Def Leppard

Once upon a time there was a band called Def Leppard. Nope, once upon a […]
By Grigoris Chronis
August 7, 2006
Def Leppard - Yeah! album cover

Once upon a time there was a band called Def Leppard. Nope, once upon a time there was a British Heavy Metal band called Def Leppard. Formed in the city of Sheffield, UK the quintet - fronted by charismatic singer Joe Elliot - delivered an ass-kicking British hard rockin' Metal debut (On Through The Night - 1980, Vertigo) followed by an even better effort entitled High N' Dry (1981, Vertigo). The fine line between Hard rock and Heavy Metal - of those days - was what the band had drawn so far.
Yet, 1983's Pyromania (again on Vertigo) extended the standards; a total masterpiece (considered by many as the monument of British Hard Rock music). Four years of absence - including drummer Rick Allen's accident, eventually leaving him with one hand - did create exceeding expectations for the follow-up album in the ranks of (by then) countless Leppard fans.
And what a blast it was! Hysteria (1987, Phonogram) swept the boards, 'exported' six or seven tracks as singles, featured an 'impracticable' production and contained twelve cuts of unique creativity and matchless songwriting. Not weird, no one 'dares' to cover any of the Hysteria tunes.
And then came the killing (apart from vagabond Steve Clark's unexpected (?) death in 1991). Omitting some high quality excerpts from 1992's Adrenalize, the rest of the band's following discography was nothing but a mellow Pop insult to their legendary works/live performances/attitude so far. This may had to do with the 'absence' of Clark, the recruitment of ex-amiable guitarist Vivian Campell (Sweet Savage, Dio, Whitesnake, Shadow King). Harsh words...
Not really awaiting for a new Def Leppard album - Kylie Minogue can possibly put out a more neck shaking CD - the ex-beloved band decided to release an album paying homage to their musical heroes. Glam pioneers Sweet, the legendary Free, the nonpareil Thin Lizzy and no less than a dozen of artists in general 'offer' classic cuts transcribed by Def Leppard via their typical (now) Pop formula. Some of the covers do preserve the authenticity 'donated' (e.g. Free's A Little Bit Of Love) while the rest (the most, by the way) sound to me like a weak mellow rendition of a 'mature' boy band. If you can stand to focus/hear the whole album at once, then add two points to the below rating.
This is not a review, it's a protest. Sirs, leave me alone. Please. Even post-1993 Metallica suits my taste better anymore.

1 / 10

Run Away!!!

"Yeah!" Track-listing:

20th Century Boy (originally performed by T-Rex)
Rock On (originally performed by David Essex)
Hanging On The Telephone (originally performed by Blondie)
Waterloo Sunset (originally performed by The Kinks)
Hell Raiser (originally performed by Sweet)
10538 Overture (originally performed by Electric Light Orchestra)
Street Life (originally performed by Roxy Music)
Drive-In Saturday (originally performed by David Bowie)
Little Bit Of Love (originally performed by Free)
The Golden Age Of Rock 'n' Roll (originally performed by Mott The Hoople)
No Matter What (originally performed by Badfinger)
He's Gonna Step On You Again (originally performed by John Kongos)
Don't Believe A Word (originally performed by Thin Lizzy)
Stay With Me (originally performed by Faces)

Def Leppard Lineup:

Joe Elliott - Vocals
Phil Collen - Guitar
Vivian Campbell - Guitar
Rick Savage - Bass
Rick Allen - Drums

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