Part 3 in my series of Def Leppard Slang reviews!
Part 1: “Slang”
Part 2: “Work It Out”
DEF LEPPARD – “All I Want Is Everything” (1996 two part Mercury CD single)
“All I Want Is Everything” was the first song from Slang that we got to hear. Def Leppard first revealed a live unplugged snippet on their Video Archive VHS. I was still surprised when I heard the whole studio version: It is a lot darker than I expected. I love it, don’t get me wrong. I love its sparse, organic sound. I think the chorus and verses are fantastic, but even better is the bridge.
A lot of my customers were turned off my Slang and songs like “All I Want Is Everything”. While I could argue that this song is every bit as good as “Hysteria” or “Stand Up (Kick Love Into Motion)”, it is obviously a lot darker. But it was also 1996. In 1996, bands like Def Leppard moved with the times. Bon Jovi made similar adjustments. This is no singalong hit, but it is quality songwriting and production.
Next up on disc 1 of this single is “When Saturday Comes” performed by Joe, Phil and Sav. This is apparently for a movie also called When Saturday Comes. This song would be more satisfying to those wishing for an older school vibe; indeed it is a dead ringer for Van Hagar. It is anthemic with some shredding from Phil. It wouldn’t make my own personal Def Leppard mix tape, but I thank them anyway for including the song so I wouldn’t have to hunt down an obscure soundtrack. “Jimmy’s Theme” performed by the same trio is an instrumental from the same soundtrack. Out of context from a film I’ve never seen, it doesn’t do much for me. It’s a nice slow blues with Phil playing some elegant melodies. But it’s just “nice”, I don’t regularly come back to this one. The CD ends with an edit version of “All I Want Is Everything” (whoop de do).
Disc 2, for whatever reason, also includes the same two versions of “All I Want Is Everything”. Why not just put the album version on disc 1, and the edit version on disc 2? Small gripe I guess but it got tedious when I had both discs in the changer and was too lazy to skip.
Also on disc 2 are a couple tracks from the Jeffology tribute record. Phil Collen does “‘Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers”. Personally I don’t think anybody can touch Jeff Beck on this one. In fact Beck is so awesome on this, especially live, that I don’t really see the point of listening to a cover version. Sorry Phil, that is nothing against your playing, which is really really great, especially when you start cookin’ around the 4 minute mark. I just think nobody’s even in Beck’s league on this one, and I think that’s a fair assessment.
Vivian Campbell does “Led Boots” from Wired. I love the original “Led Boots”. It’s just funky, chunky and fucked up. I think Vivian’s style is more suited to Beck than Phil’s is. This is an enjoyable listen, Vivian gets to shred a bit. It’s definitely less fucked up sounding than the original, but Vivian is just a pleasure to listen to, he is clearly enjoying himself.
The “Work It Out” single previous to this contained post cards of the first four Def Leppard albums. CD 2 of “All I Want Is Everything” has the final four: Adrenalize, Retro-Active, Vault, and Slang.