What does it sound like?:
Who knew Glenn Hughes had released so many albums between his tenures in Deep Purple and BCC. These two are the latest in the series of reissues in expanded form, having originated in 2001 and 2003 respectively.
Building The Machine has a similar feel to the previous year’s ROCK album, a hard rock blended with funk hybrid. There’s a cover of Purple’s High Ball Shooter, which I always thought of as more a Coverdale song, and a creditable stab at Rare Earth’s I Just Want To Celebrate, during which Hughes collaborates with Pat Travers. Travers also co-wrote the previously Japan only bonus track Cosmic Spell, these two pieces apparently being the only tangible results of a proposed joint album by the two artists. Hughes’ funkier offerings tend to divide opinion, but overall this is a good album of its genre. The bonus cd features a 1999 live show, heavy on Purple and Trapeze material – it’s ok without being spectacular.
Songs In The Key Of Rock continues the funk/rock theme – in fact this set reminds me very much of the old Trapeze sound. There are some rock-oriented songs here, but generally they are the weaker efforts and it’s the funkier numbers that steal the limelight, particularly the lengthy Written All Over Your Face. This is by quite a distance the best Hughes solo effort for many years, and it’s now supplemented by two extra discs. The first is a live show from 2003, which leans heavily on quite rare versions of material from the album, and also includes a storming take of Sabbath’s Seventh Star. The more interesting show is on the third disc, a shortish acoustic set recorded live in Rome, which features lovely unplugged versions of Stormbringer, Mistreated and Coast To Coast, as well as, somewhat bizarrely, A Whiter Shade Of Pale.
What does it all *mean*?
Two of the best albums in the Hughes solo catalogue. Having finally cleaned up his act, he was at last back on top form and producing the music he was always capable of.
Goes well with…
Vintage heritage rock.
Might suit people who like…
Hard rock and funk.