Tesla – ‘Shock’ – Album Review

Tesla decided to make a new album after saying the last one was…well the last one.  Thankfully, that is not the case.  Tesla’s new album is called ‘Shock’ and there has been a lot said of this new album and about how much it sounds like Def Leppard since it was produced by Phil Collen, lead guitarist of the band.

And let me tell you, they are 100% RIGHT!!  It really does!!  Mostly, it is from the backing vocals.  On a lot of the songs, the backing vocals have been done in the same way Lep does it.  In fact, all the backing singers sound exactly like Phil. Now, I am not saying sounding like Lep is a bad thing.  It is, however, a little distracting and a little detracting. 

From the opening track, “You Won’t Take Me Alive”, “Taste Like”, “I Want Everything” and “Afterlife” it is the classic Lep sound.  They aren’t bad songs at all and they do grow on you with each listen.  It is just strange.  At times I feel like I am listening to a Lep album with a new lead singer.

The album is also very soft at time.  It has several ballads (“We Can Rule The World”, “Love is a Fire” and “Forever Loving You”) and even a breezy little song called “California Love Song”.  At times you could compare this album to Def Leppard’s X (often called the “Love” album for it’s ballad heavy track list).

Continue reading “Tesla – ‘Shock’ – Album Review”

Advertisements

Def Leppard – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

If you read my site, you know Def Leppard is one of my all-time favorite bands, if not the #1 band on my list.  And for that, this list was extremely hard for me to do, yet easy as well.  I will already go ahead and say it, there is not a horrible album in this bunch only some I like more than others and yet a few that are absolute no-brainers as the top choices.  And yes, I am biased.

Speaking of top choices, my Top 5 is my Top 5 because each album is completely different.  The band completely changed up the sound and style on each of these albums and when the band does that, for me they hit it out of the park.

From the very beginning in 1980 with their debut and all the way up to today, the band has been mainstay in my musical journey.  In 2019, they will be inducted in to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and all I can say is it is about damn time!!!  They received the highest public vote so I am not the only one that things these guys from England are pretty darn great.

So, let’s get to it.  Here is my favorite Def Leppard albums from the worst one to the very best.  I hope you enjoy it.

WORST – SONGS FROM THE SPARKLE LOUNGE (2008)

Continue reading “Def Leppard – The Albums Ranked Worst to First”

Def Leppard – ‘Live at the Top’ (Bootleg) – Album Review

I have been looking for Def Leppard bootlegs since I got back in to collecting. I have found Kiss, Whitesnake, GNR, but hadn’t found a Leppard one until now.  The first thing that caught my attention was that cover.  Love it.  So bright, so detailed, just beautiful.  A lot of work went into that cover and I find that odd for a bootleg since most I find just slap a picture of the band on the cover that isn’t even from that era of the recording.

Well, they did that hear as well as the back cover is a picture of Joe Elliott from around 1987…which is when this was released.  The problem is that the recordings are not from that year.

IMG_1726

When was it recorded?  I am so glad you asked.

A1 to B1 recorded at the BBC’s Paris Theatre, London, England, 22nd August 1979.
B2 to B6 recorded at the Reading Festival, Reading, England, 24th August 1980.

“On Through the Night’ came out in March 1980, so the first side of this was recorded prior to that album coming out which all these songs are on.  Their first EP had come out in January 1979 which “Overture” and “Rocks Off” were from that one only at the time as they would be released on the debut as well.

Continue reading “Def Leppard – ‘Live at the Top’ (Bootleg) – Album Review”

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).

61gvstzGbrL._SS500

Continue reading “My Sunday Song – “Switch 625” by Def Leppard”

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.

IMG_1569

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.

Continue reading “Def Leppard – Hysteria: The Singles Box Set – Album Review”

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.

IMG_1628

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

Continue reading “2018 – A Year in Review and More”

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.

Continue reading “Def Leppard – ‘The Story So Far…The Best of’ – Album Review”

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)

Continue reading “Friday New Releases – November 30th”

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.

Continue reading “Matt Nathanson – ‘Sings His Sad Heart’ – Album Review”

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.

DAVID ESSEX

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.”

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