Friday, June 15, 2012

Def Leppard--Photograph (1983)

     Discussing music in general is so fun for me because there are generally no fully right answers, and it's as varied as the people who make the music. It's been my opinion that taking the 1980's as a whole, that Def Leppard was the best hard rock band of the 1980's. Van Halen, Rush, and Iron Maiden can all be in the discussion, but for my money, the boys from Sheffield defined 80's rock better than anyone.
     They began in 1977 as a trio of Rick Savage, Pete Willis, and Tony Kenning, calling themselves, Atomic Mass. 18 year old Joe Elliot tried out as a guitarist, but was the others felt he would fit much better as the lead singer. It was Elliot that suggested the name "Deaf Leopard". Kenning adapted the name to "Def Leppard" so as to appeal to the punk rockers of that day.
     By 1978, Steve Clark, and 15 year old Rick Allen had joined the band and Kenning had left. They had released a three song EP and thanks to extensive playing on the BBC by influential DJ John Peel and relentless touring developed a strong following with hard rock fans in the UK.
     Their first album, "On Through The Night", released in 1980 was a strong debut and was a bit harder sound than many of their subsequent releases. It caught the attention of AC/DC producer "Mutt" Lange, and he agreed to produce their second album, "High N' Dry". This was the where the sound that defined them began to take shape.
     It was 1983's, "Pyromania" that broke them through in a major way to US audiences on the strength of three top 40 hits, the first one being, "Photograph"



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