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Hughes, Glenn: Addiction (expanded remaster)
There's little doubt that Glenn Hughes confuses many, his want to shimmy between out and out 70s funk, soul man crooning and hard rock hero, all a few steps too far for some. Following on from 1995's commercially tinged funk of Feel (reissue also reviewed here on SoT ), Addiction thundered in a different direction.
Only one year down the line from its funky predecessor, Hughes turned in a heavy beast; down tuned in places whilst also bringing the more traditional metal strut the ex-Deep Purple and Trapeze man is most often (and quite wrongly) connected with. Returning to a band format, the singing bass-man brought on board guitarists Joakim Marsh and Marc Bonilla (the latter also playing keyboards) and drummer Joe Travers for what was a far more forceful set of hard hitters than the voice of rock had ever provided before in a solo setting. Brought together, the likes of "Death Of Me" - which with hindsight has a real Black Country Communion vibe - "Addiction" and its almost growling guitars and the bluesier strut of "Justified Man" leave an indelible mark that's resolutely hard to forget. While the brooding 1987 era Whitesnake like "Cover Me" and melodically lumbering but uplifting "Blue Jade" provide a welcome change of focus. The latter especially dreamlike in its construction.
For some the compromise however, is that Hughes always feels slightly more constricted in this setting, his vocal histrionics tamed and tempered… although for others that might well be the main selling point of Addiction. Either way, Hughes brings the kind of commanding vocal presence you would expect from a man earning (and lumbered with) the nickname "The Voice Of Rock". This album may never be held up as the shining light of his catalogue but considering how underrated his solo work is, to say that it's one of the best hard rocking efforts he's helmed, would be no exaggeration.
Incorporating the US bonus live tracks that have previously come with this CD (including a storming version of the Trapeze burner "Way Back To The Bone"), this excellently remastered version also comes with yet another Malcolm Dome penned essay featuring a new interview with Hughes himself. Whereas this time the second disc is a full 13 track live show from Holland recorded in 1995 - and as such continues the Hughes reissue theme of having the bonus material feel more connected to the album that preceded it. It's a good, if hardly spectacular sounding show combining all the Hughes elements you'd expect - classic MK-III Deep Purple, some Trapeze and even, in the shape of "Muscle And Blood" a Hughes/Thrall cut - oh and the occasional solo Hughes track!
This latest pair of reissues in Purple Records/Cherry Red's Glenn Hughes retrospective campaign, Feel and Addiction, originally arrived only one year apart and yet they have so little in common - including Hughes' vocal attack. If it's hard and heavy Hughes you want, then prepare to succumb to Addiction, an album that may just be the heaviest in the Voice Of Rock's entire catalogue.
DISC ONE: ORIGINAL ALBUM
1. DEATH OF ME
5. TALK ABOUT IT
6. I'M NOT YOUR SLAVE
7. COVER ME
8. BLUE JADE
9. JUSTIFIED MAN
10. I DON'T WANT TO LIVE THAT WAY AGAIN
11. WAY BACK TO THE BONE (LIVE)
12. TOUCH MY LIFE (LIVE)
13. YOU FOOL NO ONE (LIVE)
DISC TWO: LIVE IN HOLLAND 14/07/1995
2. THE LIAR
3. YOU FOOL NO ONE
4. MUSCLE & BLOOD
6. THIS TIME AROUND
7. COAST TO COAST
8. YOU'RE THE MUSIC
9. YOUR LOVE IS ALRIGHT
10. GETTIN' TIGHTER
11. VOCAL INTRO
12. YOU KEEP ON MOVING
Added: July 9th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Addiction at Cherry Red
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