Archive for Pyromania

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 – Pyromania

Posted in Album Review, Music, Tickets There Likes: with tags , , , , , , , , on July 27, 2009 by Tickets There

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If there is one band on God’s green earth that has meant more to Tickets there, and the man behind Tickets There (no, not the guys in Eyebrowy, me ya knob!), it has to be Def Leppard. Despite Guns N Roses, Marilyn Manson, Elvis Presley, Turn, Metallica and many, many, many others over the years coming close, Leppard are and always have been the clear frontrunners of my personal favorite artists. They are the band that thought me the key core values of good music, Talent, Entertainment and Performance. Leppard may have become the arse end of most music related jokes in the nineties but they are finally clawing their way back to their former heights and slowly rebuilding their credibility around the world. For those of us who stood by them after their career nosedived after Adrenalize, this is like the second coming because if there is one band in the world who deserves to have an album in everyone’s collection, it’s Leppard, and if you’re going to start anywhere, it might as well be Pyromania.

In 1983, Leppard could barley fill a town hall in England as headliner, but in the US, people were flocking to their support shows to catch a glimpse of England’s hottest new act. After successful introductions with their debut On through The Night and it’s follow up, High N Dry, the band finally had a ready and willing fan base to unleash their full potential onto. Pyromania became one of the biggest selling albums of the eighties and the only thing that stopped it reaching number one was the biggest selling album of all time, Thriller. The combination of Leppard and renowned AC/DC producer Mutt Lange producing the album together paid off in bucket loads as the band became mega stars in the States almost overnight. The mix of catchy, riff driven anthems and Joe’s raw yet piercing voice painted a new coat on the aging rock machine and gave the whole genre a new lease of life.

Opening with the first of many anthems Pyromania has to offer, Rock Rock Till You Drop, the album is immediately given an upbeat, captivating feel as the band deliver what are essentially pop songs with much, much more of an edge……. and a lot more guitars. The massively successful Photograph follows and up’s the bands’ sound several notches which seems to be the trend of Pyromania, make each song bigger, better and more enthralling than the last one. Stagefright gives the band one of its most iconic opening live songs before the haunting Too Late For Love offers a new kind of Love songs with more attitude than Bon Jovi could ever offer.

Die Hard The Hunter brings the rock swagger back to the album before the mighty Foolin’ stampedes across everything and gives the album one of its greatest building, atmospheric compositions. Where the hell can you go from there? Well, they have an answer. It’s called Rock of Ages. One of the Rock N Metal’s greatest assets and one that even non-Leppard fans will admit to loving. Does it draw the line between cheese and music? No it certainly does not because most people these days think anything Tom Yorke, Frank Black or Chris Martin didn’t write isn’t music. Unfortunately for you lot, while you are watching the blandest, most self-indulgent, over hyped musical farces on the planet crying and preaching at you, us folk who appreciate the fun, the attitude and the full on rock n roll spirit of ‘real bands’ will be having a blast and won’t be reminded about starving kids in Africa or today’s popular disease.

Back from my rant, Comin’ Under Fire and Action Not Words bring the album near it’s close with another few bursts of catchy riffs that constantly change and include small guitar spirals and heavy bass that constantly compete with each other for melodies, harmonies and cutting edge vocals and solos. The fearsome Billy’s Got a Gun gives the album one of its most unappreciated moments and unfortunately, ends the Pyromania.

More than any album I can think off, Tickets There Suggests you go and buy this one immediately and if you don’t like it well, you’re really thick and it’s more than likely you don’t have a soul. If you do, come back and see my review of High N Dry (Which I’ll do when I’m damn well ready). Don’t jump straight into Hysteria, it’s too soon 😉