Artist of the Day - Def Leppard

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    Artist of the Day - Def Leppard

    We have been focusing on mostly the great bands and artists of all time. The only time we have gone off track was Zilla's DEVO thread (good one).

    I give you Def Leppard. And this one is hard for me.

    They were originally part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal following in the footsteps of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Saxon and a few others. They gained superstar status with the release of Pyromania and then followed by Hysteria. Both abums earned RIAA Diamond status which was only achieved by 5 other Rock bands at that point. They sold more albums than any other band in the 80's. They suffered hardships; Rick Allen lost his arm and then Steve Clark lost his life. Rick Allen became the Thunder God and Vivian Campbel replaced Clark. They survived Grunge and the 90's  and have remained relevent into the new century.

    Some have blamed D.L. for the 80's Hair Metal scene. I still haven't figured that out. Anyway, what say you?
     
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    Re: Artist of the Day - Def Leppard

    When I hear hair band I don't think of Def Leppard. I think of Poison, Motley Crue, Warrant, and a few others. I always thought DL was a better band than those I just mentioned; they have a great combination of metal edge and melody. Great hooks, polished vocal harmonies, an overall ballsy sound with the talent to produce many good songs. I never bought any of their records, but I do like their music. I can't say that about most of the bands considered hair metal bands. Never cared for Crue or Poison, never will. The movie about the band was well done...it is a pretty incredible story, they overcame some serious hurdles, and of all the bands they get compared to, I like them the best.
     
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    Re: Artist of the Day - Def Leppard

    In Response to Re: Artist of the Day - Def Leppard:
    [QUOTE]When I hear hair band I don't think of Def Leppard. I think of Poison, Motley Crue, Warrant, and a few others. I always thought DL was a better band than those I just mentioned; they have a great combination of metal edge and melody. Great hooks, polished vocal harmonies, an overall ballsy sound with the talent to produce many good songs. I never bought any of their records, but I do like their music. I can't say that about most of the bands considered hair metal bands. Never cared for Crue or Poison, never will. The movie about the band was well done...it is a pretty incredible story, they overcame some serious hurdles, and of all the bands they get compared to, I like them the best.
    Posted by softwareDevMusician[/QUOTE]

    D.L. is the band that led me away from Punk. By 1980, the Pistols were long gone, the Clash had morphed into a Worldwide enterprise, & The Ramones recorded that Phil Spector pop album. As for the bands I grew up with, Zep was finished, the Who were certainly weaker without Moon, Queen lost some of their edge, Aerosmith was spiraling out of control and on and on it went. So all I had was Van Halen, Motorhead and AC/DC. With D.L., the spikey shoulder length hair went away and I grew it long again. They rocked and I was cool with that. And the best part was that chicks dug them. I was very cool with pretty girls in mini skirts and high heels returning to the scene.

    What I am finding out is that as the years pass, many are now accepting D.L. for what they truly were, a band that wrote good songs. And to me, that was more important than image or coolness. Did you have the songs and D.L. did.

    They were not Hair Metal, but The Crue, Poison, Bon Jovi, Warrant and many other bands thought they could put Pyromania into a formula and redo it.

    Dr. Feelgood and Slippery When Wet do not even get written if it were not for Pyromania and Photograph.

    I always felt that Steve Clark was the soul of this band. When he died, much of this band died with him. He was the true Rocker in the group.
     
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    Re: Artist of the Day - Def Leppard

    In Response to Re: Artist of the Day - Def Leppard:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Artist of the Day - Def Leppard : D.L. is the band that led me away from Punk. By 1980, the Pistols were long gone, the Clash had morphed into a Worldwide enterprise, & The Ramones recorded that Phil Spector pop album. As for the bands I grew up with, Zep was finished, the Who were certainly weaker without Moon, Queen lost some of their edge, Aerosmith was spiraling out of control and on and on it went. So all I had was Van Halen, Motorhead and AC/DC. With D.L., the spikey shoulder length hair went away and I grew it long again. They rocked and I was cool with that. And the best part was that chicks dug them. I was very cool with pretty girls in mini skirts and high heels returning to the scene. What I am finding out is that as the years pass, many are now accepting D.L. for what they truly were, a band that wrote good songs. And to me, that was more important than image or coolness. Did you have the songs and D.L. did. They were not Hair Metal, but The Crue, Poison, Bon Jovi, Warrant and many other bands thought they could put Pyromania into a formula and redo it. Dr. Feelgood and Slippery When Wet do not even get written if it were not for Pyromania and Photograph. I always felt that Steve Clark was the soul of this band. When he died, much of this band died with him. He was the true Rocker in the group.
    Posted by jesseyeric[/QUOTE]

    Steve Clark was a huge loss. It is noticeable in their music, no disrespect to Viv, he's a great player. It was interesting to learn that Clark's audition for the band was him playing Freebird in it's entirety, and they hired him on the spot.
    Who knows if it's really true, but who cares. He was a great player, and it was a huge loss. The thing about lots of bands in the spotlight is that it's the lead vocals that often is "the face" of the band. If it were Joe Elliot that passed, they never would have recovered, IMHO. I can't think of too many bands that replaced a lead singer and remained sucessful. Deep Purple and Van Halen are two that managed to do it. In the 80s and early 90s I was too entrenched in progressive rock, fusion, and jazz to pay much attention. But as I've grown older DL stands apart from a big crowd that as you say, Jessey, wanted to cash in on the formula that made Pyromania so successful.

    One of the things that struck me about their story was that in the movie, it was Mutt Lange (played by Andy Dick, of all people, IIRC) that pushed them, and more specifically Elliot, to achieve what became their trademark sound. I keep thinking that they would be a great candidate for an unplugged type of thing, their songs are that good. But what do I know. I'm still learning (in my 40s), and this forum is only helping.
     
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    Re: Artist of the Day - Def Leppard

    Actually it was Anthony Michal Hall (Breakfast Club geek) who played Mutt. And yes, he did have a major hand in the band and how they progressed.

    What I like about D.L. is that you could here the bands that influenced them in their music. Mott, Queen, T-Rex, Thin Lizzy, Badfinger - etc. Phil Collen is quoted many times as saying that D.L. was more of a hybrid band and never once should have been considered Metal, Hair or otherwise. He used to say that they were closer to Duran, Duran than to Sabbath. Alice Cooper is quoted as saying that Pyromania is the perfect Hard Rock album. And it didn't hurt that they were on top of the PMRC list as well Tongue out.

    Slang is an under-rated album and I suggest to to anyone who is willing to give a 15 y.o. piece of music a chance.
     
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    Re: Artist of the Day - Def Leppard

    In Response to Re: Artist of the Day - Def Leppard:
    [QUOTE]Actually it was Anthony Michal Hall (Breakfast Club geek) who played Mutt. And yes, he did have a major hand in the band and how they progressed. What I like about D.L. is that you could here the bands that influenced them in their music. Mott, Queen, T-Rex, Thin Lizzy, Badfinger - etc. Phil Collen is quoted many times as saying that D.L. was more of a hybrid band and never once should have been considered Metal, Hair or otherwise. He used to say that they were closer to Duran, Duran than to Sabbath. Alice Cooper is quoted as saying that Pyromania is the perfect Hard Rock album. And it didn't hurt that they were on top of the PMRC list as well . Slang is an under-rated album and I suggest to to anyone who is willing to give a 15 y.o. piece of music a chance.
    Posted by jesseyeric[/QUOTE]

    Ah, Hall makes a lot more sense. It did seem a bit odd after I thought about it, at least Hall can play a serious role. Thanks for clearing that up. What I don't get is the comparison to Duran Duran. Other than them both being MTV staples in the mid 80s, I don't see it. Duran Duran was pure pop. What you might call "hair pop". Tongue out
     
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    Re: Artist of the Day - Def Leppard

    In Response to Re: Artist of the Day - Def Leppard:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Artist of the Day - Def Leppard : Ah, Hall makes a lot more sense. It did seem a bit odd after I thought about it, at least Hall can play a serious role. Thanks for clearing that up. What I don't get is the comparison to Duran Duran. Other than them both being MTV staples in the mid 80s, I don't see it. Duran Duran was pure pop. What you might call "hair pop".
    Posted by softwareDevMusician[/QUOTE]

    Since I have never had the chance to speak to Phil, I am not sure but if you listen to DD's music which was not overplayed on the radio and MTV, you will hear a connection in some of it. The only difference is that the keyboard was such a major contributor to their music where as DL made very little use of it. Vocals were very important to both bands and the music never overpowered it.
     
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    Re: Artist of the Day - Def Leppard

    I don't have much to add here. I agree with much of what's been said. I always like Def Leppard. I don't know if you they were necessarily groundbreaking, but by the 1980s, there wasn't much more ground to break in regard to hard rock/metal. That played IMO great hard rock -- call it metal if you will, there's seems to be a fine line between what you might call hard rock and what you might call heavy metal. 

    I think sometimes critics and fans get too concerned about whether a group broke new ground or if their songs had meaning or things like that. At the core, music is entertainment. Who cares how groundbreaking a group is or how much meaning a song has if they both sck.

    DL played great songs, played them well in all parts -- vocals, instruments, etc. -- and were an entertaining band and well-deserved of recognition as a great band.
     
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    Re: Artist of the Day - Def Leppard

    DL is mostly what I listened to when I used to be a gymn rat. Thus when I hear a DL song, working out is what comes to my mind.

    They do have a lot of songs that can get stuck in your head all day long. Adrenalize was their album I liked most. The song Tonight from that album, I don't understand why it wasn't played on the radio more, as it seemed like a top 10 type of song.

     
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    Re: Artist of the Day - Def Leppard

    I remember when the album was released and soared straight to number one. I think they made a mistake with "Let's Get Rocked" being the first single. But back then, the releases were dictated by the record companies.

    I remember when they performed at the MTV Video Awards (Early 90's) - they were completely blown off stage by GnR. They looked like a pop band compared to Guns. And I think they lost a lot of their fans that night. Let's Get Rocked was horrible.

    I agree - Tonight along with White Lightning are my favorite tracks on the album.

    For the record - My fav D.L. songs:

    Photograph - Pyromania
    Gods of War - Hysteria
    High and Dry - High and Dry
    White Lightning - Adrenalize
    Desert Song/Fractured Love - Retroactive
    She's Too Tough - Retroactive
    Me and My Wine - High and Dry (Re-released album)
    Ring of Fire - Retroactive
    I Wanna Be Your Hero - Retroactive
    Sorrow Is A Woman - On Thorugh The Night
    Overture - On Through The Night
    Paper Sun - Euphoria
    Promises - Euphoria
    Turn To Dust - Slang
    Mirror, Mirror - High and Dry

     
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    Re: Artist of the Day - Def Leppard

    Def Leppard ia a band I have always liked.

    I classify them as a more 'radio friendly Heavy Metal' than many of the others although most of the Hard Rock bands I like were given lots of airplay back in the late 70's early 80's. WAAF in Worcester was my favorite FM source for Hard Rock, Metal and Prog Rock. Had it not been for WAAF , I likely would have not heard of bands like Rush, AC/DC ,Whitesnake , Asia and many other bands of this ilk.

    While I like bands like Hall&Oates , Rod Stewart and Pure Prarie League to some degree, I hated it that most FM stations lumped all these together and "ROCK" and found a station that played harder more progressive rock.

    What I liked about Def Leppard is that they appealed to a wider range of Rock fans who weren't really into the real Heavy , Heavy Metal....which is O.K., I guess, anyway it kept these folks from becoming full-blown fans of Disco and thus dooming themselves to a life in the category "Subhuman."
     
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    Re: Artist of the Day - Def Leppard

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ptOP0UrnJU
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from Mattyhorn. Show Mattyhorn's posts

    Re: Artist of the Day - Def Leppard

    Saw them live back in the day with Tesla opening...and Tesla blew them away by a mile. 

    That said, they do have a few classic tracks that I still enjoy:

    Wasted
    Let It Go
    High N' Dry
    Me & My Wine
    Bringing On The Heartbreak
    Rock Of Ages
    Billy's Got A Gun
    Women
    Rocket
    Gods Of War
     
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    Re: Artist of the Day - Def Leppard

    Saw that tour as well and agree with you Matty.

    Tesla was and is one of the most under-rated bands to come out of the 80's. And this will lead to my next thread.
     

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