For My Sunday Song #156, we are going to talk about one of Def Leppard’s few politically charged songs and one of the few songs from Hysteria that was not a single. The song is “Gods of War”. It is an epic song at over 6 minutes and I loved it when they used to play this one live long, long ago. They still do play it when they do the whole Hysteria album in concert of course.
This was the 80’s and there were all these little military skirmishes going on around the world and it was the end of the Cold War. Ronald Reagan was President of the United States and Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Intermixed in the song were lines from the world leaders threatening the terrorists and even gun fire and battle sounds. One of my favorite lines was towards the end when President Reagan said, “He counted on America to be passive, He counted wrong” and then there was gun fire and explosions. For a teenage boy, that was really badass! Plus, I can do a really great Reagan impression so I would say those lines in his voice every time I would sing it.
Joe came up with the song from watching the news and what was going on in the world. It was Def Leppard’s version of protest song which I am sure was overshadowed by the songs that the band was releasing such as “Pour Some Sugar On Me”. People didn’t look at Leppard as a socially conscience band, but they could be and were.
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For My Sunday Song #155, we are on to a very underrated album called ‘X’. The song is “Scar” and is another unsung classic in their catalog. The album ‘X’ didn’t do terribly, it just didn’t do as well as a lot of their previous work. It peaked at #11 on the Billboard charts. Part of the problem was this was not released as a single. “Scar” has all the elements people love about the band.
The song is full of layer upon layer of vocals and harmonies that give it the unique Lep trademark vocals. It has a power ballad feel to it which suits Joe Elliott’s vocal perfectly and it actually seems like it would have fit nicely on one of their best albums, ‘Slang’. It has a lot of the same tone and feel of that album.
Another piece that I like about the song is the guitar playing of Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell. There is a hypnotic element to the riffs and when you get to the solo, the back and forth between the two is sensational. It takes me back to when Phil and Steve would play off each other. Overall it made feel good.
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For My Sunday Song #154, we are covering the 7 minute epic, “White Lightning” off the band’s 1992 release ‘Adrenalize’. The album sold millions, went to #1 and released 7 singles (not all in the States) and this was not one of them. This is one of those deep cuts that is actually probably better than everything else on the record.
The ‘Adrenalize’ album was the first album without Steve Clark and even prior to Vivian Campbell joining the band. The song was written about Steve Clark and his addicitions and untimely death. Steve’s nickname from the band was White Lightning as he normally dressed in all white on stage and ran around the stage like a bolt of lightning. It is such a heartfelt tribute and you can feel the love and passion the band had for this man.
The song opens with a guitar solo by Phil Collen that was played in the style of Steve and his personal tribute to him. The solo starts off slow, with an eerie feel to it…a sadness. In fact, Phil played all the parts and even with the dual guitar parts he played as if it was he and Steve going at it together. It is very touching.
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For My Sunday Song #153, we are exploring the great song “Paper Sun” from the band’s 1999 album ‘Euphoria’. The song was released as a single in the U.S., but to little fanfare despite it being one of the best songs on the album.
The song is about the Omagh terrorist bombing on August 15, 1998 in Northern Ireland. Here is what wikipedia says about the bombing…
It was carried out by a group calling themselves the Real Irish Republican Army, a Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) splinter group who opposed the IRA’s ceasefire and the Good Friday Agreement. The bombing killed 29 people (including a woman pregnant with twins) and injured some 220 others, making it the deadliest single incident of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
Lyrically and musically, the song is very dark and sad. At over 5:26 minutes, the song takes you on a journey through the emotions of that sad day. It feels like they are losing hope in humanity and in life. The world is so fragile as if made of paper that could burn up in an instant. Lyrics, like “Do you still hear ’em screamin'” is full of the pain that one would feel if they were at the bombing and could hear the cries for help and the cries of sorrow for those lost.
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It has been a long while since I have put together a collection of Def Leppard memes from around the internet, so we are going to do it again. I have to apologize for a lot of the Rick Allen jokes, but apparently people find them funny and have made a ton of memes on him alone. I hope something on here brightens your day. Have a great week!!
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For My Sunday Song #152, we are discussing the song “Mirror, Mirror (Look Into My Eyes)” by Def Leppard off their 1981 album ‘High N Dry’. The song was written by the late Steve Clark and Joe Elliott. It is one of those deep cuts that sticks with you and at times you feel is even better than anything else on the album (at times, not all the time).
The song is up for interpretation. It could be about two different, but similar things. The one I like to go with is that the “Mirror” is that mirror on the table with lines of Coke on it. As he is sniffing up the coke and the lines disappear, the mirror is suddenly staring at him and he has to face his demons. It is a rather dark viewpoint, but the one I feel is quite plausible. The lyrics in this verse is what leads me to that conclusion…
Hangin’ there with that crack in your eye
You make me stumble, make me blind
Time after time and line by line
The “line by line” part fits in to the theory nicely. But the “hangin'” part leads me to the other theory.
The other theory is that he is just standing there looking in the mirror and it is forcing him to take a deeper look into what he has become. He doesn’t like what he sees, but he feels so lost. The anger builds up and he smashes the mirror into little pieces. Those pieces are his life.
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For My Sunday Song #151, we are now going to spend the next 10 weeks exploring some of my favorite Def Leppard songs. These won’t be the hits you have heard on the radio or in concert (okay, some may have been played live, and one might be a single but that is it). These will be songs that I think are some of their best deep cuts and something I think is worth checking out if you want to get a better understanding of what the band is about.
The first song is off the 1993 album, ‘Retroactive’ and it was the B-Side to the song “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad” off ‘Adrenalize’ from 1992. The song is called “From the Inside” and was written by Joe Elliott.
The song is one of the darkest songs they have ever written or performed. The theme of the song is about drugs and addiction and the point of view of the song is actually from the drugs. The drugs describe to the user what it will do them and how it will take them up high and drag them to their lowest of lows. With lyrics such as…
And I’ll laugh while you’re up there
And I’ll laugh when you’re down
Though your screams break the silence
Oh, they won’t make a sound
…it is quite disturbing and sadly, so true. Written around the time I think Steve Clark died, my guess is that Joe was inspired by what happened with Steve write this track.
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After a year since the release of The Collection Volume 1, Def Leppard finally releases Volume 2. And as I did with the first, I bought the Vinyl edition. Volume 1 was sensational and if you want to check out that review, click on The Collection Volume 1. As I normally do with these box sets, I focus mostly on the packaging and the bonus material as the main albums we all know and love or we wouldn’t be buying this set. I want to know if we are getting a bang for our buck
Look at all the albums and songs you are getting. There are 4 Studio albums and 4 albums of bonus material and there a total of 10 LPs in the set as 2 of the albums are double LPs. It is heavy and chock of great tunes that will give you hours and hours of fun. I always save the sticker that is on the plastic wrapping and this time is no different. Here is a summary of the box set.
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Welcome to a very busy Friday of releases. There are a bunch of releases I am interested in getting, but only one I am buying as that one is so expensive, I can’t afford anything else. As Summer keeps getting hotter, so does the new music. My choices are highlighted in Blue. What are you interested in getting? Let me know what you want and what I missed and most of all…enjoy all the music. Have a great weekend.
- Def Leppard – Box Set Volume Two – (Mercury): Finally!!! Volume Two is upon us. Volume One was so awesome, now Def Leppard bring us the next set with the albums Adrenalize, Retroactive, Slang and Euphoria all on vinyl (or CD is you want). I don’t have any of these on vinyl so this is an absolute MUST!!! You also get 4 Vinyl full of Bonus tracks, rarities and live songs that is right…FOUR!!!. What is extra cool about this is that a friend of mine was asked for songs from his collection to go on this set and there of 7 songs of his (live shows, I believe) that are on here and he is credited!! Way to go Mike Ladano!!!
- Collective Soul – Blood – (Fuzze Flex Records): I am excited about this one as well. Collective Soul bring us album #10!! I am glad they are still going strong and they keep getting better along with it. I haven’t heard anything off this one yet as I want to take it all in at once. These Georgia boys don’t usually disappoint so it should be great.
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I bought ‘The Story So Far…The Best of’ back in 2018 and at the time not realizing it was only Volume 1. I also bought the CD Deluxe to get all the music as the vinyl didn’t have everything. Well, now it does. For Record Store Day 2019, Def Leppard released Volume 2 for those suckers, like me, who will buy everything they put out.
Now Volume 1 has all the songs from their 3 biggest albums (Pyromania, Hysteria and Adrenalice). Volume 2 covers pretty much everything else. And for that, it has a much better selection of songs than Volume 1 for me. It covers the band’s history better and is a lot more diverse and entertaining.
But before we get on about the set list, let’s talk the album cover. It is styled the same as volume 1 with some alterations to color. The biggest pet peeve for me is the picture when you open up the gatefold (oh yeah, 2 LP set with gatefold). It is the same DAMN concert picture as the first!! Really, you couldn’t come up with a different picture. At least the pictures of the individual band members are different.
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