AN EDITOR REMEMBERS...    Issue 51  May 1999

Just as everyone thought Darker Than Blue was becoming an annual event, we managed to buck the trend with two big issues in 1999 and continue our first faltering forays onto the internet. I'd tried helping supply info to one of the new sites, but got very frustrated when what I'd supplied was totally rewritten in such a way that it no longer gave the accurate facts and actually risked getting one particular release cancelled. So we had a go at starting a site as a sideline to the magazine, and called it purplepeople. Early beginnings. The magazine itself was still growing in size though, and had kind of arrived at a style and layout which seemed to work well, and which I've more or less continued ever since, despite our aging readership always asking for larger type sizes!

One important change with this issue was the return of everything to do with the fan-club back to us. For a time we'd been working with another company to provide help on some aspects of the mail-order side, but this came to an end during 1998. As did my involvement with RPM Records, something I still regret on some levels, but as we were just rubbish at attracting finance to help grow the label, it was better to let go while it was still viable! My partner kept the label name, and RPM is still going albeit now as part of Cherry Red Records. Some of the RPM titles we kept, and these formed the kernel of a relaunched Purple Records (previewed in the magazine), which I headed up, with Ann and Alison handling the business generated by the new label, as well as our CD mail-order side, and re-establishing our fan-club database.

Away from the nitty-gritty of earning a living, I (and many others) continued to be lifted up by the joys of the 1998 Abandon tour. I still feel deep down that this was the last truly great Deep Purple tour, in the sense that they were still a forward looking group, with around half of the set reunion material. They were also playing with a conviction and edge over and above their normal level of performance quality, and produced some astonishingly hard gigs in places. I can get quite misty eyed at the thought of Almost Human on this tour. And still dig out live performances to gee me up to this day. Frustratingly when the group decided to whack out a bootleg busting live set, they waited until early 1999 to record a show, and then picked a tour where a lot of the new tracks were dropped in favour of a promoter-pleasing hits set in Australia. Despite this, it remains a useful reminder of how good they were at this stage of the reunion, even if the set lost was now two thirds 70s back-catalogue. Fans were also digesting the new studio album (over three pages of the magazine), which took some getting into but for me had some real crackers on it. However the pro-lobby overall was in a minority, and the album still gets a lot of stick.

As well as an exclusive on their Australian live set, readers also had an in-depth look at how the Mk 1 remasters project had progressed, as well as a preview of the eagerly awaited Days May Come CD and the making of the big American box set from Rhino Records. There was also a sense of loss with the sudden death of Cozy Powell in a car-crash, with readers contributing their thoughts to a two page special. To cheer us up, exclusive extracts from Tony Ashton's unpublished life-story raised a smile, and collectors could dive into a further six pages of reviews and sightings.

Outside the band, the other important new release was Lord's first solo album in years, which got the full in-depth treatment, and deservedly so, as Pictured Within remains a powerful work on many levels, albeit a melancholy one at times. With hindsight the first hints that he might be thinking of leaving were there. Still we were able to report the recreation of the Concerto score by a fan in Holland, and suggested the group book the Albert Hall at once. Little did we know! Or did we?

ISSUE 51: DIGEST & INDEX
DEEP PURPLE
RECORD REVIEW : Abandon
DEEP PURPLE
NEWS : Big Breakfast TV Show
DEEP PURPLE
NEWS : Abandon Tour 1998-99
DEEP PURPLE
LIVE REVIEW : Paris, July 9th 1998
DEEP PURPLE NEWS : Total Abandon CD
JON LORD
NEWS : Pictured Within & The Concerto
JON LORD
RECORD REVIEW : Pictured Within
COZY POWELL
NEWS : Cozy Remembered
BLACKMORE'S NIGHT
NEWS : Touring & Recording
GLENN HUGHES
NEWS : Touring & Recording
GLENN HUGHES
RECORD REVIEW : The Way It Is

DEEP PURPLE

Abandon - Album Review

I loved "Purpendicular". Not all the tracks worked, but overall there was such a spirit of unleashed creativity and freedom that you couldn't help but be swept along by it all. Deep down I wasn't hugely convinced by "Abandon" to begin with. It seemed powerful, well performed and hugely energetic, but lacked some of the sense of fun and freedom which had been a hallmark of "Purpendicular". What I'd missed on those early listens was just how well the loose, almost free-form structures on which tracks like "Rosa's" and "Ted" had been built have now been tightened and developed into a whole new charging rock and roll beast upon which much of "Abandon" tries to ride. In some ways perhaps I'm not even sure the band themselves have worked out how to harness what they've let loose, and there are times when a few awkward or just plain cliched bars creep in to spoilt the effect - and it was these which stuck out like a sore thumb on the first few plays.

It finally dawned on me that Deep Purple were at times he pushing rock to boundaries which hitherto I felt were only being challenged by some of the best of the industrial tracks I've been into for a few years now by outfits like Nine Inch Nails, Ministry and Skinny Puppy. That same loud finely distilled adrenaline rush is also present in several places on "Abandon". "Any Fule No That" sets the tone, with a grungey keyboard and guitar which provides a dense layer of power augmented by the swing of drummer Ian Paice. Over all this Gillan's vocals cut through like a knife: stick your finger in your ear - indeed. But take it out at only 4 minutes 20 seconds? Chicken. Too short. They try a similar approach on "Almost Human" but the mix lets it down a little, particularly on the drums which don't come through clearly enough. The track came totally into focus at the live shows, and as a result the studio cut now seems little more than a blueprint.

It's on "Seventh Heaven" that they really begin to piss on just about every other band in town. The first thirty seconds or so form a Concerto all of their own (hint), then they turn on the heat and roast your eardrums as the track explodes out of the speakers. Ian Paice goes totally absolutely bonkers beserk, clobbering everything within reach, though almost never in the order you expect or could predict. They cool it a touch to mellow into some bass'n drums, and Steve Morse is brought fully into the frame, meshing immaculately with the underlying work, and going with the flow as they build the energy level back up to an awesome peak, leaving you gasping as they crash back into the verse. I've been gently kissing the ground they walk on (off and on) for thirty years now, and see no reason to stop while they can deliver tracks like this.

"Watching The Sky" delivers some spine tingling treated vocals over an off the wall riff, then they push everything up to ten for one of the best blasts Purple have ever committed to record. Breathtaking stuff, and I'll even forgive them the cliched "luggage at the station" break, although frankly they ought to know better. At around 4.10 the band suddenly peak in a moment of sublime energy which defies description. "She Was" is my Deep Purple. On the face of it simple beyond belief, don't you try even explaining it. You can't. No other band on the planet can do this. Gillan is one hell of a lucky guy, and revels in the situation. There's a totally unexpected middle eight and once more Lord and Morse gel, bending notes together and letting the atmosphere build majestically before the hypnotic beat returns, and disappears as suddenly as it arrived. I definitely concur with many people's opinions that it isn't an easy album to get into, nor it is so instantly memorable as the previous offering - relying more on sheer energy than hook lines to win you over. It takes patience, and a lot of volume. That alone will limit it somewhat. It's by no means perfect, but I'm glad I gave it more time before trying to gather my thoughts as I'm sure the review wouldn't have been so positive if I hadn't.

The Big Breakfast - News

The Big Breakfast, Channel 4, UK TV. October 14th 1998

"Nothing can have prepared UK fans for seeing the band as the centrepiece of Channel Four's entire two hour breakfast programme on 14th October, the morning of the Wembley show. We had live tracks played under a marquee in the damp garden of the Big Breakfast house. It reminded the band of Knebworth. The tracks were filmed in an excellent, lively manner (though avoiding the band members' faces whenever possible!) The sound was not quite so good, unsurprisingly. We got two `Smoke on the Waters', one 'Black Night' and a small portion of 'Ted the Mechanic'. Back inside, the chat strayed into the old money and age topics but still remained both friendly and fun, with Ian Gillan joining in with a silly phone-in game. Throughout the show all five band members chuckled along with everyone else in the studio, in between climbing out of the French windows to their ready-made stage to perform in front of the 300 fans provided. All a long, long way from Andy Effing Kershaw deliberately trying to provoke an argument on the BBC's Whistle Test back in 1984." David Browne

1998-99 Abandon Touring & Recording - News

The recordings sessions, which began back in late September '97, carried right on through to the start of the House Of Blues shows in December, and then commenced again early in the new year, finally wrapping up towards the end of February 1998. Interestingly "Bloodsucker" was one of the last tracks to be laid down, along with "Whatsername". The word is that when they did it on the House Of Blues shows, it got a huge reaction - with a lot of younger fans hearing it for the first time and thinking it was a new track! For fans with good memories, the track "Stallion" which got dropped from "Purpendicular" was reworked for the new one, only to not make it to the final album once again. Mixing ran through into March, and when the album was ready to hit the stores, the tour dates began to unfold, kicking off in Turkey on June 1st, and one might be forgiven for feeling that it hasn't stopped since! In fact they've played just about everywhere except Japan now, some countries more than once.

If I can digress, we learn from a couple of people in Japan that the press there is very hostile to Deep Purple without Blackmore. Being rabid Blackmore-ites, they tend to rubbish anyone else connected with the band. This has got to the state where promoters were having trouble booking a worthwhile tour there, and even getting a decent deal on the album was a struggle. Sales figures for albums are often hard to come by, but reaction to "Abandon" has been mixed. It seems to have done OK in Europe as a whole, but only about 15,000 copies in the UK by January, which wasn't that good - but then the promotion was hardly awe inspiring. Over in Spain "Abandon" has been the best selling album of the reunion since "Perfect Strangers" back in 1984. (Interestingly, sales figures for the "Live At Olympia" album are said to be around the 170-200,000 mark).

During August they spent the whole month on the road in America - properly - for the first time in ages (the House Of Blues shows being much more localised in nature). This was as part of an interesting triple bill with Dream Theatre opening, and ELP supporting. Reviews in the press which we saw were on the whole positive. September and October were set aside for Europe, including Spain (where the band were presented with gold discs to mark 100,000 sales of the "Made In Japan" anniversary edition there). They played to audiences of 5, 8. 10 and 12,000 at the shows - making this one of the best selling tours of the country since The Rolling Stones. The tour leg culminated in the four UK shows during the middle of October. For a while that looked like that might be it, but there was still plenty of demand to book the group. It's easy for some people to point to the lack of ticket sales for the UK shows, but in general they were playing to audiences of double the size of the UK ones and more in Europe. It's sometimes hard for us to grasp just how popular the band still are in some territories, but reading the reviews this time really brought this home to me. If you set aside acts like U2 and The Rolling Stones, who are in another league altogether, then there aren't many home-grown bands who can tour on such a world level like this. Indeed you get the feeling they could keep this rate of performing up twelve months of the year if they were daft enough to want to!

Purple moved further over to the former Eastern block territory in November, and then had a well-earned break over the Christmas and new-year period. Steve Morse sneaked off to do some shows with his own band during January (you can't keep him down!), and there was time for other solo ventures. Jon Lord got his new album finally sorted, and some shows booked, while Roger went off to try and get a bit of remixing on "Who Do We Think" done. March was set aside for Ian Gillan to get a hair-cut (yep, it's been hacked right back!) and then play South America, mainly Brazil and Argentina, before the exciting news down-under that an Australian tour was finally coming together in April. We've been quite close to the events surrounding the booking of this, and news of the resultant live video and CD are detailed below. It's a big deal because this is the first tour there for fifteen years.

Paris Zenith, July 9th 1998 - Live Review

Well, the feeling here is that the Abandon tour has been (and as we write, continues to be) a real barnstormer. The '96 Purpendicular shows were great, but it was a period of adjustment for a lot of fans - and there was still perhaps a little hesitancy from the band at times too. This time round, they clicked in like a well-oiled machine (I'm referring to 3 In 1 here rather than anything stronger), and went for broke about three seconds after hitting the stage. I don't think any of us we prepared for the sheer bludgeoning power Purple hit us with as they launched into the set. A couple of hours later we were physically drained by the onslaught. Easily one of the heaviest Purple gigs I'd ever witnessed, it kind of felt like a two hour live version of "Into The Fire" circa 1970.

To hear "Hush" done properly again, after two years suffering the Kula Shaker version on Virgin radio was an object lesson in psychedelic rock - it's light years ahead of the throwaway versions they were doing a few tours ago. One of the highlights - and it's not easy to pick highlights when a show is sustained on such a level as this one was - was a hugely emotional rendition of "Fingers To The Bone", which clicked in a way it never did on the album for me. Another never to be forgotten moment was the opening to "Highway Star", when an unearthly noise began to emanate from the stage, and it was a while before we all realised Morse was the man responsible. It grew and howled and filially led the band storming into the track proper. One of our reviewers below refers to it as a hotrod engine - and it's a very apt description indeed. Steve Morse's paying doesn't (often) connect emotionally in the way Blackmore's used to, but he just goes for it with such exuberance that it's hard not to be won over.

After the encores the crowd wouldn't let go, and finally the band were made to return for a final encore. Ian Gillan who had obviously gone for an early bath was down to his shorts, t-shirt and a towel, and as for feet attire came back on Sandie Shaw style!

Total Abandon, Live In Australia '99 - News

Well, it's taken them until almost the end of the tour, but at last they've done it. An official live album was recorded at the Melbourne show on April 21st 1999 on 48 track (!) and the whole show was also filmed with 13 cameras. The end result of all this is a double live CD and a video cassette (possibly a DVD as well) which will be marketed as soon as possible (indeed they'd got the mix cracked by April 25th and were all set to finish the video edit just a couple of days later - efficient or what).

A quick look at the set list will show that if management intended this to be a bootleg buster, then they'll be disappointed, as we've lost a serious chunk of the set since the band played Europe. They decided to rejig things for the South Amercan and Australian tours, but dropping "Fingers To The Bone", "Into The Fire", "Any Fule Kno That" (which did make it to South America but was dropped before Australia) AND "Seventh Heaven"? A bizarre move indeed. We could manage without "Evil Louie" but also missing is "Hush", which is a pity 'cos the version we saw was excellent. Not only were some of the lost tracks highlights of the earlier '98 shows, but it also means we're going to end up with a live CD of which two thirds of the tracks also appeared on the last one, "Live At Olympia". Did no one point this out to them up front?!

In addition there are bound to be grumbles that the CD ends up being very much weighted toward old material - when most people are wanting to hear more of the new tracks, and see the band pushing forward more. That the performances are a lot tighter than "Olympia" is something, but you'll only dis-cover that once you've bought it. Having heard some of the final mixes, it's clear that they've done a real good job with the sound. The bass has real depth and punch, and the drums are crystal clear, giving the material real clout. There are moments of sheer joy here which will certainly bring back memories of the tour. The keyboards have been pulled up a little more - and the sound mirrors the balance on stage very well. Ian Gillan is undoubtedly struggling in places towards the end, but then after a year on the road it's hardly surprising. Still, they've kept "Almost Human" in, so that's me with my cheque book out, and despite the gripes I'm looking forward to hearing the end results.

It's not that one wants to be over-critical, but since the reunion Deep Purple really seem to have a knack of handing things to the bootleggers on a plate by continually missing the opportunities a live album affords. First we had "Nobody's Perfect", about which the least said the better. Then came "Hell Or High Water" which was great as far as it went but came edited down to a single CD when everyone wanted the full monty, and finally "Olympia", beset by pricing gremlins which lost it a lot of initial sales, packaged very sparsely and, some said, taped a little too early on in the line-up's career. The CD title "Total Abandon" was actually suggested to us by Canadian DPAS stalwart Vince Chong some months ago. As soon as we heard the live album was a possibility we forwarded Vince's idea and everyone liked it. To me it sums pp the entire spirit of this second Mk 7 tour.


JON LORD

Pictured Within & The Concerto - News

Lordy fans have been awaiting "Pictured Within" for months now, and it was finally due out in the UK in February '99. This has to be one of the longest de-lays ever to any solo release in the Purple camp, as the record seems to have been largely finished back in 1997. A release date of November that year was cancelled, and Spring '98 pencilled in. Around that time we did see a review in the excellent German monthly "Good Times", so we figured it was imminent. The months rolled by and still nothing until early 1999 and a call from "Classic Rock" magazine to let me know it was finally on the way. In fact it had been issued in Germany back in October '98 (Jon told "Classic Rock" that he'd been chuffed to chart higher than Beethoven in the German classical charts!), so why we had to wait until February isn't clear. It's not at all what we expected either, being a more introverted piece of work overall, largely piano based with only a couple of vocal incursions courtesy of Sam Brown and Miller Anderson. I have to say that the cover art looks very smart too.

Jon had put time aside for six German shows to promote the album over in Germany for the first week of March. These were then cancelled and rescheduled for May (a tour like this is an expensive undertaking and needs the support of a label, and I think they were responsible for changing things around). There was a tentative plan to stage a one-off in the UK as well, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. For the German shows, Jon had assembled a backing band comprising Pete York on drums, Miller Anderson, Colin Hodgkinson on bass, Sam Brown and other regulars.

With its thirtieth anniversary coming up, the "Concerto" continues to fascinate an awful lot of people, and we've been in touch with Marco de Goeji in Hol-land who has been working on nothing less than a full transcript of the work! The original score has been missing for some time now, making any plans to try and restage the work impossible. Marco's using the album and completed the Second Movement last year. He did this part first because "it was the simplest...". It still sounds a mind-boggling project to me. When I spoke again to Marco last week he told me he'd finally finished the work, which clocked in at a staggering 600+ pages of manuscript. Happily, he was able to get to meet Jon during the European tour last year and the man was suitably impressed. Marco says he was a little worried, as to his ears some of the orchestral work sounded a bit strange on the recording, especially the final movement - which he felt was taken at the wrong speed in places, and was full of bum notes. Jon confirmed that this was indeed the case! Anyway he's so impressed with the work, that he and Marco hope to have a proper get together soon to go through it with a fine toothcomb and iron out any final problems. After that, well he's got no excuse. We expect the Royal Albert Hall to be booked for September in time for the anniversary (well we don't, but it would be nice).

Pictured Within - album review

JON LORD PICTURED WITHIN Virgin Classics 7243 4 93704 2 5 : UK : February 1999

"Pictured Within" is a long album, nearly 75 minutes worth. On the second playing it struck me as a most melanchony and moving work indeed. Jon really has used the running time at his disposal well. The tracks (it seems such an inadequate description) are all allowed to fulfil their potential in a natural manner, and only end when Jon has taken them exactly where he wants. Nothing is cut short, nor does any track get extended beyond what seems right. If you're expecting another forthright and upfront work like "Sarabande" then forget it, but if you're prepared to give this one some time I'm pretty sure you'll be well rewarded.

"All in all a musical experience to savour. This is music that stays long in the mind, and reaches strong and highly uplifting emotions. Jon has spent a long time on this and it shows. If you are not entirely convinced, given all the critical hostility and general indifference as to Jon's genuine ability as a writer, then this album, within its own obvious boundaries, should once and for all be the final convincing statement that here is a musician of utterly genuine musical inspiration. Indeed, perhaps more than any of his previous albums this work should surely at least reach to a much wider audience (especially as it happily slips into the given musical mood and appeal of the times), even accounting for all the inevitable blinkers of critical appreciation. Listened to with un-prejudiced ears, it is an album that should acquire a whole new body of admirers, and reach far beyond the critical pigeonholes which normally frame these kind of ventures. In short, Jon has produced a work of quite outstanding quality." Vince Budd


COZY POWELL

Cozy Powell Remembered

The sudden death of drummer Cozy Powell was a shock to us all in 1998. As an Ian Paice fan of some six years or so, Cozy's arrival on the Purple scene in 1976 was a jolt to the system. I'd heard some of the early Jeff Beck tracks which were Cozy's first main studio recordings - but wasn't really aware of who he was at the time. Likewise much of his jobbing session work for people like Julie Felix and Donovan was well away from my own musical interest, so all I really knew Cozy for were some of his RAK singles, and I just couldn't see how it was going to work. Blackmore of course knew exactly what he wanted and, as he honed his vision for Rainbow over the late summer of 1975 - aiming to forge a cross-over between Zepp and Purple - who better to help him fulfil that vision than Cozy Powell? Long-serving DPAS man Ernie Tull summed it up best when he described them to me back in the late seventies as "nailers".

Playing along to pre-recorded backing tracks also went against the grain in the early RBAS days, but Cozy was out to provide a spectacle for the audience. And it has to be said that the image of Cozy behind his huge kit, synched up to the 1812, with lights and fire-works in full flow, will never be forgotten. Nor will a night when it all went wrong, and Cozy actually man-aged to bring it all off despite the collapse of his backing tracks! But that aside, it was as a powerhouse anchor for Rainbow in their classic incarnation that Cozy should and will be best remembered by those of us lucky enough to have experienced them live in 1976 and 1977. For ourselves we actually only met Cozy briefly a couple of times, getting autographs outside the old Rainbow theatre prior to a Rainbow at the Rainbow gig, and then - of all places - outside the Birmingham Odeon while we were waiting for the members of Paice, Ashton and Lord to show up for the show in 1977. If I remember rightly, Cozy wasn't even supposed to be in the country at the time because of tax implications, but it didn't stop him having a natter and posing for a snap beside the sleek vehicle he'd driven up for the show in. "Stargazer" was never the same once he'd hung up his Rainbow badge and scarf.

The other trait one really had to admire about Cozy was his willingness to stand by his musical principals. He'd give something a go, and if he felt it wasn't working for whatever reason, he said so. Thus it was that he knocked the Mickie Most hit machine on the head to take a far less successful route with Hammer. When Blackmore began increasingly to sell himself and his fans short in Rainbow with chart bound AOR gems such as "All Night Long" and their ilk, Cozy walked. He'd nothing particularly against the material, but he knew it wasn't right for Rain-bow, or for him. Even more recently, when things began to go wrong in the Peter Green Band, Cozy knocked it on the head when he realised nothing he could do was going to put it right.

Of course, apart from Rainbow, Cozy returned to the Purple scene a little later on with Whitesnake. David Coverdale wasn't slow to realise Rainbow had made a serious error in losing the guy and after Whitesnake began to fall apart, Coverdale wasn't slow to poach Cozy for his own hand. Cozy had cut a couple of solo albums and been working with Michael Schenker in the aftermath of Rainbow but the chance to hook up with Coverdale produced one of the best Whitesnake albums of them all, "Slide It In" - with Cozy's contributions brought out to their best advantage on the incredible US remix of the album. While the Rainbow albums he cut will probably remain his best loved work, I have an enormous amount of time for his contributions to what I regard as the last of the true Whitesnake albums. He also did much of the groundwork for the "1987" album but walked out when his agreement over the deal was altered, leaving his replacement Aynsley Dunbar to try and re-record his drum parts. Outside these main areas, Cozy was always popping up on sessions involving Deep Purple and family members, and his work could be heard on solo albums by Bernie Marsden (unsurprising since they'd worked together in Hammer) and Graham Bonnet. Jon Lord's 1983 offering "Before I Forget", the off the wall "Phenomena" project from the Galley brothers (with Glenn also involved), and the various Forcefield albums cut for Japan. Cozy also took part in the Superdrumming shows made by Pete York for German TV and later issued on disc.

The bare facts of his death were made all the sadder by the impersonal newsagency manner in which 90% of the media tackled the story, churning out the press release in as sensational a way as they possibly could in order to get some mileage out of the "rock legend" angle. Most of the journalists - and one suspects the readers - probably hadn't a clue who he was, for he certainly never played up the superstar role.

photo: John Bonham with Cozy Powell


RITCHIE BLACKMORE

Blackmore's Night - News

Ritchie Blackmore Acoustic Nights were held across Europe during late September and into October '98, mainly in Germany but the odd show crossed borders, with a couple of gigs in Greece kicking it all off. They even did a special show in a castle for invited guests. The sets centred on the first CD, as well as showcasing some of the new material and a few Rainbow oldies like "Temple Of The King" - with "Street Of Dreams" and "Black Night" forming the encores. For support Ritchie had a German outfit who specialise in recreating old music, crediting them with the inspiration for his own album. The second Black-more's Night CD, titled "Under A Violet Moon" has actually been in the can for close on a year. Advance five track tapes are doing the rounds now and release is due any day.

There were tentative plans for the great man to do a special show in the UK last year too, a mock castle in Cheshire was favourite, but in the end they decided there was nowhere suitable here after all. Meanwhile after shopping around (and being turned down by EMI amongst others) the first Blackmore's Night CD was moved from Edel in the UK to HTD Records (HTD CD84), a small indie label (at the time, they've since merged with one of the bigger labels) specialising mainly in older folk and seventies acts. As this was effectively a reissue, HTD added a bonus cut to entice collectors - "Possum's Last Dance", which came on the US version of the CD.


GLENN HUGHES

Touring & Recording - News

Glenn did what was almost a secret tour of Germany during late April /early May 1998, with dates booked at such short notice that only two magazines there had time to print them. Needless to say audiences were sparse as a result. Hubert Leonard caught the show in Munchen on April 28th: "This was almost Glenn incognito, but he looked real healthy. There were only about 100 people there but Glenn didn't mind because he knew the tour had been fixed at short notice. There hadn't been a lot of promotion, just a few posters. Glenn was in fine mood and played ace. Having no album to promote at the moment (his words!) he stuck to Trapeze, Purple and Hughes/Thrall songs -with possibly one new track. The audience enjoyed it very much, as did Glenn."

The full set list included "Way Back To The Bone", "Muscle & Blood", "Stormbringer", "You Are The Music", "Coast To Coast", "This Time Around", the Stevie Wonder song "Superstition", "You Keep On Moving", "Gettin' Tighter", "You Fool No One" and "Your Love Is Alright". His band consisted of George Nastos on guitar, with Gary Ferguson on drums and Hans Zehrmeuhler on keyboards.

He was then on a plane back home to do a couple of shows on the west coast of America as the special guest of Marc Bonilla - Keith Emerson was also on the bill - on May 14th and 15th. This was a repeat of some similar shows done back in January. One of the 1992 Trapeze shows has finally been issued officially on the new Purple label. Also on the back-catalogue front comes "The Work Tapes" issued on Blueprint BP285CD : 1998. This is ba-sically the result of a couple of weeks Glenn spent in the studio with Geoff Downes in June 1991, and shouldn't really be considered as a proper album - more a series of finished demo recordings - some ten tracks in all, lasting just under 45 minutes.

The Way It Is - Album Review

GLENN HUGHES THE WAY IT IS SPV Records SPV 085 21032 : Europe : April 1999

The pan-European release of Glenn's new CD is given away by the awkward translation of German text in the press adverts for the disc. "Marks the momentary climax in his career"?! Still, at least they've tried to get it together and co-ordinate things - in the past his titles have had a chaotic release schedule to say the least.

Glenn has gone for a more laid-back approach this time, and the heavier elements which marked out "Addiction" don't get too much of a look in here. Vocally he's in as fine a voice as ever but one wonders whether he needs to look to some other way of making a mark in a wider public consciousness - otherwise I don't know who the CDs will sell to beyond the faithful. Perhaps SPV would be better spending their budget on trying to break a single or two to give Glenn the boost he needs. As this disc has literally appeared just as we're going to print, we'll try and look at it in detail next issue. Guests by the way include Keith Emerson, Stevie Salas and Matt Sorum (think he was in Guns'n Roses m'lud)


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also in the magazine... Deep Purple Rhino Boxset Feature ... Abandon reviews .... Abandon tour reviews .... Deep Purple Mk1 CD remasters feature .... Days May Come CD Feature .... worldwide Fan Club round-up .... books & magazines .... Jon Lord, Sarabande feature .... letters .... questions & answers .... Tony Ashton autobiography extracts .... Morse, Gillan, Paice, Bolin, Coverdale and Simper news ... Elf & Captain Beyond reunion news .... Video Round-up .... Purple Records relaunch feature .... CD and Vinyl reviews


   
   
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