My Sunday Song – “Die Hard the Hunter” by Def Leppard

For My Sunday Song #160 and the final in the Def Leppard series, I bring you “Die Hard the Hunter” from the multi-platinum album ‘Pyromania’.  The song was never released as a single; however, was played live back in the day.

The song opens with the sound of a helicopter and machine gun fire and is representative of war, the Vietnam War to be exact.  The song is about a war veteran who comes back from war, but can’t seem to let it go.  The battles the soldier faces being home as he can’t seem to stop fighting the battles and now they are in his mind.  The evils of war are following him everywhere and he is struggling to let go of the bad and find the good.  A common problem with soldiers then and even today.

What I love about the song is the seriousness of the music.  The heavy metal chords that are used give an impending feel of doom and gloom.  There is a darkness to the music, an eeriness, a sadness that captures the feelings the soldier is going through.  You can actually feel the heaviness of it all through the music.  It is quite fantastic how they captured that feeling musically.

Steve Clark’s solo on this is fantastic.  He has a really cool riff and along with Pete Willis’ rhythm guitar, the two made a great pair and helped deliver the sound that captured the essence of the song.  It was simple sounding, yet brilliant.  Not too flashy, but not understated either.  Joe delivers the vocals in a way to also help convey the emotions of the song.  Always has been one of my favorites on ‘Pyromania’.

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My Sunday Song – “Getcha Rocks Off” by Def Leppard

For My Sunday Song #158, I bring to you “Getcha Rocks Off” from the band’s 1979 debut E.P. simply known as the Def Leppard E.P.  The song would go on to be re-recorded for the band’s debut full length album ‘On Through the Night’ but there it is known as “Rocks Off”.

What is cool about this song?  Well, everything actually.  It is as early Def Leppard as you can get.  It is raw, it is rough and it completely gets your rocks off…really!  The band sounds so young, so hungry and so damn good.  Steve Clark’s guitar riff instantly grabs hold of you and won’t let go.  And let’s talk about that solo.  Damn, Steve was immediately letting the world know that this band meant business.  There is a little back and forth on the guitars with Steve and Pete Willis and then Steve just tears into that solo with a blistering pace and so much fire and passion.  This is guitar rock at its best.

Another cool thing about this song is the drumming.  This is not Rick Allen on drums. This was before he joined the band.  The drummer on this is Frank Noon.  Frank  was a session drummer and wasn’t really a full member of the band.  He wasn’t the first drummer either as that was Tony Kenning, but he isn’t on this record so no more about him.  Frank did a great job and pounded the hell out of those drums.

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Lyrically there isn’t much to the song.  It is a pure rock & roll song about a beautiful woman that comes to the dressing room door and is looking smoking hot.  She wants to get her rocks off.  When the band goes on stage the girl is in the front and she has lots of pretty friends, enough for every one in the band…funny how that works out.  This song is really great for the music, not the lyrical content for sure.

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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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My Sunday Song – “Photograph” by Def Leppard

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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Def Leppard – High & Dry – 35th Anniversary

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.

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