Glenn Hughes

The Work Tapes

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If ever a project had "for serious fans only" stamped on it, it would be Glenn Hughes and Geoff Downes' The Work Tapes. Recorded in 1991 but never finished, these ten songs were demos produced and programmed by former Buggles/Asia keyboardist Downes. The combination of Hughes' R&B-influenced vocal style (Stevie Wonder in particular seems to loom large in Hughes' personal pantheon, although the opening track, "Bed of Roses," has a strong Marvin Gaye vibe in the way Hughes holds certain notes for an agonizingly long time) and Downes' sterile, poppy rhythms and melodies never really jells, a situation that isn't helped at all by the unfinished, apparently unmixed sound. (Hughes' vocals and Downes' sequencers occupy approximately the same places in the final mix throughout the album.) For that matter, it's likely that a lot of fans of Hughes' '70s hard rock work would find these dance-pop tunes a commercial sellout. As a result, it's kind of no wonder that the album was never completed.

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