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Trapeze: Hot Wire/Trapeze

Two mid-70s albums from British rock’s nearly-men.

In 1973, Glenn Hughes, lead vocalist and bassist for Midlands-based power trio Trapeze, was made an offer he couldn’t refuse: he was invited to join Deep Purple. At the age of 21 it was his golden ticket to rock’n’roll stardom and all the glory and excess that came with it.

Hughes’s exit from Trapeze left a gaping hole in the band. He was a phenomenal singer, powerful and soulful. He was also a badass bass player – a key ingredient in the funky hard rock of the group’s classic early albums Medusa and You Are The Music… We’re Just The Band.

But when Hughes quit, guitarist Mel Galley and drummer Dave Holland did not. They carried on with a new four-piece line-up in which Galley took on the role of frontman.

On the 1974 album Hot Wire (6), the dominant tone was swaggering heavy rock boogie in the style of Bad Company and Foghat. The funk was laid down on Midnight Flyer. And while Galley was no Glenn Hughes, he sang beautifully on the standout track Steal A Mile.

This was followed in 1975 by the album Trapeze (6). Not to be confused with the band’s debut album (also self-titled), it was mellower than Hot Wire, and featured Hughes as guest vocalist on the funk groover Nothing For Nothing and the acoustic ballad Chances.

Deep Purple’s split in 1976 led Hughes to rejoin Trapeze, but it didn’t last. The magic that this band had in those early days had been lost forever./o:p