I don’t know which side of the world you live in, but for me it’s time to rise and shine and marry the day! Like many other rock fans out there, I can’t really imagine waking up and start preparing for the day, without listening to some rock ‘n’ roll tunes as a background. However, mornings can be pretty tough – we are still too sleepy, still very tired and it takes time for the coffee to start working…So, to some people, including myself, solid hard rock sounds and crazy guitars might not be the best option for your morning…especially if it’s the beginning of the week. Thus, a few years ago, I made the so called “morning playlist” or “morning mixtape”, featuring classic rock tunes which I think are perfect for the early start of your day. I love collecting songs and making playlists, so I decided to share with you guys, some of the songs you can find on this morning playlist of mine (My personal playlist is too long, so I decided to share just 20 songs from it). They are indeed more soft and melodic than the usual songs I post on the blog, because I just can’t handle the crazy riffs at 6 am in the morning (haha). I hope you guys will enjoy the mixtape I prepared for you and might get some ideas for your own “morning playlist”. It’s a personal selection, combining classic rock songs with no common grounds, except being suitable for your busy and tiring mornings ( of course, based on my opinion only). Let’s play!
Eagles – I Can’t Tell You Why ( 1979 )
Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight ( 1977 )
Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven ( 1971 )
Whitesnake – Don’t Fade Away ( 1997 )
Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Lucky Man
The Alan Parsons Project – Some Other Time ( 1977 )
Hello, everyone and happy weekend! I hope everyone is enjoying their last working day and is ready for some fun, excitement and relaxation. (I sure as hell am ready to get some rest this weekend).
When we talk about the weekend, we think of doing something cool, letting loose, meeting some friends, etc. For me personally, weekends can’t be fun if there’s no rock ‘n’ roll in them! I’m pretty sure my readers think exactly the same. In the spirit of the upcoming two days of freedom, I decided to prepare a little mixtape, a.k.a a playlist, featuring some serious classic rock tunes, which I think would be perfect for your weekend mood! I told you before – making playlists is my specialty and I love doing it. I even remember, when I was a little kid, I had an audiocassette with “weekend” songs (there were a lot of disco tunes in that cassette, as far as I remember…). The goal of this publication is to simply give you guys a playlist to listen to over the weekend. Or, you can just play a few songs and remind yourself of those classics. One thing is for sure – all the songs I collected are here to create a perfect atmosphere and a lovely good mood! I hope you are ready for some no-more-work-for-two-days music!
One more thing – It’s a personal selection and I tried to include various classic rock tunes from the 70s, 80s and 90s, exploring different topics and themes, such as love, having fun, relaxing, partying, etc. Some of those songs are perfect for having a drink, while some of them are great for a dance party! Even if for some reason you can’t party or you can’t loosen up this weekend, you can still put on your headphones, turn the volume to the max and enjoy the music – the greatest thing in life!
Happy Friday and Happy Weekend!
Genesis – I Can’t Dance (1991)
Loverboy – Working for the Weekend (1981)
Duran Duran – Skin Trade (1987)
Cyndi Lauper – Girls Just Wanna Have Fun (1983)
Wang Chung – Everybody Have Fun Tonight (1986)
AC / DC – Have a Drink On Me (1980)
Foreigner – She’s too Tough (1979)
Judas Priest – Living after Midnight (1980)
KISS – Rock and Roll All Nite (1975)
Autograph – Turn up the Radio (1984)
Kenny Loggins – Footloose (1984)
Kenny Loggins fr. Steve Perry – Don’t Fight It (1982)
After the nice feedback and overall audience response for the previous informative publication I made about Bon Jovi –“10 Facts You Probably (don’t) Know about Bon Jovi ” , I decided that I should make similar posts about other classic rock bands as well. Then, I thought that it’s been a while since I last wrote something about my most favourite classic rock band – Def Leppard, so here we are… The following publication will present some interesting facts and details about the band, accompanied by some of their most famous and loved songs. I know that there are many Def Leppard fans like me out there, so for some of you these stories and facts might be well-known. However, there are people who might also not be so familiar with the band. This publication is for everyone who wants to know more or re-fresh their fan memory. I do hope you enjoy it!
Before I continue, I would like to say a few words about the band and their legacy. Def Leppard debuted in 1980 with their excellent album “On through the Night”. That album launched the professional career of one of the most appreciated and respected rock bands in the world. With a bit of uncertainty and yet unrefined and not very well-polished sound, Def Leppard jumped on the rock music scene of the 80s with hopes and dreams of becoming the next “Led Zeppelin”. As years, projects and numerous hardships went by, the band members, as well as their sound significantly grew and evolved and as a result, they created some of the most well-written and highly-processed album of the era. Of course, we should mention the help of top producer Mutt Lange who was by their side. “Pyromania” (1983) and “Hysteria” (1987) are the albums that basically ruled the 80s and turned Def Leppard into absolute rock Gods. Catchy, radio-friendly and energetic songs, combined with a mixture of shiny new pop hooks and classic hard rock was their recipe for success. And what a success story that was…and still is…
1.Def Leppard is an ENGLISH band from the steel-producing town of Sheffield. In 1977, Rick Savage, Tony Kenning and Pete Willis were already the members a rock band, called Atomic Mass. Originally, Willis was on guitar, Savage on the bass and Kenning on the drums. At that time, Joe Elliot was only 18 years old. He auditioned for the band as a guitarist. However, during the try out it was decided that Joe is a better singer than a guitarist. He was hired immediately as a lead-vocalist.
2. Joe Elliot proposed the band adopt a new name. He suggested they call themselves “Deaf Leopard” – a name he came up with while writing reviews for imaginary rock bands in his English class. Elliot was always dreaming about forming a band in school. He was creating song lists, band logos and band names while his classmates were studying. Kenning, however, suggested that they should alter the spelling of the name to “Def Leppard” in order to seem less punk rock. (P.S. The name was also a reference to the band Led Zeppelin.)
3. In January, 1978, guitarist Steve Clark successfully auditioned and eventually was accepted into the band. According to Joe Elliot, Steve Clark did a phenomenal job playing Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird” in its entirety, without accompaniment. Later on, Steve Clark would be know as the “riff master” for his ability to come up with tons of catchy tunes for the band.
4. Tony Kenning – their original drummer unexpectedly left the band in the beginning of 1978. The mother of Rick Allen, who was 14 back then was the one to actually respond to the ad placed by the band, looking for a new drummer (“Leppard loses skins” was the ad’s headline). On his fifteenth birthday – November 1st, 1978, Rick Allen joined the band and eventually dropped out of school. Today, he is known as the “thunder God”.
5. Their first concert was in 1978 in a high school gymnasium in their home town of Sheffield, England. It’s said that only about six people went to it. It is said that the band smuggled beer into the event by hiding it in the drum kit.
6.Phil Collen – a former guitarist of the glam rock band called Girl was hired by the band in 1982 as a replacement of former guitarist Pete Willis. Pete Willis had to be released from the band because of his excessive alcohol and drug abuse.
7.Phil Collen and Steve Clark became very close friends and were eventually given the nickname “The Terror Twins” (a reference to Aerosmith’s Toxic Twins).
8. The famous producer Mutt Lange is the mastermind behind Def Leppard’s High ‘N’ Dry (1981), Pyromania (1983) and Hysteria (1987). He was also the executive producer of Adrenalize (1992) and co-wrote “Ring of Fire” and “I Wanna Be Your Hero” from Retro Active, (1993) and “Promises”, “All Night” and “It’s Only Love” from Euphoria (1999).
9. Def Leppard’s ultimate hit single “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak” from their second album “High ‘n’ Dry” became one of the first rock videos to be played on MTV in 1982. The song’s working title was actually “A Certain Heartache” but they had it changed.
10. Def Leppard is one of the few rock bands that have had two studio albums which sold more than 10 million copies in the USA alone. As many might guess, those two albums are Pyromania (1983) and Hysteria (1987).
11. Pyromania’s (1983) lead single “Photograph” is probably their most essential song, as it completely established the name and image of the band among the mainstream audience. The video for “Photograph” succeeded Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” as the most requested video on MTV. The song became a daily “must play” for every rock station and a standard for any hard rock song in the 80s.
12. Drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm in a car crash on 31st of December 1984, when he was racing in his Corvette outside the band’s home city of Sheffield. Rick flew through the windshield and his arm was ripped off by the seat belt. Despite the horrible disaster, Rick Allen was determined and fully committed to continuing his duties as Def Leppard’s drummer. Eventually, he realized that he could use his legs to play the drums. He worked with Simmons to design a special custom-made electronic drum kit. The other members were very supportive and never thought of replacing him with another drummer. In just a few months, the strength of Rick’s will and his enormous desire to make music resulted in his very powerful comeback. Allen gathered the other band members and played the intro to the Led Zeppelin’s version of “When the Levee Breaks” to show them his progress. According to Joe Elliot this was a very emotionally-intense moment for all of them.
13. Def Leppard’s Hysteria (1987) is one of the few albums which spawned not one, not two, not three, but SEVEN hit singles – “Animal”, “Rocket”, “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, “Women”, “Hysteria”, “Armageddon’ It” and “Love Bites”. Furthermore, up to date, Hysteria is Def Leppard’s best-selling album of all time – it sold more than 25 million copies worldwide. It also remained in the album charts for about three years. (wow!!!)
14. “Pour Some Sugar on Me” is one of Def Leppard’s most famous and instantly-recognizable tunes. It is said that Joe Elliot came up with the title for the song while he was sitting in his apartment in London. He asked producer Mutt Lange for some sugar for his tea. Lange replied by asking whether Joe wanted one lump or two. Joe said, “I don’t care, just pour some sugar on me”…and the rest is history. (I should say that this story varies according to different sources.)
P.S. Upon asked about the title, Joe said, “It’s not for me to say, It’s for you to interpret”… so who knows?Joe also said that “Pour Some Sugar On Me” is “The metaphor for whatever sexual preference you enjoy”…
15. “Love Bites” (from Hysteria, 1987) is one of the most famous power ballads of the 80s. Up to date, it’s Def Leppard’s only number one hit single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
16. The “Riff-Master” – guitarist Steve Clark died of a drug and alcohol overdose on January 8th, 1991.
17. Between 1991 and 1992 the band held numerous auditions to replace Steve Clark. In February 1992, the band chose Vivian Campbell. Before joining Def Leppard, Vivian played in Dio and Whitesnake.
18. Def Leppard’s album “Adrenalize” was dedicated to Steve Clark and was released a year after his death – 1992. The album debuted at number 1 on the USA Billboard 200 and peaked number 1 position on the UK Album Chart as well. Adrenalize is Def Leppard’s final glam metal album. After it, the band started exploring different music directions and styles.
19.One of the most unique accomplishments of the band was achieved on October 23th, 1995 – Def Leppard entered the Guinness Book of World Records by playing three 45-minute shows on three different continents. The performances were in Tangier, Morocco, London and Vancouver, Canada. The band decided to carry out this rather stressful and extraordinary situation in support of Vault (Greatest Hits 1980-1995).
20. On the September 5th, 2000, Def Leppard were inducted into the Rock Walk of Fame on Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood by their good friend Brian May of Queen.
21. In 2001, VH1 produced and aired a biopic, titled Hysteria – The Def Leppard Story. The docudrama was portraying the band’s history between 1977 through 1986. The first broadcast of the movie produced some of VH1’s highest ever TV ratings. The movie is also available on DVD. (P.S. I thought it was a very decent movie and I recommend it, especially for people who are very interested in knowing more about this awesome band.)
22.Def Leppard won an award for “Favorite Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Artist” and “Favorite Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Album” for Hysteria during 1989’s American Music Awards. They also got numerous nominations in music video and best stage performance categories.
23. Def Leppard have an album which includes only cover songs from their childhood years. The album is titled “Yeah!” and it pays tribute to artists such as Blondie, The Kinks, ELO and others.
24. Up to date, Def Leppard has 11 Studio Albums, 2 live albums, 4 compilation albums, 8 video albums, 33 music videos, 50 singles and 18 concert tours. The band’s latest album called “Def Leppard” was released on the 30th of October last year and it debuted at number 10 on the Billboard charts. It became the band’s seventh album to peak at a top ten position on the chart. The first single from the album is called “Let’s Go”.
25. This past January, Def Leppard released their latest music video for the song “Dangerous” from their 2015 self-titled album.
Hello, everyone! Happy new week! I do hope it’s going to be a good one for all! It’s Monday, so I thought that there’s no better way of kicking off the week than listening to some pure rock ‘n’ roll! I previously mentioned that I love collecting songs and making playlists and I’ve been doing it ever since I was a kid. Thus, I thought that it’s only natural to continue with this tradition on my blog and prepare a weekly “mixtape” for my readers.
This week, once again, I’ve chosen 10 classic rock songs which I’m sure many of you guys are quite familiar with or have heard at least a few times before. Nevertheless, I think it’s a good way to remind ourselves of some brilliant masterpieces from the past and listen to them one more time. I’ve made my choice based on personal preferences and there’s no specific order or category – just songs I love and listen to quite often. I hope you guys would enjoy this week’s playlist … I hope some of you might also discover a song they’ve never heard before!
Missing someone can be the worst feeling in the world – life becomes so difficult when there’s someone out there who cannot be with you right now for one reason or another. Missing someone is basically your heart telling you that you truly love this person and wish you could be together at this moment and forever… It is just so painful to have someone in your heart but not have them in your arms! Being is such state can trigger overwhelming feelings of sadness and emotional stress and can affect pretty much every aspect of your life. Needless to say, not being able to physically and emotionally connect with the person you feel you should be with can be mentally agonizing. However, sometimes out of suffering and unimaginable pain, the most beautiful and touching works of art have emerged. A lot of people choose to overcome their agony by writing a poem, drawing a picture or…making a song.
These days, I’ve been thinking a lot about a certain someone who, sadly, I cannot see or be with at this moment. I’m not going to tell you my life story, but the point is that my heart is reaching for someone who is just not here to reach back…and it hurts like hell…But what can we do in such situation? We smile and act like nothing’s wrong – but only we, ourselves know what our hearts truly long and cry for…
Loneliness, broken heart, physical or any kind of distance between two people has been a popular song theme for as long as we can remember. Sometimes, those songs that explore the matter of missing someone can be a very good way to overcome the pain, obtain some strength or just realize your true feelings towards another person… Since this is a blog dedicated to classic rock music, I thought about preparing a little playlist that deals with the topic of how missing someone special has been portrayed in some of the most beautiful rock songs from a few decades ago. I think that the majority of people may be familiar with the awful feeling of wanting to be with someone who is so far away. I apologize if the following songs bring some sadness or other painful emotions or memories to you, however I thought that something positive might come out of it…After all, life goes on and things change. Songs are a good way to remind ourselves of the long and scary road we once walked… Regardless, I hope you guys enjoy the songs…It’s a personal selection and deep feelings aside – they are awesome classics!
How I wish, how I wish you were here. We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year, Running over the same old ground. What have we found? The same old fears. Wish you were here.
John Waite – Missing You (1984)
You don’t know How desperate I’ve become And it looks like I’m losing this fight In your world I have no meaning Though I’m trying hard to understand And it’s my heart that’s breaking Down this long distance line tonight
Scorpions – Still Loving You (1984)
The things that killed our love Your pride has built a wall, so strong That I can’t get through Is there really no chance To start once again I’m loving you
Journey – Faithfully (1983)
And being apart Ain’t easy on this love affair Two strangers learn to fall in love again I get the joy of rediscovering you Oh, girl, you stand by me I’m forever yours Faithfully
Electric Light Orchestra – Turn to Stone (1977)
The dancing shadows on the wall THE TWO-STEP IN THE HALL are all I see since you’ve been gone TURNING TURNING TURNING Through all I sit here and I wait I TURN TO STONE I TURN TO STONE You will return again some day TO MY BLUE WORLD
The Rolling Stones – Miss You (1978)
Well, I’ve been haunted in my sleep You’ve been staring in my dreams Lord I miss you. I’ve been waiting in the hall Been waiting on your cal…
Aerosmith – I don’t Wanna Miss a Thing (1998)
‘Cause even when I dream of you The sweetest dream would never do I’d still miss you, baby And I don’t wanna miss a thing…
Kiss – Beth (1976)
You say you feel so empty That our house just ain’t a home And I’m always somewhere else And you’re always there alone
Def Leppard – Miss You in a Heartbeat (1992)
I believe, that there’s something deep inside That shouldn’t be from time to time. I sure found out, thought love was such a crime The more you care, the more you fall No need to worry, no need to turn away ‘Cause it don’t matter, anyway …
Steve Perry – Missing You (1994)
Still I remember Things I never meant Memories surround me Won’t let me forget I was so wrong The secret’s not worth keeping I had no faith That you would still believe
+BONUS track ~
Eric Clapton – Miss You (1986)
You know I’ve come this far without you; It won’t be too hard to be alone. I’ve got choices all around me, So I won’t be spending too much time at home. Girl, I’m gonna miss you. I’m gonna miss you, baby. I can’t forgive you, Still I’m gonna miss you, baby.
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers. The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment. Cheers~
Everyone knows how much I LOVE Def Leppard – they are indeed my most favorite rock band of all time. When it comes to their music, influence and importance, not only in the lives of so many fans around the world, but in the history and development of music, they forever remain the ultimate undefeated rockstars. I’ve expressed my enthusiasm, respect and adoration for Def Leppard numerous times before, so I won’t be repeating myself today or bore you with some cliché words about how great, amazing and perfect they are to me… Instead, I decided to prepare a little playlist of 20 songs, which I consider to be Def Leppard’s most admirable and exceptional ones among all the other songs from their catalog. Don’t get me wrong, as a passionate fan it was very difficult for me to choose just 20 – I love and cherish each and every one of their songs. However, recently it came to my attention that many not-die-hard-fans like me are quite unfamiliar with other essential and equally important DL songs, such as for instance “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak” or “Hello America”. Every person who listens to and enjoys rock music, especially from the 80s, has heard of “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, “Photograph” or “Love Bites”. However, I believe that many fans need to be reminded of or hear some other greatly produced and exceptionally-crafted DL songs. Anyhow, I collected all of DL’s masterpieces throughout the years and came up with this playlist – for you guys, and for me as well – I really like making playlists. Of course, needless to say, the selection is quite subjective – but it’s my blog, after all, so I hope I can be excused!
Long live rock ‘n’ roll! It all started back in the late 1940s with the merging of numerous African-American musical elements, lyrics, styles and genres such as jazz, blues, boogie-woogie, gospel music, etc., with swing and country music. The term itself was coined and popularized by a famous DJ from Cleveland, Ohio – Alan Freed – one of the biggest supporters of the genre (as well as of African-American artists) back then and one of the first DJs to ever play rock ‘n’ roll on his radio station. The term itself may refer to the so called “first wave” of music from the 1950s, however as time went by, we just started using it to refer to all rock music, style, fashion and culture in general…
I can talk a lot about the history and development of rock ‘n’ roll – with all the controversies, racism and numerous struggles the musicians (especially African-American artists) had to face during this turbulent time in North American history. However, I’m gonna have to put the history lesson on hold for now. Instead, I’ve prepared something else for you guys.
Do you think classic hard rock bands such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, AC/DC, Def Leppard or Van Halen would’ve chosen such path, without the influence of rock ‘n’ roll fathers and pioneers like Chuck Berry, Bill Haley, Elvis Presley, Little Richard or later on The Beatles and The Rolling Stones? – Because I certainly don’t think so. All of our favorite rockstars (yes, every single one of them) who made rock music in the 70s, 80s and early 90s grew up listening to rock ‘n’ roll and transferred its influence to their own music later on. Rock music surely changed throughout the years; however it all started with rock ‘n’ roll!
Many of the above mentioned rockstars who came in the mid-70s and 80s paid a lot of tribute to rock ‘n’ roll in their songs – even nowadays, rock musicians still sing about rock ‘n’ roll! Therefore, I decided to come up with this playlist, consisting of hard rock songs that commemorate and praise rock ‘n’ roll. The list includes songs by artists such as AC/DC, Def Leppard, Joan Jett, Rainbow and others (I’m not going to include music from “true rock ‘n’ roll” musicians from the 50s and 60s – only those who later on paid tribute to the culture and the genre that started it all). All of the songs I chose have a title which consists of the phrase “rock ‘n’ roll” and are based on a subjective and personal selection. I’m not going to focus on each and every song individually; rather I’m just going to provide a few cool lines from the lyrics. I’m not going to restrict myself with years, even though most of the songs I chose are from the 80s. Let’s rock ‘n’ roll!
1. AC/DC – Got Some Rock And Roll Thunder (2014)
I got some rock and roll thunder Hey, hey what do you know I said feeling great and ready to roll
2. Rainbow – Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll (1978)
In a different time When the words didn’t rhyme You could never quite be sure Then on with the change It was simple but strange And you knew the feeling seemed to say it all
3. Joan Jett – I love Rock N Roll (1982)
Singing, I love rock and roll So put another dime in the jukebox, baby I love rock and roll So come and take your time and dance with me
4. Def Leppard – The Golden Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll (2006)
Everybody hazy, shell-shocked and crazy. Screaming for the face at the window. Jeans for the genies, dresses for the dreamies, Fighting for a place in the front row.
5. Led Zeppelin – Rock and Roll (1971)
It’s been a long time since I rock and rolled, It’s been a long time since I did the Stroll. Ooh, let me get it back, let me get it back, Let me get it back, baby, where I come from.
6. Billy Joel – It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me (1980)
Nowadays you can’t be too sentimental Your best bet’s a true baby blue Continental.” Hot funk, cool punk, even if it’s old junk It’s still rock and roll to me
7. Kiss – Rock’n Roll All Night (1975)
You show us everything you’ve got You keep on dancing and the room gets hot You drive us wild, we’ll drive you crazy
8. The Ramones – Rock & Roll High School (1980)
Well I don’t care about history Rock, rock, rock’n’roll high school ‘Cause that’s not where I wanna be Rock, rock, rock’n’roll high school
9. AC/DC – Rock & Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution (1980)
Heavy decibels bells are playing on my guitar We got vibrations comin’ up from the floor We’re just listenin’ to the rock That’s givin’ too much noise Are you deaf you wanna hear some more
10. Rainbow – If You Don’t Like Rock & Roll (1979)
You’d never know there was some music playin’ Until you talked your way inside the door And then a sound like rollin’ thunder Begins to push you right thru the floor
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
The fact is – not many people are familiar with the roles and responsibilities of a music producer. People enjoy listening to produced albums, get involved with the artists, buy the CDs, etc. However, how many of those people actually and truly understand the crucial role of the producer who stood behind the album? –I don’t think they are that many… Recently, I’ve been having these conversations and discussions about the significant part a producer plays in a music project, as well as his/her numerous duties and obligations as one. Every producer does different things and participates or specializes in different areas of production. Most importantly, however, a producer is the one, who gathers ideas, help artists establish find their sound and looks for creative ways to present this sound to the general public. In addition, a producer is the one who decides which song would go on a record and would fit perfectly into the concept of the project. Once the selection has been made, he/she starts working with the artist/s to build up the sound together and bring to life the vision of a perfect album. Not only that, but the producer is “the coach of the studio” – in combination with managing the mixing board, a producer also supervises, gives advices and suggestions on how to better record a song…He/she may even encourage or help the artists with their confidence in order for them to give the best performance – a true studio “persuasive diplomat”. In some cases, a producer may also help an artist with the lyrics of the song or may add some new ideas about the ways to sing it or play it. A producer also brings all the audio elements together, deals with all the technical aspects, and adds effects, quality…a spirit to a song. The producer simply puts all the ideas and visions together with the primary goal to achieve the best results possible.
Back to what I was saying….as expected, during those discussions the name of Mr. Mutt Lange kept on coming out. No reason to wonder – Mutt Lange is a huge name in the industry. He is the mastermind behind albums such as AC/DC’s “Back in Black”, Def Leppard’s “Pyromania” and “Hysteria”, The Cars’ “Heartbeat City”, Nickelback’s “Dark Horse”, etc. Except (classic) rock records, he worked with artists such as Lady Gaga, Maroon 5, The Corrs, Muse, Michael Bolton, Shania Twain and many more. One might find it quite difficult to image that a rock ‘n’ roll and metal producer like him worked with country and pop musicians, however his talents are versatile and it’s quite obvious…He was and still is one of the most in-demand producers in the world. I’ve listened to pretty much each and every album he produced, regardless of the genre, and all I can say is that this person is a music genius. As cliché as it may sound, he truly is one – his creativity is beyond words; his vision and ideas are beyond excellent… He started his career as a music producer in the ‘70s and within just a few years he became responsible for one of the greatest records of all time… In the following publication, I decided to gather up 5 of his most important and influential records so that we can truly understand the brilliance of his mind…Those 5 albums made such a big difference and were so successful that we still cannot stop listening or talking about them! It’s a rather informative publication, through which I hope we can better understand what a huge difference a great producer can have on a record! Here we go…
AC/DC – “Back in Black” (1980)
The second-best selling album of all time with more than 25 million copies sold, this album will forever remain as one of the greatest records of all time and a standard measure for any hard-rock band out there. Following up the tragic death of frontman Bon Scott, AC/DC were facing numerous difficulties and even thought about quitting. Brian Johnson was also dealing with many obstacles as the new vocalist. However, Lange’s influence once again stepped in and with brand new approaches he managed to give birth to “Back in Black” – an album that perfectly captured the electrifying energy, astonishing technical and lyrical arrangements and a new and reborn AC/DC, ready to take over the world. The album was released in 1980 and it quickly became their most critically respected album. It spawned 4 huge singles – “You Shook Me All Night Long”, “Hells Bells”, “Back in Black” and “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution”, all of which redefined hard rock music and left a mark that can never be erased! Bravo, Mr. Lange!
Def Leppard – Pyromania (1983)
Where do I even begin with Pyromania? I already made an appreciation post about this masterpiece which you guys can check here –[The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] DEF LEPPARD – PYROMANIA (1983) We owe this album to Lange – the genius who took Def Leppard under his wing and encouraged them to dig deeper till they find their real talents and true meaning of their music. In addition, he also co-wrote all the songs of “Pyromania”. It seems like his lyrical approaches and touches were exactly what the band needed. With this album, Lange managed to create the perfect balance between hard rock and mainstream rock. Not to mention that after its release, the career of Def Leppard reached its peak! Pyromania is also an extremely important landmark album because it revealed the possibilities of an album – it produced 4 hit singles (“Photograph”, “Foolin”, “Rock of Ages”, “Too Late For Love”) – something no other rock record did before. I will be forever thankful to Lange for producing one of my most beloved albums.
Def Leppard – Hysteria (1987)
“Hysteria” – the album that took three-years to record; the album that perfectly showcased the strength of human will and ability to overcome any difficulty; the album that became the most distinctive hard rock record of the era…and of course, probably my favourite album of all time! Mutt Lange once again took matters into his hands and helped Def Leppard make history. “Hysteria” produced 7 hit singles – an accomplishment so rare that we cannot but respect him for making it possible. Lange co-wrote all the songs of the album, including the smashing hit “Pour Some Sugar on me”. The album ended up selling more than 15 million copies worldwide and once again proved how important the vision of the producer is. What can I say, each and every song from this album is impeccably written and it combines catchy and captivating lyrics with flawless technical arrangement. Thank you, Mr Lange!
Foreigner – “4” (1981)
Before releasing this album, Foreigner were already a well-known and established name in the rock music scene. However, their 2nd and 3rd albums were not as successful as their debut album, so they turned to Mutt Lange for help to find a new approach…a “raw edge” – great strategy and perfect timing. The result was immediate – “4” hold the number one position on Billboard for 10 weeks, sold over 7 million copies and it spawned 4 outstanding hit singles that blew away people’s minds back then (and still are, at least to me). I mean, who doesn’t know or haven’t listened to “Urgent” or “Juke Box Hero” at least once in their lives? This album made the band famous internationally and broke all the records. In terms of style, “4” marked the beginning of Foreigner’s shift to more radio-friendly, hard rock sound, especially with songs such as “Head Games” and “Urgent”…and we love all of them. Interesting fact, Mutt Lange actually contributed with the background vocals as well! That’s what I was telling you about – the producer is responsible for and can engage in so many activities!
Bryan Adams – “Waking Up the Neighbors” (1991)
After helping so many artists and producing so many albums in the 80s, Mutt Lange triumphantly stepped into the new decade (90s) by producing Bryan Adam’s glorious hit album “Waking up the Neighbors”. The album sold more than 16 million copies worldwide and was number one on the British charts for 16 weeks. Those numbers should tell you that this album was indeed one of the best accomplishments of Mutt Lange as a producer. With few nice commercial touches and beautifully crafted melodic rock ballads, Lange did it once again. “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” is probably the first song that comes to our minds when we talk about Bryan Adams (well, maybe it’s just me). The song we all remember him by features in non-other than this album – it was also included on the soundtrack of the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves in 1991 (yes, the movie with Kevin Costner). In addition to such unforgettable ballads, the album produced a number of nice and catchy rock tunes. Overall, brilliant work, Mr Lange!
Well, this is it for now. Those were 5 great albums, produced by Mr Mutt Lange – one of the most notable, versatile and respected producers of all time.I gave you five, however we should know that throughout his career he has produced more than 40 albums and worked with artists from all possible genres. I hope this publication gave you some insight about the important role a producer plays in a musical project. He/She can either be responsible for turning an artist/s into a global phenomenon or the other way around. In the cases I’ve shown you, Mutt Lange did the first thing – he helped those artists and bands establish a distinctive sound and name in the industry. For that, we will be forever thankful!
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers. The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment. Cheers~
This week, Joe Elliot and Phil Collin of Def Leppard dropped by Pawn Stars History to take a look at a very beautiful Jackson guitar. I was so excited about their appearance because well, they are my favorite rock band of all time, after all… In the episode, a woman brings this gorgeous Jackson guitar, supposedly painted and played by Phil Collen himself. Long story short, Joe and Phil suddenly appear out of nowhere and it was just so fun watching how everyone was left with their jaws open… My favorite part was when Phil took the guitar and started playing in the middle of the shop – pretty much all the customers and employees just stopped doing whatever they were doing and listened to this virtuoso – his riffs were insane! There is a reason why he is one of the most respected guitar players and once again, we were able to bow down to his outstanding technical abilities. Check out their appearance on the following video – I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I did! Awesome episode and unforgettable appearance by Def Leppard… (I wish Deff Leppard would just come out of nowhere while I just shop but well…)
On the 20th of January, we celebrated the 33th anniversary of Def Leppard’s groundbreaking and era-defining album “Pyromania”. Released back in 1983, this album not only changed the face of the 80s, but it also became one of the biggest reasons behind Def Leppard’s major success and fan recognition back in the days. To me personally, “Pyromania”, along with their following album “Hysteria” are the two albums that mostly characterize and represent Def Leppard…not to mention that those two albums are some of my all-time favorites. To mark the anniversary of this incredible masterpiece, I decided to dedicate a publication which can hopefully give some insight and also show my appreciation and love for it. Also, I would like to provide some basic information about it so that the readers can have a better idea of the impact and the greatness that lies within this album. Needless to say, I adore and appreciate each and every song from this album which makes this publication a very special one. Finally, this album focus marks the beginning of a new category of posts on this blog – The Greatest Albums of the 80s…what better way to start than with Def Leppard’s “Pyromania”?
Since this is going to be an album focus publication, I would like to begin with some of the major details regarding the album. “Pyromania”, as already mentioned, was released on the 20th of January back in 1983 and it’s Def Leppard’s third studio album. Along with the album, the band also organized a concert tour that lasted for one whole year, in order to support and present their new project to the world. It was an European tour, however it did have a huge impact…after all, in the 80s it was all about the “live concert experience”. Going back to the album itself, it was indeed a huge success as it reached number 2 on the Billboard 200, number 4 in Canada, and number 18 on the UK album charts – those are some major achievements and prove that the album was and still is worthy of admiration and listening. In its original release, the album sold more than 6 million copies in the USA alone and since than it sold more than 10 million copies – thus It was certified 10x “platinum” by the RIAA in 2004. The artwork of the album is also pretty amazing, don’t you think? It includes a skyscraper caught on fire and a bullseye which is directly pointed at the flaming building. The artist behind this memorable and classic hard rock cover is Andie Airfix – the guy who also a few years later does the cover of “Hysteria”. Some say it predicted 9/11 and consider it rather controversy; however I try to stay away from such interpretations. To me it’s fresh, futuristic and rocknroll!
The reasons behind the album’s positive response from the public are numerous but to me personally, the success of the album comes from the brilliant hard rock mastermind of the producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange. He not only set new standards and characteristics of mainstream hard rock of the 80s with this album, but he was also responsible for the memorable, radio-friendly and easy to remember and sing with lyrics. Sometimes, people don’t really understand the role and the importance of the music producer – he/she is not only another full-time member of the band but also the figure that glues together ideas, concepts and intentions for the songs, lyrics, performances, etc. In this case, Mutt Lange’s ingenious vision is what lies behind the success of “Pyromania”. In order to get the right sound and create this “hard rock stronghold”, the producer recorded each member of the band individually – a rather unique approach causing many bumps along the way. Despite all, the results were beyond impressive. To me and probably to many other rock music fans and critics, this albums serves as a transition – a turning point and progression from their previous rather raw, wild and heavy metal albums to more radio-friendly, modern, catchy, sophisticated and easier to fall in love with sound. As David Fricke of Rolling Stone magazine said, they put “some much-needed fire back on the radio” with this album!
Furthermore, “Pyromania” is the first album to feature guitarist Phil Collen. I absolutely adore him and his talent – his guitar riffs are like thunder!! He comes in the band after the previous lead guitarist – Pete Willis was fired due to alcohol problems. The album was already half-recorder when he steps in and I guess that things were not that easy at the beginning. I’m not going to get into details about Phil right now but what we need to know is that he still remains the band’s lead guitarist – quite impressive, don’t you think? I am so proud of them, being together for so many years and overcoming so many obstacles. Except firing their previous lead guitarist and the death of Steve Clark (co-lead guitarist and songwriter), the band’s members have always been together and that’s one of the many reasons why I respect them so much.
Let’s talk a little bit more about the songs of the album. The tracklist includes 10 songs, all of which possessing that special spirit, aura and groundbreaking new sound of the band. “Photograph”, “Rock of Ages” and “Foolin” found their place in top 40 USA charts and in people’s hearts as well. Those three songs received major recognition and constant airplay on MTV due to their melodic hooks, refined guitar riffs and captivating passionate lyrics. This exposure gave Def Leppard the chance to prove that they are not just another radio-time-filler-band, but rather an important and powerful name, ready to make history. Just listen…
(The music videos are just so typical for the 80s era…hilarious!)
I hope many of you got reminded of these all-time classics! Along with the three songs, the album includes “Rock! Rock (Till You Drop)”, “Stagefright”, “Too Late For Love”, “Die Hard the Hunter”, “Comin’ Under Fire”, “Action! Not Words” and “Billy’s Got A Gun”. All these songs are beyond remarkable, however I am entitled to have a favorite one and that has to be “Too Late For Love”. This song, to me is one of the greatest power ballads of the 80s and it perfectly illustrates the vocal abilities of Joe Elliot like no other song… not to mention the powerful lyrics and compelling guitar riffs that just make you lose yourself…This song is one of the reasons why 1980s melodic hard rock movement gained popularity. It is the perfect ballad and I recommend each and every one of you guys to listen to it again…
Of course, the other songs are worth listening to as much as the ones I put here, however, I’m gonna let you guys go grab the album from your CD shelf and play it or if you became curious and interested – to go and buy it at your local CD store. Overall, it is a brilliant album – no second opinion about it. It can appeal to any audience of any age – it’s just that good! It is also a MUST HAVE album in your CD/Vinyl collection. If someone asks me to name some of the most distinctive rock albums of the 80s, I will most certainly start with this one. It is that influential and that era-representing. It becomes obvious how hard the producer and the members worked to create it. The details, the musicianship and the lyrics of the songs made it a major catalyst and stimulant for numerous follow-up bands and the overall rock sound of the 1980s. Def Leppard just simply changed the rules of the game…
Oh and of course – I just had to…
This is it for now, stay tuned for more rock music!