REVIEW: Def Leppard – “Slang” single (Souvenir Pack)

SLANG SINGLE

DEF LEPPARD – “Slang” (1996 Souvenir Pack, Mercury)

I think Slang is a great album, and I think I’m going to talk about it soon , as I’m on a bit of a Def Lep kick these days.  Yesterday I ripped this CD single, a 1996 “souvenir pack” with two bonus tracks and four post cards commemorating the band’s “Three Continents in One Day” concerts.  Vancouver was the last stop — look how tired Rick Allen must be in the photo.

CARDS 2

Slang, in many respects, was as forward-looking from Hysteria as Hysteria was from Pyromania.  It was a reset, a brand new way of doing things, more organic and modern.  Yet at the same time, even though it sounds nothing like classic Leppard, it still retains the impeccable attention to detail.  Production-wise, it’s not the same beast, but it’s still a beast.

“Slang” itself was a brave choice for a single, and it did alienate many old-school fans, at least where I was working.  Others dug it and got it.  It’s a fun song verging on rap-rock, but really, isn’t that OK?  Didn’t Def Lep kinda-sorta probe those waters with some of the singles from Hysteria?  Bottom line, it’s catchy, fun, has the Def Leppard vibe without sounding like anything they’d done before.  It’s a good song.  The fact that they played it live during Viva! Hysteria in Vegas is proof!

The B-sides on the single include a “strings and piano only” version of “When Love & Hate Collide”, perhaps the most overrated Def Leppard song ever.  I have so many versions of it, I really am not certain if this version is on anything else.  It does have vocals, and even a guitar solo despite the description!  This is just a remix with most of the instrumentation stripped off.

The other B-side is a really cool non-album track called “Can’t Keep Away from the Flame”.  It’s acoustic but upbeat and cool.  Production-wise, this is very basic compared to Slang:  acoustic guitars, vocals, shakers.  But it’s also really good, with a cool guitar part, totally memorable.  Since then, Leppard’s recorded a lot more acoustic music but for 1996 this was definitely a standout.

According to the price tag, I bought this at Dr. Disc in Kitchener Ontario in May 1996, for the princely sum of $13.99.  Money well spent, I have enjoyed these songs a lot over the years.

4/5 stars

Advertisements

14 comments

  1. Really looking forward to yer other musings on the “Slang” long-player! I really enjoyed that disc, as it was one of those releases from the grunge hangover era! Seeing Phil Collen in his grunge flannel in this era, before he started stripping his shirt and showing off his upper body, toned by Kung-Fu!

    Like

    1. I know eh? As I listen to these things I may as well review ’em.

      This one is cool — I loved and hated the seal on the back though. Loved because it looks cool, hated because I had to open it to play the disc!

      Like

        1. I often wonder if people ever use the postcards inside.

          I have another set of singles, this one is really cool — post cards for the first 8 Leppard albums including Retroactive and Vault, with a quote from a band member about the album on the back. I think that is All I Want Is Everything…we’ll get there.

          Like

  2. Another cool one. Man, you bringing up all the DL… takes me back to when I was a kid. You’re reintroducing them to me!

    Also, don’t get HMO started on “slang,” those Scots have a whole vocabulary of weirdness.

    Like

  3. Slang is a fantastic album,I dug the fact that they went with acoustic sounding drums and a stripped down production in there world that is. Slang was and is a great rock track. I think it was a Campbell track correct?

    Like

  4. Well said – I remember when the singles from Retro Active came out, my cousin mused that DL was starting to write music primarily for the 14-year old girl demographic. Slang (the single) was back on track, never had the LP though, looking forward to hearing more about it!

    Like

    1. Well lemme tell you, there are the odd love songs but generally I feel Slang was a step in the right direction for the times. I am probably going to review all the singles first so stay tuned! Three more singles to go. Yes this album spawned 4 singles in 1996!

      Like

Rock a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s