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Glenn Hughes

The Official Bootleg Box Set Volume Three 1995-2010

Review by Gary Hill

The latest in a series of bootleg box sets of Glenn Hughes music, this might be the best of the bunch. Part of that is because of the variety in terms of types of performances, but more than that, it's about the recording quality. The sound on the first couple shows (from 1995) isn't great, but it is better than that of some of the shows in the earlier sets. The sound on the last two concert recordings, though, is nearly studio quality. There are four concerts here across six CDs.

The performances range from soulful, jazzy funk concerts to an acoustic guitar and organ based show to some hard rocking sound on the last couple shows. It really reflects the different flavors and textures of Hughes' career, and the performances are strong. Each disc comes in a cardboard sleeve, and it's all assembled into a cardboard clamshell box along with a mini-poster that has booklet information on the back side. 

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 5. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.

Track by Track Review
DISC ONE
                 
Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton, UK
                  
17th November 1995

Part 1

Intro
The bulk of this is a bit of a percussion work out. Then an announcer introduces Hughes.
Big Time
They fire out into a hard rocking jam that is classy. The tune is catchy and funky. The recording quality is not bad, but there is a drop out at one point.
The Liar
Even more incendiary, this is a powerhouse rocker. As good as the opener was, this blows it away.
Muscle and Blood
The same type of number as the previous one, this perhaps gets a bit more furious. That said, it also includes some mellower stuff. The vocals literally scream at times. The guitar sound leans toward metal. This has an extended spoken introduction to the next song at the end.
You Are the Music
A tune from Hughes' time in Trapeze, this is a killer funky jam that works really well. The guitar really brings the funk, and the organ paints retro textures over the top.
Your Love is Alright
This is even funkier. It has some great hooks, and whatever you do, don't miss the percussion.
Push
A funk rocker with great energy and a cool vibe, this works well here. This really gets into some powerhouse territory before it's over.
This Time Around
Keys serve as the background for Hughes' soaring vocal explorations for about the first minute-and-a-half of the tune. Then keyboards continue alone for a time. Hughes talks a little, essentially dedicated the song to Tommy Bolin. Then he returns singing as the keys continue to provide the instrumental backing. The audience sings along at times here. Other instruments join, and the tune keeps moving forward from there.
Coast to Coast
There is some funk and almost fusion styled arrangement on this tune. The guitar soloing on it is purely on fire. The piano solo later is great, too.
DISC TWO
                 
Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton, UK
        
17th November 1995
                
Part 2
                     
Way Back to the Bone

Some killer guitar starts this track. The cut works out into a powerhouse funky rocker.

First Step of Love
This lands more along the lines of 80s metal tune. It's fast-paced, hard-edged and a real screamer.
You Fool No One
I love the frantic bass playing on this. The cut is a screaming hot rocker that works really well. It has some great changes, and the performance is on fire. I love the guitar soloing on the tune, but everything about it works so well.
You Keep on Moving
Keyboards bring this into being. After some vocals come across we get a fuller arrangement. It has a fusion-like, proggy vibe to it from there. It remains on the mellow side of the spectrum for a time. It gets seriously powered up and rocking before it's over, though.
Gettin' Tighter
Funky hard rock is the order of business on this screaming hot tune.
Stormbringer
This Deep Purple title track gets a scorching hot live performance. While the sound suffers a bit in terms of recording quality, this is a vibrant live take.
Burn
Here we get another powerhouse Deep Purple stomper. Again the sound quality mars it a bit, but it's a great (literally) screaming live take.
DISC THREE
             
Astoria 2, London
             
18th November 1995
              
Big Time

The performance here isn't all that different than the one on the previous disc. Then again, it' was the next day. The recording however is a bit of paradox. On the one hand, it feels less muddy. But it also seems to have more drop out. Still, this rocks no matter the sound.

Muscle and Blood
I dig the hard rocking sound of the introduction. The sound quality is still an issue, but the tune works well nonetheless.
You Are the Music
The sound quality is better here. The bass work on this seems even more potent than the other version. In fact, I'd say that this one just feels more impassioned and potent.
Your Love Is Alright
This funky rocker has good sound quality for much of the duration, but does get muffled at times.
Push
The sound on this killer tune is much better. I think I like this recording and performance better than the previous rendition of it.
Coast to Coast
I'd say that the recording quality on this is better than that of the first version of the tune. The guitar soloing might be more potent, too. It's a killer performance. The keyboard showcase movement is on fire, too.
Way Back to the Bone
This is a powerhouse, screaming hot performance. The recording holds up well, too. This definitely shines brighter than the take on the other disc did.
First Step of Love
I like this recording better than the one from the previous concert.
You Fool No One
Drums lead this out. As the guitar join, it's obvious that the recording on this number is definitely superior to the one from the previous concert. Listen to that guitar work. It is incendiary. The spoken section after the song includes a definite parental advisory.
Gettin' Tighter
The funk rocking sound is alive and well on this performance and recording.
Stormbringer
The sound on this is definitely superior to the sound on the previous performance. That allows the number to shine even brighter here.
Burn
This powerhouse DP title track closes this set, as well. The recording is similar to that on the second CD of the set, and definitely a step down from the last song. Still, the piece shines on its merits.
DISC FOUR
                   
Esquires, Bedford, UK
                  
3rd May 2008
                            
Coast to Coast

The sound on this recording is great. It doesn't really even feel like a bootleg. The tune brings a real jazz vibe to the table. The arrangement is acoustic guitar, echoey organ and Hughes' vocals. This is classy stuff.

I Found a Woman
The mix is the same here. So is the sound quality. That said, the keyboards seem to get a bit lost for a time in the performance. Overall, this is a good tune, but not without its flaws. It's not as strong as the opener was.
Mistreated
This acoustic based treatment of the Deep Purple classic is packed with emotion and oozes cool. It's  a solid piece. There is a vocal only bit later in the track. This really is a powerhouse cut.
It's About Time
With blues, rock and jazz all on the table, this is a balladic kind of piece. It's packed with emotion and really works well.
Seafull
I love the acoustic guitar work on this blues rocker. You can't overlook that organ, though. The whole track really rocks well for an acoustic tune.
This Time Around / Owed to "G"
Piano is the instrumentation at the heart of this cut. The number feels a bit like something Stevie Wonder might do.
Will Our Love End
This is set in the same kind of arrangement as the first pieces here were. It's another classy, mellow number with some jazzy elements at play. Yet it really rocks out later. The spoken stuff at the end of this definitely earns some serious parental advisories.
Nights in White Satin
Here Hughes gives us a cover of the classic Moody Blues song. This acoustic guitar, keys and vocals treatment does the piece justice. I like this a lot, really. Hughes really rocks it out later.
Don't Let Me Bleed
Much more of an acoustic blues rocker, this is classy stuff. It's also a killer performance.
Holy Man
This isn't a big change, but is an effective number. It has some strong hooks and great performances.
You Keep on Moving
Here we get another slow moving, bluesy tune that works well. He takes it into some serious blue-eyed soul as a cover of the Delaney Bramlett tune "Superstar" emerges later as sort of an addendum to the song proper.
Stormbringer
They do a stripped back treatment of the Deep Purple classic here. This is a killer tune no matter the arrangement. In fact, this take brings an intriguing alternative flavor to it.
DISC FIVE
               
Spring & Airbrake, Belfast, N.I.
             
9th October 2010
        
Part 1
            
Muscle and Blood

The hard-rocking sound on this calls to mind Living Colour to a large degree. The recording quality is perhaps not quite as good as that on the last CD, but it's still better than the other two concerts presented in this box set.

Touch My Life
I dig the bluesy guitar riff that brings this number out. It's classy. the tune works out into a killer hard rocking jam as it continues.
Orion
There is a bit of a crazed vibe to this tune. It's a seriously hard rocking number. It also leans toward metal zones. Yet the synthesizer led movement brings a bit of a prog angle to it.
Sail Away
The opening guitar bit on this really feels like a technical metal opening. The cut powers out from there to some smoking hot blues rocking music. The instrumental section takes into rather proggy zones. The whole tune just plain rocks with style and class. There is definitely a bit of a Deep Purple vibe to this song.
Medusa
This Trapeze title track is trippy, classy and very cool. It works through in style in this live telling. The contrast between the mellower sections and harder rocking ones is great. This definitely leans toward progressive rock. It is dynamic and at times very heavy.
You Kill Me
The spoken intro on this cut earns a parental advisory. The cut fires in with a metal meets funk approach. Again, I'm reminded a bit of Living Colour.
Can't Stop the Flood
Not a big change, the funk and hard rock merge well here. This has some powered up movements with more stripped back verses. The organ brings some retro flavoring to the cut. The guitar solo on this thing really screams.
Crave
This is another powerhouse. It has plenty of blue-eyed soul along with screaming hot rock. It's not a huge change from the previous tunes, but it has a lot of style.
Don't Let Me Bleed
I dig the killer hard rock groove brought to this tune here. It still maintains some of the vibes from the version on the previous disc on the mellower sections, though. The vocal workout section is classy, and the whole tune makes good usage of the balance between louder and softer passages. This cut is over 13-minutes long (including some spoken - non-song stuff), which gives lots of room for all kinds of explorations. There is a soaring jam later that even channels Hendrix just a bit.
DISC SIX
               
Spring & Airbrake, Belfast, N.I.
                      
9th October 2010
             
Part 2
          
Keepin' Time

A killer rocking tune, this really works well. It's a powerhouse. There is some scorching guitar work on this number. The keyboard showcase is classy, too. A percussion solo takes control mid-track and holds it for a while. They continue to work through the instrumental section after coming out of that. After powering back up to a full band instrumental arrangement, the cut segues into the next one.

Steppin' On
This has some serious funk built into its hard rocking jam. This is screaming hot and so tasty. The vocals get literally screaming and the tune has tons of energy and fire. The closing bit is incendiary.
Soul Mover
I love the hard rocking groove at the heart of this killer cut. There is a funky edge along with the fiery rock sounds.
Addiction
The first track of a two song encore, this is another tune that makes me think of Living Colour with its hard rocking sound. It's has a heavy and quite meaty sound to it. It's a powerful rocking excursion. There is another drum solo built into this thing., but it's a shorter one that gives way to a powered up crescendo to end the piece.
Burn
A Deep Purple screamer, this is a scorching hot rendition. Fast paced and seriously rocking, this is great stuff. It has some shredding guitar soloing. It's a great way to end things in style.
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