This album is Def Leppard at their most raw,when they were still considered a part of the NWOBHM movement (and even leaders of it at some point eventually losing that spot to Iron Maiden),and will come as a great surprise to those who remember them only as one of the cheesy pop metal acts of the late 80's.Despite that fact, the band doesn't sound like Venom either,because the music on "On Through the Night" features some of the big anthemic hooks of their later releases and is full of working-class,hard-rock anthems,unlike the epic themes used by other bands.One of the reasons this album is really interesting,is that Rick Savage's bass playing is much more audible than the rest of their records and he manages to show his skill with colourful basslines.But the playing of the rest of the band is just as good,especially the guitars of Steve Clarke and Pete Willis who play some awesome harmonic melodies that remind me of Iron Maiden and there is even some tapping,I think,on Answer to the Master.Generally the music is more complicated and the playing is more technical than othe Leppard records (it's not f**king Dream Theater,but the boys can play their instruments).I don't really like the production on this album as it lacks the punch needed.With a proper production the album could have been much heavier.Joe Elliot's vocals are great,but I prefer the AC/DC-like vocals he used on High'n'Dry.Again,maybe this type of singing suits the music on this album better than AC/DC-styled vocals.
Rick Allen-Drums (He had two arms back then)
Rock Brigade(5/5):One of the best songs of the album.It begins with a nice riff and has a catchy chorus.I really like the guitar solo on this song.The band wanted this song to be the single,but the record company wanted Hello America and the band gave in,being so young at the time.I believe it is a great album-opener and it is the best song on the album after Wasted.
Hello America(5/5):The single of the album and also one of the highlights.The harmonised vocals in the begining of the song are a little annoying,but they don't stop Hello America from being a great song.The title and lyrics of this song made the British fans of the band think that the band were only interested in selling many records in the U.S. and that's why they accused the band of selling out
Sorrow is a Woman(5/5):I don't know why,but the intro of this song reminds me of Iron Maiden's Charlotte the Harlot.The song is slow-paced,but gets faster during the chorus.On the second part of the song there is some great guitar work.The bass on this song is really good.
It Could Be You(4.5/5):This one is fast and has a great riff that you can't get out of your
mind.The solo is also fast and that's why the song is the shortest one on the album.
Satellite(4/5):I didn't like this song when i bought the album,but it kinda grew on me.The guitar solo is great,cause the wah pedal is heavily used.
When the Walls Came Tumbling Down(3.5/5):The most interesting thing about this song are the lyrics.Who would think that Def Leppard who usually talk about peaches and cream would write lyrics about the end of the world.It starts with an acoustic part and there is a narrated part before the vocals come in.I find it boring and I usually skip it.The chorus is catchy,but the title of the song gets repeated so many times,that it gets annoying.
Wasted(5/5):Best song on the album.Starts with a heavy,metal-sounding riff by Steve Clarke and has a great chorus that always makes me wanna sing along.You should check out the vid on youtube.
Rocks Off(4/5):Starts with a fast riff and the sounds of a crowd screaming.It is supposed to be live but I don't think so.A great song overall and one can easily tell Def Leppard were influenced by bands like Judas Priest.
It Don't Matter(4/5):I really like this song one of my favourites on the album.Ilike the vocal line and the way the instruments let the song breathe.
Answer to the Master(4.5/5)The opening riff is great.In the middle of the song there is a mini-drum solo,then the whole band comes in and after that there is a tapping solo on guitar (but i am not sure as i am not a guitar player).Very good song.
Overture(5/5):Again i found it hard to believe that Def Leppard write lyrics about swords and shields and make seven-minute songs.This song starts with an acoustic passage and ends the same way.It's a Rush-influenced song and not the type of song somebody would expect from Def Leppard.The guitar and bass work is great on this song.
I think this album would be pretty intresting to old school Priest(their 70' albums)Maiden fans(albums with Di' anno),hard rock fans that listen to 70's bands like Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin, and definitely NWOBHM fans.I have always wondered what would have happened to the band if they had stuck with that style instead of pop metal.
Metal fans will find it more interesting than Def Leppard's later work,because of the heavier,raw sound.
Fans of the later,poppier albums may not like this album