’90S ROCK BLAST: DEF LEPPARD – RETRO ACTIVE

def-leppard-retro-active

RETRO ACTIVE

Released: October 5, 1993
Genre: Hard Rock/Glam Rock
Duration: 56:04
Label: Mercury
Producer(s): Def Leppard
Singles: “Two Steps Behind”, “Desert Song”, “Miss You In A Heartbeat”, “Action”, ““Two Steps Behind (re-issue)”
Certified: Platinum (RIAA)

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OVERVIEW

Def Leppard released four albums during the 90s but this time I will specifically focus on “Retro Active”, despite “Adrenalize” being their most commercially and critically successful 90s record. I wanted to talk a little bit more about “Retro Active” because of its unique format that combines groomed up versions of unreleased/B-sides tracks and a couple of covers from previous albums. The album carries with it Def Leppard’s genuine and classic ‘80s sound, making it their most deserving work that came out in the ‘90s. Don’t get me wrong, “Adrenalize” and “Euphoria”, for instance are groundbreaking albums, but they cannot match the variety and character of “Retro Active”. Fuelled up with first-class production quality and of course, the dynamic and charismatic spirit of Def Leppard, the record is the ultimate cause for celebration, especially for die-hard fans of the band, like me. On top of it all, the band gives us one more chance to honor the late Steve Clark (RIP) by revisiting his legacy and experiencing his enormous talents and contributions all over again. We get to hear the first recordings with the new guitarist Vivian Campbell, as well.

In terms of songs, “Retro Active” is an absolute rock festival from start to finish. We get to enjoy a couple of gorgeous ballads -“Miss You in a Heartbeat” and “Two Steps behind You”, both presented in acoustic and electric versions.  Listening to those excellent pieces of art makes me such a proud fan of Def Leppard. “Miss You in a Heartbeat”, especially, is one in a lifetime kind of song – memorable and easy to sing with chorus, heartbreaking lyrics and an unmatchable classy aura. I have always been entranced by Joe’s vocals on this track. “She’s too Tough”, originally released on the “Heaven Is” single (1993) is such a delightful surprise and definitely my favorite moment of “Retro Active”. Energizing and empowering, the track is definitely something to anticipate as you go from start to finish. Playful, even sexy lyrics that generate an immediate visual in your mind, which is one of the reasons why I love Def Leppard so much – they tell a story with their music and make things so much more interesting. Kicking things off gently and then quickly teleporting us to a pure solid hard rock realm, “I Wanna Be Your Hero” is another groundbreaking point. On “Retro Active”, you get to find tons of other deserving rockers, such as the covers “Action” (Sweet) and “Only After Dark” (Mick Ronson). The mind-blowing first two opening tracks “Desert Song” and “Fractured Love”, both from Hysteria sessions, are bringing us back to Def Leppard’s early raw roots. The epic “Ride into the Sun” is another personal favorite of mine, probably due to the long history it carries with it – the track was actually featured on Def Leppard’s first ever self-produced EP, released back in 1979 before it was rerecorded in 1987 as a B-side to the “Hysteria” single. “Retro Active” wraps things up with a hidden track – a tender piano version of “Miss You in a Heartbeat”. Leaving us absolutely speechless, you can’t but go on the “Retro Active” journey once again, after the final song is over; the feeling is just that strong!

This album is for everyone, though I do believe that die-hard fans of Def Leppard would enjoy it much more than everyone else. The collection of songs offers a little something for all the rock souls out there – from attractive hard rockers to sentimental ballads, “Retro Active” provides you with the ultimate Def Leppard experience. The album is important also because it’s a final farewell to Steve Clark, the irreplaceable force, without which the band wouldn’t have reached such heights. Grab a copy and enjoy the superb production and quality of this record. Definitely in my top 5 Def Leppard albums! That should tell you something!


Tracklist:

“Desert Song” (Steve Clark, Joe Elliott, Rick Savage)
Outtake from the Hysteria album sessions (1984–87)

“Fractured Love” (Clark, Elliott, Savage) – 5:08
Outtake from the Hysteria album sessions

“Action” (Andy Scott, Brian Connolly, Steve Priest, Mick Tucker)
Original version released on the “Make Love Like a Man” single (1992)

“Two Steps Behind” (Acoustic version) (Elliott)
Original version released on the “Make Love Like a Man” single
Originally released on the Last Action Hero soundtrack (1993)

“She’s Too Tough” (Elliott)
Original version released on the “Heaven Is” single (1993) and is the bonus track for the Japanese pressing of Adrenalize (1992)

“Miss You in a Heartbeat” (Phil Collen)
Original version released on the “Make Love Like a Man” single

“Only After Dark” (Mick Ronson, Scott Richardson)
Original version released on the “Let’s Get Rocked” single (1992)

“Ride into the Sun” (Clark, Collen, Elliott, Savage)
Original version released on the “Hysteria” single (1987)
First recording of the song released on The Def Leppard E.P. (1979)

“From the Inside” (Elliott)
Originally released on the “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad” single

“Ring of Fire” (Clark, Collen, Elliott, Robert John “Mutt” Lange, Savage)
Original version released on the “Armageddon It” single (1988)

“I Wanna Be Your Hero” (Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange, Savage)
Original version released on the “Hysteria” single

“Miss You in a Heartbeat” (Electric version) (Collen)
This was the Japanese bonus track for Adrenalize

“Two Steps Behind” (Electric version) (Elliott)

“Miss You in a Heartbeat” (Piano version) (Hidden track)) (Collen)

She’s Too Tough

Miss You In A Heartbeat

I Wanna Be Your Hero

Action

Two Steps Behind

Desert Song


References:
“Retro Active” Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retro_Active
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~

[The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] Def Leppard – HYSTERIA

Def-Leppard-Hysteria

There are a number of essential classic rock albums from the ‘80s and then there’s Def Leppard’s “Hysteria” – the monstrous record that goes way beyond that! In addition to the brilliant technical and song-writing skills demonstrated on this album, “Hysteria” is significant due to the human stories that surround its production and release. Furthermore, till today it remains their best-selling and most successful album of all time! I don’t think something so extraordinary and out-of-this-world can actually be made nowadays. “Hysteria” is the perfect ‘80s rock album – catchy, fun, sexy and full of passion and timeless hard rock hits.

The creation of “Hysteria” took over three years due to a number of hardships the band had to go through. Rick Allen – their drummer, lost his arm in a car accident. Before this tragic event, Def Leppard were still riding on the train of success thanks to their phenomenal album “Pyromania”, released in 1983 – a record that proved that the band is here to stay and change the world! For a moment, though, their future didn’t seem as bright as they thought…What happened? Well, Def Leppard were the unquestionable kings of hard rock and such events couldn’t stop them from continuing their quest. Rick started using a custom-made electronic drum kit and not only became one of the greatest inspirations for so many people, but he became an even better drummer. Now, we call him the thunder God and he indeed is! Imagine the strength of his will and the degree of his passion. He is such a remarkable human being…

“Hysteria” is the last album to feature the outstanding guitarist Steve Clark, before his death. Some of his songs do appear on the following album – “Adrenalize” (1992), however Hysteria’s promotional tours and concerts were the last times we saw him on the stage with his bandmates, unfortunately. Losing their guitarist once again shook the band’s grounds but they rose from the ashes and kept on making great rock music!

“Hysteria” is produced by none-other than Mr Mutt Lange – the producer I adore and respect with all my heart and soul. His goal was to create an album that’s going to be the “rock version” of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” – an album in which every track is a potential hit single! Well, he did it – “Hysteria” spawned 7 phenomenal hit singles I don’t even know how to describe. From the breathtaking power ballad “Love Bites” to the sexy and timeless guitar riffs of “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, “Hysteria” can just instantly settle down in your heart and never leave it.

Oh by the way, if you haven’t figured it out yet, YES – “HYSTERIA” it’s my favorite album of all time…

Let’s talk more about it and listen to some tunes!

1987 def leppard


 

HYSTERIA

Def-Leppard-HysteriaReleased: August 3, 1987
Recorded: February 1984 – January 1987; Wisseloord Studios, Hilversum;
Windmill Lane Studio 2, Dublin;
Studio Des Dames, Paris; Mixing: February – May 1987
Genre: Hard Rock, Rock, Glam Rock
Length: 62:32
Label: Mercury (US), Phonogram (Original Release), Mercury (2000 re-release)
Producer(s): Robert John “Mutt” Lange
Singles: “Animal”, “Women”, “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, “Hysteria”, “Armageddon It”, “Love Bites”, “Rocket”
Personnel: Joe Elliott – lead vocals; Phil Collen – guitars; Steve Clark – guitars; Rick Savage – bass guitar;  Rick Allen – drums
Certified: 12xPlatinum (RIAA)

TRACKLIST:

“Women”
“Rocket”
“Animal”
“Love Bites”
“Pour Some Sugar on Me”
“Armageddon It”
“Gods of War”
“Don’t Shoot Shotgun”
“Run Riot”
“Hysteria”
“Excitable”
“Love and Affection”

 ~

2006 Deluxe Edition: Disc one
“Tear It Down”

“Ride into the Sun”
“I Wanna Be Your Hero”
“Ring of Fire”

2006 Deluxe Edition: Disc two
Elected” (Live in Tilburg, Holland)

“Love and Affection” (Live in Tilburg, Hollad)
“Billy’s Got a Gun” (Live in Tilburg, Holland)
“Rock of Ages” Medley: Not Fade Away/My Generation/Radar Love/Come Together/Whole Lotta Love” (Live in Tilburg, Holland)
“Women” (Live in Denver, CO)
“Animal” (Extended version)
“Pour Some Sugar on Me” (Extended version)
“Armageddon It”” (The Nuclear Mix)
“Excitable”” (Orgasmic Mix)
“Rocket”” (The Lunar Mix)
“Release Me” (credited as Stumpus Maximus & The Good Ol’ Boys)

hysteria-4f7fb6aa33545.png

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“We’ve always wanted to be a band for the people,” Phil Collen says. “When we started working on Hysteria we had just sold eight million records with Pyromania so we knew we had a fanbase. We weren’t necessarily trying to top that because you can’t go into something saying, ‘Okay, yeah, this one’s going to sell more than 8million copies.’ That’s a lot of records. We just wanted to make a record with good songs that we really liked and that were maybe a little more polished and more modern sounding. Even when we finished Hysteria we had no idea how it was going to do, but it felt like a triumph for us.”

OVERVIEW

“Pyromania” established a very high standard for what should be called a very well-produced and fine as hell hard rock album. In 1987, however, “Hysteria” raised the stakes even higher. Once again, Robert “Mutt” Lange was on board and his obsessive desire to create the perfect and most commercially successful hard rock album of all time, resulted in a painful squeezing of every tiny bit of talent and effort from the music engineers and technicians to the band members themselves. Undoubtedly, “Hysteria” was not an easy album to make – it took years, a lot of money and tons of planning.

Throughout the years, many critics have claimed that “Hysteria” is just a very well made pop sell-out product that doesn’t really possess any sort of artistic value or originality. If releasing seven hit singles from one album is not valuable and doesn’t speak for a band’s efforts and hard work then I don’t really know what else we should call “valuable and impressive”.

The brilliant consistency and marriage between pop and hard rock can easily be felt as we go from one song to another. To make the sound of “Hysteria” so unique and essential, Mutt Lange went above and beyond by using a variety of technology, vocal and sound layering and adopting numerous other effects to give the tracks a “stadium rock vibe” and “extra solid sound” that pierce your heart and gives you chills the moment you play them.  

Def Leppard’s sense of craft was successfully portrayed in “Hysteria”. This pop-rock guilty pleasure record is filled with killer riffs, exquisite sonics, brilliant hooks and easy to sing along with lyrics. From the ultimate power ballad “Love Bites”, fueled with Joe Elliott’s gentle but rather extreme vocal delivery techniques to the timeless hard rock anthem “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, the album rocks song after song. Bottom line is, “Hysteria” will forever remain as one of the greatest pop-metal records ever. Not to mention that “Hysteria” completely revolutionized the industry at that time. No other rock record managed to impress with such polished production, album length and number of singles. The album and the band simply did the impossible with this album. They also paved the way and set a new and very high standard for all the rockers out there releasing albums.

My favorite thing about “Hysteria” is that there is just no weak song. Even the tracks that were not released as singles are equally impressive and important. The album is very consistent, easy to listen to, easy to sing along with and so exciting. We can just listen to it forever…

Now let’s listen to some music…


 

The most instantly recognizable rock tune of all times! Do I even need to introduce this song? Sexy, fun, spectacular and essential for every rock party! It hit number 2 on Billboard Hot 100 chart and is an epitome of ‘80s hard rock. The song sent sales of “Hysteria” so high that we can surely say that this song is one of the main factors behind the success of the album. The MV is also iconic and one of MTV’s most favorite and played one of all time!

Pour Some Sugar On Me

Love is like a bomb, baby, c’mon get it on
Livin’ like a lover with a radar phone
Lookin’ like a tramp, like a video vamp
Demolition woman, can I be your man?
Razzle ‘n’ a dazzle ‘n’ a flash a little light
Television lover, baby, go all night
Sometime, anytime, sugar me sweet
Little miss ah innocent sugar me…


 

Power ballads were the thing back in the ‘80s. It was essential for every rock musician to have such a song in their album. However, none other is as beautiful and captivating as “Love Bites”. Joe Elliott’s vocal delivery is what makes it so strong and effective. So far, “Love Bites” is Def Leppard’s only number one single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Following the huge success of “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, the explosion called “Love Bites” shot Def Leppard right to the stars!

Love Bites

When you make love, do you look in the mirror?
Who do you think of, does he look like me?
Do you tell lies and say that it’s forever?
Do you think twice, or just touch ‘n’ see?
Ooh babe ooh yeah

When you’re alone, do you let go?
Are you wild ‘n’ willin’ or is it just for show?
Ooh c’mon

I don’t wanna touch you too much baby
‘Cos making love to you might drive me crazy…


 

This is my favorite songs from “Hysteria” and as a matter of fact I often point it out as my favorite Def Leppard song of all time. The reception of “Women” was not as good as Def Leppard might have expected and many believe it’s the least interesting song from “Hysteria” but I can never agree with such statements. The intro, heavy bass and lyrics hit so hard that I can’t even explain it. Just listen and tell me how come this awesome track flopped?

Women

In the beginning
God made the land
Then He made the water and creatures, then He made man

He was born with a passion, love and hate
A restless spirit with a need for a mate
But there was somethin’ that was missin’, somethin’ lost
So he came with the answer, here’s what it cost

One part love, one part wild
One part lady, one part child
I give you…


Some other memorable tunes from the album…

Rocket

Animal

Love And Affection

 

~

“Hysteria” is THE album of the ‘80s! It has everything I ever wanted from an album and there’s a reason why it’s my favorite one of all time! Every song is a piece of art, fueled with so many emotions. You can actually feel their immense passion, devotion and determination as u go from one track to another. This album meant a lot to them and they poured out their souls in it. Most importantly, “Hysteria” is the perfect combination of music technology, outstanding craftsmanship and the strength of human will and ambition. The greatest records are not the ones who sound good but the ones that allow you to hear the people inside of them. I can never have a more favorite album than this one…

Cheers!


 

Credits:
Def Leppard lyrics, retrieved from http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/defleppard
Def Leppard Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Def_Leppard
“Hysteria” Album Review, retrieved from http://www.allmusic.com
28 Years Ago: Def Leppard Unleash ‘Hysteria’, retrieved from http://loudwire.com/def-leppard-hysteria-album-anniversary/
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.
Cheers~

25 Facts You May (not) Know About the Mighty Def Leppard

Def Leppard x
Def Leppard – Photosession for their 2002 album “X”

Greetings everyone!

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.

 

Def Leppard - end of the 70s
Def Leppard in the late 70s.


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).

Steve and Phil
“The Terror 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.

 

Rick Allen 2
Rick Allen

 

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.

Def_Leppard_-_Adrenalize
Def Leppard – “Adrenalize” Album Cover


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.

 

Def Leppard walk of fame

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.)

Hysteria MOVIE


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.

 

YEAH!
Def Leppard – “YEAH!” Album Cover

 

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.

 


Credits:
Def Leppard Artist Facts, retrieved from http://www.songfacts.com/facts-def_leppard.php
Def Leppard Biography, retrieved from http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Def_Leppard.aspx
“10 Things You Might Not Know about Def Leppard”, retrieved from http://www.kshe95.com/blogs/ten-things/10-things-you-might-not-know-about-def-leppard
“You Think You Know Def Leppard”, retrieved from http://ultimateclassicrock.com/you-think-you-know-def-leppard/
Def Leppard – Official Wikipedia Page, retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Def_Leppard
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/or various other right holders.

[News] Joe Elliott and Phil Collen of Def Leppard drop by Pawn Stars History!

DLFBPS
Def Leppard’s Joe Elliot and Phil Collen on Pawn Stars (Photo taken from Def Leppard’s Official Facebook Page – https://www.facebook.com/defleppard

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…)

[The Greatest Rock Albums of the 80s] DEF LEPPARD – PYROMANIA (1983)

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Def Leppard – Pyromania Album Cover (by Andie Airfix)

Greetings!

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”?

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Def Leppard 1983 ; (credits to the owner of the photo)

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.

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Phil Collen – guitarist of Def Leppard Pyromania – Tour ’83 (credits to the owner of the photo)

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…

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Me, wearing DEF LEPPARD’s PYROMANIA album T-shirt

This is it for now, stay tuned for more rock music!

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Credits:
  1. Rolling Stone Magazine – “Best Albums of the Eighties” (Def Leppard – Pyromania no. 62), retrieved from http://www.rollingstone.com
  2. The Story of Def Leppard’s Breakthrough Album, ‘Pyromania’ by Michael Gallucci, retrieved from http://ultimateclassicrock.com
p.s I do not own the videos and the photographs from this publication (except the last one). The credit goes to the owners and uploaders of the media materials.