Title - 'Return of Crystal Karma: Expanded Edition'
Artist - Glenn Hughes
For those not in the know, Glenn Hughes is an English rock bassist and vocalist, best known for playing bass and performing vocals for funk rock pioneers Trapeze, the Mk. III and IV line-ups of Deep Purple; as well as briefly fronting Black Sabbath in the mid-1980s.
In addition to being an active session musician, Hughes also maintains a notable solo career. He fronted the supergroup Black Country Communion from 2009 to 2013, and California Breed from late 2013 to early 2015. On 8 April 2016, Hughes was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Deep Purple.
Return of Crystal Karma (often abbreviated to R.O.C.K.) was Hughes’ seventh solo studio album, and was originally released the 19th of June, 2000 on SPV and Nippon records.
Now digitally remastered and expanded into a two CD edition, the iconic British rocker's Purple Records reissue schedule continues. Produced by Glenn Hughes and Michael Scott, it features original songs written with guitarist JJ Marsh and keyboard player Hans Zermüehlen, as well as 'Gone', co-written with Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi. The album even features a guest cameo from The Cure's Lol Tolhurst.
This expanded two CD edition now includes a 45 minute, live bonus CD, recorded in Sao Paulo, Brazil on 25th November, 1999. Containing exclusive versions of Trapeze classics such as 'Coast To Coast' and 'Your Love Is Alright', as well as a live version of Black Sabbath's 'No Stranger To Love', it is now going to be a very highly anticipated release.
1. 'The State I'm in'
2. 'Midnight Meditated'
3. 'It's Alright'
4. 'Switch the Mojo'
6. 'The Other Side of Me'
8. 'Owed to "J"
9. 'This Life'
10. 'Days of Avalon'
1. 'You Kill Me'
3. 'First Step of Love'
4. 'No Stranger to Love'
5. 'Coast to Coast'
6. 'Your Love Is Alright'
The album kicks off in fine rock style with 'The State I'm In', a cut that stinks (in the good way) of typical post '90s hard rock sensibilities, as do both 'It's Alright' and 'Switch the Mojo', with the lighter fare of 'Midnight Medicated' in between.
The impressive 'Gone' written by both Hughes and Iommi, and originally recorded for Sabbath's Seventh Star album in 1986 is up next, and that's followed by the heartfelt 'The Other Side Of Me.' Upping the funk aspects of his rock age, 'Angela' is up next and a beauty it sure it and that's backed by 'Owed to J'.
Interestingly enough, the instrumental track named in reference to the instrumental 'Owed to G', which featured on the Deep Purple album Come Taste the Band. The "J" in Hughes' track is a reference to Jeff Beck, and the song is very much influenced by the guitarist. The "G" in the Deep Purple song stands for Gershwin.
The album then rounds out with the melodic pop rock of 'This Life' and then comes to a finale with the trademark Hughes balladry of 'Days of Avalon.' Quite easily one of his finest and most heartfelt, for my money, and on a par with 'Blue Jade' from Addiction.
Also, and in closing, the expanded booklet features liner notes by Classic Rock magazine's Malcolm Dome based on new interviews with Glenn.
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