REVIEW: Def Leppard – “Make Love Like a Man” (1992 CD single)

Part two in a series on singles from Def Leppard’s Adrenalize, including hard to find B-sides!

DEL LEP SINGLE_0003DEF LEPPARD – “Make Love Like a Man” (1992 Phonogram CD single)

For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why this song from Adrenalize was ever chosen as a single, let alone the second one.  As stated in my album review, it “sounds like a hard rock version of a Shania Twain hit”.  No thank you.

Def Leppard singles are always exciting for collecting B-sides, but “Make Love Like A Man” was the first one to include three brand new songs. Each one was completely different from the other, while remaining of very high quality.

First up is a not-cover of “Miss You In A Heartbeat”, originally recorded by Paul Rodgers’ band The Law. Phil Collen wrote it, but The Law was first to release it in 1991. Atmospheric, moody, but bright, it was a worthy successor to the lofty heights of Hysteria.  It’s superior to some of the songs that made it to Adrenalize, and it’s certainly better than its own A-side.  In fact, a bare piano version was later as released as a single in its own right, supporting Retro-Active in 1993.

Next is cover of The Sweet’s “Action”. This is the original mix.  The one on Retro-Active has re-recorded snare drums and possibly additional backing vocals.   Leppard have played this one live, steadily for years.  It fills the niche of a solid rocker with a solid riff needed on this otherwise fairly mellow single.  Like “Miss You In A Heartbeat”, it too was released as a single in 1994, but with the re-recorded drums.

“Two Steps Behind” was the band’s first ever acoustic recording, a trend picking up at the time. It was a bit of a throw-away at the time, with a sparse unadorned arrangement and a pleasant but ordinary melody.  However, it too was released a single as well!  It was chosen for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Last Action Hero soundtrack, and had strings added courtesy of Michael Kamen.  Once again this is the original version and the first to feature “new guy” Vivian Campbell!

In the context of 1992, this was a pretty special single.  Viv’s first Leppard recording, Lep’s first acoustic foray, and some quality tunes ensured solid play time that summer.  A-side aside, this was Leppard’s most satisfying single for the dollar yet.

4/5 stars

DEL LEP SINGLE_0004

Adrenalize singles part 1:  “Let’s Get Rocked”

Up next:  “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad”

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15 comments

  1. This looks like a great single. I keep meaning (like a man) to go on the hunt for more Def Leppard singles, they always seem to have great stuff on the Bs. Might need to get on that (like a man)

    But I actually like the A Side on this (like a man). It’s not one of their greatest moments but it’s fun and it always goes over well live (like a man). A good party song. And I thought the video was fun too.

    But that might just be because I’m a ma-ma-mama-mama-ma-ma-maaaaaannnnnn!

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  2. Funny when the b-side (two steps behind) ends up becoming the bigger hit. That happened with How Soon is Now (originally the b-side to William it was really nothing) – hard to believe it started as a non-album b-side!

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  3. Two Steps Behind! Hurrah! Man, I’m a sucker for that track (with the strings). All due to Last Action Hero … I loved that movie. Dare say I still do, but I haven’t seen it in an age. In fact, thinking about it … I do still love it.

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  4. As much as Let’s Get Rocked started off strong on my radar and kinda slid after a while this one ( Man Song just flat was D.O.A except for the music I dug it but the lyrics …man ….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Man, this is template DL but it doesn’t leave a strong impression. And the acoustic schmaltz never cut it, with me. I mean, I get it. Every rawk band from the era had a “time to slow things down and prove we love you, baby song,” but that doesn’t mean I’m not gonna skip it! Haha Shania Twain, friggin’ Mutt Lange and his Sound. Oh and Bryan Adams too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. At the time, 1992, I was really getting tired with a lot of acoustic stuff. If I was getting an acoustic song I liked it to have some balls! Tesla for example were really good at doing acoustic stuff with balls. But at the time I was tiring of that stuff. Mama I’m Coming Home etc.

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  6. I love this song. The groove is brilliant and it works like a charm live. To me, this is one of the finest moments on Adrenalize. Now, I don’t do singles, the only reason I have ever bought a single is if there was an unreleased track as the b-side, but most of the times, not even that reason was enough. And With Leppard, almost every b-side showed up on Retro Active anyway.

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