On Through The Night Def Leppard-On Through the Night (Mercury) 1980

1. "Rock Brigade" (3:09)
2. "Hello America" (3:27)
3. "Sorrow is a Woman" (3:54)
4. "It Could Be You" (2:33)
5. "Satellite" (4:28)
6. "When the Walls Came Tumbling Down" (4:44)
7. "Wasted" (3:45)
8. "Rocks Off" (3:42)
9. "It Don't Matter" (3:21)
10. "Answer to the Master" (3:13)
11. "Overture" (7:44)

One of the biggest hopefuls of the NWOBHM bands, and certainly one of the best debut albums to come from that movement. Def Leppards's debut matched the greatness of bands like Maiden and Saxon. (WOW! Did I just commit blasphemy or what?) I actually bought this album around the time "High & Dry" came out and was impressed at the time. Unfortunately Def Leppard became one of the biggest sellouts to come out of the NWOBHM movement. Def Leppard come from Sheffield and their sound derived from a mixture of 70's British heavy metal (UFO, Lizzy, Priest) and glam of bands like T.Rex, Sweet, and Mott the Hoople. Their debut was well recorded and featured some killer heavy metal anthems. Thankfully it did not yet include the terrible radio-pop elements, or syrupy ballads that would soon destroy this band. Despite this they still had lots of radio hits: "Rock Brigade", "Rocks Off", "Hello America", and "Wasted". Picked up this cd in the used bins for $5.99.

While I'm ranting I also must add that few bands have pissed me off more than this one. I remember reading an interview with Rick Elliot about Def Leppard long after their climb to success started to spiral downward, sometime around 1995-96. At that time they were hyping their new album "Slang" which was one of the biggest pieces of crap they ever released. In any case, what angered me was reading Elliot claiming they were "never really a heavy metal band." How ridiculous. Their first two albums and to a lesser extent "Pyromania," were huge heavy metal platters. They, along with Saxon, Iron Maiden, Tygers of Pan Tang, etc. WERE the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. They rode the Heavy Metal train while it was popular, but once in the mid-90's it became 'uncool' to play metal, all of the sudden Mr. Elliot says, they never were?!?! If it was not bad enough that they had become the biggest radio whores of the 80's, now they were actually denying their past. How can they deny what they were? How pathetic!

Hih 'n' Dry Def Leppard-High 'N' Dry (Mercury) 1981

1."Let it Go" (4:43)
2."Another Hit and Run" (4:59)
3."High 'N' Dry (Saturday Night)" (3:27)
4."Bringin' on the Heartbreak" (4:34)
5."Switch 625"-instrumental (3:03)
6."You Got Me Runnin'" (4:23)
7."Lady Strange" (4:39)
8."On Through the Night" (5:06)
9."Mirror, Mirror" (4:08)
10."No No No" (3:13)
11."Bringin' on the Heartbreak"-remix (4:33)
12."Me & My Wine"-remix (3:40)

After the huge success of 'Pyromania' Mercury Records re-released the band's second NWOBH classic 'High 'n' Dry" with two bonus tracks; a remixed versions of "Bringin' on the Heartbreak" and a heavy cut called "Me & My Wine." As far as I can tell, this is the only place that this song was ever released, unless it was released on some obscure single as a B-side, so I don't know why the track is listed as a remix. In anycase, Def Leppard's second platter is still classy heavy metal, although this time around much more slickly produced thanks to producer Mutt Lange who also produced slick commercial successes for AC/DC and more recently his gorgeous wife Shania Twain. As with many of his other projects, this Def Leppard album took off with hits like "Let It Go" and especially, "Bringin' on the Heartbreak." The music was still heavy and retained the British metal sound, yet the production and solid catchy songwriting also got them some heavy MTV play. Unfortunately this success went to their head and thus began the rapid downward spiral into pop.

Should also mention that, for some odd reason, Mercury felt it necessary to take this version of the disc out of print, so consequent pressings only have the original ten songs. Apparently this has made this version of the disc a hot seller of eBay.

Two Steps Behind Def Leppard-Two Steps Behind (Phonogram) 1993

1. "Two Steps Behind" (4:22)
2. "Tonight" -acoustic version (4:19)
3. "S.M.C." -instrumental (1:13)

When my copy of 'High n Dry' arrived I was on a bit of a Def Leppard kick. Those first two albums are just so good, I had forgotten about how bad their material became after those albums. Their contribution to the 'Last Action Hero' soundtrack wasn't bad, but nothing to get excited over either. This single is based on that song. Track one is the so-called 'unproduced' song from the soundtrack, track two is a "warts and all acoustic version of 'Tonight' that differs from the version 'Adrenalize' and previous b-sides" and track three is a short unreleased acoustic guitar solo, that is actually quite good. Overall, this 3 song, single isn't bad, but as I said, nothing great either. Three rather mellow acoustic songs by a once great band.

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