Expanded, weighty, dynamic…
Reviewed by Brian McGowan, and released by Cherry Red Records on 30 June 2017.
Having Survived the hedonistic, life shortening spoils of fame with rock monsters, Deep Purple, Glenn Hughes arrived in the nineties clean and with no regrets.
With Feel, his third album in the post drugs era, originally released in 1995, he parcels out little chunks of funk and morsels of late-nite soul like some rock’n’roll Masterchef winner in a charitable mood.
Reunited with Pat Thrall and writing with Bruce (Unruly Child) Gowdy, Hughes’ talent as a writer and vocalist bursts into bloom all over Feel. It was a latent flowering of all the man’s talents as a songwriter and interpreter of heavy rock (Big time, Redline), streamlined percussive funk (Save Me Tonight, Coffee & Vanilla) and blue eyed soul (Does It Mean That Much, Maybe Your Baby). Hughes, Thrall and Gowdy variously share production duties. Their lush arrangements and 3D rhythms are the album’s sonic heartbeat. The whole shebang sounds weighty and dynamic, especially on this remaster.
And as has been well documented, Hughes invests much of himself in each and every song, bringing even the ordinary stuff to life in this slick travelogue through the rock/funk/soul landscape. The album never makes a false move or takes a wrong turn, climaxing here with the first of the 2 CD set’s bonus tracks, ‘Holy Man’, a new version of the track from Deep Purple’s 1974 album Stormbringer, carefully sculpted by Hughes to fit into this new, laid back aesthetic.
The second CD is chockful of bonus material, all live, some electric, some acoustic. And it’s the latter that is the most intriguing.
Conventional wisdom has it that the true test of a great song is how it sounds stripped down, minus the polish, the overdubs. It’s always something of a risk, and it generally exposes those artists whose success is heavily dependent on studio recording wizardry.
Hughes breezes through these unplugged tests. He makes ‘From Now On’ (from a ’94 tour of the Netherlands) sound like a vocal exercise, with added emotion. And, hinting perhaps at his personal resurrection in the early nineties, ‘So Much Love To Give’ (Sweden, ’93) and ‘Lay My Body Down’ (Japan, ’94) have a quasi religious feel. Hughes vocalises with the controlled fervour of a convert at a Holy Roller prayer meeting, and that being the case, it would certainly be a weight to carry, but it sounds like one he’d be happy to bear.
- Big Time
- Livin’ For The Minute
- Does It Mean That Much To You
- Save Me Tonight
- She Loves Your Money
- Speak Your Mind
- Talkin To Messiah
- Maybe Your Baby
- Holy Man (bonus track)
CD2 – Bonus Tracks.
- Intro (Live in Holland 1994)
- From Now On (Live in Holland 1994)
- Interview (Live in Holland 1994)
- Lay My Body Down (Live in Holland 1994)
- So Much Love To Give (Live in Sweden 1994)
- From Now On (Live in Japan 1994)
- You Keep Me Moving (Live in Japan 1994)
- Lay My Body Down (Live in Japan 1994)
Live On Stage Germany 1994:
- The Liar
- Muscle And Blood
- Lay My Body Down
- Into The Void
- Gettin Tighter