Link: Def Leppard
The Inside Pulse: There was a time when Def Leppard was the single biggest band on the planet. Initially part of the NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal), Def Leppard broke big with 1983’s Pyromania, a skillful blend of metal riffs and pop sensibility. With 1987’s Hysteria, Def Leppard were officially Kings of the Mountain, as an astonishing seven tracks from the album were released as singles, including the massive smash, “Pour Some Sugar On Me”. When the 80s were over, no rock band had sold more albums.
But the 90s would be less kind. Although Adrenalize, their first album after Steve Clark died, would sell over 7 million units, subsequent releases Slang, Euphoria, and X, would meet with both critical and commercial disappointment. Although still viable as a touring band, it seemed Def Leppard’s days as chart toppers were finished. But now they’ve released a new album, Yeah!, filled with covers of songs from 70s bands that influenced them. Will Yeah! make Def Leppard chart relevant again?
Positives: This album certainly has more of the classic Def Lep feel to it than the past three albums. Their cover of ELO’s “10538 Overture” is the album’s standout, as they retain the feel of the original while making the song truly theirs. They also pay great tribute to Faces’ “Stay With Me” and David Essex’s “Rock On”. Many of the covers are by glam acts such as T. Rex, Roxy Music, and David Bowie; you get a good feel for how the glam movement impacted their musical growth. It’s a nice insight into one of rock’s most venerable bands.
Negatives: It’s a cover album, and most of the songs will be unfamiliar to the younger generation. It’s not exactly the career renaissance the band may have hoped for.
Cross-breed: Early, NWOBHM-era Def Lep.
Reason to buy: If you’re a die-hard Def Leppard fan, then you’ll enjoy this CD. But casual fans won’t be attracted to this cover album.