My Sunday Song – “Switch 625” by Def Leppard

For My Sunday Song #126, the instrumental we will be covering is “Switch 625” by none other than Def Leppard.  For a band that is not noted for doing instrumentals, when they did one, they definitely got it right.  The song is off the band’s second album ‘High & Dry’ and is still played today in concert as a tribute to the writer of the song, the late, great Steve Clark.

The song bleeds effortlessly after “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak” with such a smooth transition you would swear it is part of the song.  The long, unedited version of the song.  The song itself is a beautiful representation of all that was great about the god-given gift of Steve’s guitar playing.

I love the dual guitars battling it out. I can picture Pete & Steve going back and forth and playing off each other (now I am making an assumption that Pete played on the recorded version). It also has such a great melody and if it had lyrics would have made for another great Def Leppard ballad I am sure.

In fact, producer Mutt Lange wanted to add lyrics but after battling out with Joe Elliot, no lyrics were added.  Joe felt the song was perfect the way it was and no need to mess it up with his voice (of course that isn’t a direct quote, I’m making assumptions but the story itself is true).

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Def Leppard – Hysteria: The Singles Box Set – Album Review

Def Leppard have been milking the Hysteria album for years and why not as it is their most popular album.  It was an album that would reach Diamond status with well over 10 million copies sold.  It would produce 7 singles in the US and even 6 in it’s home country of the UK.

In celebration of the albums 30 years, they released a beautiful box set of the full album which I reviewed a long while back (Hysteria).  Now, they have decided to release the Singles Box set to celebrate those 7 singles and for fun they released two more singles plus gave us an extra Spanish Version of one of their singles (Spanish cover, not sung in Spanish although that would’ve been cool).  This gives us a nice set of 10 singles plus their B-Sides.

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There were two things that made the Hysteria Singles so special.  One was the cover of those singles were a puzzle piece that when put together, they created the album artwork.  The second thing was that the B-Sides were all unreleased tracks.  As a collector, they were awesome.

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2018 – A Year in Review and More

2018 was a tough year at times and the best year at times, it all depends on my perspective when looking back at it I guess.  For my blog, we had a banner year with a vast improvement over the prior year.  It is hard to believe that people continue to come back to the site to read what I have to say.  It is rather humbling and much appreciated.  I don’t make any money on this, it is all for fun so to know people find it and come back motivates me to keep doing it.  I never thought I would be able to come up with material, but with over 730 posts so far, I seem to keep finding stuff to write about.

I will keep it to the blog as far as highlights for this past year, except I did turn 50, so that is pretty cool.  They say that the first 50 years of childhood are the hardest, and I would agree. It should be smooth sailing from here.

The first highlight, is that I have finally reached 100,000 views  on the site since its inception which was about 2 years & 7 1/2 months ago.  That is hard to believe. Now, I hope to do 100,000 views in 2019 alone.  That is at least my goal.

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As far as posts, what were the biggest posts of the year.  Here are the Top 5 new posts that were done in 2018:

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Def Leppard – ‘The Story So Far…The Best of’ – Album Review

Def Leppard decided to grace us with yet another Greatest Hits Collection right before the holidays. How nice of them!  It is exactly what I needed…uhh…yeah…NO!!  No offense Lep, I am a huge fan, but why do we need another greatest hits collection.  We have some solid ones already.

I get it.  They have been riding a pretty big wave this last year with the awesome success of their arena and stadium tour with Journey (You can read about those here for Def Leppard and here for Journey).  They have picked up some fans this past year and also they were nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (FINALLY!!!).  All-in-all, a pretty big year so why not cap it off with a new greatest hits set.

Now, they released 3 different sets.  One was a single CD set, a Deluxe 2CD set and a Vinyl Set (2LPs).  So what are the differences between the sets?  I am glad you asked.  We will start with the single CD and the Vinyl Editions.  Both of these sets have 16 tracks.  Okay, the CD has 17 because it includes the new track which is a cover of Depeche Mode’s song “Personal Jesus”.  Now that I mention that, the Vinyl set has that song 2 but is on a separate 7″ Single and the B-Side is the bands new Christmas song “We All Need Christmas”…we will get to those two new songs later.

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Friday New Releases – November 30th

The last Friday of November and Christmas is just around the corner which means one thing.  Album releases start to become relatively scarce. You want to drop your album early enough that it makes it on people’s Christmas list, but not too late where no one will grab it as they have spent all their money already on Christmas presents.  Now, there isn’t a whole lot I care about this week and in fact, there is only one.  Some of the other might get a listen sooner or later.  Have a great day and let me know what you are interested in hearing.  Mine is in Blue.

  • 61WAzq7sdaL._AC_US320_QL65_.jpg   Def Leppard – The Story So Far – (Virgin EMI/Mercury):  Def Leppard is bringing yet another greatest hits release.  Just what we needed, right?  Well….not really.  However, that doesn’t stop me from buying it.  I have it on pre-order for the vinyl so I can’t get the 7″ Single of their Depeche Mode cover of “Personal Jesus”.  Yes, I am becoming a completist with Def Leppard.  Anyway, this is a pretty complete greatest hits package and not a bad one to get if you don’t have on yet.  Enjoy!!

  • 31Ncg-T41kL._SS500  The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships – (Dirty Hit / Polydor / Interscope)
  • 91CRBGCU3QL._AC_UL115_  Neil Young – Songs for Judy – (Shakey Pictures Records)

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Matt Nathanson – ‘Sings His Sad Heart’ – Album Review

Matt Nathanson is one of my all time favorite singers and songwriters, no doubt.  If I had to list my Top 10 Bands or Artists, Matt would be there along with Kiss and Def Leppard (if you follow me, you know I love those two bands so that is high praise).  Why do I love him and his music so much?  Well, this album is a shining example of why.

Speaking of the album, this album took a long journey.  No, not Matt writing and recording it.  A literal long journey.  The album was shipped Friday October 5th (the day of release) from Nashville, Tennessee.  It stated it would not be to me until Thursday, October 11th which I thought was strange as North Carolina is not that far from Tennessee (well not really far). When I looked up the tracking #, the package suddenly appeared in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Now I am not great on geography, but San Juan isn’t anywhere near North Carolina the last time I checked and doesn’t seem the normal traffic route for a package.  Needless to say, it din’t arrive by the 11th as stated.  The USPS finally corrected themselves and I did receive it on Saturday, October 13th. It could be worse, I might not have ever received it.

‘Sings His Sad Heart’ is exactly that.  An album of songs that are about “loss”.  Sounds depressing, right?  It is far from it.  Matt’s pop sensibility is second to none.  He can write an album chock full of catchy tunes that stay with you and never leave.  His mixture of that pop sound with folk and rock blends so nicely together that his music makes you feel like you have known the songs and the album your whole life.

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The Original vs. The Cover vs. The Cover – “Rock On”

For this month’s edition of “The Original vs. The Cover”, we are going to take on a third version as we tackle the David Essex song “Rock On”.  We will battle it out between David Essex’s original version vs. covers by both Michael Damian and Def Leppard.

The song was written for a movie that David was starring in called “That’ll Be the Day” which also had Ringo Starr and Kieth Moon.  The song, however, was not used in the movie.  David wrote the song based on his character from the movie and it has a pure old rock & roll rebellious attitude.  The song is actually a tip-of-the-hat to the old time rockers as it mentions “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Summertime Blues” as well as it gives a shout-out to an old Hollywood rebel James Dean.

Since we have three versions, we might as well jump right into it.

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David’s version hit #3 on the UK singles chart in 1973 and didn’t do that great in the US, but doesn’t mean we Americans don’t love it.  The song is very unique in that there are no instruments that play any chords which means there is No Guitar and No Piano on the song at all.  It is all bass, percussion and horns.  It is really stripped down.

You can tell a major influence of the song is Jamaican raggae and the whole dub style.  The song is driven by the bass line which was done by Herbie Flowers.  According to Wikipedia…”(Herbie’s) double-tracked bass guitar was treated with a prominent “slapback” delay effect, creating a complex polyrhythmic backbeat.”

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My Sunday Song – “Love Bites” by Def Leppard

For My Sunday Song #99, we will tackle the Def Leppard power ballad, “Love Bites”.  The song is off the Diamond selling album, ‘Hysteria’ and was Def Leppard’s biggest hit, if you can believe it.  It is the only Def Leppard song to reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.  Considering this was the fifth single off the album and with the success of “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, I was completely surprised by that fact (PSSOM did go to #2).

The song was originally brought to the band by the legendary producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange.  The song was a country song at the time and of course the band put their spin on it and turned it in to of the great rock power ballads of the time.  The title for the song actually came from another song that Leppard was working on and that song later became “I Wanna Be Your Hero” which was the B-Side for “Animal” in the US.

What I like about the song is that the guy is so in love with this person that he is actually going a little nuts.  Hell, just touching her drives him crazy.  But he isn’t sure she feels the same way.  He keeps questioning her.  Maybe it is really his own insecurities that are causing him to doubt the relationship.  Or maybe she doesn’t love him and he really senses something missing.

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Def Leppard – Concert Review (Charlotte, NC June 9th, 2018)

Def Leppard is back on tour and this time they are out with Journey on a co-headlining trek around North America.  The last time the two bands toured together was 12 years ago and I missed that tour (I am sure it had to do with having an almost 3 year old and maybe another on the way).  Whatever the reason, I missed it and I wasn’t going to do that again.

When tickets went on sale, I joined the Def Leppard Rock Brigade so I could get early access to tickets.  And damn, tickets were expensive.  This show wasn’t going to be just 2 tickets, I had to buy 3 this time as my wife and my oldest daughter (the one that was almost 3 is now almost 15 – my 11 year old opted out), were joining me on this one.  My wife was going for Journey, but my daughter was going for Leppard (and now has the shirt to prove it).  Me…I was actually going for both.  I have seen Leppard numerous times, but I have never seen Journey…crazy, I know.  Here is what you get for joining the Rock Brigade…a T-shirt & a Pin…

Back to tickets, Lower Level seat were kinda ridiculous.  They were at least $150 or so a piece and then even higher the closer to the stage.  I settled for 3 Front Row Tickets!!  That is right 3 Front Row Tickets!!!  Of course, front row in section 226 on the upper deck because I do have to eat and these were only $99 a piece (only…like $99 is cheap).  Hey, I had an unobstructed view of the show and I could sit if I wanted and not miss a thing.  No real complaints (except I will pay more next time…and there will be a next time).

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Matt Nathanson – ‘Pyromattia’ E.P. – Album Review

We interrupt the normal Tuesday’s Memes scheduled to talk about something amazing…Matt Nathanson surprised his fans with an announcement of a new album and released it the very next day.  The album was only a 6 song E.P., but who cares.  Any new music from Matt is super fantastic.  The only problem is that it wasn’t actually new music.  It was an E.P. full of cover songs.

Now, they aren’t just any cover songs.  They are from my all time favorite band, Def Leppard.  If you don’t know, Matt Nathanson is a metal head.  I realized that a few years ago when I saw Matt being interviewed on the VH1 show “That Metal Show” with Eddie Trunk.  Matt gushed on and on about his rock and metal influences and it made me appreciate him more than I already did.

Matt is also one of my all time favorite artist and he can do no wrong in my book. So, let’s throw Matt together with Def Leppard songs and you have what could possibly be the greatest combination in music history.  I am not kidding!!

When I saw the track listing, I was a little disappointed with a few choices as they seemed obvious and then stunned at some others as I couldn’t imagine what he would do with it.  The songs are as follows:

  1. Pour Some Sugar on Me
  2. Bringin’ on the Heartbreak
  3. Comin’ Under Fire
  4. Hysteria
  5. Stragefright
  6. Promises

With cover albums you either need to nail it perfectly or completely re-imagine the song.  Matt completely re-imagined the songs.  He plays them acoustically and even adds some string orchestration to them.  He takes these songs and makes them his own and does an absolutely impressive covers album.

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