Friday, December 08, 2006

Album of the Week 12/04/06
Def Leppard - On Through The Night

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Suggested by: MH

MH: Okay, yo, this is the one that started it all. The first album by the mighty Def Leppard. I was such a huge Lep fan. They were my first band that I loved. I started with Pyromania, then got heavy into High and Dry. I never really got this one. I always knew that I would want it, and probably like it since I LOVE High and Dry. I'll even go so far as saying that it's my favorite Lep album. But this one, I never had. I did have a Union Jack Shirt though. I was cool. No one could touch me.

Queensryche Mike hooked my ass up with this album. It's all good. Now I feel that the song writing on this is still a little green, but that is entirely because it was their first album. It's a little more garage and raw, which is great considering where they have been on the last few albums, polished and perfect. I like the energy of "Sorrow Is A Woman", and you can not deny the awesomeness of the cover with the giant guitar on a truck rollin through space. That is pretty much as cool as you can get. I would love a t-shirt with that image on it, big time. It could go well with Mike and my plan to wear the most embarrasing ridiculous shirts to various opportunities. So far, Mike would love to do ZZ Top "Afterburner" I think Bon Jovi 7800 degrees farenheit. We would be cool as heck then. I don't think This album is as ironically funny, so I wouldn't feel too weird wearing this one. Maybe a Styrper shirt would be cool too. Or Trixter.

MJ: I typically only play two DL CD’s: “High ‘N’ Dry” and “Pyromania”. So it’s good to expand my scope from time to time. I will admit, I’m not sure I ever played this one in entirety before.

My main take on this album is that it really shows how Lep evolved and got much better. I guess it’s all about developing and building on what you’ve done before. This album sounds so much different than the two MONSTERS that came out subsequently (the two I’ve mentioned before…). Kind of a stripped down sound, sort of subdued rocking, and vocals that make me wonder at times if it is Joe Elliott.

Another thing that got my attention was how awesome many of the song titles are, but that they don’t really live up to the level of rocking the name implies. I mean, come on: “Rock Brigade”, “Wasted”, “Rocks Off” and “Answer to the Master”? “Rock Brigade” comes closest, and is probably my favorite song on the album behind “Hello America”.

Here’s a weird thing about this album. When Mark threw this out, my first reaction was that I didn’t know it that well and looked forward to it. I was ready given that I remember loving the song “On Through The Night”. But get this: that song’s not on this album. It’s on “High ‘N’ Dry”. I seem to recall some other artist with this same situation, but it escapes me right now. Very strange.

It’s very interesting listening to this and thinking about what was going to happen to this band over the next few years. They really kicked things into gear. I suspect part of this was songwriting maturity, but mostly I think it was that they hooked up with a good producer. Their next three albums were produced by the now legendary “Mutt” Lange, and not coincidently those were their biggest and best (the big two mentioned above, then “Hysteria” - we’re talking millions of records!). The boys just needed a little help with their rock. And boy did they get it…

One last comment I have: I always pretty much hated this album cover. I think that was another reason I didn’t listen to it much. I should think a huge guitar like that is awesome, but it just doesn’t work, in my opinion.

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