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Glenn Hughes

The Official Bootleg Box Set Volume One

Review by Gary Hill

This new box set from Glenn Hughes compiles a number of bootleg live albums. There are seven CDs here from six different shows. Two concerts are spread across two discs each, while one of the other discs has music from two different concerts on that one CD. I was a bit worried given the sound quality of some of the bootlegs included on bonus discs on other Hughes releases that I'd be sitting through seven CDs of barely adequate audience recordings. Well, the last four CDs (two concerts) do suffer a bit from sound quality issues, but even then the bulk of those shows are listenable. The other three CDs actually sound quite good.

Since this covers a lot of eras of Hughes' career, it also covers a lot of different sounds. At times he lands closer to soulful, nearly jazz styled music. At other points he leans toward heavy metal. A lot of it is closer to the kind of stuff he did with Deep Purple. All in all, this is highly recommended to Hughes fans. There is a lot of great music here.

It should be noted that I've discussed the sound quality in the first track review of each set a little bit. Then as there are issues with specific songs I've mentioned it there. Assume, unless otherwise specified, that the whole concert is at about the same level in terms of recording quality as the first song of that particular show.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2018  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1
             
Burning Japan Live
                
Club Citta, Kawasaki, Japan, May24 1994
           
Burn

With an introduction while the music is kicking into being, this Deep Purple classic gets a smoking hot live performance here. The sound quality on this recording is very good.

The Liar
Another screaming hot rocker, this (as the previous one) is quite metallic in a lot of ways. This is really a powerhouse stomper.
Muscle and Blood
Continuing in metallic fashion, if anything this is even more metal than the two previous cuts. There is a definite funk edge to this thing, too. I'm reminded at times of Living Colour. It's another smoking hot tune.
Lay My Body Down
This hard rocker has a lot of blues built into it. It's not far removed from the harder edged stuff that Bad Company did. Yet, it's undeniably Glenn Hughes who is on show here. This is another winner from a show that's packed full of winners. This does get a minor parental advisory.
From Now on...
This melodic rocker has a lot of soul in the mix. Hughes pulls off some vocal pyrotechnics at points here.
Into the Void
We're decidedly back into heavy metal territory here. This has a good balance between the mellower opening segment and the rocking stuff that follows. It's a particularly powerful cut and keyboards lend a lot to the majesty of it. This literally gets into screaming territory further down the musical road.
Still in Love with You
Now here we're taken into pure blue-eyed soul music. The keyboard textures create the backdrop for the vocals on this cut. Hughes is the main selling point here, as there isn't a lot of instrumentation here. He shows that he has a good range and can really rock and emote, both in the same song. This is just a little over two minutes long.
Coast to Coast
Acoustic guitar brings this into being, and the cut grows out into a balladic number that's quite accessible and intriguing. It does get more rocking further down the road, but almost more as a power ballad than a real rocker.
This Time Around
Dedicated to Tommy Bolin, this comes in with a mellow approach and works forward with keyboards accompanying Hughes' vocals. This is a soulful number that's quite cool.
Owed to G
There is almost a progressive rock groove to this killer instrumental. It's one of my favorites from this particular show. This is essentially the second part of the previous song, representing a Deep Purple two-fer.
Gettin' Tighter
More of a mainstream rocker, this is a strong number. I really love this thing. It's so powerful.
You Keep on Moving
This comes in mellow and gradually works upward. It has a definite Deep Purple vibe, but then again that's where it came from originally. In a lot of ways this reminds me of "Child in Time." It evolves into more of a rocker as that tune did, too.
Lady Double Dealer
Another from the Deep Purple era, this is a straight-ahead rocker that works quite well.
I Got Your Number
Another driving hard rocker, this is a classy tune. It's a potent, high energy performance, too.
Stormbringer
The show closes in Deep Purple territory with this fiery title track. It's a great tune and a strong performance.
Disc 2
              
Alexandra Rock Teater
               
Copenhagen, Denmark October 25, 1994
                    
Burn

While this performance is definitely on an equal footing to the one on the first CD, this recording isn't as good. Still, it's absolutely solid as bootleg recordings, and this is worth having and spinning.  

The Liar

Here we get another hard rocking live performance. This is a classy rocker that works well here.

Muscle and Blood
Seriously metallic, this stomper is a real winner.
Lay My Body Down
Living Colour merges with Bad Company on this high energy rocker.
Into the Void

 There is a lot of prog rock built into this performance. It's a powerful rocking number in this live telling. There is a bit of a drum solo later in this cut.

Still in Love with You / Your Love is Like a Fire
Soulful, this cut is built on keyboards and vocals. Hughes demonstrates some serious acrobatic skill in terms of his vocal performance on this one.
Coast to Coast
Another soulful piece, this is more of a rocker. Still, it's fairly slow moving and evocative in nature. The guitar solo really sings. Hughes' performance gets pretty crazed for such a melodic tune.
This Time Around
Starting as an acoustic ballad, this works forward in that fashion as the vocals join. As on the last disc, the cut is dedicated to Tommy Bolin.
Owed to "G"
Coming out of the previous number, as essentially the second half of it, this instrumental is a powerhouse that works really well here, too.
Gettin' Tighter
I love the funk bass break on this screaming hot rocker. This is a killer here. In fact, I think this performance might be stronger than the one on the first disc.
You Keep on Moving
A number that has a great building process, this again feels quite a bit like "Child In Time." I think the previous performance was more nuanced, but there is an immediacy and real fire to this one.
Lady Double Dealer
This is another strong performance of a hard rocking Deep Purple stomper. The band gets introduced after the tune as part of the onstage banter. That banter also earns a bit of a parental advisory. There is "Happy Birthday" chorus sung in honor of the band's bassist John Levén.
I Got Your Number
This rocker is pretty much a metal tune. It stomps out pretty well. It's a good way to end things in style.
Disc 3
 
Gran Rex Theatre, Buenos Aires, Argentina December 13 2003
          
Stormbringer

This set powers in with a hard rocking rendition of this Deep Purple classic. The sound quality seems to be between the first two shows here. The audience really gets involved here.

Mistreated
I've always loved this song. They put in a killer rendition of this bluesy screamer. The audience again participates quite a bit. Hughes really shines on this thing. It drops back mid-track nicely and really works so well.
You Keep on Moving
Things turn decidedly soulful and bluesy here on this killer track. It becomes more straight-ahead rocking as it works forward. It's classy and powerful.
Burn
I love this performance of the Deep Purple rocker. It is appropriately incendiary. There is more audience participation on this number, and this is possibly the best rendition of the tune in this whole box set.
The Basement, Sydney, Australia June 17, 2006
   
Coast to Coast

The recording quality on this is quite good. In fact, it almost feels like a studio recording. This feels in terms of arrangement like a jazz trio kind of grouping. I don't like this as well as the other performances. Hughes really demonstrates his vocal acrobatics, though. There is even some scat singing here. The jamming later in the track is pretty cool.

I Found a Woman
A soulful, jazzy cut, this works pretty darned well. I like it better than the previous one.
This Time Around
This soulful number gets a classy treatment with piano and voice driving it. It's packed with emotion. While this is quite a bit different than the arrangement on the more rocking performances, I think this might be the best rendition of the cut here.
Nights in White Satin
Here Hughes takes on the classic Moody Blues song. I like this version quite a bit. It seems to capture a lot of the spirit of the original while bringing it into more of a roots folk rock groove sound.
Soul Mover
This bluesy rocker works really well in this format. It's soulful and very cool. This thing really rocks while still remaining acoustically driven.
A Whiter Shade of Pale
Now Hughes covers the classic from Procol Harum. It almost seems an obvious choice for this set.
Mistreated
I really like this version of the classic a lot. While I prefer electrified arrangements, it shines in a different way on this performance. That said, I don't think it holds the interest as well stripped back like this. That means this tends to overstay its welcome a bit.
You Keep on Moving
A bluesy number, this works well here. I dig the guitar fills and the vocal performance is strong. They turn out into some killer jamming as it continues.
Disc 4
              
Circo Voador, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil October 28, 2007 (pt.1)
          
Stormbringer

While the sound quality here is not as good as any of the rest, it's still pretty good for a bootleg. This Deep Purple classic gets a literally screaming performance here.  

Might Just Take Your Life
While this cut rocks like crazy, the sound quality definitely gets in the way, with a lot of unintended distortion.
Land of the Livin' (Wonderland)
The sound quality is a bit better here. This has a lot of energy and grooves. Hughes literally screams at times on this number.
Mistreated
There is an extended guitar solo introduction on this number. It's a powerful rendition of this classic tune, but it suffers from the sound quality issues. I'd also have to say that this one goes on a bit long (particularly the vocal workout movement later in the piece). With stage banter and guitar soloing at the start, they stretch this to just over 20 minutes. It's just a bit too much.
You Got Soul
A classy hard rocker, this one really grooves. There is some funk in the mix. There is quite a bit of stage talk at the end of this number. Hughes tells a story which is translated for the audience.
Don't Let Me Bleed
Not a huge change, this is another particularly effective rocker. It has some dropped down, soulful sections lending variety and style to it.
Disc 5
               
Circo Voador, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil October 28, 2007 (Pt.2)
              
Gettin' Tighter

This is a screaming hot live rendition of the track. It starts with a decent amount of stage banter. The music comes in energized and frantic. After a while it drops down to allow the organ to take center stage and solo like crazy. That's followed by a drum solo. A synthesizer comes in after that, and the cut turns toward something like Parliament for a time. Then it shifts toward progressive rock as the synth continues to drive it. They come back out into a full band jam on the number as it continues to drive forward. There is some more extensive chatter at the end of the tune that earns a definite parental advisory.

Steppin' On
Powering in with a real funk rocking sound, this is classy stuff. It has some really hard rocking stuff. The jam later in the track takes it into a funk meets near prog vicinity. The bass playing is particularly noteworthy on that section. When the vocals rejoin it has an almost James Brown vibe to it. There is quite a bit of stage banter at the end of this, including the introductions of the band members.
You Keep on Moving
There is a real jam band vibe to this in a lot of ways. That's merged with a jazz element. I really dig the organ driven section later in the piece. The crowd participates for a while, too. It shifts out to a Motown classic styled song from there with Hughes singing over an organ. He really wails at times.
Soul Mover
We're back into some screaming hot hard rocking territory with this powerhouse tune. It's a killer rendition that stands pretty tall.
Burn
This live rendition of the Purple title track is loud, raucous and potent. It's a good closer for the show.
Disc 6
                      
Spirit of 66, Verviers, Belgium October 16, 2010 (Pt.1)
        
Muscle and Blood

The recording quality here is the worst of the set. That's a shame because this smoking version of this tune is real pure metal fury. I just wish that I could hear it better.

Touch My Life
Another scorching hot hard rocker, the sound quality definitely gets in the way of this one, too.
Orion
Feeling a lot like Living Colour, the sound quality on this one is an even bigger issue. It's hard to make out the song well at all here. There is a good deal of stage banter at the end of this tune.
Sail Away
The opening guitar solo section of this has better sound than we've heard so far. It's also quite cool. The tune works upward from there into full rocking territory. While the sound is still not great, it's better than it was on the first tunes. That allows this to stand taller with its bluesy, soulful rocking modes.
Medusa
A song from Hughes' days in Trapeze, this comes in with a mellow proggy tone and works out from there. It gets into more rocking stuff as it evolves. While this also suffers from the recording quality, it is improved from the start of this show.
You Kill Me
There is a bit of a funk kind of groove to this rocker. It's energized and quite cool. It almost feels like what you might get if you merged Living Colour with Led Zeppelin.
Can't Stop the Flood
This one lands more purely in Living Colour territory. It's a high energy rocker with a lot out funk built into it.
Crave
This hard rocker has a cool riff driving it and a lot of energy. It really suffers from the sound quality, though. There is some more stage talk at the end of this number.
Don't Let Me Bleed
Here we get a mellower soulful kind of number. It is classy and spared a bit from the recording problems. Hughes takes it through some vocal explorations later in the number. This cut has a good balance between the rocking and mellower stuff. At times it makes me think of Prince a bit.
Disc 7
           
Spirit of 66, Verviers, Belgium October 16, 2010 (Pt.2)
               
Keepin' Time

Another from Hughes' time in Trapeze, this is a cool rocker. It's more mainstream and straightforward than "Medusa" was, but no less tasty. I really love the guitar soloing on this thing. I really dig the instrumental section on this number. It manages to take things into more of a proggy fusion kind of direction. It also includes an extensive drum solo. That drum solo loses me a bit, but once it works out into a serious funky jam from there, I'm back in the game.

Steppin' On
This hard rocking tune is a killer jam. It's another where I really wish the sound quality was better because they sound like they are on fire here.
Soul Mover
Not a huge change, this is another powerhouse soul meets bluesy rock jam that's very cool. It has some killer guitar work and Hughes' vocals really shine. This one isn't as hampered by the sound issues as some of the others here are.
Addiction
This is screaming hard rocking stuff. It borders on heavy metal and works well here despite the sound problems. The ending section gets a bit freaky and earns a parental advisory. They segue from there into the show closer.
Burn
The whole set is ended with this title track from Hughes' Deep Purple days. They put in a great performance, but the sound quality issues take their toll. There is another parental advisory on the spoken stuff at the end of this number.
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