Phenomena debut = phenomenal !

  • These past few days I've been spinning the debut Phenomena album on my way to and from work. It was one of the first albums I ever heard Glenn sing on (no comments necessary from the geezer contingent...), and it remains among his finest moments.

    I remember reading Kerrang magazine when I could get my hands on it, years ago when I lived in Illinois. The album reviews, photos and musicians featured in the magazine were a mix of international superstars and more intriguing artists whose careers seemed rooted firmly in the UK. One of the great features I remember reading was a Glenn Hughes/Tom Galley cover story about the Phenomena project. It sounded so intriguing, and being a fan of science fiction and song titles and conceptual illustrations aroused my interest. When I finally got a chance to hear the album I was floored. Glenn's voice was amazing, even more so than what I'd heard him sing with Gary Moore. The production was immense, awash in reverb and drenched in keyboard heaven. In the years since, I've come to acknowledge the album's production shortcomings, but they barely put a dent in my ironclad conviction that Phenomena is a breathtaking concept album. Listen to Glenn soar on "Kiss of Fire"...the vocal crescendo in "Dance with the Devil"...his effortless, heartfelt delivery of "Phoenix Rising"...the drive of "Believe", and its soprano vocal breakdown...the urgent swagger of "Who's Watching You". Great stuff, all of it. The bonus tracks are entertaining enough, although they don't maintain the feel of the rest of the album. Perhaps that's why they were originally excluded.

    I remember reading years ago a somewhat disappointed review of 'Phenomena', which compared the final album mix to the original album demos, which were apparently more guitar heavy, and less keyboard intensive. I've always been intrigued to hear those mixes. In the meantime, I'm perfectly content with the near-perfect content of 'Phenomena'...a feather in the cap of all involved.

    And how could I forget all those great folks involved?

    Glenn Hughes (Trapeze/Deep Purple/Gary Moore), Cozy Powell (Michael Schenker Group/Rainbow), Ted McKenna (Rory Gallagher/Michael Schenker Group), Neil Murray (Whitesnake), Mel Galley (Trapeze/Whitesnake), John Thomas (Budgie), Don Airey (Ozzy/Rainbow) and Richard Bailey (Magnum/Alaska).

    :eek: :bow: :thumbup: :clapper:

    Cheers...Todd

  • Todd,

    I have the Kerrang you mention (in mint condition).

    Mel told me many times how he thought the demos were better than the final production mix release.

    Kiss of Fire is my favourite(written by Mel and Richard Bailey).

    It should have been on the Burning Japan album as it was recorded during those shows. You can get it on the Talk About It ep (as im sure most know)

  • Yeah!

    Great album, great performance from our boy.

    Would love to hear a remaster/remix of this album. Not to keen on the errr slightly tinny drum sound. Was Cozy playing, after all :clapper:

    Love Kiss of Fire, Who's watching who, well all of them really :D

    Paul

  • I really need to get the first 2 they seem very interesting with all those great musicians. Maybe the third one as well, though it seems hard to get and didn't get a lot of attention.

  • I've got all four. They go from best to worst in the order they were released, in my opinion. The second one was a step down from the first, despite the inclusion of John Wetton and Ray Gillen. Maybe the fourth one (PsychoFantasy) before (InnerVision), but only because of Glenn's participation. Quite an interesting series.

    Todd

  • I also have the Kerrang issue. Wasn't that article suppose to have a part two? Anyone have that issue?

    Not sure about a 2 parter, but there was an article a few issues earlier ... in issue No. 87 ... from the same year, 1985, that you can find here and also a larger version of the cover above, from issue No. 97, here.

  • i had a interview of Glenn on tape,and he told that the phenomena album sold about 900,000 copies! this project was a huge succes

  • The more I listen to this the more I appreciate how good it is. I think Glenn did a nice job on making these songs shine. Too bad he didn;t participate on the newest Galley album.

  • I was a bit disappointed when I saw that Glenn wasn't listed as one of the performers for the new Phenomena....but I guess he didn't really have the time to participate....his plate is rather 'full' these days......:thumbup:

  • I was a bit disappointed when I saw that Glenn wasn't listed as one of the performers for the new Phenomena....but I guess he didn't really have the time to participate....his plate is rather 'full' these days......:thumbup:



    I know...I am so looking forward to the new Black Country Communion cd. I have a great respect for those 4 guys' musical abilities.

  • Phenomena is phenomenal. Glenn's voice is superb (the production could have been a little more heavier in my opinion). On the second album the three Glenn songs are great (a pity that he don't sang the whole album).

  • Some great music on this. The first few lines of singing in 'Kiss of Fire' always give me chills, as Glenn sings like some sort of an otherworldly entity.

  • it is interesting to hear 'Gambler' by Whitesnake & 'Kiss of Fire'..near enough the same song musically but lyrically & vocally Mr Coverdale's approach vs Glenn's.
    Love them both of course but wish the Martin Birch or Eddie Krammer's production values had been applied to 'Kiss of Fire'.Cozy's drums sound like polystyrene egg box's on 'Kiss of Fire'.Glenn's majesterial vocals really carry the day.
    I believe the master tapes don't even belong to Tom Galley as he had to put himself in serious debt to see the project through to conclusion.Which would rule out a serious remix project the album deserves.

  • I like the songs on this album..Glenn sounds great..but I thought the overall mix of this album was a bit poor.
    It lacks any real Guts..with Budgies John Thomas in the line up I remember buying this full of excitement..(I was and still am a lover of the welsh trio that was Budgie) .but it doesn't quite rock the way I thought it would.

  • Yeah the first Phenomena album was good, could have been fantastic. Great performances, great songs, terrible production/mixing.

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