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Glenn Hughes - Play Me Out album review

Two-disc reissue for former Purple man’s solo debut

Cover art for Glenn Hughes - Play Me Out album

Time has been more than kind to Glenn Hughes’ first solo record, although those who couldn’t quite bring themselves to forgive him for bringing the funk to Deep Purple should look away now, because this two-disc reissue includes not only his questionable Glimmer Twins Rolling Stones medley, but also the disco EP Four On The Floor he cut for Casablanca Records in 1979.

Listening to this now it’s hard to imagine that anyone was having a better time in the late 70s than Glenn Hughes. Even the neon-flecked album artwork suggests flickering disco lighting and cocaine sweats accrued in the toilets and on the dancefloor.

Overall, though, it’s fairly impeccable and not just a sign of the times, Glenn turns the funk up to 10 with the help of Trapeze alumni Mel Galley and Dave Holland as well as Pat Thrall, strings and a horn section. It’s rumoured still that David Bowie was in the seat to produce and as remarkable as those results might have been, it’s debatable how much of the album’s heft would have remained intact with the starman behind the glass.

That’s a three pint conversation for another time, what remains is this woozy rocker that’s as much Sly Stone as it is Deep Purple. It recalls Trapeze and even hints at Hughes/Thrall to come in the extra disc’s Fools Condition while Smile and Getting Near To You suggests how imitating Stevie Wonder is truly the sincerest form of flattery.

Philip Wilding is a novelist, journalist, scriptwriter, biographer and radio producer. As a young journalist he criss-crossed most of the United States with bands like Motley Crue, Kiss and Poison (think the Almost Famous movie but with more hairspray). More latterly, he’s sat down to chat with bands like the slightly more erudite Manic Street Preachers, Afghan Whigs, Rush and Marillion. He ghosted Carl Barat’s acclaimed autobiography, Threepenny Memoir, and helped launch the BBC 6 Music network as producer and co-presenter on the Phill Jupitus Breakfast Show. Five years later he and Jupitus fronted the hugely popular Perfect 10 podcast and live shows. His debut novel, Cross Country Murder Song, was described, variously, as ‘sophisticated and compelling’ and ‘like a worm inside my brain’. His latest novel The Death And Life Of Red Henley is out now.