Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories

The Record Vault: Def Leppard – X

With “Slang” and “Euphoria”, Def Leppard re-invented themselves and the Two Thousands was there for the taking. The answer to their world domination is “X”, released in 2002.

And yes, it’s studio album number 8, but when you add “Retro Active” and “Vault” it is number 10 or X.

So “X”.

It stands for many things, like the Roman number for Ten or an MPAA rating for extreme explicitness, but it also stands for a maniacal mid-life crisis Def Leppard album.


Written by Def Leppard with the help of songsmith, Marti Frederiksen.

The music of Def Leppard has evolved, incorporating the “Slang” influences with the traditional Def Leppard sound. This song captures some of it along with the whole Alanis Morrisette/Matchbox 20 pop rock vibe.


It feels like a Backstreet Boys track. And I wasn’t surprised when I saw the writers. Per Aldeheim, Andreas Carlsson and Max Martin, who together had written a lot of hits for artists like Backstreet Boys, Nsync and Britney Spears.

But it was a skip for me.

And very disappointing as well, especially when Carlsson can rock hard. When he worked with Europe many years later, we got “Last Look At Eden”. When he worked with Paul Stanley, we got “Live To Win”. When he worked with Bon Jovi we got “Everyday”, “Misunderstood” and “Hook Me Up”. And Max Martin was a rocker to being with. When Martin worked with Jovi, we got “It’s My Life”. And guitarist Per Aldeheim can also rock hard, however none of the writers rocked hard at all on this.

“Unbelievable”, I say.

You’re So Beautiful

Another song written by Def Leppard with Marti Frederiksen.

The pop rock is back with this, which has the feel of “Animal” with new melodic elements.


A cut written by Def Leppard with Marti Frederiksen, its lightweight “Photograph” even down to the syllables for the Chorus.

Long, Long Way to Go

Written by Wayne Hector and Steve Robson who I had to Google to see what their history is.

Wayne Hector is renowned for working with artists like Westlife, Nicki Minaj, The Wanted and The Pussycat Dolls. Steve Robson back in 2002 had worked with Westlife, Atomic Kitten, Honeyz and Faith Hill. All pop song writers.

And Def Leppard took a pop ballad and gave it the Def Leppard treatment, however it still sounds like a Backstreet Boys song. But it’s the most catchiest song on the album.

Four Letter Word

Written by Def Leppard, this is best track on the album. The bluesy AC/DC or ZZ Top style riff definitely gets me interested. It could have easily fit on the Adrenalize album.

At times you would be able to hear some “Back In Black” and “Armageddon It”.

Torn to Shreds

Written by Def Leppard and Joe Elliot in the lower registers singing a ballad is pretty cool to listen to. The way it starts off, it reminds me of the “Slang” album.

Love Don’t Lie

Written by Def Leppard. It sounds like “The Real Thing” from Russell Morris.


Written by Def Leppard and Pete Woodroffe, this is by far the worst track on the album. While I give the band 5/5 for having the balls to experiment, the dance beat programmed bass and drums don’t do it for me and the vocal delivery did nothing to captivate the NWOBHM child within and I don’t think the teenybopper crowd took to it either.

Maybe if One Direction covered this many years later it would have been a hit.


Written by Def Leppard.

Stone Temple Pilots comes to mind here.

And I like it when hard rock artists take something which is contemporary and add their own hard rock touch.

Girl Like You

Written by Def Leppard.

It’s a skip from me when you middle aged men singing lyrics like “I’m on fire, and you’re the flame”.

Let Me Be the One

Written by Def Leppard. Next.


Written by Def Leppard and Pete Woodroffe

The best track on the album. It has this “Paper Sun” vibe in the Intro, a “Desert Song” vibe in the Chorus and an “Animal” style Chorus.

While it’s not an excellent Def Leppard record it’s also not that bad, and it kept the band on the road which was the key back then.

But for me, I haven’t purchased any Def Leppard product post this album.

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

The Record Vault: Def Leppard – Euphoria

I was interested to hear what Def Leppard would do next after “Slang”.

And the answer was “Euphoria”. Released in 1999, the title alone was an indication to me that they were back to the “Pyromania” and “Hysteria” vibe.

The album is produced by Pete Woodroofe.

Demolition Man

Written by Phil Collen, Vivian Campbell and Joe Elliot, it’s an energetic rocker to kick off the album, reminding me of their supercharged cover of “Action” from Sweet in the early 90’s.


Written by Phil Collen and Mutt Lange, this is a great track in the vein of songs like “Photograph” and “Animal”.

And press play to hear the guitar solo.

Back In Your Face

Written by Joe Elliot and Phil Collen, it has a 70’s style vibe, processed drums, a bass guitar riff that has the vibe of “Under Pressure” from Queen and a rap like vocal line reminiscent to “Pour Some Sugar On Me”.

With the title, it definitely announces the bands intention.

The band was back in my face like jumping jack flash and the Union Jack.


Written by Rick Savage, the song is interchangeable with “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad?” and “When Love And Hate Collide”.

All Night

A funky Prince like tune done the Def Leppard way and written by Phil Collen and Mutt Lange.

It wouldn’t take up a place in a set list, but it’s cool to hear the band experiment and have fun with tunes like this.

Paper Sun

Written by Phil Collen, Rick Savage, Joe Elliot, Vivian Campbell and Pete Woodroffe.

My favourite song on the album and one of the best songs to appear on a Def Lep album in the 90’s.

The intro riff, with it’s Middle Eastern feel already hooks me in, bringing back memories of songs like “Desert Song” and “Fractured Love”. The song could have easily appeared on the first two albums as well.

This is the Def Leppard I like.

It’s Only Love

Yeah, it’s a slow rocker written by Joe Elliot, Mutt Lange, Rick Savage and Vivian Campbell, which didn’t captivate me.

So it’s a skip.

21st Century Sha La La La Girl

Written by Phil Collen, Joe Elliot and Rick Savage.

This is Def Leppard with a vocal line which borders on rap-rock.

What can go wrong?

Nothing when it comes to Def Leppard.

They do these things cool but sometimes they overuse this method.

To Be Alive

This is a great ballad written by Vivian Campbell and a P.J Smith.

The song was first recorded by Vivian Campbell’s side band “Clock”, which was active between 1996 and 1998 and released one album in 1998.


An instrumental written by Phil Collen, which feels like it’s part 2 of “Switch 462”. And I like it.


Written by Phil Collen, Rick Savage, Joe Elliot, Vivian Campbell and Pete Woodroffe.

It starts off like “Hysteria” and that familiarity immediately gets me interested.

Day After Day

Written by Phil Collen, Joe Elliot and Vivian Campbell. It’s “Deliver Me” from “Slang”, updated to rock hard.

A favourite just behind “Paper Sun”.

Kings Of Oblivion

Written by Phil Collen, Joe Elliot and Rick Savage. They bring their love of 70’s Rock and Metal into this. It could easily appear on the first three albums.

We laugh at the wardrobe choices of the 80s but goddamn the 90s didn’t really endear itself to people either.

The CD that I have is known as the “Australia Bonus Tracks Edition”. So I have two bonus tracks in “Worlds Collide” and another fun energetic cover in “Under My Wheels” from Alice Cooper.

Worlds Collide

It made an appearance on the “Slang” reissue from 2014 so it was written for that album.

It’s heavy and I like it. Press play to hear the main riff. It’s head banging Metal the way I like it.

Sales of the album didn’t match the earlier stuff, but that doesn’t mean it’s a dud. Check it out.


While it was refreshing to hear “Slang” and it grew on me to be a good album, I was more than happy to have Def Leppard return to their sound.

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

The Record Vault: Def Leppard – Slang

Released in 1996.

Def Leppard couldn’t continue in the same vein of “Pyromania”, “Hysteria” and “Adrenalize” without a reset. It became a heavy burden to carry on the style of those albums. They either had to change or die.


I was surprised when the opening musical notes of “Truth” started off, and the distorted “why don’t you tell me” vocal line. It was more in the vein of Brit Alternative Rock/Pop than Blues Heavy Rock.

Check out the exotic sounding lead break. And the demo version of the song sounds more natural and it’s my go to version as the mix is in the heavy rock category that I like.

Turn To Dust

I like the exotic middle eastern sounds on “Turn To Dust” before a groovy Rick Savage bass riff kicks in and the Chorus is classic Def Lep, with the layered vocals.


“Slang” always felt like an INXS song to me as it’s got that fun pop vibe.

All I Want Is Everything

How good is the repeating lick intro to “All I Want Is Everything”?

Then when the drums and bass come in, it’s got a perfect groove and Joe Elliot’s haunting vocal melody takes it to another level.

This track could have come from a Tom Petty album.

Work It Out

“Work It Out” is Vivian Campbell’s first songwriting contribution and it’s a high point on the album. The song reminds me of the sounds of British bands like Gun who had a brief moment in the spotlight between 1989 and 1995.

The chugging guitar sound was made by running Campbell’s guitar through a drum machine gate.

In the June, 1996, Guitar issue, Campbell said that when “he was in Dio, he wrote some of the music, but writing a song for Dio was basically writing a guitar riff and 32 bars of a guitar solo. That was his world, as Dio would then arrange the pieces as he saw fit.”

Then again legions of fans liked him for that Dio part.

Campbell also mentioned that Def Leppard is not about the long guitar solos. It’s about getting the song right for the record.

Campbell further said that;

“In the 80’s there was more than just doing what was appropriate for the song. There was the plus, you know, that I had to do a solo for a record but also had to advance my career as a guitarist in the eyes of all guitarists.”

Make sure you stick around for the interlude section. It starts off funky, there’s a repeating palm muted guitar lick with ambient noise and then a bone crunching riff.

That’s right people, no guitar solo, but still plenty of guitar melodic licks and riffs played throughout.

Breathe A Sigh

That small fingerpicked intro for “Breathe A Sigh” is excellent. This is Def Leppard going more rhythm and blues with their unmistakable layered harmony vocals in the Chorus.

In a June 1996, Guitar issue, interviewer Rich Maloof mentioned how the hip hop groove is reminiscent of TLC’s “Diggin’ On You”.

Deliver Me

How good is the arpeggio picked guitar riff and the vocal melody from the start in “Deliver Me”?

Gift Of Flesh

And that Chorus is heavy rock with the melodic layered vocals that I expect from Def Lep.

“Gift Of Flesh” has a slamming wah solo by Phil Collen done in one take.

Blood Runs Cold

“Blood Runs Cold” is another classic Def Lep track. The actual version and the “Rough Mix” version are both excellent.

Pearl Of Euphoria

How cool is the New Wave style of guitar on “Pearl Of Euphoria”?

And yes there had to be a song title with a word that ends in “ia”.

The June 1996 Guitar piece from Rich Maloof ends with these words;

As guitarists in a band that found success in a doomed era of rock, Collen and Campbell have adopted the Darwinian notion that survival is dependent on change. The new era is just as doomed, of course, but it speaks well for this pair that they knew to change and had the reserve of talent needed to grow.

As Collen concludes, “We’ve picked up a lot of experience on the way and we found a way to get it out of our system with an album we think is right. To us, that is the biggest thing. We weren’t even slightly worried, and we think anyone who likes us will like it. And hopefully we’ll get some new fans as well.”

Crank “Slang” and enjoy an excellent Def Leppard record.

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

The Record Vault: Def Leppard – Vault: Def Leppard Greatest Hits (1980–1995)

If you had the albums you didn’t really need this unless you are a serious collector, which the majority of Def Leppard fans are. And if you had no albums from the band, then this is one to purchase as its focus is definitely on the big albums of “Pyromania”, “Hysteria” and “Adrenalize”.

“Vault: Def Leppard Greatest Hits (1980–1995)” was released on 23 October 1995.

Pour Some Sugar on Me (Historia Video Edit)

From the “Hysteria” album, written by Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange and Savage.

The song was treading water in and out of the Top 10 singles charts and 49 weeks after it was released it hit the Number 1 spot. The path to number 1 happened during the European tour. The Strip Clubs of Florida started playing it, then people started requesting it on radio and the song just blew up.

They were done with the album and working on the last song for the album, “Armageddon It”. During a break in the recording, Elliot picked up the acoustic guitar and played the three chords. Lange heard it and liked it. It’s “We Will Rock You” vibe is evident and the Chorus was done first. So they had the big hook and worked backwards from there.

The verses started to have this “Come Together” vocal feel. But they weren’t done, as both Lange and Elliot took small tape recorders and scatted phonetically into. 10 days later the song was completed. The fastest thing they had done for the album.

“Love is like a bomb” okay.


From the “Pyromania” album and written by Clark, Elliott, Lange, Savage and Willis.

Collen played the lead break on his Ibanez Destroyer. It was a hybrid hard rock version of AC/DC meets Boston. It had that aggressiveness and the melody.

Love Bites

From the “Hysteria” album, written by Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange and Savage. The bulk of the song was courtesy of Mutt Lange. When he played it to the band on acoustic guitar in sounded like a Don Henley cut, as Lange’s voice is very similar.

But as the band kept working on it with Lange, it just kept getting bigger and bigger. The Chorus is huge and press play to hear the melodic guitars there.

Also when the song broke through, the band had to learn it while on tour to add it to its set list. And it was daunting due to the multi-layered harmonies.

Let’s Get Rocked

One of the earliest songs written for the “Adrenalize” album by Collen, Elliott, Lange and Savage. Like “Pour Some Sugar On Me”, the Chorus hook was written first and the rest followed after.

Its juvenile and fun and so departed from the “shoe starers” as the Grunge movement was known back then.

Two Steps Behind (Acoustic Version)

Written by Elliott and the song appeared as a B side on one of the “Adrenalize” singles, on the “Retro Active” album and on the “Last Action Hero” soundtrack which was a box office bomb for Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The idea for an acoustic song came together after Joe Elliot started jamming with Hothouse Flowers.

Michael Kamen got involved because he wanted to do strings on a Def Leppard cut. So the band sent him all the tracks that they were using on “Retro Active” and nothing really stood out to Kamen.

However one of his assistants heard the song and kept humming the vocal melody. When Kamen asked her what she was humming, she mentioned it’s one of the Def Leppard songs they sent through and Kamen had his “a-ha” moment and his involvement was sealed.


From the “Hysteria” album written by Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange and Savage.

And it was put together so unusually. Joe Elliot sang his vocals to a different backing track and once the vocals were done, Lange took away the music and left the drums and vocals and told Phil and Steve to come up with a new musical track.

Heaven Is

From the “Adrenalize” album and written by Clark, Collen, Elliot, Lange and Savage.

It can be interchanged with a Bryan Adams cut.

Rocket (Visualize video edit)

From the “Hysteria” album written by Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange and Savage.

It was actually Joe Elliot that came up the African drum loop.

When Love & Hate Collide

Written by Elliot and Savage. It was originally written for “Adrenalize” circa 1989, however it’s seen as the new song for this album. Elliot was going with a “Love Bites” part 2 vibe and they stopped recording the “Slang” album to get this song finished for the “Vault” album at the request of their label.

And the guys had to get re-acquainted with their past recording methods as their mindsets were on the future and the sounds/production of “Slang”.

The vocal melody also reminds of Peter Cetera and “Glory Of Love”.


The love the band has for Sweet is evident on how well they covered this track for a B side, which also appeared on the “Retro Active” album.

It’s full of energy and you can hear the fun dripping from the speakers.

Make Love Like a Man

From “Adrenalize” and written by Clark, Collen, Elliott and Lange. It’s basically “Pour Some Sugar On Me” part 2.

Armageddon It

From “Hysteria” and written by Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange and Savage.

The guitar part was just power chords when the song was first demoed in 84, and then a few years later, Steve Clark started playing a T-Rex inspired riff over the power chord progressions, which inspired Joe Elliot vocally.

And that whole, “gimme all your loving” section was inspired by ZZ Top and the band were always going to change the words, so it didn’t have “gimme all your loving” but it sounded so good that Mutt Lange told em to leave it.

Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad?

From “Adrenalize” and written by Collen, Elliott and Lange. They had this and “When Love And Hate Collide” and decided to go with this for the album. The majority of the song was written by Collen and Lange with Elliot contributing lyrics.

Rock of Ages

From “Pyromania” and written by Clark, Elliott and Lange.

It was a Steve Clark riff and the original demo had a slower tempo.

Mutt Lange had the song musical structure mapped out. The verses came first but they still didn’t have a Chorus.

A hymn book in the Control Room left behind by a Choir group gave the song its title.


The title track and written by Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange and Savage.

But the main guitar part was from the fingers of Rick Savage. And Joe Elliot didn’t like it, because he thought it sounded too much like “Every Breath You Take” from The Police.

Bringin’ On the Heartbreak

From the “High ‘N’ Dry” album and written by Clark, Elliott and Willis. Still a live staple and one of their signature song. Check it out for the harmony guitars.

Initially it was a demo called “A Certain Heartache”. And when they started working with Mutt Lange, Lange had a tendency to rip songs apart and ask the guys to add new bits. But for this, it didn’t really happen as Lange approved.

5× Platinum in the U.S. Not bad for a Best off compilation. Ka-Ching.

A to Z of Making It, Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories

The Record Vault: Def Leppard – Retro Active

I had this on CD but I don’t have it anymore.

Against my better judgement (and pressure from my older brothers), I gave it to a local DJ (a family friend as well) to play at a party he was MC at, but he had a chequered history of not returning peoples music.

And as per the script, when I asked him for the CD back after the party, he told me that his DJ gear and the music he had was stolen after the party. But it appeared “somehow” magically the following fortnight for another party.

I also dubbed it on cassette before I lent it, so I might have had an inkling that it would never come back.

So what is “Retro Active”?

Released in 1993 to the slogan of “We’ve pretty much cleared out the shelves with this album”, “Retro Active” is a compilation album featuring re-worked versions of B-sides and previously unreleased recordings from the band’s recording sessions between 1984 to 1993. The creativity of the band members during this period was an all time high.

The press release for the album wanted to make clear, that;

“This is not a new Def Leppard album – nor is it an old Def Leppard record. It is “Retro-Active”, a collection of songs that have appeared in hard to find places or, in certain cases, never made it out of the studio until now.

The band wanted to do this kind of album after “Hysteria”, with a release in 1989, however those plans didn’t eventuate.

Pretty cool album cover as well by Nels Israelson and Hugh Syme and how two different images can be seen when viewed from a distance.

Vivian Campbell gets a chance to adding his own textures of electric guitars, acoustic guitars and backing vocals, on top of everything else that was already there by Rick Allen, Steve Clark, Phil Collen, Joe Elliot and Rick Savage.

Desert Song

Michael Schenker came to mind when I saw this title.

And this is a great opening track, written by Clark, Elliott and Savage. Listed as an unreleased outtake from the “Hysteria” sessions.

The Arabic/Dio/Blackmore feel of the main riff reminds me of early Def Leppard. And when the Pre-Chorus (or is it the Chorus) kicks in, you get smacked in the face by the “Hysteria” multi-layered vocals.

There is this quietened down section in the middle of the song, which reminds me of the 70’s and the arrangements that bands used to do back then. The middle section gives way to a lead break and to an outro with has minimal singing, however Elliot is using his voice like another instrument.

Fractured Love

My favourite song on this album and another unreleased outtake from the “Hysteria” sessions.

Written by Clark, Elliott and Savage. It was part of the original “Hysteria” track listing in the Spring of 1985, but once Mutt Lange returned, the song was shelved.

The drum like intro was actually recorded by Elliot, by tapping his fingers on the studio vocal booth “baffles”. The sound was then enhanced and looped to form the atmospheric intro.

The E-bow effects by Collen are haunting. The open string build up in the verses reminds me of Queensryche and songs from “Operation Mindcrime”.

And when the whole band crashes in for the multi-layered Chorus, its head banging time.


A Sweet cover written by Andy Scott, Brian Connolly, Steve Priest and Mick Tucker. It was originally released on the “Make Love Like a Man” single; this version has re-recorded snare drums.

While the band Sweet had some traction in Australia, it was artists covering their songs in the 80’s and 90’s that got me interested to check them out.

And I like how Def Leppard just made it their own, rocking out, shredding out and in sections bringing in the multi-layered vocals.

Two Steps Behind

Written by Elliot. The unexpected hit.

This is the acoustic version and an electric version is further down the track list. It’s very Bryan Adams sounding.

It got some traction from the film “Last Action Hero” and it was originally released on the “Make Love Like a Man” single.

She’s Too Tough

Another cut written by Elliott and I dig it when his voice gets all Bon Scott throaty. Press play to hear him rock and roll in the verses like this.

This was a B-side included as a bonus track on the Japanese pressings of “Adrenalize”. Written in 1985, the song first appeared on the Helix album “Wild in the Streets” in 1987.

It was redone by the Lep and also released on the singles for “Heaven Is”, “Tonight”, and “Stand Up (Kick Love into Motion)”.

Miss You in a Heartbeat

This acoustic version has this gospel feel which I like.

The song was released on the “Make Love Like a Man” single as well as the Japanese versions of “Adrenalize”.

Phil Collen wrote it and it first appeared on an album by “The Law” featuring Paul Rodgers, released in 1991.

Only After Dark

A Mick Ronson cover, written by Ronson and Scott Richardson.

The song previously appeared on the “Let’s Get Rocked” single, and extra guitars were added for this release.

And the groove is still funky.

Ride Into The Sun (1987 re-recording)

This cut is listed as coming from the “Hysteria” sessions, however it goes back to “The Def Leppard E.P” from 1979.

It’s also listed as being written by Clark, Collen (I’m not sure what he added musically to get a credit as he wasn’t in the band when this song was originally written), Elliot and Savage.

And it’s pretty close to the original version in the verses and chorus.

Slight differences are from the “Hysteria” era cut is that it featured a Rick Allen drum solo intro, whereas the version here has a honky tonk piano intro provided by Ian Hunter.

From the Inside (with the Hothouse Flowers)

Another cut written by Joe Elliott for the “Adrenalize” album. I actually like the R.E.M vibe they have happening here.

It appeared as a B side to the “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad” single and some single releases of “Stand Up (Kick Love into Motion)”.

Ring of Fire

How this song never made the cut for “Hysteria” is a tragedy. It’s a pure hard rocker that borders on the early NWOBHM sound of the first two albums.

It will forever be known as a B side from the “Hysteria” sessions.

The song writing gang is also back with Clark, Collen, Elliot, Lange and Savage listed as writers.

It was originally released on the 1988 singles “Pour Some Sugar on Me” in the U.S and “Armageddon It” in the UK.

Press play and let the hard rock sounds wash over you.

I Wanna Be Your Hero

Another cut forever known as a B side from the “Hysteria” sessions and also written by the gang of Clark, Collen, Elliot, Lange and Savage.

It was originally released on the 1987 singles “Animal” in the U.S and “Pour Some Sugar on Me” in the UK.

Miss You in a Heartbeat (Electric Version)

How many versions of the same song could you want?

Well for this song, we get three versions.

Two Steps Behind (Electric Version)

Squeezing more mileage out of this one. And while I said the acoustic version sounds like Bryan Adams, this version seals the deal. It could be interchanged with another ballad from a Bryan Adams album.

Miss You in a Heartbeat (Piano Version)

It’s listed as a hidden track.

In relation to “Miss You In A Heartbeat” and “Two Steps Behind”, it goes to show how Def Leppard tried many different ways to bring the song to life. It’s not easy re-doing and re-creating a song.

And with this album, an era was done and the band was ready to start fresh.

A to Z of Making It, Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories

The Record Vault – Def Leppard – Make Love Like A Man (CD Single)

Single #2 from ADRENALIZE – “MAKE LOVE LIKE A MAN” is our tongue in cheek look at a significant facet of human existence.

Take note!

Meanwhile we’ve got a couple more unreleased tracks for you. “MISS YOU IN A HEARTBEAT” is a Collen song of somewhat recent vintage, first recorded by Paul Rodgers’ group, The Law.

“TWO STEPS BEHIND” is an Elliot composition performed totally acoustically bass, 2 guitars and voice. Our first recorded acoustic performance.

And finally a version of a song by a group Joe really wishes he could’ve been in “ACTION” by Sweet. For those too young to remember, go listen to Sweet’s “Greatest Hits”.

A revelation and for those who remember the original, let me say that our efforts to duplicate every part recorded by Messrs Connolly, Priest, Scott and Tucker, we discovered some very interesting bits.

Don’t worry guys, we won’t let on.

It felt like they were giving us insights into their thinking with these little extra blurbs on the back. I always felt starved of information from my favourite artists.

I’m not a huge fan of “Make Love Like A Man” but I do get it that others like it as “Adrenalize” was their entry point into the band, while “Pyromania” was for me.

Miss You In A Heartbeat

I had to call up the track on Spotify to re-acquaint myself. Def Leppard has an electric version, an acoustic version and a revised version doing the rounds.

The electric version is classic Def Leppard. It could be a leftover from “Hysteria”.

The revised version has the piano as the dominant instrument and I like the gospel feel the piano gives it.

The acoustic version also has the piano as the dominant instrument and the Chorus doesn’t have those ohh, oh oh.. And the acoustic solo is a press play moment for me.

I also pressed play on the version done by The Law. And this one is close to the electric version that Def Leppard did, but Paul Rodgers is a bit more soulful with his vocal delivery.


Def Leppard are on fire with this track. I always liked this track from Sweet, and the Lep’s do it justice.

Two Steps Behind (Acoustic Version)

Written by Joe Elliot, it feels like a camp fire track, very Bryan Adams like.

By the end of it, I pressed play again, because I liked the variation.

It’s a shame that the art of the single is lost within the current world as Def Leppard, Metallica and Bon Jovi really knew how to deliver a killer single release.

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

The Record Vault: Def Leppard – Let’s Get Rocked (CD Single)

You hold on your hands the first single from our new album, ADRENALIZE. A simple little ditty, LET’S GET ROCKED just about sums up our feelings about life.

Also check out ONLY AFTER DARK, a Mick Robson song we’ve always liked. Mick’s been I’ll and this track is our acknowledgment of his microphone.

It sure feels good to be back. Play it LOUD!

I should have written about the CD single first if I was chronological with my posts on Def Leppard.

Well “Let’s Get Rocked” is part of pop culture at this point in time. It’s Chorus is massive and instantly recognizable in the same way “We Will Rock You” from Queen is.

Only After Dark

Their tribute to Mick Ronson.

If I had to pick between the original and the cover I would go for the original Ronson version. It just feels loose, raw and fun.

Def Leppard stays faithful to the original, so what we hear with the Def Lep version is an updated sound and Joe Elliot vocals.

Women – Live

Now this sounds massive.

Each snare hit and pulsing bass note is perfect.

And check out the Chorus riff with those extra pinch harmonics added. The beauty of playing live and feeding off the energy of the crowd.

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.


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.

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

The Record Vault: Def Leppard – Hysteria (7 inch US Version)

“Hysteria” is the title track of the album, released in 1987 as the third single. Its perfection was lost in Australia as a single.

But we became reacquainted with it after the album started to get traction on the back of “Pour Some Sugar On Me”.

“Ride Into The Sun” is an oldie, originally released on the rare Def Leppard EP from 1979. The song just kept coming back into the mix for an album release, but never officially made it.

And that rare EP from 1979 is still rare if you have the original pressing, however if you don’t have the original pressing, the EP has been released on various Def Leppard Box sets and reissued as a RSD purchase in 2017.

Riff wise, its Def Leppard at their metal best. The riff actually reminds me of “Aint Talking Bout Love”, just beefed up.

There is this little riff in G major, in between the E minor riffs that I like. When you hear it, you will know what I mean. It’s those little things that hook me in.

And the Chorus is very British rock, like Sweet and Slade, something which Def Leppard wear on their sleeves with pride. There’s even a pretty unflattering photo of the band in Union Jack T-shirts and small shorts around the “Pyromania” period. I’m surprised a testicle didn’t pop out, that’s how short the shorts were.

For the song “Hysteria”, well it’s one of those songs that can be classed as a perfect mix of hard rock and soft rock. I mentioned in the album review one word for the song.


Press play and enjoy.

A to Z of Making It, Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories

The Record Vault: Def Leppard – Hysteria

I didn’t get into this album when it first came out. I’m okay with that.

But then something strange happened. It started to become part of the conversation. After a few false starts with the singles in Australia, they finally got our attention with “Pour Some Sugar On Me”. So we wanted to hear the album.

Metal and rock fans like to buy what is happening. And happening at the same time was Def Leppard and Guns N Roses. If a person went into the record store to pick up a copy of “Appetite”, they would add “Hysteria” to the purchase and vice versa. That’s how I remember it happening. Both albums were slow burners, percolating, until they exploded onto the scenes behind a few songs, like “Sweet Child O Mine”, “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and “Love Bites”.

“Hysteria” cost over $5 million to write and record. It’s Def Leppard’s fourth album, released in August 1987 on Mercury Records, four years after “Pyromania”.

The album was “eventually” produced “Mutt” Lange who at first, came in and did some work with the band, then left to work on other stuff and then came back. While Lange was gone, Jim Steinman came in, but he spent his time trying to change the carpet in the studio (as the colour didn’t suit his taste) and writing “Bat Out Of Hell 2” Meatloaf’s (RIP) comeback album in the early 90’s.

The band for the album is Joe Elliott, Steve Clark, Phil Collen, Rick Savage and Rick Allen. Rick Allen also came up with the album title, in reference to his 1984 car accident and the loss of his left arm from it.

It is also the last album to feature guitarist Steve Clark (RIP) before his death during the writing of “Adrenalize”. As a guitarist, this one hit me hard when it happened. He wasn’t as popular as EVH or George Lynch or Yngwie Malmsteen or Richie Blackmore or John Sykes, but goddamn, he was one of my favorites. Because he played for the song and he decorated each song with his sense of melody.

Because the album took so long to see the light of day, a book was also published called “Animal Instinct: The Def Leppard Story”, written by Rolling Stone magazine senior editor David Fricke.

“Animal Instinct” was also the original album title, hence the “humanimal” in the “laser bulls eye” on the album cover. Metallica used a similar humanimal cover idea for “Hardwired To Self-Destruct”. And I’m not happy that I stupidly traded it for some vinyl records in the mid 90’s. Those vinyl records mean nothing to me right now, but the book did.

It needs to be mentioned, the loyalty shown by the band to allow Allen to return to the drum kit, using a combination electronic/acoustic kit with a set of electronic pedals that triggered (via MIDI) the sounds that he would have played with his left arm.

Even their management team wasn’t sure if it was possible, but they all gave him the chance. And for all those self development books about positive growth mindsets and grit, well, look no further than Rick Allen. He is the definition of positive growth mindsets and grit.

“Hit Makers” by Derek Thompson mentions how most artists’ best work comes AFTER they’ve had a hit.

Def Leppard had the hit with “Pyromania” and then said to the world, “now that I have your attention, sink your teeth into “Hysteria””.

Following the “Blockbuster” method set out by Hollywood (check out the excellent book by Anita Elberse), the artists wanted to create albums in which every song could be a potential single. It happened with “Thriller”. It happened with “Born In The U.S.A”. It happened with “Hysteria”.

And I know that the traditional metal sound found on “Pyromania” was gone, but I was okay with that as well, as it was taken up by Tesla for their debut album “Mechanical Resonance”. If you don’t believe me, check out tracks like “Modern Day Cowboy”, “Before My Eyes” and “Rock Me To The Top”. Even Cinderella’s debut album has sounds and riffs from Def Leppard’s first three albums.

“Pour Some Sugar On Me” gave the album some legs.

But by June 1988, the band was getting ready to go back into the studio to record the follow up. The tour was coming at an end as well in October.

Then in July, 1988, “Love Bites” dropped as a single and the album started selling like a brand new album. The song gave the album another 15 months of life on the charts and it led to “Rocket” being released as a single in January 1989. And the album just kept on selling.


I didn’t appreciate this song when it was first released as a single, but along with “Gods Of War” it’s one of the most heaviest on the album. Check out the intro lead and that Chorus riff.


Musically it’s pretty simple with a F# major arpeggio being the main riff, a Joe Elliot vocal melody in which he raps his favourite acts and a Led Zep inspired “Rock N Roll” break down.


This song gave the melodic rock movement a heart. And I like how one guitar plays a rhythm track and the other guitar just decorates with melodic fills and leads.

Love Bites

I don’t normally like ballads, but this song is unbelievable. Steve Clark is on Rhythm here and Phil Collen is the decorator, with his melodic fills and leads.

That layered Chorus hook alone, is heavy and with Collen playing those metal like leads, well it’s perfect.

Pour Some Sugar on Me

Step inside I did.

The intro riff is reminiscent of the hard rock songs from their first two albums with a Chorus similar to “I Love Rock N Roll”. And whatever “Sugar” they wanted to have poured over em, they definitely got it.

Armageddon It

The riffs on this song are Classic Rock and from their earlier albums.

The intro riff is “Photograph”. The verse riff is a blues boogie, reminiscent of AC/DC. And the song goes through so many key changes, it’s hard to keep up.

But my favourite part is the E major solo section. Press play and enjoy.

Gods of War

Side 2 begins with my favourite track on the album.

How good is that Beatles “She’s So Heavy” inspired outro?

Even the band realised this song is one of their best, bringing it back into their set lists.

Don’t Shoot Shotgun

It’s AC/DC on pop rock steroids. If you don’t believe check out the verse riff and tell me it’s not AC/DC like.

Run Riot

How good is this song?

Joe Elliot throws his voice out on this one, as he delivers a 60s/70s sugar gum pop vocal in the verses. If anything its very Sweet like with a bit of rockabilly.



And I like how that major key guitar riff for the intro and verses sounds haunting, because of the open G string.


I didn’t know what to think of this song.

The start of it with the voices didn’t really get me excitable, but when the vocals kick in, it’s got that soul rock funk vibe, and I love it.

Love and Affection

It’s basically “Animal” part 2. Not that it’s a bad track, but with so many other awesome tracks ending up as B sides, it makes me think the album would have been better served with one of those tracks.

If you look at the albums popularity, it’s 4× Platinum in Australia, Diamond in Canada, Platinum in New Zealand, Gold in Norway, Gold in Sweden, Platinum in Switzerland, 2x Platinum in United Kingdom and 12x Platinum in 12,000,000.

There’s nothing else to be said, except, press play and enjoy a blockbuster release.