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Hughes, Glenn: The Official Bootleg Box Set : Volume One 1994/2010

With the seven expanded reissues that Cherry Red/Purple Records have recently released from Glenn Hughes’ solo catalogue have nearly all come with bonus live material, your appetite for another seven discs of similar fare will very much dictate the level of interest you have in The Official Bootleg Box Set Volume One 1994/2010. Although with disc one being the 1994 official live album, Burning Japan Live, the one thing it isn’t, is a bootleg… However, it is an excellent disc of Glenn Hughes’ music, covering his time in Deep Purple, Hughes Thrall and his solo work, including the track “Still In Love With You” which finds Hughes on keyboards, and which has never been included on a studio album. Recorded on the tour to promote the From Now On… record, there are also tracks from that release here, “The Liar” and “Lay My Body Down” matching classics like “Burn”, “Coast To Coast” and “Lady Double Dealer” every step of the way. This tour (and album) was also notable for three fifths of the band Europe backing the singer (not bassist on this tour!), drummer Ian Haugland, bassist John Levén and keyboard player Mic Michaeli providing a stunning backdrop from which guitarists Eric Anders Bojfeldt and Thomas Larsson wasted little time jumping off and spreading their wings. This is Hughes at his best and, even with the exclusive material found elsewhere in this box, it is also the best set of the six collected across the seven discs. Although it would have been good to have “Kiss Of Fire” (by Phenomena) reinstated into this show, what with it only seeing the light of day on the Talk About It EP previously.

Disc two comes from Copenhagen on the same tour and finds the same band stretching out and jamming for lengthy sections. Much more freedom is therefore given to the group in a show that was never intended to be released on CD. As you’d suspect, the difference between the two performances is marked, this unofficial recording being perfectly listenable, but in a decidedly low-fi manner. Still, with extended instrumental workouts aplenty, there’s more than enough difference between the set in Japan and this one in Denmark to make both worthy inclusions.

The first four tracks on the third disc find Hughes and his band in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2003, for a quick romp through the Purple quartet “Stormbringer”, “Mistreated”, “You Keep On Moving” and “Burn”; a rabid audience lapping up what is a cracking take on four of the most renowned cuts of Hughes’ career. And the sound is also remarkably strong here too, as it is for the eight track 2006 Australian acoustic set that completes this disc. The more refined setting allowing ‘the voice of rock’ to truly stretch out without his high pitched howls and screams ever feeling like the gimmick that they can become in the full electric sets. In fact, with some of the audio in these shows not up to the standard you’d expect from fully fledged live albums, a few of the more wild and free histrionic moments can come off a little more like a piercing dog-whistle than the funky, soul filled vocal aerobatics intended…. and I say that as a huge fan of Hughes and his vocal prowess. However, with this acoustic set allowing for a heartfelt take on one of Hughes’ early solo pieces, “Play Me Out” and a string augmented cover of The Moody Blues’ “Nights In White Satin”, it does prove one of the more individual sets included here (even if something similar can be found on the recent bonus disc to Feel).

The final two shows included both run across two discs each, although none of the four are exactly filled to bursting point. The first show moves us onto 2007, with Brazil the latest location on our whistle stop tour. This time Hughes is joined by guitarist JJ Marsh, keyboard player Anders Olinder and drummer Matt Goom, the singer also taking up his rightful position as bass player this time out. Yet again Purple classics abound with one of the five versions of “Burn” in this box opening the show, while “Mistreated” gets one of its three airings. However even some solo material is repeated numerous times across the seven discs, “Soul Mover” also on its third run through, which is the same amount of versions we get of the Hughes Thrall piece “Muscle And Blood”, although the latter doesn’t appear in this set. Instead we get the likes of the Purple piece “Might Just Take Your Life”, which surprisingly only appears the once and lesser spotted solo pieces, “Steppin’ On”, “You Got Soul”, “Don’t Let Me Bleed” and “Land Of The Livin’”. Unfortunately we’re also veering close to proper bootleg quality in terms of sound, the separation between instruments almost non-existent, although it certainly makes for an energetic experience.

The final show, from Belgium in 2010 also suffers from the same affliction, a less than sterling recording being muffled in places and also having the audience noise intruding on the music itself on occasion. This too is a set mixing solo work with classics, so while it’s difficult to get too excited by “Muscle And Blood” (again) and “Burn” (again), it is much easier to sit up and take notice of “Addiction”, “Orion”, “Medusa” (by Trapeze and Black Country Communion) and “Crave”. The other thing that stands out here are the extended solo slots (including a drum solo unfortunately); a feature that only really blights this show. In fairness drummer Pontus Engborg, guitarist Soren Anderson, keyboard player Anders Olinger, and Hughes himself, are a hugely talented bunch, but in terms of giving this show repeat listen value, it’s hard to say that any of them cause much long lasting excitement in their solo slots.

By its very nature anything called The Official Bootleg is going to be for fans only and this seven disc box is no exception. However, if you do fall into that category then, while it’s difficult to view much of what is contained here as essential, there are still hours of enjoyment to be found in this beautifully presented set.


Track Listing
DISC ONE: “BURNING JAPAN LIVE” LIVE AT CLUB CITTA, KAWASAKI, JAPAN MAY 24, 1994
1. BURN
2. THE LIAR
3. MUSCLE AND BLOOD
4. LAY MY BODY DOWN
5. FROM NOW ON…
6. INTO THE VOID
7. STILL IN LOVE WITH YOU
8. COAST TO COAST
9. THIS TIME AROUND
10. OWED TO ‘G’
11. GETTIN’ TIGHTER
12. YOU KEEP ON MOVING
13. LADY DOUBLE DEALER
14. I GOT YOUR NUMBER
15. STORMBRINGER


DISC TWO: ALEXANDRA ROCK TEATER, COPENHAGEN, DENMARK OCTOBER 25, 1994
1. BURN
2. THE LIAR
3. MUSCLE AND BLOOD
4. LAY MY BODY DOWN
5. INTO THE VOID
6. STILL IN LOVE WITH YOU / YOUR LOVE IS LIKE A FIRE
7. COAST TO COAST
8. THIS TIME AROUND
9. OWED TO ‘G’
10. GETTIN’ TIGHTER
11. YOU KEEP ON MOVING
12. LADY DOUBLE DEALER
13. I GOT YOUR NUMBER


DISC THREE: GRAN REX THEATRE, BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA DECEMBER 13, 2003
1. STORMBRINGER
2. MISTREATED
3. YOU KEEP ON MOVING
4. BURN
THE BASEMENT, SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA JUNE 17, 2006
1. COAST TO COAST
2. I FOUND A WOMAN
3. THIS TIME AROUND
4. NIGHTS IN WHITE SATIN
5. SOUL MOVER
6. A WHITER SHADE OF PALE
7. MISTREATED
8. YOU KEEP ON MOVING


DISC FOUR: CIRCO VOADOR, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL OCTOBER 28, 2007 (PT.1)
1. STORMBRINGER
2. MIGHT JUST TAKE YOUR LIFE
3. LAND OF THE LIVIN’ (WONDERLAND)
4. MISTREATED
5. YOU GOT SOUL
6. DON’T LET ME BLEED


DISC FIVE: CIRCO VOADOR, RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL OCTOBER 28, 2007 (PT.2)
1. GETTIN’ TIGHTER
2. STEPPIN’ ON
3. YOU KEEP ON MOVING
4. SOUL MOVER
5. BURN


DISC SIX: SPIRIT OF 66, VERVIERS, BELGIUM OCTOBER 16, 2010 (PT.1)
1. MUSCLE AND BLOOD
2. TOUCH MY LIFE
3. ORION
4. SAIL AWAY
5. MEDUSA
6. YOU KILL ME
7. CAN’T STOP THE FLOOD
8. CRAVE
9. DON’T LET ME BLEED


DISC SEVEN: SPIRIT OF 66, VERVIERS, BELGIUM OCTOBER 16, 2010 (PT.2)
1. KEEPIN’ TIME
2. STEPPIN’ ON
3. SOUL MOVER
4. ADDICTION
5. BURN

Added: June 7th 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: The Official Bootleg @ Cherry Red
Hits: 994
Language: english

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