Def Leppard rocks Wrigley tonight!
Here is one from the archives. Enjoy!
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Love is like a bomb …
In this Six Pack, we we go back to the 1980s for one of Six Pack’s favorites as a snot-nosed teenager — Def Leppard.
In fact, a 14-year-old Six Pack might have confessed to 1983’s “Pyromania” being his favorite album of the time (Van Halen’s “1984” would be the closest competition). Alas, a four-year delay between “Pyromania” and Hysteria” simmered the love of the English hair farmers in Six Pack, but not the rest of the world.
Of course, there was good reason for the delay. Drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm in a New Year’s Eve 1984 auto accident and there was rumor that Def Lep was no more. But, drum technicians set up a new kit that would allow Allen to play with his feet what he would have played with his left arm and the Brits were back, bigger than ever with 1987’s “Hysteria.”
Most of Six Pack’s best of selections and near misses are from those two albums noted above, although not all of the most popular hits were chosen. Six Pack doesn’t want to be accused of just picking the most popular tunes of this British band for his column.
So, as usual, the near misses come first.
“Too Late for Love”
“High & Dry (Saturday Night)”
“Die Hard the Hunter”
“Gods of War”
6. “Foolin'” — “Hysteria” charted seven singles on the Billboard charts, but for my money “Pyromania” is the better album. “Foolin'” is one of the reasons why. “Pyromania” was produced by Robert John “Mutt” Lange and marked the first appearance by guitarist Phil Collen. Lange’s polish really can be heard later on “Hysteria,” but songs “Foolin'” show it, too. And lest we forget the great lyrics “’Cause baby I’m not F-F-F-Foolin’, Ah F-F-Foolin’.”
5. “Hysteria” — Six Pack usually throws the lovey-dovey songs out the window, but this is Def Leppard’s nearly perfect, harmonious love song. Released as the title track of 1987’s mega-seller, it only reached No. 10 on Billboard, but if it isn’t 1988’s No. 1 song in the backseat with your girlfriend on the country backroads of Iroquois County, then Six Pack will eat his hat.
4. “Pour Some Sugar on Me” — Most readers, if they are fans of 80’s hair metal, will rage against the Six Pack machine for such heresy, but Def Leppard’s signature song only hits No. 4 on the Six Pack. Why? Because there are three better songs, and Six Pack is diabetic and doesn’t want sugar poured on him. Of course, if there was enough insulin available …
3. “Rock of Ages” — No, this is not the classic gospel song, unless that song begins “Gunter glieben glauchen globen,” which, by the way, means absolutely nothing. Oh, for the year or so after it was released, it meant anything from “Rock of Ages” (in German) to all things satanic. Lead singer Joe Elliott wrote most of the lyrics after finding a hymnal in the recording venue after a children’s choir had used the studio. If the kids’ choir had sung “The Old Rugged Cross,” there might be a new No. 3.
2. “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak” — Original guitarist Pete Willis was embarrassed to play this song because he thought it was too much of a ballad. Def Lep’s manager thought it was good, but needed a woman’s voice like Bonnie Tyler’s. Well, Pete was fired months later for being a fall-down drunk and a re-worked version with new guitarist Collen rekindled album sales of 1982’s “High ‘n’ Dry,” an under-appreciated album.
1. “Photograph” — Signature song be damned (“Pour Some Sugar on Me”), this is Def Leppard’s best song and worthy of No. 1. Peaking at No. 12 on the Billboard 100, it hit No. 1 in mainstream rock and MTV. Steve Clark, the original guitarist of the band who passed away in 1991, really stands out here, but unique two-lead guitar approach was a harbinger of things to come for the group.
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