REVIEW: Def Leppard – “Hello America” / “Good Morning Freedom” (single)

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HELLO AMERICA FRONT

DEF LEPPARD – “Hello America” / “Good Morning Freedom” (1980 Vertigo/Phonogram)

“Hello America” was the third of three singles from Def Leppard’s debut album, the first two being “Wasted” and “Rock Brigade”.  Like many kids in the late 80’s, I first heard the song “Hello America” on Def Leppard’s video anthology, Historia.  It was a weird video, with Rick Allen’s drums up front and the band in behind!  Nobody would ever say that this was one of Def Leppard’s all time best songs, but it’s catchy with a driving riff.  Joe Elliot hadn’t really found his voice yet.  This is standard hard rock, but not outstanding.  The guitar solo by Steve Clark is quite excellent.

Please note, Leppard’s first single for “Wasted” had an alternate recording of “Hello America” on the B-side.  This is not that version.  This is the standard album version.

The B-side, like the A-side, was produced by (Colonel) Tom Allom who had also produced Judas Priest’s British Steel around the same time.  “Good Morning Freedom” was not on the On Through the Night LP, however.  This is an exclusive track.  Just over three minutes long, “Good Morning Freedom” is a good song, much in the same vein as the rest of Leppard’s music at the time.  “Good Morning Freedom” (parsed as “Goodmorning Freedom” on the vinyl itself) is very New Wave of British Heavy Metal in style.  It almost sounds like an Iron Maiden B-side from the same period.  The track boasts a driving rhythm, rock-solid riff, but also another shaky Joe Elliot lead vocal.  Not an outstanding song, but most definitely collectible.  The tune is credited to Elliot, Clark, guitarist Pete Willis and bassist Rick Savage.  It’s notable for its Rick Allen drum intro.

Not a bad single, comes with a picture sleeve, and rocks harder than their later material.

3/5 stars

Def Lep playing “Good Morning Freedom” in Vegas as part of Viva! Hysteria

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22 comments

  1. I first heard this on Historia too! It was pretty baffling… The “drummer out front” for promos and Top of the Pops appearances did seem to be in vogue for a while. Not sure why. And Rick had an extra arm! On the plus side at least Joe wasn’t waving a sword around in that video…

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    1. One single is still en-route from Discogs. After that, I will definitely own everything up to and including 1996. It’s after that where I get a little hazy on singles and imports, but I care most about the early stuff.

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        1. Yeah eventually. There are some cool covers and stuff from later. I’m not dying to track down the Target exclusive version of the Yeah album though, I just care a lot less about that period. If I find it at a good price, great.

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  2. This is a cool review Mike ,I bought On Through The night right after I bought High N Dry in 1981 and man all these years later I have never seen this 45 thanks for posting this…
    Cool read…

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    1. Well Deke here’s the cool thing for you. There were four early Def Leppard singles that I needed to complete that phase of my collection. Hello America was the first. There are three more reviews coming very soon :)

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