Vocalist/bass guitarist/songwriter Glenn Hughes is a true original. No other rock musician has carved such a distinctive style blending the finest elements of hard rock, soul and funk. That astonishing voice is Hughes' calling card. He's known as a singer's singer. Stevie Wonder once called Hughes his favourite white singer.
Hughes, a native of Cannock, England, absorbed all kinds of influences, including early British hard rock, the Beatles and, most importantly, American soul and R&B. The sleek Motown sound from Detroit and the gritty Stax/Volt sound from Memphis left their mark on him.
The first important band Hughes was a member of that achieved notable success was Trapeze. The band's early '70s albums included Medusa, Trapeze and You Are The Music... We're Just The Band.
In 1973, Hughes joined Deep Purple. The trailblazing hard-rock legends had just weathered the departure of vocalist Ian Gillan and bass guitarist Roger Glover, but guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, keyboardist Jon Lord and drummer Ian Paice continued with the addition of Hughes and David Coverdale. Any skepticism was squelched with the 1974 release of Burn which has since been re-released on its 30th anniversary. This stunning album rejuvenated the band and stands tall among Deep Purple classics.
In the halcyon days, Purple headlined at the famous California Jam in 1974 in front of quarter of a million people. World tours via Purple's own jet plane, "The Starship" and two more studio albums later, (the Hughes influenced Stormbringer and Come Taste the Band), Deep Purple finally split in 1976.
Now living in Los Angeles, Glenn's first solo album Play Me Out was released in 1977. He joined former Pat Travers guitarist Pat Thrall to form Hughes/Thrall, which released an acclaimed self-titled album in 1982. Throughout the '80s and '90s, Hughes made countless guest appearances (both credited and un-credited) as a vocalist, bass guitarist or songwriter on other artists' albums.
Since 1992, Hughes has toured extensively in Europe, Japan and South America in support of solo albums such as Blues, From Now On..., Burning Japan Live, Feel, Addiction, The Way It Is, Return Of Crystal Karma, Building The Machine, Songs In The Key Of Rock and Soul Mover.
One of the most important collaborations in Hughes' career occurred two decades ago when he began working with Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi on the legendary guitarist's first solo album. The result, 1986's vastly underrated Seventh Star, was officially credited as 'Black Sabbath Featuring Tony Iommi' to satisfy the record company's marketing desires. (Technically, this makes Hughes a former member of Black Sabbath too.) Hughes and Iommi remained friends and, in 1996, they began writing songs and recording together again. Those recordings were widely bootlegged, but they were eventually finished and released in 2004 as The 1996 DEP Sessions.
In late 2013 he formed a new band called CALIFORNIA BREED with drummer Jason Bonham and guitaristAndrew Watt and in May 2014, the band released their debut self-titled album, followed by Autumn tour dates in the USA (w/ Alter Bridge), Russia, Europe and UK (w/ SLASH).
So make no mistake. The Voice of Rock never left the building.