Glenn Hughes

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Glenn Hughes
Glenn Hughes 2012.jpg
Hughes in 2012
Background information
Born (1951-08-21) 21 August 1951 (age 67)
Cannock, Staffordshire, England, UK
Genres Hard rock, funk rock, progressive rock, heavy metal, blues rock, pop rock, blue-eyed soul
Occupation(s)Musician, singer-songwriter, producer
InstrumentsVocals, Bass guitar, Guitar, Keyboards
Years active1967–present
Labels Frontiers, Pony Canyon, SPV GmbH, Yamaha Music, Zero Corporation
Associated acts Finders Keepers
Website Official website

Glenn Hughes (also known as The Voice of Rock) [1] 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, [2] as well as briefly fronting Black Sabbath in the mid-1980s.

Trapeze were an English rock band from Cannock, Staffordshire. Formed in 1969, the band originally featured former The Montanas members John Jones and Terry Rowley (keyboards), and former Finders Keepers members Glenn Hughes, Mel Galley and Dave Holland (drums). Jones and Rowley left the band following the release of their self-titled debut album in 1970, with the lineup of Hughes, Galley and Holland continuing as a trio. After the release of Medusa later in 1970 and You Are the Music... We're Just the Band in 1972, Hughes left Trapeze in 1973 to join Deep Purple.

Deep Purple English rock band

Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968. The band is considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although their musical approach changed over the years. Originally formed as a progressive rock band, the band shifted to a heavier sound in 1970. Deep Purple, together with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, have been referred to as the "unholy trinity of British hard rock and heavy metal in the early to mid-seventies". They were listed in the 1975 Guinness Book of World Records as "the globe's loudest band" for a 1972 concert at London's Rainbow Theatre, and have sold over 100 million copies of their albums worldwide.

Black Sabbath British heavy metal band

Black Sabbath were an English rock band, formed in Birmingham in 1968, by guitarist and main songwriter Tony Iommi, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler, drummer Bill Ward, and singer Ozzy Osbourne. Black Sabbath are often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music. The band helped define the genre with releases such as Black Sabbath (1970), Paranoid (1970), and Master of Reality (1971). The band had multiple line-up changes, with Iommi being the only constant member throughout its history.


In addition to being an active session musician, Hughes also maintains a notable solo career. He currently fronts the supergroup Black Country Communion and fronted 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. [3]

Black Country Communion American rock band

Black Country Communion is an English-American hard rock band based in Los Angeles, California. Formed in 2009, the band is a supergroup composed of bassist and vocalist Glenn Hughes, guitarist and vocalist Joe Bonamassa, drummer and backing vocalist Jason Bonham, and keyboardist Derek Sherinian. Originally formed by Hughes and Bonamassa with the help of producer Kevin Shirley, the group released its self-titled debut album in September 2010. Second album Black Country Communion 2 followed in June 2011, which was promoted on a European tour later in the year. The band released its third album Afterglow in October 2012.

California Breed was an English-American hard rock band based in Los Angeles, California. Formed in 2013, the band was a supergroup composed of bassist and vocalist Glenn Hughes, guitarist Andrew Watt, and drummer Jason Bonham. Following the breakup of his previous band Black Country Communion, Hughes was introduced to Watt in 2013 and the two quickly formed California Breed, with Black Country Communion drummer Bonham completing the lineup shortly after. The band recorded its self-titled debut album with producer Dave Cobb in late 2013, which was released through Frontiers Records in May 2014 and reached number 78 on the US Billboard 200.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Hall of fame located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, recognizes and archives the history of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers, and other notable figures who have had some major influence on the development of rock and roll. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation was established on April 20, 1983, by Atlantic Records founder and chairman Ahmet Ertegun. In 1986, Cleveland was chosen as the Hall of Fame's permanent home.

Early life

Hughes was born in Cannock, Staffordshire, England on 21 August 1951. He fronted Finders Keepers in the 1960s as bassist/vocalist, as well as the British funk rock band Trapeze. [4] 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. [5]

Cannock town in Staffordshire, England

Cannock, as of the 2011 census, has a population of 29,018, and is the most populous of the three towns in the district of Cannock Chase in the central southern part of the county of Staffordshire in the West Midlands region of England.

Staffordshire County of England

Staffordshire is a landlocked county in the West Midlands of England. It borders with Cheshire to the northwest, Derbyshire and Leicestershire to the east, Warwickshire to the southeast, West Midlands and Worcestershire to the south, and Shropshire to the west.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

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. [5] The two would ultimately share lead vocal duties in the band for the next three albums, until the break-up of Deep Purple in 1976. Battling severe cocaine addiction, [6] [7] Hughes embarked on a solo career following his departure from the group, releasing his first solo album in 1977 called Play Me Out .[ citation needed ]

David Coverdale English singer

David Coverdale is an English rock singer best known for his work with Whitesnake, a hard rock band he founded in 1978. Before Whitesnake, Coverdale was the lead singer of Deep Purple from 1973 to 1976, after which he established his solo career. A collaboration with Jimmy Page resulted in a 1993 album that was a commercial success. In 2016, Coverdale was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Deep Purple, giving one of the band's induction speeches. Coverdale is known in particular for his powerful blues-tinged voice.

Cocaine chemical compound

Cocaine, also known as coke, is a strong stimulant mostly used as a recreational drug. It is commonly snorted, inhaled as smoke, or dissolved and injected into a vein. Mental effects may include loss of contact with reality, an intense feeling of happiness, or agitation. Physical symptoms may include a fast heart rate, sweating, and large pupils. High doses can result in very high blood pressure or body temperature. Effects begin within seconds to minutes of use and last between five and ninety minutes. Cocaine has a small number of accepted medical uses such as numbing and decreasing bleeding during nasal surgery.

<i>Play Me Out</i> (Glenn Hughes album) 1977 studio album by Glenn Hughes

Play Me Out is the first solo record by former Deep Purple and Trapeze bassist/ vocalist Glenn Hughes. It was first released in July 1977. The album marked a definite change in style to Hughes’ hard rock albums with Deep Purple, moving into a funk and soul inspired direction. The album was reissued in 2010 as a special on-demand release, with the audio remastered from the original quarter inch tapes.

Hughes and Thrall

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." [5]

Pat Travers Canadian rock guitarist, keyboardist and singer

Patrick Henry Travers is a Canadian rock guitarist, keyboardist and singer who began his recording career with Polydor Records in the mid-1970s. Pat Thrall, Nicko McBrain, Clive Edwards, Mick Dyche, Tommy Aldridge, Peter "Mars" Cowling, Barry Dunaway, Jerry Riggs, Gunter Nezhoda, Carmine Appice, Michael Shrieve, Rodney O'Quinn are some of the noted musicians who have been members of the Pat Travers Band through the years. Paul Gilbert has referred to Travers as a "guitar god", and Kirk Hammett of Metallica has cited him as one of his favorite guitar players.

Pat Thrall is an American rock guitarist. Thrall began his recording career in 1972. He played guitar, vocals, and percussion with the group Cookin Mama, which had his brother, Preston Thrall, on percussion. They released the album New Day in 1972.

Hughes/ Thrall was a musical project formed in 1982 by former Deep Purple and Trapeze bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes and guitarist Pat Thrall.

Gary Moore, Black Sabbath and ongoing health problems

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). [8]

Phenomena is a rock music concept formed by record producer Tom Galley and his brother, Whitesnake guitarist Mel Galley. During the recording of Phenomena I, they were joined by Metalhammer founder Wilfried Rimensberger. Contributors were leading rock musicians such as Glenn Hughes, Brian May, and John Wetton, amongst others.

Gary Moore Northern Ireland guitarist, songwriter and record producer

Robert William Gary Moore was a Northern Irish rock guitarist and singer-songwriter.

<i>Run for Cover</i> (Gary Moore album) 1985 studio album by Gary Moore

Run for Cover is the fifth solo studio album by Irish guitarist Gary Moore, released in 1985. It is often considered his breakthrough album.

Hughes' health problems due to overeating, drugs and alcohol began to seriously affect his musical projects, and this contributed to very short stints with Gary Moore and Tony Iommi, as Hughes was unable to tour with them properly due to his bad health. In 1985 Black Sabbath re-united with original vocalist Ozzy Osbourne for the one-off Live Aid performance. While waiting for a break in Osbournes' career, Iommi decided to record a solo album and Hughes was brought in to provide the vocals. Due to the aforementioned contractual obligations with the record company the album was released as Black Sabbath featuring Tony Iommi in 1986, to generally positive critical reviews, with Hughes in particular putting in a fine performance. While touring to promote the new album Glenn was replaced by vocalist Ray Gillen after six shows due to a fight with Black Sabbath's production manager, as the injuries contributed to a degradation in his voice and he was also in no physical shape to complete the tour. [9]

Health recovery and career rejuvenation

Hughes with his new band Black Country Communion at Azkena rock festival, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, June 2011. Glenn Hughes - 2011.jpg
Hughes with his new band Black Country Communion at Azkena rock festival, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain, June 2011.

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 has been his primary focus 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). The band released three albums through 2012 and disbanded in March 2013 following the departure of guitarist Bonamassa. Black Country Communion reunited in 2016 and released a fourth album in 2017.

In July 2010 Hughes appeared as a guest vocalist (together with singer Jørn Lande) fronting Heaven & Hell at the High Voltage Rock Festival in London as a tribute to the late Ronnie James Dio.


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 [10] 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. [11]

Other projects

In 2003 Hughes make a guest appearance in "AINA", a metal opera project, in the debut album "Days of Rising Doom", alongside with other guest vocalists like Michael Kiske, Tobias Sammet, Andre Matos, Simone Simons and others. On 13 September 2012 Glenn Hughes and Derek Sherinian met Bako Sahakyan, the president of the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and organised a concert in Stepanakert. [12] [13] In 2013, Hughes makes a special guest appearance on the debut, self-titled album from Device. Hughes is featured on the song "Through It All" accompanying David Draiman on vocals. [14]

Kings of Chaos and California Breed

Hughes has been touring as a member of Kings of Chaos, as lead vocals, backing vocals and acoustic guitars since early 2013. In late 2013 he formed a new band called California Breed with drummer Jason Bonham and guitarist Andrew Watt. In 2015, California Breed announced that they had broken up. The group released one self-titled album in 2014. [15]

Glenn Hughes solo tour

During 2015 Glenn Hughes undertook a solo world tour, featuring guitarist Doug Aldrich and drummer Pontus Engborg. [16] [17]


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  2. "Deep Purple Biography. Glenn Hughes". Deep Purple Appreciation Society/Darker Than Blue. Retrieved 26 August 2015.
  3. "NWA, Deep Purple and Chicago enter Hall of Fame". BBC. 17 December 2015. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  4. Huey, Steve. Glenn Hughes Biography at AllMusic
  5. 1 2 3 Perry, Shawn. "The Glenn Hughes Interview". Vintage Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  6. "Gettin' Tighter: The Story Of Deep Purple Mark 4", documentary film
  7. Bychawski, Adam (6 May 2011). "Deep Purple's Glenn Hughes: 'I spent a million dollars on cocaine'". NME . Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  8. "Rock Chronicles. 1990s: Glenn Hughes". Ultimate-Guitar. or its affiliates. 31 March 2010. Archived from the original on 5 September 2015. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  9. "Glenn Hughes Family Tree: Black Sabbath July 1985 - March 1986". DPAS/Darker Than Blue. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  10. "GLENN HUGHES: More Autobiography Details Revealed". Archived from the original on 6 June 2011. Retrieved 6 April 2011.
  11. Lab, Avalon Media. "g l e n n h u g h e s . c o m". Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  12. "The President of Artsakh meets the famous rock musicians" (in Armenian).
  13. "Legendary British rock-star gives a concert in Stepanakert". Mediamax. 14 September 2012.
  14. Childers, Chad (2013-04-12). "Device, 'Device' – Album Review". Retrieved 2013-07-20.
  15. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 January 2015. Retrieved 2015-01-17.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  16. Hughes, Glenn (2 June 2015). "GLENN HUGHES announces DOUG ALDRICH as guitarist for European tour". Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  17. Booth, Alison (7 October 2015). "Interview With GLENN HUGHES: "I'm not trying to be 1974 because I AM 1974"". Metal Shock Finland. Retrieved 7 October 2015.