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 – ‘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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Def Leppard – Mirror Ball: Live & More (2011)

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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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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