Current Line Up
- Gary Hughes - Vocals
- Vinny Burns - Lead guitar
- Greg Morgan - Drums
- John Halliwell - Guitars
- Ged Rylands - Keyboards
- Steve McKenna - Bass
Brightest Hope Of 1996
Songwriter Of The Year
Young GuitarWinner: Best Newcomer Of
What originally started life as a couple of
Gary Hughes albums quickly evolved into something much bigger with the arrival
of former Dare members Vinny Burns and Greg Morgan. Veteran produced Mike Stone
(Journey, Asia etc) was brought in to oversee the mixing of the record and added
an extra special sheen to the project. On its release in Japan the album
received 95/100 in Burrn! magazine. It entered the Japanese hard rock/metal
chart at #3, the international artists chart at #11 and the national chart
(which has Japanese and foreign artists) at #33. In the UK praise has included
4Ks in Kerrang!, 9/10 in Frontiers and 10/10 in Hard Roxx.
The band released their second album "The
Name Of The Rose" in mid September in Japan. Burrn! magazine giving it
another 95/100! and entered the international artists chart at #10 and the
national chart at #29. In the UK it has received more glowing reviews from
Frontiers and Hard Roxx, and the band have undertaken their first tour with
dates in the UK and Germany to precede a Japanese tour in January 1997.
At the Frontiers Awards on Wednesday 22nd
January 1997 Ten's self titled album took the prizes for:
- Best Debut
- Best Production - presented to
nominees Gary Hughes and Mike Stone
- Best Cover Artwork - presented to
nominee Sebastian Kozak
They were also the runner up in the Best
Overall Album category and came third in Best Overall Song with "After
The Love Has Gone".
Now & Then have signed a Japanese
licencing deal with
Zero for 4 more Ten
studio albums. The deal means that Ten and Now & Then Records
will make new studio albums in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000. The deal comes after
a very successfull first Japanese tour.
A good unofficial recording of the Osaka
concert in Japan emerged in March 97 as a double CD bootleg called "The
Rainbow In The Rose" in Japan.
In March Ten won 3 prestigious awards
when the readers of Japan's top rock magazine Burrn! voted them:
- Brightest Hope Of 1996
- Songwriter Of The Year - Gary Hughes
- Song Of The Year - "The Name Of
They were also well represented in other
- 10th Best
Song Of The Year - "After The Love Has Gone"
- 2nd Best Production - Gary Hughes/Mike
- 4th Best Vocalist - Gary Hughes
- 5th Best Guitarist - Vinny Burns
- 18th Best Keyboard Player - Ged
- 3rd Best Album Of 96 - "The Name
Of The Rose"
- 5th Best Album Of 96 - "Ten"
- 3rd Best Overall Group - Ten
Readers of Young Guitar voted them:
- Best Newcomer Of 96 - Ten
- 7th Best Guitar Riff - "The Name
Of The Rose"
- 6th Best Guitar Solo - "The Name
Of The Rose"
Readers of Music Life voted Ten:
- 5th Brightest Hope 0f 96 - Ten
In less then 12 months Ten have become
the hottest, most talked about, new melodic rock band in years with over 100,000
Ten spent the summer of 1997 recording
their third album for Now & Then Productions, "The Robe",
which was released in October. Gary Hughes produced the album himself this
time, with Mike Stone handling the mixing.
Reactions to the new album have once again been
extremely positive with tracks from "The Robe" gaining much
airplay in Japan. The first Japanese single, "The Robe", entered the
international artists chart at #7 after its first week on sale. The album itself
entered the international artists chart at #8 and the national chart at #34. A
five date Japanese tour has already been booked for December.
Burrn! magazine gave the album a coveted cross
review with three reviewers grading the album at 86, 90 and 91 out of 100.
In a glowing 9.5/10 review in Hard Roxx "The
Robe" was called "Another milestone in the career of the most
remarkable band this country has produced in over a decade", "A
masterpiece!" and "(there is) a sense of maturity and
progression which shows a band that's finally come of age. This is exactly the
kind of record the band should have made at this stage in their career".
Other superlatives used included:
- "Grandiose and extravagant",
"irresistible melodies", "truly staggering"
- "The Robe"
- "Fast and furious", "the
chorus is so bright and catchy you'll find yourself humming it in the most
unlikely places" -
"Bright On The Blade"
- "bright and breezy ballad - a sort of
ballsy Richard Marx territory", "a sense of drama" -
"Standing On The Edge Of Time"
- "A brooding colossus", "hypnotic,
all consuming, unforgettable", "some of Vinny's best guitar
work to date" - "Virtual Reality"
- "A sprawling, malevolent masterpiece",
"One of the most satisfying things (they) have done" - "Arcadia"
- "Riff heavy", "should
go down an absolute storm live", "Gary's vocals never waiver
from that perfectly understated delivery" - "Battlelines"
- "The album's big production weepie",
"a hauntingly beautiful melody line and totally OTT chorus" -
"You're In My Heart"
- "Brilliant guitar fills",
"the most outfront keyboard sound on the album" - "Fly
Like An Eagle"
- "A swaggering pearler of a song",
"spellbinding guitar work, atmosphere aplenty, and a melody line so
instantly unforgettable that I must have died and gone to heaven", "A
true towering inferno!" - "Ten Fathoms Deep"
- "Wistful and reflective",
"blessed with another overblown chorus", "this song
is probably the best showcase for the remarkable songwriting talents contained
in the band" - "Someday"
AOR Heaven called "The Robe"
an "Awesome new studio CD from Europe`s hottest melodic rock band - the
3rd classic in a row !!". Powerplay called it "a classic"
in their studio report, saying
"By the time we had heard the whole thing we were hooked"
SoundBarrier called "The Robe"
"F**KING BRILLIANT" and said "The musical input on
this CD is perfection", "They are definitely the best rock
band that these shores have produced in bloody ages" and "I
reviewed their first CD and gave it 9/10. Their second got 10/10. Where do I go
from here?? It's better than the first two in that it is more a combination of
them both (no disrespect to them). If I could give it 11/10 I would but that's
impossible so I'll give to 12/10 just to be awkward. ".
SFK gave "The Robe" a B+
rating saying; "The songs are all excellent...At times, the album is
flat out brilliant", and gave praise to Gary's singing and Vinny's
Six extra songs were also recorded during "The
Robe" sessions and these were released in Japan across two singles ("The
Robe" and "You're In My Heart"). In November they headlined the
Gods '97 and played shows in Germany with Millenium. Before Christmas they
returned to Japan for a five date tour.
Following another successful tour of Japan in December
1997 Ten spent the beginning of 1998 compiling their first live album.,
the double set
"Never Say Goodbye". In Europe the album included 4 of the 6
extra tracks recorded during "The Robe" sessions. The remaing
two tracks should turn up on a compilation at some point. In February Gary and
Vinny returned to Japan for a short promotional visit.
Burrn! magazine gave "Never Say
Goodbye" an 83/100 rating.
In Burrn!'s 1997 readers poll Ten once
again made a respectable showing.
- 13th Best Group - Ten
- 9th Best Vocalist - Gary Hughes
- 9th Best Guitarist - Vinny Burns
- 17th Best Drummer - Greg Morgan
- 11th Best Keyboard Player - Ged
- 10th Best Live Performance In Japan -
- 12th Best Album - "The Robe"
- 6th Best Songwriter - Gary Hughes
Hard Roxx magazine gave "Never Say
Goodbye" 9 and 8 out of 10 in two seperate reviews, saying "Ten
are masters of their craft",
"excellent" and "this is the perfect introduction to
their best tracks".
Atomic Chaser said: "Magic, pure
MAGIC! ...a live album that captures the power that Ten displays at
their shows. Ten will leave you spellbound! What struck me right off the
bat was how great Ten's repertoire came across live. Gary Hughes's
voice is hypnotizing and Vinny Burns guitar work is spectacular. Gary Hughes
has a voice that is simply amazing and to hear his voice sound this good live
is more than I could have ever expected. If you want to hear a great AOR band
that sounds just a great live as in the studio, check out Ten's "Never
Say Goodbye" it will be one of the best investments that you make this
AOR Hot Spot gave "Never Say Goodbye"
87% and called it:
"the live celebration of the greatest British hard rock band of the
90's. A jewel that will make your collections more worthy. Not to be missed at
any cost! A great Best of package. A must buy for Ten fans, and a very well
priced introduction to the band for those new to them. Big, big, big!".
Of the new songs they said:""If Only For A Day" is a little
different. Sounds a little like Sykes meets the Beatles. Very cool! "Give
Me A Piece Of Your Heart" is a more melodic AOR track, while "Black
Moon Rising" and "Venus And Mars" are both big hard rocking
guitar led anthems."
SFK gave "Never Say Goodbye"
84% and said "no band has had a bigger impact on the melodic/hard rock
scene than Ten.", "this set shows the band doing what they do
best...combining bombastic, guitar driven hard rock and super melodic AOR into
something rather unique." and "easily some of the finest
(songs) laid down this decade and sound huge in this live setting.".
AORLand gave "Never Say Goodbye"
90% and said: "the hottest band in the Melodic Rock of the 90's",
"The songs explode here, the epic feel and the bombastic choruses are
even bigger and Vinny Burns guitars and Ged Rydlands keyboards set the cd
player on fire" and "Another classic record by an already
Ten spent much of 1998 recording their
fourth studio album "Spellbound". The material this time
moves on from the epic quailites that were explored on "The Robe",
and once again shows the diversity in Gary's writing (he wrote 11 of
the songs and co write the remaining one, "Inside The Pyramid Of Light",
with Vinny Burns). From AOR/hard rock style ballads and rockers to the
Zeppelin-esque title track, to the near power metal of "Fear The Force",
to the anthemic "We Rule The Night" (which features guest vocalists
Bob Catley (Magnum/ Hard Rain) and Sue Willets (Dante Fox)) not to mention the
incredible celitc/Thin Lizzy/Gary Moore style rocker "Red", the album
shows a band with a distinctive sound but also with the ability to incorporate
differing influences without compromising their integrity. Tracks such as "March
Of The Argonauts" and "Wonderland" feature a full string quartet
while "We Rule The Night", "Remembrance For The Brave"and "Red"
include celtic/folk instruments, such as fiddle ulean pipes and low whistle.
"Spellbound" was produced by
Gary Hughes with the mix handled by Rafe McKenna (GIANT, BAD
COMPANY, FAIR WARNING, TOMMY SHAW, RICHARD MARX, FOREIGNER) at DEP INTERNATIONAL
STUDIOS (owned by UB40) in Birmingham, and is the bands most powerful and
energetic recording to date.
"Spellbound" was released on
December 23rd 1998 in Japan through the band's new deal with major label
MERCURY RECORDS and on January 18th 1999 in Europe on Now &
"Spellbound" has had a very
successful launch in Japan. The album, the first for the bands new label,
MERCURY, entered the Japanese National Charts at number 16 in amongst the likes
of compilations by the likes of MARIAH CAREY, CELINE DION, U2 and soundtracks to
"Titanic" and "Armageddon". The new METALLICA album, "Garage
Inc", entered at number 20.
MelodicRock.com gave "Spellbound"
94% (PRODUCTION: 95% SONGS: 93% VIBE: 94% ATTITUDE: 96%) saying "Gary's
writing is improving all the time and the songs on this album are first rate.",
"This record is simply sensational.", "This record
should both surprise and amaze old fans and new. It should also intimidate any
other bands that thought they might have been closing in on "the best rock
band in Britain" crown. The bar has been lifted and no-one is nearly within
range of this great disc.", "there is not one area that has
not been improved upon by a mile"
, "Gary's vocals have come to life in a way I have never heard from
him. They are powerful, they are loud, they are raw and they are passionate",
"The production is monstrous. Hats off to Now &Then Productions for
the sound and the mix. Crisp, in your face and big, big, big.", "The
drums are bigger than ever", "Vinny Burns simply shreds. I
haven't even heard this many solo's and riff's on any Yngwie Malmsteen record.
The guitars are everywhere on this record and they are both raw and
multi-layered and the songs offer plenty of melodic hooks and solo's",
"Inside The Pyramid Of Light is the track that really floored me and
convinced me these guys are world class .... a melodic masterpiece",
" it is great to hear such diversity in just the first 4 tracks",
"Ten have recorded an album that not only out does their entire back
catalogue but the back catalogue of a good deal of other bands. and
"If you like British hard rock, or if you are already an old fan, or if
you have been sitting on the fence like myself ... then this is an album that
should be checked out... buying this album will make your CD collections
complete. Very impressive stuff indeed. . Concluding that it is "ESSENTIAL
FOR: All heavy melodic rock British hard rock fans and Ten lovers everywhere".
Silk & Steel said of "Spellbound"
"Fucking awesome Melodic hardrock of the finest order.", "Play
this ("Wonderland") on the radio and it will become a HUGE hitsong",
"Ten's best album to date without no doubt. A superb production. And
finally this is the music for Gary's voice. The hardrock fits his voice right.
BUY OR DIE." and a second reviewer said "their absolute best
album to date. Better production, amazing cover artwork, huge anthemic songs -
At the end of the day , well , Bjorn said it all! - Kai) "
Classic Rock gave "Spellbound"
9/10 and said: "Ten are sleek and hungry", "the six
piece have certainly made their mark" "they've also added an
extra twist to their sound. (employing) an unusual Celtic romanticism - possibly
a throwback to Vinny Burns' tenure with Dare."
Powerplay rated "Spellbound"
Album Of The Month saying it displays a: "new more genuine hard rock
edge", "It's all more of your true classic hard rock sound ala
Zeppelin, Lizzy, Purple Rainbow etc.", "Quite simply every
rock fan should own a copy."
Hard Roxx gave "Spellbound"
9.5/10 and said: "Until Ten came along British rock was stuck firmly in
the duldrums. Sure they've given us some unforgettable songs but perhaps more
importantly they've also given us hope, instilling a renewed sense of pride in
our national heritage.", "Vinny whips up an absolute storm
throughout, his passionate, inventive playing the lifeblood coursing through its
veins." "Once again the pen of Gary Hughes has delivered the
goods and then some. Refreshingly different but still reassuringly Ten "Spellbound"
is quite simply a masterpiece."
Ten Official Site |
Tez's Ten of the Best Page |
Mieko's Ten Page (Japanese
Last update March 1999
July 1996 ©
Now & Then 1999