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)

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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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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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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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Def Leppard – The Collection, Volume One – Album Review

Def Leppard is on a mission to release Four Box Sets each collection a specific period in the band.  On June 1st, they started with Volume One…of course.  They aren’t Chickenfoot and aren’t going to skip around with title numbers.  Volume One covers the early years of the band capturing the first 4 albums of release.  The set also includes 2 bonus albums, a book and a 7″ Single.  Now, I have the first four albums on vinyl and CD so that was not what I was after.  I wanted the bonus material.  Don’t get me wrong, it is nice having new remastered, 180 gram vinyl for all of the albums.  I am not complaining.  But this set is for serious fans because it isn’t cheap!!

The article is not really a full review as it would take pages and pages of writing to fully review each album in the set.  It is really a picture chronicle of the set because really there is no reason you shouldn’t own it if you are a fan.  You can get it in CD or Vinyl. I chose vinyl.  What you get is another fantastic package from the band and if this is an indication of what is to come for Volumes Two – Four, I better start saving now.

Why don’t we start with a picture of everything you get…

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Def Leppard – Live at Abbey Road Studios E.P. (2018 #RSD) – Album Review

For the third time in as many years, Def Leppard took part on Record Store Day.  In 2016, the did a picture disc of the self-titled album and last year they re-released their original EP release on vinyl, The Def Leppard EP.  For 2018, we are given another EP, but this time it is 3 songs recorded live at Abbey Road Studios on May 8, 2008.

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What does the Def Leppard press release say about this release, well I will tell you…

The retro cover art is similar to the Def Leppard EP and features the large logo from the 1980 ‘On Through The Night’ album and ‘Hello America’ single. Also included is the street sign from the studios in North West London and the same red stamp title seen on ‘The Lost Session’ iTunes EP from January.

The band recorded a session at the legendary London studios on 8th May 2008 when promoting the ‘Songs From The Sparkle Lounge’ album. Using the same room The Beatles used to record most of their biggest albums in the 1960s.

This was filmed for the UK TV show ‘Live From Abbey Road’ which was broadcast on More4 TV on 1st August 2008 and featured three songs – ‘Rocket’, ‘Rock On’ and ‘C’mon C’mon’

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Def Leppard Tour Dates & Other News

Friday, January 19th was a big day for Def Leppard Announcements. First, Def Leppard’s entire catalog is now available for streaming on Spotify and Apple Music.  Finally!!!  It didn’t really matter to me as I already had everything they have ever put out (and then some), but now they have stepped into the modern times and are opening their music up to so many more people.  And as a special treat, you get a new release called The Lost Sessions…

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It has the following track listing:

DEF LEPPARD – THE LOST SESSION LIVE EP

  • 01 – Let It Go (Live) – (5:09)
  • 02 – Rock On (Live) – (2:48)
  • 03 – Foolin’ (Live) – (4:43)
  • 04 – Promises (Live) – (3:58)
  • 05 – When Love & Hate Collide (Live) – (4:13)
  • 06 – Bringin’ On the Heartbreak (Live) – (4:38)

If you would like to purchase, just click on the iTunes link below…

Def Leppard also announced a co-headlining tour with Journey.  The tour starts on 5/21 and goes through 10/6 and will hit both the US and Canada.  The tour will be making a stop in Charlotte, NC and I WILL BE THERE!!!! Well, as soon as I buy the tickets.  My wife, oldest daughter and I are going to try and go.  I can’t wait.  I have only seen them 6-7 times.  Tour dates below…

Journey / Def Leppard 2018 Tour Dates

5/21 – Hartford, CT, XL Center
5/23 – Albany, NY, Times Union Center
5/25 – Hershey, PA, Hersheypark Stadium
5/26 – Buffalo, NY, KeyBank Center
5/28 – Cleveland, OH, Quicken Loans Arena
5/30 – Cincinnati, OH, U.S. Bank Arena
6/1 – Toronto, ON, Rogers Centre
6/2 – Pittsburgh, PA, PPG Paints Arena
6/5 – Raleigh, NC, PNC Arena
6/6 – Knoxville, TN, Thompson-Boling Arena
6/8 – Bristow, VA, Jiffy Lube Live
6/9 – Charlotte, NC, Spectrum Center
6/11 – Philadelphia, PA, Wells Fargo Center
6/13 – New York, NY, Madison Square Garden
6/15 – Newark, NJ, Prudential Center
6/16 – Baltimore, MD, Royal Farms Arena
7/1 – Atlanta, GA, SunTrust Park
7/3 – Noblesville, IN, Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center
7/4 – Milwaukee, WI, Summerfest
7/6 – Memphis, TN, FedExForum
7/7 – North Little Rock, AR, Verizon Arena
7/9 – Tulsa, OK, BOK Center
7/11 – Louisville, KY, KFC Yum! Center
7/13 – Detroit, MI, Comerica Park
7/14 – Chicago, IL, Wrigley Field
7/16 – Wichita, KS, INTRUST Bank Arena
7/18 – Sioux Falls, SD, Denny Sanford PREMIER Center
7/19 – Lincoln, NE, Pinnacle Bank Arena
7/21 – Denver, CO, Coors Field
7/23 – Des Moines, IA, Wells Fargo Arena
7/25 – Kansas City, MO, Sprint Center
7/27 – Minneapolis, MN, Target Field
7/28 – Fargo, ND, Fargodome
8/11 – Boston, MA, Fenway Park
8/13 – Virginia Beach, VA, Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater
8/15 – Columbia, SC, Colonial Life Arena
8/17 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL, BB&T Center
8/18 – Tampa, FL, Amalie Arena
8/20 – Birmingham, AL, Legacy Arena @ The BJCC
8/22 – Columbus, OH, Schottenstein Center
8/24 – St. Louis, MO, Busch Stadium
8/25 – Nashville, TN, Bridgestone Arena
8/27 – New Orleans, LA, Smoothie King Center
8/29 – Dallas, TX, American Airlines Center
8/31 – San Antonio, TX, AT&T Center
9/1 – Houston, TX, Toyota Center
9/5 – Albuquerque, NM, Isleta Amphitheater
9/7 – Phoenix, AZ, Talking Stick Resort Arena
9/8 – Las Vegas, NV, T-Mobile Arena
9/21 – San Francisco, CA, AT&T Park
9/23 – San Diego, CA, Petco Park
9/25 – Salt Lake City, UT, Vivint Smart Home Arena
9/26 – Nampa, ID, Ford Idaho Center Arena
9/28 – Portland, OR, Moda Center
9/29 – Seattle, WA, Gorge Amphitheatre
10/1 – Vancouver, BC, Rogers Arena
10/4 – Sacramento, CA, Golden 1 Center
10/6 – Los Angeles, CA, The Forum

They had a third announcement that as well. They will be touring the UK and performing their album “Hysteria” live in its entirety for those stops.  I asked my wife if we could go to that as it would be a nice 50th Birthday present.  We will see.  Here are the dates…

DECEMBER 2018 
Dublin 3 Arena – Sat 1st
Belfast The SSE Arena – Sun 2nd
Cardiff Motorpoint Arena – Tue 4th
London The O2 – Thu 6th
Nottingham Motorpoint Arena – Sat 8th
Newcastle Metro Radio Arena – Sun 9th
Glasgow The SSE Hydro Arena – Tue 11th
Manchester Arena – Wed 12th
Sheffield FlyDSA Arena – Fri 14th
Liverpool Echo Arena – Sat 15th
Birmingham Arena – Mon 17th

What a day of announcements for Def Leppard.  I know a lot of people posted about it, but they are my favorite band so I am not going to NOT talk about it too!!

 

 

Def Leppard – ‘Hysteria’ 30th Anniversary (Deluxe Edition) – Album Review

Thirty years ago on August 3rd, 1987, Def Leppard released their fourth studio album, ‘Hysteria’.  Little did they know this ground breaking album would go on to sell over 25 million records, produce 7 hit singles and go to #1 on the Billboard Charts.  The album was a labor of love for the band as it took several years to record and they struggled so much during this time.

There were so many setbacks during the recording of the album.  First, Robert John “Mutt” Lange turned down the producing job for the record after he had recorded “High & Dry” (my personal favorite) and “Pyromania” although he did help in the initial song writing for the record.  The band went through several producers during the recording including working with Jim Steinman of ‘Bat Out of Hell’ fame.  Their relationship did not go smoothly and he was later fired (they paid him a lot of money to get out of the contract so it must have gone badly). Later in the process, “Mutt” did come back and produce the final product and then history was made.

The second big obstacle was Rick Allen’s car accident that severed his arm.  Yes, the drummer of the band lost an arm.  With all respect to the band, they did not abandon Rick.  They stood by him and supported him until he was capable of playing the drums with one arm using an electronic drum set and a set of foot pedals to compensate for the lost arm.  It definitely was a trying time.  I won’t go into much more as you can watch the documentary included to learn more.

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