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Glenn Hughes

Justified Man: Studio Albums 1995-2003

Review by Gary Hill

This is a brand-new six-CD box set that gathers up the studio releases from Glenn Hughes released between 1995 and 2003, but I bet you got that from the title, right? I have to say that this particularly period of his career produced some particularly strong albums. Previously each of these had been released in multi-disc sets (most had two, but one had three). Now, this set includes the first disc from each of those sets. Those discs have the original album and some have a bonus track or two.

This is a very nice package that allows you to get all the main albums in one place without some of the other rarities (often live tracks) that were included with the original sets. If you bought all of those, you have all this music, but I think this is probably aimed at a largely different market, those looking for the studio albums without all the extras. For that purpose, this is perfect. It should be noted that I've previously reviewed all of those sets. For the sake of consistency, I'm using the track reviews from those here. I'm also adapting my overall reviews from those and including it under each album title, as a general review of the album as a whole.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
CD1: Feel (1995)
This 1995 album leans toward a funky hard rock that's quite solid. I'd say the one complaint I have is that the production has that overly-slick 1980s vibe to it.
Big Time
This hard rocker is solid stuff. I think the vocals are a bit too far down in the mix, though. I dig the guitar solo section of this quite a bit, and the whole thing rocks.
Livin' for the Minute
More of a pop rock tune, the production on this is a bit too polished. It has an 80s pop music kind of vibe. In some ways this feels like The Doobie Brothers go metallic. It's catchy and crunchy, and oh so cool.
Does It Mean That Much to You?
Take a metallic hard rock sound and merge some funk into it. This is cool stuff. It's energetic and has an infectious vocal arrangement. Again, the production is a bit too slick for my tastes, but the song is strong enough to hold up to it.
Save Me Tonight (I'll Be Waiting)
This cut is much more of a soulful ballad. That Doobie Brothers reference point is again valid. The vocals sell this tune because it's really not my kind of thing.
Redline
The opening section on this makes me think of Living Colour. It drops to a mellower sound for the vocals to join. This has a lot of funk and soul built into it, yet the chorus really rocks. The scorching hot extended section at the end makes me think of Prince merged with Living Colour.
Coffee & Vanilla
A saxophone plays the lead at the start of this cut. As the vocals join I'm again reminded of Doobie Brothers. The cut works out from there to some killer funk. I love the bass on this number.
Push!
Fast paced funky hard rock, this just plain stomps. It feels a bit like what you might get if Eddie Van Halen played with Parliament. I can make out some Prince on this, too. The literally screaming part at the end really rocks.
She Loves Your Money
Living Colour and Parliament seem to merge on this killer funk piece. This is another that feels like something from the 80s in terms of the production.
Speak Your Mind
More smoking hot funk rock, this isn't a big change, but it works really well. I can hear some of those Doobie Brothers hints at times on this. The guitar solo here is meaty and works really well.
Talkin' to Messiah
That Living Colour thing is all over this. The cut is built on more of that smoking hot hard rock turned funky.
Maybe Your Baby
Here is another song that makes me think of both Parliament and Prince. It's a cool funk-rocker. It's not one of my favorites here, though.
Bonus Track
           
Holy Man

This number is more of a mainstream hard rocker. It's not really funky, but rather more built on pure melodic rock with a crunchy edge. I like this, and it's a nice change, but it doesn't shine quite as bright as a lot of the rest do. Then again, it is a bonus track.

CD2: Addiction (1996)
I have to say that this is one of my favorites of this era of Hughes solo albums. While I love funk and dig the material that he does that falls into that category, this comes in more on the hard rock, nearly metal side of the equation. It just seems to be more effective.
Death of Me
Hughes and company rock it out right out of the gate. This is a killer stomper that's just packed full of classic rock sound. There is a bit of a metal edge to it at times, too.
Down
A bluesy rocker, this also has some hints of heavy metal built into it. There are some hints of Hughes' trademark funk built into this, too. Overall this is a mean rocker with a great balance between mellower and fiercer stuff. The guitar soloing on this is awesome. So is the powered up section later.
Addiction
The title track has a bit of a Living Colour vibe to it. It's another scorching hot rocker on a disc that's full of them.
Madeleine
Smoking hot hard rock merges with something near to heavy metal here. This is another fast paced and aggressive stomper with some great hooks. It's not far removed from some of the stuff King's X does these days. I dig the melodic guitar soloing.
Talk About It
This cut comes in mellower and more melodic. That's perfect timing because a changes was needed by this point on the album. There is a bluesy rock vibe to this thing. It's a classy tune that has a lot of emotion built into it. It definitely provides a nice bit of variety with a killer flavor.
I'm Not Your Slave
The opening of this cut makes me think of Van Halen just a little. There is more of that Living Colour thing built into this, though. It's another hot rocker that really works well. The instrumental section brings something that's almost like Belew era King Crimson meets Van Halen.
Cover Me
More of a hard blues rocking sound opens this. It drops to a balladic motif to continue. This is sort of a power ballad with the powered up movement landing near metal. It's the kind of thing Whitesnake made famous during the Coverdale era.
Blue Jade
Another that probably qualifies as a power ballad, this has such a classic sound. It leans toward progressive rock in some ways, particularly in the instrumental section.
Justified Man
Now this rocker has a classic sound to it. I suppose you could compare it to Bad Company in some ways. I like the vocals to this much better than that, though. besides, this has a harder edge to it.  There is some particularly tasty guitar soloing here.
I Don't Want to Live That Way Again
This is a killer tune. It comes in mellower, with an evocative ballad approach. It works gradually upward. This is the kind of thing that makes an epic on a heavy metal album. In fact, from that point of view, I would say that this makes it over the border into heavy metal. However you label this, though, it's a real standout cut. It's dynamic, powerful and just so strong.
Live Bonus Tracks
              
Way Back to the Bone
This cut is screaming hot. It has a lot of hard rock and a lot of funk built into it. I love it. The guitar solo is incendiary. The cut segues into the next one.
Touch My Life
Here we get more of a bluesy rocker. This is another strong piece of music. There is some killer keyboard soloing on this number.
You Fool No One
This Deep Purple song is a powerhouse as performed here. It leans toward metal, but then again, DP often did. The extended instrumental sections take it toward progressive rock. This is a real masterpiece in this rendition.
CD3: The Way It Is (1999)
I think this Hughes solo album is one of his best. It does a great job of combining his love for funk and soul with the hard rock most associate with him. It's odd, but I never made the connection before to Robin Trower, but a lot of this album makes me think of that rocker. It seems a shame Hughes and Trower have never worked together.
The Way It Is
This comes in with a cool rocking sound. The groove and tone on this are classy. It does a great job of combining the more soulful sound of a lot of Hughes work with the more rocking end of the spectrum. This is catchy and so strong. The slide or pedal steel guitar on this number is a great touch. The more energized closing section really drives it home.
You Kill Me
Another smoking hot stomper, this has a great funk rock texture to it. There is some screaming hot guitar soloing on this piece.
Neverafter
The same merging of the funky concepts with a harder rocking sound is on hand here. This is not as fiery as the previous cut was. It's a killer tune that has a lot of class. The vocals really sell it, though.
Rain on Me
This definitely makes me think of something Robin Trower would do. This actually feels like something that would have fit well on Trower's Bridge of Sighs album. Of course, Hughes' vocals bring a different dimension. This is such a killer rocker. The guitar solo section brings it almost closer to a heavy metal styled jam. There is a slower jam later that has some psychedelia built into it. In a lot of ways that section makes me think of Prince.
Curse

I mentioned Prince in the last track review. This song makes me think of his former associates Wendy and Lisa in a lot of ways. Mind you, I'm just talking about the musical arrangement. The vocals are unmistakable as Hughes. This is much more of a soulful pop based rocker. It has some elements of progressive rock and psychedelia in the mix, too. While it's not my favorite track here, it works quite well and brings some variety to the table.

Freedom
Robin Trower is a valid reference point here, too. This is a screaming hot number with a lot of Hendrix in the mix. There is some serious funk built into this. We also get some smoking hot guitar soloing. There is a bit of studio banter at the end of the piece.
The Truth Will Set Me Free
High energy and hard rocking, this one is purely on fire. While not a huge change, this is just very effective.
Stoned in the Temple
Here we get another stomper from the Glenn Hughes type of cloth we've gotten throughout. It's a great groove.
Too Far Gone
A mellower, soulful groove, this is such a classy tune.
Second Son
I'm reminded of Living Color in a lot of ways on this screaming rocker. It's not a big change, but it does bring some variety. It really rocks, particularly after the mellower piece that directly preceded it.
Take You Down
A slower, more fully soulful number, this is all class. Hughes vocals really sell it. He's purely on fire with passion.
Don't Look Away
Here is another that lands on the mellower end of the spectrum. It's also driven essentially by the vocal performance. This has a bluesy sound to it merged with a bit of a prog rock edge.
Freedom (Shagmeister Mix)
This is basically a dance track remix. It's okay, but not up to the level of the rest of the stuff on the album.
CD4: Return of the Crystal Karma (2000)
This is one of the stronger releases in the set, but they are really all strong. This album is a bit more on the heavier, metallic side, but there is still plenty of fusion here.
The State I'm in
This screams in with a metallic edge and fury. It drops to more of an AOR rock vibe for the vocal section. There is a good balance between those two sounds as this cut makes its way through.
Midnight Meditated
Another stomping hot hard rocker, this is classy stuff. It has some great hooks and just plain rocks. It has less of a metal edge than the opener did, but it still has plenty of crunch. I love the guitar solo on this.
It's Alright
Much more of a funk-driven, jazzy rocker, this is a great change and real winner. It's so catchy and tasty. The vocal arrangement is stellar, too. The funk laden, keyboard dominated break is so cool. The guitar solo that follows is on fire. This is one of my favorites here.
Switch the Mojo
Speaking of funk, this one is filled to capacity with that commodity. I love the bass work. The drumming is exceptional, too. This is a powerhouse jam that's another highlight of the disc.
Gone
A song co-written by Tony Iommi, this (like a lot of the music here) reminds me of Living Colour. That said, there are some Sabbath like elements built into this one. Wherever you see the influences landing, though, this is fierce and so cool. It has a great guitar solo. I think it's my favorite song of the whole disc.
The Other Side of Me
Funk and hard rock merge on this screamer. It's such an incredible rocker with another killer guitar solo. This is a winner on a disc that's full of winners.
Angela
The opening of this has a real progressive rock vibe to it. The cut works out to a jam that's almost as much fusion as it is rocker. This is soulful and accessible. It's also a nice bit of variety.
Owed to "J"
This is an instrumental (well, it has non-lyrical vocals) that has a lot of fusion and prog rock in the mix. It's a real powerhouse.
This Life
Funk and hard rock merge in another stomping hot rocker.
Days of Avalon
A soulful number, this is a slower one. It's more along the lines of a ballad, but not as mellow as that would make you think. I suppose it fits as a power ballad, but it's soul music based rather than metal. Sure, there is still some hard rocking stuff here, though. While I normally think that ending on a slower tune isn't the best idea, this one is particularly strong and therefore works very well in that slot.
CD5: Building the Machine (2005)
I have to say that this album is one of the best from Hughes' catalog. It has a great blend of funky soul with hard rock. It just works really well.
Can't Stop the Flood
A cool guitar riff opens this. Organ and other elements bring a different angle to the piece. The vocals tie it together with a smoking hot hard rock meets soul approach. This is such a cool tune. It's a great way to start the set in style.
Inside
While the mix of sounds is the same here, this has more of a funk nature and also a hard rocking edge. There are parts of this that make me think of Hughes' era of Deep Purple. This is a screaming hot tune. As good as the opener was, this might be even stronger.
Out on Me
There is a lot more funk on this number. It makes me think of a cross between Lenny Kravitz and Prince in some ways. It's on fire. It is a killer tune that brings some variety to the table.
I Just Want to Celebrate
Here is a cover of the classic Rare Earth tune. This is a lot like that one, but with more of a meaty hard rock texture added to the mix. I think it's great.
Don't Let It Slip Away
There is some great funk in the mix here. I again can hear some Lenny Kravitz along with some Parliament and James Brown. Yet there is plenty of hard rock edge to it, too. This is a killer.
Feels Like Home
A balladic cut, there is still a lot of soulful sound here, mainly from the vocals. The break mid-track takes it into almost prog rock territory.
High Ball Shooter
High energy and meaty, this a killer cut. It does a great job of combining hard rock with soul and funk.
When You Fall
While the general road map isn't greatly changed, this is another screaming hot rocker. I dig the keyboard led section later.
I Will Follow You
A mellower cut, this is quite soulful. It gets more powered up before it is over, but doesn't rise the level of a lot of the rest in terms of musical intensity. That said, the vocal performance is definitely intense.
Beyond the Numb
There is a lot of fusion built into this thing. I love the guitar explorations on this. It's another cool change, landing more in the mellower zone.
Big Sky

Another balladic cut, this is particularly pretty. While this is solid, it's not up the same level as some of the rest. I think that without the bonus track it might have been a bit of a let-down in terms of a closing.

Cosmic Spell (Japan Bonus Track)
I dig the cool funk meets hard rock vibe on this thing. There is some great bass work here. The guitar gets meaty and almost metal later. The closing bit on this reminds me so much of Parliament. This is a great ending for the disc with some James Brown-like vocal bits on the fadeout.
CD6: Songs in the Key of Rock (2003)
This is one of Hughes' more purely rock based discs. It's also one of his best, but the stuff here is all so strong, that it seems that's true of all these releases.
In My Blood
Hughes and company waste no time. This comes in with a power chord that gives way to a jam that's very much like the kind of stuff Hughes did with Deep Purple. There is a bit of a metal edge to this thing. It's a really screaming hot rocker that works so well in the opening slot. The organ presence here really brings the DP comparisons.
Lost in the Zone
There is a bluesy kind of vibe to this hot rocker. It's built on some Led Zeppelin/Whitesnake kind of territory. The chorus has more of a Living Colour vibe to it in some ways. Whatever you call it, though, this is a screamer.
Gasoline
There is a definite Living Colour rocking edge to this in a lot of ways. I love the guitar solo on this. It calls to mind Ritchie Blackmore quite a bit. This has so much energy and drive. It's a screamer.
Higher Places (Song for Bonzo)
A cool rocker, this is more on the melodic side. That said, it doesn't lose the rock edge. The vocals are really the star of this particular show. I love the filled-out vocal arrangement on the choruses, but every bit of this features strong vocals. This might not be the most powerhouse number here, but it is one of the standouts. And, that said, this is clearly not a ballad. It's packed with passion and style, too.
Get You Stoned
This is more of a dropped back bluesy rocker. Still, the more powered up sections land closer to the metal end of the spectrum. It drops to a trippy kind of jam mid-track that's soulful and very cool.
Written All Over Your Face
This time around we're more in the vein of soulful melodic rock. That said, this still manages to drive pretty hard-edged. This has a lot of passion built into it. There is also a particularly expressive guitar solo in this piece.
Standing on the Rock
There is a punk meets metal edge to this screamer. It actually makes me think of Motorhead just a bit. Of course, the vocals separate this from Motorhead. It's still a powerhouse hard rocker with a lot of drive.
Courageous

More of a mainstream melodic rocker, this feels even mellower coming after that previous screaming hot tune.

The Truth
Another that is more on the melodic rocker end of things, this has a powered up and catchy chorus. There is a bit of crunch here, but it's one of the less fiery tunes overall. It also has a really soulful vocal delivery.
Wherever You Go
Here we get a fast paced, screaming hot rocker. This is another that makes me think of Hughes' tenure in Purple to a large degree. The closing section gets so powerful with the combination of fiery guitar work and potent vocal delivery.
Higher Places (Reprise)
This revisit is based on just keys and vocals. The result has a real soul vibe, almost in the gospel vein.
Bonus Tracks
               
Secret Life (European Bonus Track)

This bonus track is another screaming hard rocker with a great blues meets soul vibe to it.

Change (Japan Bonus Track)
Frantic and scorching at the start, this is another effective rocker that really works well.
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