Category: Def Leppard

Def Leppard – High ‘n’ Dry

ARTIST: Def Leppard                     220px-Def_Leppard_-_High_'n'_Dry

TITLE: High ‘n’ Dry

YEAR RELEASED: 1981

CHART ACTION: #38 US, #26 UK

SINGLES: Let It Go (#34 Rock), Bringing on the Heartbreak (#61)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: High ‘n’ Dry (Saturday Night)

LINEUP: Joe Elliott, Steve Clark, Pete Willis, Rick Savage, Rick Allen

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A commercial and MTV breakthrough for the hard-rockin’, hard-livin’ band – at least in the US.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: While still showing inconsistency and still sporting a few lackluster songs, Def Leppard’s second album started the process of their US domination.

The video for “Bringing on the Heartbreak” brought US fans to the band, even if the single didn’t make a radio impact. That showed the band could slow down and be emotional and powerful, while still showing the heaviness that hard rock fans wanted.

The second side is a bit lackluster, but overall this is a slight improvement from their debut and has a few all-timer songs. This may be the best place to start for those dipping in past the hits collections.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Still not streaming, for no damn good reason as I can see.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, a B-side (great) and an unneeded ‘enhancement’ of “Bringing on the Heartbreak”

GRADE: B:  It’s the same grade as the debut, as the whole second side isn’t that hot all in all, but I’d start here for an immersion of Deep Leppard.

 

Def Leppard – On Through the Night

 

ARTIST: Def Leppard 220px-Def_Leppard_-_On_Through_the_Night

TITLE:  On Through the Night

YEAR RELEASED: 1980

CHART ACTION: #51 US, #15 UK

SINGLES: Wasted (#61 UK), Hello America (#45 UK), Rock Brigade

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Rocks Off

LINEUP: Joe Elliott, Steve Clark, Pete Willis, Rick Savage, Rick Allen

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: British hard rock / metal band comes out firing on its debut, and they hit more than they miss.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Early Def Leppard sounded more like a traditional UK hard rock / metal band than their later records, which does surprise some fans when they finally get around to putting this album in their ears. The sound is more traditional in many ways, close to the mid-70’s UK rock that they grew up on with the addition of some harmonies backing up Elliott.

The riffage on the album is pretty decent. Guitarists Clark and Willis work well together, and Allen and Savage already prove themselves to be a good rhythm section. Elliott’s voice is somewhat subdued from what we later know of him, but he still does well for himself.

What’s really missing are songs that stick in your gut. The radio cuts were decent (though I really don’t dig “Hello America”) and some cuts like “Satellite” show the way forward. (Though the intro to “When the Walls Came Down” is very much a Spinal Tap thing.)  Not a bad debut, just different than their later stuff.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: They had an EP released that had a different version of “Rocks Off” as a way to introduce the band (called “Getcha Rocks Off”).

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No. Are you kidding? Like all early Leppard, this isn’t streaming or digitally available. Bastards. Play this on You Tube.

GRADE: B: The songwriting isn’t top notch, but they showed they had potential and it’s a good record for fans.