Trapeze


Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 (1969-70)

- Mel Galley (RIP 2008) --  vocals; rhythm guitar

- Dave Holland -- drums, percussion

- Glenn Hughes -- vocals, bass, guitar, keyboards, trombone

- John Jones -- vocals, trumpet

- Terry Rowley -- keyboards, flute

 

  line up 2 (1970-74)

- Mel Galley (RIP 2008) -- vocals; rhythm guitar

- Dave Holland -- drums, percussion

- Glenn Hughes -- vocals, bass, guitar, keyboards, trombone

 

  supporting musicians:(1972)

- Rod Argent -- keyboards

- B.J. Cole -- steel guitar

- Kirk Duncan -- keyboards

- Jimmy Hastngs -- sax

- John Ogeden -- percussion

- Frank Ricotti -- vibes

 

  line up 3 (1974-78)

- Mel Galley (RIP 2008 -- vocals; rhythm guitar

- Dave Holland -- drums, percussion

- Rob Kendrick -- lead guitar

- Pete Wright -- bass

 

  backing musicians (1974)

- Misty Browning -- backing vocals

- Kenny Cole -- backing vocals

- Chris Mercer -- sax

- John Odgen -- percussion

- Terry Rowley -- synthesizers, keyboards, backing vocals

 

  line up 4 (1978-80)

- Mel Galley (RIP 2008 -- vocals; rhythm guitar

- Dave Holland -- drums, percussion

- Peter Goalby -- vocals, lead guitar (replaced Rob Kendrick)

- Pete Wright -- bass

 

  line up 5 (1980-82)

- Steve Bray -- drums, percussion (replaced Peter Goalby)

- Mel Galley (RIP 2008 -- vocals; rhythm guitar

- Dave Holland -- drums, percussion

- Pete Wright -- bass

 

  line up 5 (1982)

- Richard Bailey -- keyboards

- Steve Bray -- drums, percussion (replaced Peter Goalby)

- Mel Galley (RIP 2008 -- vocals; rhythm guitar

- Dave Holland -- drums, percussion

- Mervyn Spence -- bass, vocals (replaced Pete Wright)

 

  line up 6 (1991)

- Geoff Downes -- keyboards (replaced Richard Bailey)

- Mel Galley (RIP 2008 -- vocals; rhythm guitar

- Dave Holland -- drums, percussion

- Glenn Hughes  -- vocals, bass, guitar, keyboards, trombone

- Mervyn Spence -- bass, vocals

 

  line up 7 (1994)

- Geoff Downes -- keyboards

- Craig Erickson -- guitar 

- Mel Galley (RIP 2008 -- vocals; rhythm guitar

- Dave Holland -- drums, percussion

- Glenn Hughes  -- vocals, bass, guitar, keyboards, trombone

 

 

 

- Asia

- Black Country Communion (Glenn Hughes)

Black Sabbath (Mel Galley and Glenn Hughes)

- Budgie

- Buggles

- California Breed (Glenn Hughes)

- Cloven Hoof

- Deep Purple (Glenn Hughes)

- Fable (Peter Goalby)

- Finders Keepers (Glenn Hughes and Mel Galley)

- The Hooker-Lees (Glenn Hughes)

- Glenn Hughes (solo efforts)

- Hughes - Thrall (Glenn Hughes)

- Hughes - Turner Project (Glenn Hughes)

- Iommi - Hughes (Glenn Hughes)

- The In-Pack (Glenn Hughes)

- The Intruders (Glenn Hughes)

- Judas Priest (Dave Holland)

- The Loberators

- MGM (Mel Galley)

- The Montanas (John Jones and Terry Rowland)

- The News (Glenn Hughes)

- Phenomena (Mel Galley)

- Pinkerton's Assorted Colours (Dave Holland)

- The Red Caps (Mel Galley)

- Uriah Heep (Pete Goalby)

- Whitehead (Mel Galley)

- Yes

 


 

Genre: progressive

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  Medusa

Company: Threshold

Catalog: THS 4

Year: 1971

Country/State: Wolverhampton, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 3268

Price: $30.00

 

In the wake of their 1969 debut album, the band underwent a significant personnel shake up with lead singer John Jones and keyboardist Terry Rowley leaving.   Reduced to a trio, drummer Dave Holland, singer/bassist Glenn Hughes, and guitarist Mel Galley, they returned to the studio for 1970's "Medusa." Continuing their partnership with Moody Blues bassist John Lodge handling production chores, the results were surprisingly enjoyable.  This time around their earlier progressive leanings were all but abandoned, material like 'Jury', 'Touch My Life' and the title track opting for a much harder rock sound.  Exemplified by the power ballad 'Seafull' Hughes' instantly recognizable voice was perfectly suited for the hard rock genre. While Hughes garnered much of the spotlight, the real star was Galley. His lead guitar was always tasteful and, unlike many of his contemporaries, Galley seemingly recognized the concept of less-is-more.  His performance on 'Black Cloud' was simply breathtaking. 

 

Interestingly I can clearly remember hearing this album while attending college - my Freshman year dorm mate may have even owned a copy.  At the time, among side the likes of Bad Company, Rainbow, Whitesnake, etc. it didn't make a gigantic impression on me.  It was only after someone pointed out "Medusa" had  proceeded many of those AOR bands by a good five years that I realized what a trend setting collection it was..

The band toured heavily in support of the album, relocating to Houston, Texas which they used as a base for multiple tours over the next three years.

 

"Medusa" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Black Cloud   (Mel Galley - Tom Galley) - 6:03  rating: **** stars

For a band that any folks still categorize as '70s progressive, 'Black Cloud' has always struck me as sounding like a slice of Southern hard rock.  Admittedly, powered by Hughes' strangling vocals and just the right amount of cowbell, it made for a great slice of Southern rock which might explain why the song was tapped as a leadoff 45.  Curiously I've only seen promotional copies:

- 1969 'Black Cloud' b/w 'Your Love Is Alright' (Threshold catalog number 45-67005) 

2.) Jury  (Mel Galley - Tom Galley) - 6:10   rating: **** stars

Powered by a nifty Mel Galley series of riffs, the heavy metal 'Jury' has always reminded me of a cross between Black Sabbath and The James Gang.  Interestingly, it must have sounded quite fresh in 1970, though with every '80s hair band (including a number that Hughes played with),  having literally ripped the sound off, some of that freshness has evaporated.

3.) Your Love Is Alright   (Mel Galley - Tom Galley - Glenn Hughes - Dave Holland) - 4:54   rating: **** stars

The album's lone group composition (with the addition of Tom Galley), 'Your Love Is Alright' was also the album's funkiest track.  Seriously.  Galley's fuzz guitar riff was sincerely funky.  Would have been a dandy FM single.

4.) Touch My Life   (Mel Galley - Tom Galley) - 4:06   rating; *** stars

'Touch My Life' was another track that would have been filed away with the overflow of rather anonymous hard rock without Galley's melodic and seemingly effortless chops.

 

(side 2)
1.) Seafull   (Glenn Highes) - 6:34
   rating; *** stars

Looking for a definition of power ballad?  'Seafull' would be a good place to start.   One of Hughes' prettiest compositions.   It's still in his repertoire.

2.) Makes You Wanna Cry   (Mel Galley - Tom Galley) - 4:41   rating; *** stars

Back to a funky groove; this time Galley handling lead vocals.  Admittedly Galley wasn't Glenn Hughes, but I have to tell you he didn't sound half bad on this one.

3.) Medusa  (Glenn Hughes) - 5:42

Anyone interested in hearing Galley at his best should track down this one.   Again, his performance isn't flashy, but he makes the most of his time in the spotlight.

 

 

 


Genre: progressive

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  You Are the Music, We are the Band

Company: Threshold

Catalog: THS 8

Year: 1972

Country/State: Wolverhampton, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+

Comments: minor edge and ring wear; 3 inch seam split on bottom edge

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD1779

Price: SOLD $10.00

 

 

Trapeze's third collection found the roster down to a trio featuring singer/guitarist Mel Galley, drummer Dave Holland, and singer/bassist Glenn Hughes.  

 

 

Mel Galley - Glenn Hughes - Dave Holland

 

Having bought a number of Trapeze albums from their latter catalog before this one crossed by turntable, I have to admit to being surprised and impressed by 1972's "You Are the Music, We are the Band".   Produced by Neil Slaven, I'll readily admit this wasn't a groundbreaking collection, but overlooking the touchy-feely title, anyone who through these guys were a third tier pseudo-progressive outfit was likely to be surprised and impressed by Free-styled blues-rockers like 'Keepin' Time'', 'Way Back To the Bone', and 'Feeling So Much Better Now'.  To my ears, there was only one real mistake; the trying-to-hard rocker 'Feeling So Much Better Now'.   Elsewhere, exemplified by 'Coast To Coast' (released as a single) and 'Will Our Love End' made it clear ballads weren't their strength.  Still, with bassist Hughes penning the majority of the album, when they stuck to conventional rockers, this was a lean, no-frill set of FM radio rock.  Well worth checking out.

 

"You are the Music, We are the Band" track listing: 
(side 1)

1.) Keepin' Time   (Mel Galley - T Galley) - 3:42   rating: *** stars

Kicked along by Galley's larynx tearing vocals and Hughes tasteful, multi-tracked country-rock-influenced lead guitar,  'Keepin' Time' was a surprisingly tough, Free-styled blues rocker.  As I said earlier, nothing particularly original, or ground breaking, but solid for the whole three and a half minutes with Hughes getting to cut loose at the end. 

2.) Coast To Coast   (Glenn Hughes) - 4:02   rating: *** stars

Pretty, if somewhat anonymous country-tinged ballad.  Strange comparison, but there was something in Galley's vocal that sounded like he was trotting out his best Stevie Wonder impression.   For some reason Threshold decided to release this atypical track as the album's single:

- 1972's 'Coast To Coast' b/w 'Your Love IS Alright' (Threshold catalog number TH 11)   

3.) What Is a Woman's Role   (Glenn Hughes) -5:45     rating: **** stars

Bit of Robin Trower in the mix?    Impressive, highly melodic  mid-tempo rocker that showcased some of Galley's most enjoyable and impressive moves.   

4.) Way Back To the Bone   (Glenn Hughes) - 5:30     rating: **** stars

Built on a nifty little funky riff, 'Way Back To the Bone' found the trio returning to Free/Bad Company styled blues-rock.  Again, it wasn't the most original tune you've ever heard, almost sounding like an in-studio jam, but once that riff got in your head it was hard to shake it.   

 

(side 2)
1.) Feeling So Much Better Now
   (Glenn Hughes) - 2:40   rating: ** stars

The first disappointment - Galley should have known he wasn't capable of hitting those atmospheric notes.  The poor guy sound like he was slamming his hand in a car door.   Even my cat runs out the door when I play this one.  

2.) Will Our Love End   (Glenn Hughes) - 5:07    rating: *** stars

Kind of a supper club sounding ballad that probably would have done well on the singles charts.  It also sported Galley's most melodic solos.  

3.) Loser      (Mel Galley - T Galley) - 4:45     rating: **** stars

More blues-rock. but sporting the album's best riff ...   If I could learn one guitar riff, this one would be in the top-ten running.   This was the tune Threshold should have dropped as a single.

4.) You Are the Music   (Mel Galley - T Galley) - 5:21    rating: *** stars

The title track was a nice slice of double time boogie rock.    

 

 

 

 

 

 


Genre: progressive

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  The Final Swing

Company: Threshold

Catalog: THS 11

Year: 1974

Country/State: Wolverhampton, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2606

Price: $15.00

 

Knowing singer/bassist Glenn Hughes for his work with the likes of Black Sabbath and Deep Purple (MK III), I always get a laugh when playing something from his days with Trapeze.  For his part Hughes apparently didn't think too much about this part of his life since it gets little more than a brief mention on his  website:  http://www.glennhughes.com/

 

Released after Hughes had left the band to replace Roger Glover in Deep Purple, 1974's "The Final Swing" was an entertaining, if abbreviated career retrospective.  It was also somewhat ironic in that (in spite of liner notes that gave one the impression the band had called it quits), they'd regrouped and signed a deal with Warner Brothers.  Regardless, pulling nine tracks from the band's first three studio sets, the emphasis was on the criminally overlooked debut with three tracks coming from "Medusa", one selection from "Trapeze" and two from "You Are the Music ... We're Just the Band".  Elsewhere 'Good Love' and the instrumental 'Dat's it' reflected a pair of previously un-issued selections.  For a band signed to The Moody Blues Threshold label, Hughes and company were surprisingly cool.  Lots of references labeled them as being progressive, but that really wasn't an apt description.  In that respect the compilation did a nice job of showcasing the band's enjoyable mix of commercial, hard rock and soulful moves ('You Are the Music').  Folks also tend to forget what a good singer Hughes was - particularly when he avoided stretching into higher ranges such as the fatal 'Medusa'.  Mind you, nothing here was particularly original, or inventive but by the same token tracks like 'Your Love Is Alright' and 'Black Cloud' easily gave Bad Company, Free and other mid-1970s English rockers a run for their money.  Adding to the irony, subsequently dropped by Threshold, the album provided the band with their first US chart entry.


"The Final Swing" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Send Me No More Letters    (Terry Rowley) - 4:51

2.) Your Love Is Alright    (Mel Galley - Glenn Hughes - Dave Holland) - 4:54

3.) Black Cloud   (Mel Galley - T Galley) - 6:13

4.) Medusa   (Glenn Hughes) - 5:40

 

(side 2)
1.) Coast To Coast   (Glenn Hughes) - 4:02

2.) Will Our Love End   (Glenn Hughes) - 5:07

3.) You Are the Music   (Mel Galley - T Galley) - 5:21

4.) Good Love   (Glenn Hughes) - 4:02

5.) Dats It (instrumental)  (Mel Galley) - 3:10

 

Mel Galley has a small website at:  http://www.myspace.com/melgalley

 

I'd love to tell you that Dave Holland also had a website, but in 2004 he was convicted of attempted rape against a child and handed an eight year prison sentence.  

 

Sadly Galley died on cancer in 2008.

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Hot Wire

Company: Warner Brothers

Catalog: BS 2828

Year: 1974

Country/State: Wolverhampton, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: still in shrink wrap opened

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2132

Price: $25.00

 

1974's "Hot Wire" saw the band expanded to a quartet with the addition of Rob Kendrick on lead guitar  and Pete Wright taking over bass from Glenn Hughes.  Co-produced by the band and Neil Slaven, their fourth studio set found the band all but dropping progressive influences from their repertoire in favor of a far more conventional mix of album oriented rock.  With Mel and Tom Galley responsible for all of the eight tracks, you couldn't be blamed for mistaking tunes like 'Back Street Love', 'Take It On Down the Road' and '' for something out of The Free, or Bad Company catalog.  Totally unexpected and surprisingly enjoyable were the band's forays into white boy funk ...  'Midnight Flyer' was easily one of the best mash-ups of AOR and funk moves you'll ever hear, while 'Turn It On' and 'Free It Inside' weren't far behind.   Lots of folks bemoan the loss of Hughes, but to my ears his departure really didn't make a gigantic difference to the band with Mel Galley proving to be a more than adequate singer.   Maybe because my expectations weren't all that high, this proved a thoroughly enjoyable surprise. Shame Warner Brothers didn't do more to promote the group - as far as I can tell the label didn't even float a single off the album.  In spite of the lack of promotion the collection still managed to hit # 146 on the US album charts.

 

"Hotwire" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Back Street Love  (Mel Galley - Tom Galley) - 5:02   rating: *** stars

With Mel Galley seemingly turning in his best Paul Rogers impression (I'd give it a B - on the grading scale), 'Back Street Love' found the band dipping their collective toes into Bad Company-styled blues rock.   If you grew up listening to mid-'60s album oriented rock, this was probably right up your alley, though it was liable to remind you of a dozen other bands.

2.) Take It On Down the Road   (Mel Galley - Tom Galley) - 4:46    rating: **** stars

If the leadoff track had a Bad Company vibe, then 'Take It On down the Road' was simply smoothered in the same influences.  The song had a great wah wah effect lead solo from Kendrick and kudos to Wright for turning in some wonderful bass lines.    

3.) Midnight Flyer  (Mel Galley - Tom Galley) - 6:02   rating: **** stars

And then out of the blue came the stunning 'Midnight Flyer' !!!   Possibly one of the top-10  AOR and funk amalgamations I've ever run across ...   I know, you're shaking your head and going "funk"?   Believe me, this had a funky rhythm section that would effortlessly challenge scores of better known funk bands.  Check out the Kendrick-Wright interplay.   Simply a stunning performance.    It was recorded a full twenty years after the studio release; featured a different line-up (Glenn Hughes briefly back in a reformed line-up), and the video and sound quality were severely lacking, but courtesy of YouTube you can see the band lat a 1994 Dallas, Texas performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7S4NSfeBuU      

4.) Wake Up, Shake Up  (Mel Galley - Tom Galley) - 3:58   rating: *** stars

Side one returned to a more conventional rock format with 'Wake Up, Shake Up'.   The song wasn't anything special, but I have to admit that Mel Galley seldom sounded as good. 

 

(side 2)
1.) Turn It On
  (Mel Galley - Tom Galley) - 5:12    rating: *** stars

Powered by Mel's gravely voice (who needed Glenn Hughes?) and Wright's killer bass moves,  'Turn It On' was another enjoyable white boy funk number.  This was the tune White Cherry always wished they could have recorded.   

2.) Steal a Mile  (Mel Galley - Tom Galley - Dave Holland) - 4:53    rating: **** stars

Who would have expected a bunch of Brits to open a tune with such an attractive, breezy Southern rock-styled opening?   Think along the lines of a cross between Little Feat and early Steely Dan, but better ...   Chris Mercer on sax.   Probably my choice for the album's most thoroughly commercial performance.  It  would have made  a dandy single.  

3.) Goin' Home  (Mel Galley - Tom Galley) - 5:12    rating: **** stars

Unlike some of the earlier Bad Company styled blues-rockers, 'Goin' Home' had more of a  hard rock orientation.  Surprisingly the pulled it off with panache and I've always loved the extended backwards guitar solos.

4.) Free It Inside  (Mel Galley - Tom Galley) - 8:44    rating: *** stars

More white-boy soul/funk moves, though this time they sounded as if they were trying a tad too hard.  Maybe it was Misty Brown's shrill backing vocals that grated ...   Still, stretching out to almost nine minutes 'Free It Inside' gave the entire band a chance to stretch out and I actually enjoyed the song's extended instrumental jam segments.    

 



Genre: progressive

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Trapeze

Company: Warner Brothers

Catalog: BS 2887

Year: 1976

Country/State: Wolverhampton, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD 1052

Price: SOLD $10.00

 

Not to be confused with their 1970 debut, 1976's Steve Smith produced "Trapeze"  found the band following popular tastes and shifting into standard AOR mode.   Not to sound snotty, but with singer/rhythm guitarist Mel Galley responsible for most of the material, the ten songs on this album were collectively about as original as the album title, or the bland and forgettable cover art.  Positives first - together for their second album, the Mel Galley, Dave Holland, Rob Kendrick, and Pete Wright line-up sounded comfortable and professional throughout, if hardly ground-breaking.  If you liked the Bad Company/Free school of English blues-rock, there were a couple of okay nods to the genre - 'It's Alright' and ' I Need You'.  And now for the not so pleasant comments.    The best thing I can say about  these ten tracks  is that there was nothing really bad, but nothing really great to be found across these grooves.  It was almost as if the band had  fashioned  a collection of AOR-styled background music. So was there anything worthwhile here ?  The rocker  'Monkey' was probably the best overall performance.  Elsewhere, featuring former band member Glenn Hughes on vocals,  'Chances' and 'Nothin' for Nothing' reflected material apparently salvaged from earlier sessions.   Unfortunately, neither track was particularly memorable.  'Chances' was a forgettable acoustic ballad, while 'Nothin' for Nothing' was an irritating blues-rocker.  Professional, but pedestrian.

 

 

"The Final Swing" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Star Breaker   (Mel Galley - Tom Galley) - 3:30  rating: *** stars

Yeah it was guitar fueled metal, but to my ears surprisingly tuneful with Gilley doing a credible job in the lead singer role.   A tune I might have considered as a single.   

2.) It's Alright   (Mel Galley) - 4:12   rating: **** stars

To it's credit, 'It's Alright' at least found the band stretching a bit; in this case the results producing a decent country-tinged blues number that sounded a bit like a second tier Bad Company cover.   Giving credit where due, Rob Kendrick turned in some of his best work on this one. 

3.) Chances   (Mel Galley - Tom Galley - Glen Hughes) - 2:30  rating: ** stars

As one of two tunes featuring former member Glenn Hughes on vocals, 'Chances' was apparently a track left over from earlier sessions.  Shame it wasn't very good.   An acoustic ballad with a slightly jazzy edge, it featured some nice Kendriick acoustic guitar, but little more to recommend it. 

4.) The Raid (instrumental)   (Mel Galley) - 2:45   rating: *** stars

Maybe just my ears, but 'The Raid' has always reminded me of a Thin Lizzy track.   Technically it wasn't really an instrumental since Galley howled the title a couple of times, but for all intents and purposes this was little more than a studio jam seemingly intended to give each member an opportunity at the spotlight.  

5.) On the Sunny Side of the Street   (J. McHugh - D. Fields) - 2:40  rating: ** stars

I'll admit to complete indifference to their cover of the chestnut 'On the Sunny Side of the Street'.   Give a blues--rock/boogie arrangement, the best thing here was a touch of Kendrick's slide guitar.   

 

(side 2)
1.) Gimme Good Love   (Mel Galley - Tom Galley - Steve Smith) - 3:10  
rating: ** stars

A couple of minutes after this one's over I can't remember a thing about it.  

2.) Monkey   (Mel Galley - Tom Galley) - 3:40   rating: **** stars

Not a single original note or thought, but with a great chuggin' melodies, 'Monkey' was probably the best performance on the album ...   Galley sounded great on this tune.  

3.) I Need You   (Mel Galley) - 4:35  rating: *** stars

Another Bad company-styled tune; Galley even sounded a touch like Paul Rogers on this one.   

4.) Soul Stealer   (Mel Galley - Tom Galley) - 3:30   rating: *** stars

More Paul Rogers moves with one of the album's better melodies.

5.) Nothin' for Nothing   (Mel Galley) - 3:53  rating: *** stars

The second tune showcasing Hughes on vocals, 'Nothin' for Nothing' was a blues-rocker interesting for the fact it showed Hughes employing his most nasally (or whiny) voice.  

 

 

 

 

 


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