Archive for Adrenalize

Review: Def Leppard – Slang

Posted in Album Review, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2014 by Tickets There

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album-coverI was initially going to avoid reviewing this and just enjoy it, but after several spins of the Slang re-issue this week and it being Valentines days and all, I figured my first love in music deserved my attention. Sending the actual members of Def Leppard a card is considered ‘psychotic’ by those around me so I hope a review will suffice.

Slang came our four years after I had first heard Def Leppard. Up till the point their previous albums, On Through The Night, High ‘N’ Dry, Pyromania, Hysteria and Adrenalize had all pushed their sound further and further towards a standardized, polished pop direction with layer upon layer of vocals, guitar fiddly bits, synths and all things eighties. Unfortunately for Def Leppard and many, many other colossal bands of that era, the sher volume of hack amateurs in the genre and grunge movement shifted people’s attention towards a more solemn, displaced sound. Plaid shirts, problems and anger replaced the mullets, spandex and sing along fun that came before it. Where to go?

slang01Leppard served out the early wave of Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Soundgarden hysteria (no pun intended… well maybe just a little) by touring the Adrenalize album to packed arenas and keeping fans interested with the Retro Active B-sides albums which sparked the massively successful ‘Two Steps Behind You’. It would be three years before Leppard would remerge and like Metallica, they were barely recognizable when they did.

Slang was a kick in the ass to Leppard. The way they recorded, the sound, the style were all massively different to their tried and tested formula. No more years of recording and time apart. Leppard hit the studio and wrote/recorded like never before. The layers of production that had grown and grown over the previous three albums was replaced by a more raw sound that exposed Leppard to their audience in a way that hadn’t been heard since On Through The Night. The giant guitar riffs, duelling solos and plunges were replaced by melodic leads that allowed the matured lyrics and themes to hit the surface.

Def_Leppard-Slang-Interior_TraseraSongs like ‘Work It Out’, ‘Breath A Sigh’, ‘All I Want is Everything’ and ‘Where Does Love Go When It Dies’ brought a level of seriousness and reflection that was rarely heard before. No attempt was made to turn each song into a pop single, instead the band weren’t afraid to make a stamp with these tracks and open themselves up to a new direction. Turn To Dust, Truth, Slang and Gift of Flesh brought some of the rock back into the picture and but again showed Leppard were not rehashing their glory days by peddling out copies of ‘Animal’, ‘Rock of Ages’ and ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’. The songs were darker, more blunt and perfect.

Musically the grouped changed as well. Eastern and meditranian includeces can be heard all over the record. Styles similar to R&B, alternative rock and even some grunge can be heard throughput giving additional depth and diversity.

Slang initially divided fans. While critics worldwide applauded Def Leppard, their followers missed the larger than life anthems. However the years have been kind to Slang, even from some of the most ardent corners of the Lepp base. It’s endearing credibility, it’s ecliptic mix of styles and warm collection of songs make it an interesting journey to bask in. After Slang, the band reverted temporarily to their older sound for the Euphoria album and the Slang sound was never explored further. Who knows where it could have gone, whether it would have improved or lost its meaning; but for one point in the middle of the nineties, Def Leppard shook things up in a way that would have terrified most established bands. They braved a committed, but traditional fan base, a hostile world of peers and a new youthful energy that’s primary aim was to destroy everything Leppard had championed in the previous decade and they came out swinging. Slang has stood the time and every fan should take the time to remind themselves of that.

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DEF LEPPARD SLANG RE-ISSUE OUT TODAY

Posted in Music, News with tags , , , , , , on February 11, 2014 by Tickets There

album-coverThe moment is here folks. Def Leppard have officially released the re-mastered version of Slang which joins previous re-masters Hysteria, Pyromania and Adrenalize. The release features the original tracks which have been spruced up making them louder and prouder than ever before, as well as several demos tracks, B-sides and treats for any Leppard fan.

Slang registers highly on the Leppard intrigue list. It was the album that alienated the older fan base and embraced change which was prevalent in the music world at the time. While some bands ran for cover, Leppard boldly faced the post-grunge world with a bold statement album that saw their image, sound and direction completely shift. Critics applauded it and over time the album picked up many loyal followers.

So, now many years have passed and the time has come to re-visit Slang and see how it’s held up all these years. It’s out now on iTunes, Spotify and the usual physical sites.

Tickets There Likes: Def Leppard – Adrenalize

Posted in Album Review, Music, Tickets There Likes: with tags , , , , , on August 9, 2009 by Tickets There

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What? You were expecting the third Def Leppard Likes to be about Hysteria? Sorry, one more to cover first. Adrenalize gets a very special place in my heart as it’s the very first album I ever owned. This is the mother of all my music tastes and the big bang that caused the chain of events that have shaped the way I live my life ever since. Although the album isn’t generally regarded by fans as one of the bands best, it is. Think I’m a little biased saying that? Well I quite obviously am but I also truly believe it.

I was being driven back to boarding school by my mum one day in March 1992, just after my eighth birthday. It was a dark, wintery Sunday night and out of no where my mum produced this cassette and asked me what I thought of it. She put it on the stereo and we listened to it the whole way up to Dublin. The cassette was (quite obviously) Adrenalize and I loved every bit of it. Let’s Get Rocked what so full of attitude and so cool how could you not love it at eight years old. Leppard were also an interesting choice for first band. They had a drummer with one arm and that seemed very normal for some reason. At the time I imagined that metal bands were so hard most of them probably had missing limbs and it didn’t bother them (eight people, don’t judge). They had a legendary guitarist that had just died the year before and a back catalogue so juicy it was unrealistic. Over the next three months, my mum bought copies of Hysteria and Pyromania and every week we’d listen to Leppard solidly for the three and a half hour drive to Dublin and home on Fridays. I also managed to get a walk man and a copy of all three albums to keep a school where I quickly became the coolest kid in class for about a month because I had a tiny little leather jacket (which I still have) and listened to rock bands.

After three months of almost solid Leppard devotion (Meatloaf had managed to slip in aswell, not to mention the awesome Guns N Roses), I was brought to the Point Depot to see my very first rock concert. Def Leppard’s 7-Day-Weekend tour came to the Ireland and it saw the band play completely in the round. You can read more about that here – Click Here

Anyways, Adrenalize. If you didn’t like it or haven’t heard it, I suggest sitting down and listening to the mighty Personal Property (that guitar solo ugh!!), Stand Up, Tear It Down, Heaven is or I Wanna Touch You and experience pop rock at it’s very finest. Hard n loud guitars, monster riffs and anthems enough to win a war.

Then there’s White Lightening, the bands tribute to the late Steamin’ Steve Clark. Steve died in January 1991 and his death marked a major shift in Leppards sound and song writing. Adrenalize is the last Leppard record of it’s kind and White Lightening is a great tribute to the man who made their early albums so special.

I stick Adrenalize on now knowing it’s not as great as I praise it to be, but listening to those songs brings back memories of the early days of discovering music and discovering a new band you can still love as much as ever seventeen years later is a very special thing for everyone.

What’s yours?