July 21, 1981 - 2021: 40 years of: High 'N' Dry.
Saturday night, who's high ?
Released at the height of a rocknroll-crossroad, a bloody British bombastic battleground of punk and heavymetal, no one could've foresee that these boys would become the world's biggest hardrock powerhouse in ages. Just another record, before they hit pyro fame and hysteric fortune ...but until then: it's just them and their wine.
Instant punch with "Let It Go", lotsa riffs, hooks and that deadly / lively vibe. Youth-rock at it's best, the message is loud and clear. The slick party-crasher title-track is an AC/DC-ish track most band would die for while the masterful marathon of "You Got Me Runnin" never misses a beat.
Scream louder, as these deaf felines generate more decadent decibels on the NWOBHM "On Through The Night", while the rebelicious "No No No" is a certified fast-metal template. The instru-metal "Switch 625" opens the door to progressive-rock in a epic 3:03sec of distorted-melodies.
The heart-warming "Bringing On The Heartbreak" is an immortal signature in the powerballad repertoire. Filled with emotion and background-vocals from both ends of the spectrum, the crunchy guitars rapidly reminds us that this rock-cut is also a heavyrock-monument. An bold DEF LEPPARD career-setting statement.
Even with the RIAA-certified 2x Platinum reached plateau, they had to say goodbye to guitarist Pete Willis and welcome aboard GIRL player Phil Collen. The end of a chapter and a wild new beginning.
LEPP 2.0 would not only shake local pubs, but also arenas across the globe.
LEPP 2.0 would be the only European band to stand tall against the upcoming Sunset Strip tidalwave.
LEPP 2.0 would soon release one of hardrock's most venerated collection of overdriven-hits.
The gasoline is fuming, the fuse is lit, here comes the blazing hysterical Pyromania juggernaut LP of 1983 !
RIP Steve Clark (1960-1991)
Saturday Night = video
Bringing On The Heartbreak = video remix with Phil Collen
Me & My Wine = video with Phil Collen
High 'N' Dry = full LP
Interview in 1981
Live in Newcastle in 1981
Thru pyromania, DEF LEPPARD sat the world afire !!!
Labeled a "heavier Second British Invasion", simultaneously along the punk-revolution, the NWOBHM (New Wave Of British Heavy-Metal) craze of '78-'82 was one of hardrock's biggest expansion of the style: IRON MAIDEN, VENOM, MOTÖRHEAD, SAXON ...and DEF LEPPARD.
After the success of 1981's High 'N' Dry LP it was time for "repeat". Introducing Phil Collen on lead-guitars and introducing more huge sing-along-power-choruses that would become the LEPP's trademark sound for their entire career. 1983 is also one of the most prolific years in hardrock/heavymetal history, here are a couple of all-killers-no-fillers LPs: Balls To The Wall, Holy Diver, Lick It Up, Kill 'Em All, Eliminator, Shout At The Devil and the monolithic Born Again by BLACK SABBATH !
Again produced by rock-visionary Mutt Lange, the album spawned 4 immortal singles that would shape the MTV-generation.
The heaviest DEF LEP has even been, the album opens-up with the red-blooded "Rock ! Rock ! (Till You Drop)", an up-beat high energy heavymetal anthem that sets the pace for what's to come. The progressive "Die Hard The Hunter" displays a fusion of keyboard-and-guitar unison riffing that would again be reproduced many times along their lengthy discography. At this point, if the almost speedmetal "Stagefright" doesn't fright you, nothing will, has the Clark/Collen string duo tip-toed around the palm-muting realms of thrashmetal. The kicking "Foolin" is a blatant heavier homage to QUEEN, while the picture-perfect first single "Photograph" is another now permanent staple in the band's catalog that always moves the crowd. A true rockers-gem can be found on "Action ! Not Words" where the commanding riff trusts you into the limelight of air-guitar ...let the camera roll !
The album's cornerstone is the then/now/forever FM-friendly mammoth-hit "Rock Of Ages", a masterpiece that perfectly bridged the gap between hard-rock and pop-rock. Massive rhythm, fist-pumping chorus and some of the greatest metal-lyrics ever put to tape ...this is when the mighty DEF LEPPARD became the mighty arena-fillers.
Sadly tragedy would hit hard on December 31, 1984 when drummer Rick Allen would be involved in a near-fatal car accident. Thru rehabilitation and dedication, he would end up as the world's only one-armed drummer. Fear not, as they would be back, stronger and way, way, wwwaaayyy bigger than ever with 1987's universally acclaimed blockbuster hit-machine Hysteria.
Now some 36 years later, multi-Platinum sales worldwide, the LEPP's Pyromania did set the world afire and in the process helped to catapult hardrock and heavymetal into the mainstream of the decadent acid-jeans wearin', arcade playin', muscle-car drivin', hair-spray fixin', Malboro smokin' and cocaine snortin' 1980s !!!
PS: sur la photo, ma cassette, ma troisième à vie, achetée à New-York City le 25 Mars 1989, directe au magasin de Polygram Records, jadis situé au: 810 Seventh Avenue, NYC 10019
Gunter glieben glauten globen !!!
ROCK ROCK video
ROCK OF AGES video
LIVE GERMANY 1983
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