two female roles in the brilliant movie in addition):



    It must have been 1975 when a girl from my class recorded Diamond Dogs (the album) for me on a very hissy cassette, I hadn’t heard any music from Bowie before and was curious. I took one listen of that cassette and I swear it was as primal an experience for me as listening to Machine Head, Burn or Quo (Status Quo’s heaviest album from 1974). Then when Station to Station (the album) came out, it sounded nothing like Diamond Dogs, but I was again intrigued, also by the film “The Man Who Fell To Earth” which had him starring as an alien in terrestrial exile. I did see him once with the criminally underrated Tin Machine, that was a great gig, but it went straight over the heads of the audience who were mostly dyed-in-the-wool Bowie fans hoping for older Bowie material. He did not accommodate them.

  10. 10
    MacGregor says:

    I only watched that Suspiria move a few years ago, yes Tilda is a very good actor indeed. David Bowie eh, is he over rated, it seems so. I vaguely remember The Man Who Fell To Earth from a long time ago, but I cannot get to watch it again as one of the streaming sites I don’t have access to has it all sown up. Bowie did have his moments. At least he thought ‘out of the box’, used his initiative & other people’s also to forge on in different guises. Some do that well, others not so well. Cheers.

  11. 11
    Gregster says:

    @5…Ha, ha ! Bowie was generally well-promoted & well received here in Oz for most of his career, much more so than DP or Rainbow etc etc. “Major Tom” secured that for him from the late 1960’s.

    There’s no doubt about his radio-hits however throughout his career, & like most people, would be very surprised to discover how much of his work is familiar to them, so a Bowie “greatest hits” album like the 3 x CD “Platinum Collection” would contain songs that you know well, & likely be all that anyone would need for his work up to say the 1990’s.

    For myself, 1974’s “Live at the Tower”, “Christiane F”, “Scary Monsters (& super creeps)” are stand-outs, with the bulk of the later material being really quite good, if not quite ground-breaking, including the “Tin Machine” era. Diverse, whilst being dedicated to a “sound” for each album would best describe his 2000 on-wards efforts imo. He most certainly was a great entertainer, & had a great voice, right-up to-the-end. “A Reality Tour” DVD would confirm that, as it’s quite a good gig & show. Only the constant “fake smile” may bother some imo.

    There’s also a rare-ish 1972 radio-broadcast show from the Mick Ronson era from “Santa Monica” that’s quite heavy-going too, & really gets quite good after the first 2-3 numbers. So some heavy rock was also something Glenn & David would share together for a while, along with the changes that came too in the mid 1970’s with both bands.

    Peace !

  12. 12
    Max says:

    @ 9

    OMG! You had girls recording mixtapes for YOU? So what on earth is a man like you doin’ in a place like this?

    When I was in my teens I would record cassettes for them … and got lucky when they accepted them out of my sweaty hands.

    Tin Machine… I did not realise how lucky I was to have had orgotten about them – until now that is. 100 % agreed on all things Tilda though. 🙂

  13. 13
    Uwe Hornung says:

    Max, eat your heart out: She was even a class above me, I was a sophomore and she was a junior!

    Which also means that I wouldn’t have stood a snowflake’s chance in hell, she just wanted to share the music. Your accolades are therefore – sadly so – utterly undeserved. Finding a girlfriend as a Deep Purple fan has always been against all odds, you tell me!

    In the Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Diamond Dogs era, Bowie’s music sure had hard rock elements (he’s even admitted that himself), Mick Ronson and Trevor Bolder, his Spiders of Mars sidekicks, didn’t end up with Mott the Hoople/Ian Hunter and Uriah Heep/Wishbone Ash, respectively, for nothing. He basically ditched them to get away from that glammed up hard rock sound and move into the Thin White Duke era and his then developing White Soul leanings.

    Tin Machine live was avant-garde hard rock with a punkish edge, nothing else, you should have listened to that massive rhythm section courtesy of Tony and Hunt Sales + Reeves Gabrels’ reckless soloing. Live, they were far too heavy for most of the Bowie fans present who seemed to be from the Let’s Dance era and were mostly baffled by the avalanche of abrasive energy from stage.

  14. 14
    Gregster says:

    @13…Uwe said qt. ” Live, they were far too heavy for most of the Bowie fans present who seemed to be from the Let’s Dance era and were mostly baffled by the avalanche of abrasive energy from stage “.

    LOL !

    No doubt you’re quite accurate here ! The crowd were likely expecting some clear Stevie Ray Vaughan guitar work, & got smashed with a modern Hedrixesque master ! The sound on Tin Machines debut I like quite a lot, as it has the “live in studio” sound, especially with the drums, as they sound huge & airy. And the guitar solo-work I thought quite good, being fresh, unique, pushing the boundries, & having a story-telling element too that a listener enjoyed traveling along. The 2nd album was a little more relaxed from memory, but I’ll have to listen again to it.

    They had some excellent tunes however, combined with real-world lyrics.

    Peace !

  15. 15
    Max says:

    @ 13

    The finding-a-girlfriend part plus the Let’s dance thought remind me of an evening in the 90s. I went to see Whitesnake and had a pleasant chat with a quite attraktive female standing next to me pre-show. She asked if I had seen the band before. I told her of the many times since 1978 and she seemed impressed. She told me she had heard Is this Love on the radio and liked it big time so she thought she’d give it a try.. you guess the rest. DC came on to a lot of noise, required in a not to be ignored manner we’d make some more, did his mike stand routine and off she ran …

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