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Glenn Hughes Discusses Deep Purple’s Legacy and Rock Hall Snub

Black Country Communion-Deep Purple
Jo Hale, Getty Images

The spotlight is on Deep Purple this year, as their classic album ‘Machine Head’ turns 40. The metal pioneers will be saluted by a number of rock icons on the ‘Re-Machined – A Tribute to Deep Purple’s Machine Head‘ tribute disc that’s due Sept. 25. Former Purple singer Glenn Hughes spoke to Noisecreep about the band’s legacy and why he wanted to be part of this project even after serving his tenure in the band.

“There was two huge bands that mattered,” says Hughes. “The two primary bands were Sabbath and Purple. They were the prototypes. But whereas Sabbath was heavy, Purple was more refined and melodic metal. It was different. And while they had a couple of good records before, ‘Machine Head’ stands out because it blended so many interesting types of metal songs. The variety, the melodics — that’s what I think makes it stand the test of time.”

The singer was initially reluctant to be part of the tribute, as there are certain songs he felt shouldn’t be redone, but the more he thought about it, the more fun the idea seemed. He explains, “My thought was, you have to honor the original melody of course, but then take it off in some direction or what’s the point?”

Hughes recruited Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith and guitarist Luis Maldonado to record a version of ‘Maybe I’m a Leo.’ “I love how it turned out. We just cut it live, very sparse and real, with a bluesy vocal and hardly any overdubs. It’s great.” The singer also recorded ‘Highway Star’ with Smith and guitarist Steve Vai, and says the collaboration came about after hearing about the death of Jon Lord and wanting to do something special.

While Deep Purple are a favorite amongst rock musicians, the band still remains on the outside looking in where the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is concerned. Hughes says, “Look, we know the people in charge and we know how they think. It’s become like a joke in a way. Gene Simmons will talk to me about it, and go on a rant and all, and he is exactly right. But I’m not gonna hold my breath. Deep Purple, Kiss, Yes, and especially Rush – should obviously all be in. Maybe one day. But I don’t think about it too much.”

Next: Two Deep Purple Albums Reissued on Vinyl

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