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.
Continue reading “My Sunday Song – “From the Inside” 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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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 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).
Continue reading “Def Leppard – Concert Review (Charlotte, NC June 9th, 2018)”
For My Sunday Song #75, I am bringing you the song that started it all for me…”Photograph” by Def Leppard. It was the first single off the massive hit album ‘Pyromania’ and it was the song that started my obsession with Def Leppard. From that point on, music took a whole new direction in my life. It was my passion. I tried to play guitar (rather unsuccessfully) and I couldn’t sing, but I could listen to music.
The song was perfect in my book. The video was mesmerizing. The two together captured my attention like nothing ever had. The song has such a melodic melody and the guitar solo and background vocals were all spot on thanks to Mutt Lange behind the boards. The guitar riff on the song that is played throughout is instantly recognizable.
I had heard of Def Leppard as my brother had one of their albums, but it was this song and this album that made me a fan…no a fanatic with this band. I had to have the albums, the singles, the shirts, the posters, the pins…you name it, I had to have it. And it still goes on today. They release a video and I own it; a live album and I gotta have it; a deluxe version of an album I already have, yep, I get that as well. It doesn’t matter.
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We are now in December and only 24 more days until Christmas. Here are some great gifts to give…new album releases!!! There is a wide variety of music this week so there might be something for everyone today. My picks are highlighted in Blue. What do you see that you like and want to get from Santa??? Let me know. Also, if you want to purchase an album, you can easily click on the link below the album and it will take you straight to iTunes.
- Chris Stapleton – From A Room: Volume 2 – (Mercury Nashville): I am so glad there is a Volume 2 because ‘From A Room: Volume 1’ was sensational. I am looking forward to what he taps into for this one because if it is anything like the outlaw country / southern rock vibe of the first one, you will be in for a treat.
- Down ‘N Outz – The Further Live Adventures of… – (Frontier Records): Joe Elliott from Def Leppard returns with his side project that celebrates the music of Mott the Hoople, British Lions & Ian Hunter. This time it is a live concert and another reminder of how great their music was. It deserves to be celebrated. As a Joe fan, no brainer for me.
Continue reading “Friday New Releases – December 1st”
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.
Continue reading “Def Leppard – ‘Hysteria’ 30th Anniversary (Deluxe Edition) – Album Review”
If I remember correctly, there was an interview with Joe Elliott a long, long time ago asking him about Cover albums and Live albums and why Def Leppard hadn’t done any of these albums. His response was something to the effect that bands that have nothing else to give do those kind of albums (not a direct quote). I tried finding the article, but was unsuccessful. Well, 1 Cover album and now 3 Live albums later, I guess Def Leppard has nothing to give…Okay, we know that is wrong as Def Leppard has still put out great albums in between all these Live albums and the Cover album. His opinion of them has apparently changed.
This post will be the first in a 3 part series discussing Def Leppard’s 3 Live Albums including ‘Mirror Ball’,‘Viva! Hysteria’, and ‘And There Will Be A Next Time…’. We will start the series in chronological order starting with the 2011 release ‘Mirror Ball: Live & More’.
‘Mirror Ball’ is the first official release on CD for any Def Leppard recording. I have bootlegs of live albums, but glad to see an official release of live material. It was long overdue. The album was a 2 CD set and included a Bonus DVD as well which I will discuss later in the post. The CD packaging is one of those old thick plastic cases that doesn’t hold up well. I cracked the back of the case on the day I bought it. I don’t remember what I did, but it is nicely cracked now.
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Today, July 11th, marks the 35th Anniversary of Def Leppard’s best and heaviest album, ‘High & Dry’. Everyone knows the albums ‘Pyromania’ and ‘Hysteria’, but the album that started it for me was ‘High & Dry’. My brother had their first album on vinyl ‘On Through the Night’, but that album didn’t really do much for me. I liked it, but it was lacking in a lot of areas.
It was this album that changed my views on Def Leppard. This album is what a Rock & Roll album was supposed to sound like. Once I heard this album, my world was never the same. Def Leppard became a part of my life and has not stopped since.
What was so special about this album? For starters, the producer was the legendary, Mutt Lange. He went on to produce ‘Pyromania’ and ‘Hysteria’ as well. Mutt Lange was able to take the elements that were missing on their first album and put them together here. The improvements from their first album to here are huge. They sounded like a band that had a plan and an idea of who they were that they didn’t have before.
Continue reading “Def Leppard – High & Dry – 35th Anniversary”