Once described as a "marriage made in hard rock heaven," Hughes/Thrall paired the legendary talents of English vocalist/bassist Glenn Hughes (ex-Trapeze and Deep Purple, aka "the Voice of Rock") and American guitarist Pat Thrall (formerly with Automatic Man and Pat Travers' band). The latter had slowly made a name for himself in both hard rock and fusion circles (having briefly worked with Al di Meola among others) but had yet to capitalize on his burgeoning fame, come the early '80s; while the former had managed a perfunctory solo album shortly after the disintegration of Deep Purple, but otherwise spent the previous five years mired in a mixture of drugs, lack of inertia, and grief over the heroin-related death of former running mate Tommy Bolin. In fact, it has been argued that it was partly Hughes' nostalgia for the supremely talented but doomed Bolin's effortless dabbling in rock, jazz, blues, and beyond that sparked his interest in working with the similarly versatile Thrall. Thus was born Hughes/Thrall in late 1981, and months of rehearsal, songwriting, and all around woodshedding followed in Los Angeles, where the duo eventually began recording an eponymous album with heavyweight producer Andy Johns (Led Zeppelin, Free, etc.), keyboard player Peter Schless, and a variety of drummers including Gary Ferguson, Gary Mallaber, and Frankie Banali (future Quiet Riot). Ironically, all of this adventurous musical pedigree somehow translated into a remarkably safe-sounding, commercial AOR album, clearly aimed to appease American radio stations, and released with little fanfare by a short-lived Epic subsidiary named Boulevard Records. Hughes/Thrall did film two promo videos (for singles "I Got Your Number" and "The Look in Your Eye") and hit the road with keyboardist Jesse Harms and drummer Tommy Aldridge (Black Oak Arkansas, Ozzy Osbourne band, etc.) in support of Santana, but their music seemed to slip into the wide gap between their heavy rock constituents and the oblivious pop market. Demos for a proposed second album were tentatively begun, but would have to wait until Rock Candy's 2006 reissue of the Hughes/Thrall album to see the light of day, since, by 1983, the two men had split and moved on to other projects.
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