Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories

The Record Vault: Def Leppard – Adrenalize

“Adrenalize” came out on 31 March 1992 through Mercury Records.

I was a first day buyer because of Steve Clark (RIP). I heard it a couple of times and put it on the shelf. It stayed there for a long time. I wanted to like it but my bias and loyalty to Steve Clark was making me not like it. And I kept telling anyone who listened to me that it was missing the special melodic decorations that Clark was well known for.

Many years later, I did come across various interviews in which Phil Collen stated that he recreated Clark’s parts from the demos because Collen was there with Clark when he played his original ideas for the songs.

And “sort of gone” from the ship was Mutt Lange as he decided it was time to drive Bryan Adams crazy. After three albums, AC/DC didn’t want to work with Lange again. Malcolm Young hated him because he felt his methodical studio takes sucked the life out of the music. Foreigner stopped working with him but Def Leppard still wanted to work with him, and they did the pre-production with him as Lange is there in the song writing department as the fifth member.

I’m not sure what the point of the above is. Is it an eulogy or a “hey, we tried to save him but couldn’t”?

The recording band was Joe Elliott, Phil Collen, Rick Savage and Rick Allen. Interesting to note that backing vocals includes a certain John Sykes who was heavily rumoured by the magazines to be the new guitarist.

Let’s Get Rocked

I couldn’t shake the “Pour Some Sugar On Me” vibe in the verses. And I liked the cleverness in the lyrics, like “I suppose a rock’s out of the question”.

Heaven Is

The music is derivative of Def Lep songs that came before, like “Photograph”, “Armageddon It” and “Let It Go” and I like it.

Make Love Like a Man

It was only a matter of time before a song title would come about to challenge “Dude Looks Like A Lady”. And this one is it. While the song lyrically does nothing for me, the song is great to jam along with.

Tonight

One of my favourite tracks as it has a feel from “High N Dry” and “Pyromania”.

White Lightning

The tribute to Steve Clark.

It’s long droning guitar intro gives way to a “Billy’s Got A Gun” style groove.

Stand Up (Kick Love into Motion)

How good is the start?

It reminds me so much of “Hysteria” and I like it.

And press play to hear the lead break.

Personal Property

It’s back to the AC/DC style riffage on this but the track could have been interchange with any Bryan Adams cut during this time.

Press play to hear that section from 2.17 to 2.38. its classic early Def Leppard.

Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad

Lange is rewriting, “Everything I Do” here. And it’s a big reason why I was off this album. Like how much Mutt Lange can we really have in our lives. According to the charts and sales of Adams and Twain in the 90’s, a lot of Lange.

I Wanna Touch U

Typical Lange style of song, with a clichéd un-inspired riff that mimics AC/DC.

Tear It Down

My favourite song on the album and it’s an oldie, a B-side from “Hysteria”. It rocks hard and I like the simplicity of the Chorus, which reminds me of “Let It Go”.

In Australia it went to number 1 and to a Platinum award. In the U.S, it went to number 1 and its 3x Platinum. In Canada, it also went to Number 1 and a 4x Platinum award. In the U.K, it also went to number 1 and a Platinum certification. And the trend continued in other countries like Finland, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, New Zealand and France.

The tour for “Adrenalize” went for 18 months, beginning in April 1992 and finishing in October 1993. After it, we got the excellent “RetroActive” in 1993 (a collection of unreleased tracks to close off the Steve Clark era) and a Greatest Hits package in 1995 called “Vault”. And the music scene kept changing but we didn’t think that Def Leppard would change that much. Then they dropped “Slang” in 1996 and man, they changed. But that’s another story.

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8 thoughts on “The Record Vault: Def Leppard – Adrenalize

  1. Not a favorite of mine at all. It is too much trying to repeat Hysteria and not doing very well. Personal Property might be the worst song they’ve ever done. It does have its merits, but not one I pull out very often.

  2. I had a hard time getting into it when it came out, though at the time I was pretty solidly into thrash so it might have been a matter of taste. I do remember a few good tunes on this but it’s been awhile since I’ve given it a spin.

  3. I commented the other day about this record as the tour for it was stellar but in regards to Clark my brother who was 14 at the time (1992) said that all the classic Riffs went to Heaven when Steve passed. He was totally bang on with that comment. I was 24 at the time and was like “Your right Kid!”

  4. Here’s my unpopular opinion: ‘Adrenalize’ is a 1000 TIMES BETTER than ‘Hysteria.’ The first half of ‘Hysteria’ is good (except for “Rocket”), while the second half is unforgettable, except for “Gods of War” and to some extent “Hysteria.” ‘Adrenalize,’ however, has some of my favorite Def Leppard songs ever: “White Lightning,” “Stand Up (Kick Love Into Motion),” “Tear It Down,” “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad,” “Tonight,” and “I Wanna Touch U.” I think the latter track is so underrated!

    • Nice “unpopular opinion”. I have those kind of opinions on other albums from bands after a mega successful album.

      Those songs you mention are good songs. I get why you see “I Wanna Touch U” as being underrated.

      It all comes down to the lens you see the album through.

      Mutt Lange and Bryan Adams were all over the charts here in Australia from 1991 and 1992 with the “Waking Up The Neighbors” album and the six singles that came from it and suddenly Def Leppard release “Adrenalize” in 1992 and they sounded like Adams.

      Like “Do I Have To Say The Words” and “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad”. Both great songs and both interchangeable between albums.

      • Wow, that Bryan Adams example makes sense! No wonder why you’re not crazy about this album! I never grew up during that Mutt Lange and Bryan Adams domination, so it doesn’t bother me. It’s good music to my ears! Thanks for sharing a little info about what was happening in Australia back in 1991-1992.

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