GLENN HUGHES: Fronting BLACK SABBATH Was 'A Little Bit Strange For Me'

October 16, 2017

Prior to his recent "Classic Deep Purple" tour of Australia and New Zealand, Glenn Hughes was interviewed by Cat Unrapped of the "Collision" radio show on Australia's Voice FM. During the conversation (which can be streamed in full below),Hughes reflected on his time fronting BLACK SABBATH in the mid-1980s. "It was a little different, because number one, some of those songs were not written for me, kind of, to sing in the way I sing," Hughes explained. "It was a very dramatic change for me to be in a band that had this huge fan base of really cult, kind of, you know, metal kind of, dark, kind of image. Let's be clear, because Ozzy [Osbourne], Geezer [Butler], Tony [Iommi] and Bill Ward, like, were all my family — we all grew up together, so I know these guys personally, but their catalog is very dark and sinister, but they're not, you know. And for me to wear that cloak and dagger, mystery thing, was a little bit strange for me.

"I really did enjoy making 'Seventh Star', and I made another album called 'DEP Sessions' with Tony, and [then] we did 'Fused', so I've done three records with Tony. But it was a little bit different for me singing in BLACK SABBATH. It wasn't quite who I am. I've always liked a challenge, you know — I always like a challenge — but I think Ozzy's voice, and Ronnie Dio's voice, is perfect for that band, although I did enjoy working with those guys."

According to Wikipedia, Hughes got into a fistfight with BLACK SABBATH production manager John Downing four days before the start of the "Seventh Star" tour. The injuries he obtained affected his ability to perform live, and vocalist Ray Gillen was subsequently recruited to complete the tour.

Hughes — who can also be heard on the new album by BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION — was hospitalized after his September 26 performance in Christchurch, New Zealand, when he left the stage at Horncastle Arena with fifteen minutes remaining in his set. He later said in a video message that he suffered from "dehydration from not drinking enough water." The remaining tour dates took place without incident.

Hughes and his backing band — Jeff Kollman, Lachy Doley and Pontus Engborg — were revisiting some of DEEP PURPLE's best-known songs for the first time on the Australia/New Zealand trek.

Hughes played his last show with DEEP PURPLE in March 1976, three years after joining the band.

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