Different Stages

  • Thanks to Marisa at New Horizons for the review.

    Track list - CD1:
    Burn - live (6.44), You Kill Me (3.31), Highball Shooter (4.27), Muscle & Blood - live (5.32), Save Me Tonight (I'll Be Waiting) (4.15), Addiction (4.28), You Keep Me Moving - live (7.11), Can't Stop The Flood (4.09), No Stranger To Love - live (8.06), From Now On - live (6.00).

    Track list - CD2:
    Death Of Me (3.46), I Got Your Number - live (4.17), The State I'm In (4.58), Your Love Is Alright - live (9.40), Gettin' Tighter - live (3.59), This Life (4.52), Freedom (4.18), Lady Double Dealer - live (3.24), Redline (4.53), Stormbringer - live (5.10)

    'Different Stages' is a compilation CD drawn from his releases on the SPV label since the 1994 'Burning Japan Live' album. This was followed by 'Feel' (1995), 'Addiction' (1996) and his last album of the nineties, 'The Way It Is' from 1999, plus his latest two albums, 'Return of Crystal Karma' (2000) and 'Building the Machine (2001).

    With the CD comes a booklet containing photos of Hughes in a variety of guises, a brief history of his musical career and details of the tracks on the album and the musicians involved.

    Eight of the twenty tracks are taken from the 'Burning Japan Live' and of these, some are Deep Purple numbers from Hughes' sojourn with that band. Hughes was supported on this tour by Thomas Larsson (guitars, b/v), Eric Bojfeldt (guitars, b/v), Mic Michaelli (keyboards, b/v), John Levin (bass) and Ian Haugland (drums) - the latter trio all being ex-Europe musicians and current members of Brazen Abbott, and Hughes has appeared more recently with these three on Nikolo Kotzev's 'Nostradamus'.

    Two tracks appear from 'Feel', an album for which Hughes made a conscious decision to steer away from a hard rock format and explore "various styles; rock, soul, funk, pop and jazz". 'Save Me Tonight (I'll Be Waiting)' is a superb AOR/rock balladic number with balls - nothing wimpy about this - while 'Redline' is a pop/rock composition with some funky basswork. Musicians here are Hughes (vocals, bass), Pat Thrall (guitar, keyboards), Gary Ferguson (drums) and Todd Hunter (keyboards).

    A pair of tracks from 'Addiction' - the first cover to portray Hughes' with short hair: the title track in which soulful vocals are set against heavy instrumentation, and the opening track on CD2, 'Death Of Me', a rip roaring pacey number. Appearing with Hughes on this album are Marc Bonilla (guitar, keyboards), Joe Travers (drums) and Joakim "JJ" Marsh (guitar).

    From 'The Way It Is' comes 'You Kill Me', an excellent bluesey classic rock song featuring guitarist Stevie Salas and drummer Matt Sorum. The second song from this album is 'Freedom', a Jimi Hendrix composition played with JJ (guitar) and Gary Ferguson (drums).

    Two songs on the second CD come from 'Return Of Crystal Karma' ('ROCK'): the classy and soulful 'The State I'm In', and the fabulously funky 'This Life'. Disc one features a duo of track taken from Hughes' last release 'Building the Machine'. These are Deep Purple's 'Highball Shooter' and the superb funk rocker 'Can't Stop the Flood', complete with lashings of vocal harmonies and Hammond organ sounds.

    The tracks so far unaccounted for are the live tracks 'No Stranger to Love', a Black Sabbath number, and 'Your Love Is Alright' (the b-side of the Trapeze single 'Coast to Coast' in 1972) with its strong funky rhythm line - both of these taken from the bonus CD 'Live In South America' which came with special edition of 'ROCK'. The musicians here are JJ (guitars), Hans Zermuehlen (keys) and Bob Harsen on drums.

    If you have not yet discovered the music of Glenn Hughes, aka the "Voice of Rock", this double album set would be a superb introduction - especially as it is being sold for the price of a single album. The only drawback is that it will definitely inspire you to go out and buy at least some of the back catalogue!

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