“On Through The Night” has just turned 41 and it’s time for a few spins over a few drinks.
“Rock Brigade” and “Hello America” bring the standard blues hard rock vibes to the album. “Hello America” also has this Beach Boys style vibe, especially after the solo section.
It’s tracks like “Sorrow Is A Woman” (with its wonderful “Stairway To Heaven” inspired lead break and how good is that harmony solo section after it which leads to the outro), “It Could Be You” (shows their love of Mott The Hoople, Sweet and hard rock Queen) and “Satellite” (listen to that tasty palm muted arpeggio riff from Steve Clark in the verses after the first Chorus and how good is that “staring up at the sky” section) which shows the adventurous and melodic spirit of the band.
How good is the clean tone intro to “When The Walls Came Tumbling Down”?
And then it morphs into those galloping style riffs which was a big part of the NWOBHM and something Iron Maiden would use a lot, “The Trooper” comes to mind immediately.
Then the headbanging riff to kick off “Wasted” starts. For those who wanted to question the metal credentials of Def Leppard, I always pointed them to this song.
“Rocks Off” and “It Could Be You” are interchangeable, with very similar riffs being the main riffs. Then again the whole blues hard rock movement was based on the same riffs being re-used by each individual artist.
“It Don’t Matter” could have come from the fingertips of Michael Schenker as “Rock Bottom” comes to mind. And how good is that Chorus, just a simple, “It don’t matter” line repeated in a simple AC/DC style backing vocal.
How good are those harmony leads in the “Answer To The Master” Chorus? And the song has a little drum solo before it moves into a section that reminds me of U.F.O. Finally, the lead break starts, with an open string lick before it morphs into the pentatonic lines.
“Overture” is 7 plus minutes long and it doesn’t feel laboured and boring. At the 2 minute mark it starts to go into a Thin Lizzy style of song, full of energy and harmonies. And my favourite part is the stop start harmony section from the 4.20 mark and at 4.40, Joe Elliot starts singing a haunting melody, before a wah solo kicks in. And from here to the end, it’s that good, that the only thing I could do is press repeat.
For all the multi-platinum and Diamond certifications that came afterwards, there is something simple and organic about the debut.
Check it out.