In 1978, the members of Def Leppard were struggling to work their jobs, mostly manual labor, and start a band. When Rick Savage and Pete Willis met lead singer Joe Elliot, he originally tried out for rhythm guitars. After a few different drummers, they came upon 16 year old Rick Allen and started playing small gigs. In 1980, they released On Through the Night, with easy classics such as 'Rock Brigade', and 'Hello America'. After touring the states, they went back to realease High 'N' Dry in 1981. They were beginning to make their place in rock music with their hit, "Bringin' On the Heartbreak", but still were not EXTREMELY well known during this time period although they did have some following. Recording Pyromania was the last project lead guitarist Pete Willis has undertaken with Leppard before he was kicked out of the band and replaced by Phil Collen. Pyromania was destined to explode and sell over 10,000,000 records world-wide over the years (unbenkownst to the band) with the line up being:
Joe Elliot-Lead Vocals
After Pyromania which Lepp toured with Billy Squier, they had a long gap in between then and Hysteria, easily their biggest success, at which time drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm in a car accident, and Steve Clark OD'd during the making of Adrenalize, leaving them to recruit Vivian Campbell for the tour. Their first album without Clark was Slang, which was, "out there". Slang was followed by Retro Active, which in my opinion was very underrated. They released a compilation and in the year prior to the new millennium, they realeased Euphoria, which was nothing short of annoying compared to their past albums (exclusion of Slang of course). It was a new sound that didn't fit them well, although not as far out and hip-hop-like as Slang, or as N'Sync-ish as X (which sucked major ass), it was an experiment of theirs that could have gone A LOT better.
Demolition Man- The first song on the album is peppy, up-beat, and, well...unexpected. This is the kind of song that makes people categorize all of Leppard's work as nothing but pop-metal. Although it is in my opinion, an OK song, it just didn't meet my original expectations when I first got the album. The guitar has kind of a strange sound to it and the vocals you can tell in this song have changed their sound since Retro. Overall, an average song once you get over the initial reaction
Promises- Lyrically, this song sounds more like Def Leppard than the rest of the album for the most part. A catchy tune, that is toned-down a little bit. It has a mellow and easy opening riff but it is cool and recognizable at the same time. One of the better known songs on the album, this song got probably the most air-time on the radio before the album was released, along with "Paper Sun". It is overall a good song, although it can tend to get slightly repetative.
Back In Your Face- There are about 3 or 4 Def Leppard songs that I absolutely detest to the point of not ever wanting to have to listen to them again (excluding every ever so sucky tracks on X, except for "Long Long Way"), and 2 of those songs are on Euphoria. "Back In Your Face" is one of them and if you listen to the song it is a good song to demean and complain about. It is more hip-hop than anything and the guitar and bass that it does feature with the drum machine sound absolutely horrid. The few simple power chords that are featured here are not only annoying, but they are unnecessary, because they only make the song worse, (as if). The lyrics to the song are not only retarded and pointless, they have no apparent purpose. For them to even think of adding insult to annoyance with this song is beyond me.
TOP 3 WORST LEPPARD SONGS EVER BEFORE X ~.3
Goodbye- The album takes a slight turn for the better and uses the acoustic (or just clean electric) ballad as a chance for recuperation, recovery, and inner peace from "Back In Your Face". This song is lyrically what you would expect from this kind of love song, but they seem, for the most part, to be pretty well thought out and sincere. In the chorus it gets slightly heavier and the acoustic solo is a little short, but still fairly well done. One of the better songs on the album in my opinion, and great if you're not in a completely metal mood.
All Night- The other song that I completely detest. The music is horrible, the lyrics are nothing short of gay, and the vocals themselves are putting themselves to shame. When I hear this song, it makes me think of Joe Elliot having an orgie with Rosie O'Donnell, a mentally retarded person, and a head of lettuce in the back seat, with Arnold Schwarzenegger driving a porche in the front seat, going 95 miles per hour. The lyrics are as much preverted as they are stupid. If you thought the 80's Leppard liked chicks, wait until you hear married Leppard's material. The song is a pointless track that in my opinion should not be making them money, but making them owe everybody who's had to listen to it money. The lyrics are repetative and the verses remind me of an Eminem like character on some major dope, drunk, with a needle in his arm. This gets my vote as the worst Lepp song of all time
Paper Sun- This song is just what we needed after "All Night". It starts off clean, and goes into a heavy riff, with some choir-like "aahs" from the band. The lyrics are powerful and moving, about the band's perception of a horrible bombing of some sort in London (I think it was London). Joe Elliot's voice sounds extremely good in this song, and it fits well with the clean to heavy change-offs throughout the song. The end is the part with the solos and the bridge, as well as an outtro that goes out with a bang, and leaves you wanting a little more. This is definately in my top 10 or 15 Leppard songs.
It's Only Love- There's not a whole lot to say about this song. In actuality, it's
not a bad song at all, it's just unnecessary and kind of a repetition of "Goodbye", just not as good. It's an acoustic work with lyrics, again, sort of like other songs on the album. The most commendable part of the song in my opinion would be Joe's vocals. That was the only thing that really stood out for me in a large enough way for me to 'notice' any of the song really.
21'st Century Sha la la la Girl- The song is if anything, one of the strangest songs by Leppard that I don't dislike. The opening riff is pretty catchy, as is the rest of the song but it really is nothing to be WOWed at. The lyrics, I guess, interrelate somehow. They actually seem to me like they are pretty well thought out in some strange way, except for one minor fact. It's kind of hard to distinguish what the meaning of the song is. This song's lyrics are one of the most random things I've ever heard out of a Lepp song since the end of "Billy's Got A Gun".
To Be Alive- One of the better ballads on the album, it doesn't really get a lot heavier than the chorus, which is pretty toned-down as it is. Still, the lyrics have a nice message to them and the whole song is pretty well done. The verse is really light and the chorus gets a little heavier with some electric riffs. The chorus is pretty simple but it fits nicely with the song. The solo is really simple but it is well done, like always.
Disintegrate- An instrumental song where you can really tell the changes in the sound of Viv's and Phil's guitars. The guitars do, however, really shine in this song as the drums are pretty simple. The song does bring a striking thought into my mind, and that is "it's not as good as Switch 625". The song itself is pretty average, but it will never match up to the original, "Switch".
Guilty- I think the lyrics are the most well done part of this song. The musical part of it, including vocals, sound like a faster version of "It's Only Love", though I prefer "Guilty". It has a little more spice to it and it is a little less repetitious. An overall good song.
Day After Day- A kind of dreary song, that I never really got to like. It is kind of like a crappier version of "Paper Sun", and it is really easy to get sick of. It is under average all around and there really isn't anything to say about this song except for you're not missing much by not hearing it after the first time. After the first time hearing it, it's almost like it's out of your system and then it's just a lack of desire to hear it.
Kings Of Oblivion- Although I tend to get sick of this song easily, it is an average song. It is catchy and peppier than the previous few songs. Overall it comes down to whether or not you are in the mood to hear this song. The lyrical job is average and the guitars are a little over average. To end an album, not the best choice to go out with, though.
Def Leppard went on to release the worst Lepp album of all time, and that is the infamous X. They toured X and had a 3 year gap between their next big project. In 2006, they were recognized at the VH1 Rock Honors, as a way to end the channel's May, which was "Metal Month". They also released their cover album Yeah!, although none of the albums since Retro Active have really captivated true fans like myself. Although I am one of the most die-hard fans you'll ever meet, even I know when it just can't compete.
SO... what have we learned today?
+ Lepp reinvented themselves to make an overall, average album with a new sound.
+ Paper Sun.
+ They fused a new sound with old ideas and feels to the song.
- The album in itself will never compare to their earlier stuff, which will also be remembered by any fan or non-fan.
- The record can be a little repetitious at times.
- "All Night", and "Back In Your Face" are the suckiest rock songs of all time (even though they are barely rock at all), and they are a complete disgrace to everything human and non-human that loves Def Leppard (just to let you know).
OVERALL EUPHORIA GETS