REVIEW: Def Leppard – “Breathe A Sigh” (2 part CD single)

Part 5 of 5 in my series of Def Leppard Slang reviews! I do listen to feedback and this series basically came from Heavy Metal Overload wanting to know more details about what these singles had.  Ultimately I choose to write about what I want to listen to at that moment, but if you have any requests don’t be shy and leave a comment! 

Part 1:  “Slang”

Part 2:  “Work It Out”

Part 3:  “All I Want Is Everything”

Part 4:  Slang (2 CD edition of the album)

DEF LEPPARD – “Breathe A Sigh” (2 part Mercury CD single)

Regardless of its perceived lack of success, Slang did spawn four singles.  The fourth and final single was 1996’s “Breathe A Sigh”.  I remember seeing this at HMV Toronto with T-Rev back in 1997.  I looked at the singles, which were not cheap (around $15 each).  I analyzed the track lists and said, “All the bonus tracks are live.  I’ll come back for this another time.”

It took me 15 years to finally get these!  What I failed to take into account was how cool the selection of live tracks is.  Pyromania‘s “Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)” is up first on disc 1, less screechy than the beloved original but still on fire.  “Deliver Me” from the Slang album is next, which remains its only release as a live performance.  It’s a very 90’s sounding song, soft/heavy/soft/heavy.  The tremendously fun “Slang” itself is last, a song that has been revived for their Viva! Hysteria & More show in Las Vegas.

The second CD (available separately of course) had three more live tracks.  I believe I am well on record as holding the High N’ Dry album in very high esteem!  “Another Hit & Run” from that album is one of Leppard’s all time best heavy tracks, and it’s always welcome in the setlist as far as I’m concerned.  What’s amazing is that the Def Leppard that recorded High N’ Dry had two completely different guitar players and a drummer that had both arms.  They still own it when they play it, and it smokes.  Joe’s voice is noticeably lower.  Two Slang singles finish off the CD:  the ballad “All I Want Is Everything” and the rhythmic “Work It Out”.   Both songs are hit quality, although the energy level is noticeably lower here than the old classics.

I wonder if one of the big issues with Slang was that its darker sound didn’t translate well in concert.  With the exception of “Slang” itself, I wouldn’t describe these live versions as joyful affairs.

As for the song, “Breath A Sigh” itself?  At this point it was easily the softest song that Def Leppard had ever done.  They would later go even softer on the dreadful X album.  I enjoy its tasty R&B flavourings.  It was a cool choice as a single even if it didn’t go mega.

4/5 stars

4 comments

  1. If you don’t ask you don’t get! Thanks for doing all these. I definitely want to own all of these at some point.

    This looks like the pick of the bunch to me. Live versions of Slang tracks must be pretty hard to come by otherwise. Great selections of tracks too. As far as the A-side goes, I always enjoyed that one. Really nice guitar on it.

    Like

  2. This has been a fun series. I always hated it when a single would have an album track or two and maybe an edit version. Like, why bother? Getting rare live versions and b-sides is WAY better. Shows a band is paying attention to its fans.

    Like

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