REVIEW – Def Leppard “Heaven Is” (1993 CD single)

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

DEL LEP SINGLE_0007DEF LEPPARD – “Heaven Is” (1993 Phonogram CD single)

“Heaven Is” and “Stand Up (Kick Love Into Motion)” were released as singles at roughly the same time (different territories and whatnot),  but I don’t have a copy of “Stand Up”.  It doesn’t matter though, since both singles shared the exact same B-sides.  These are an interesting mix of new and old.

The Canadian rock band Helix released “She’s Too Tough” on 1987’s Wild in the Streets album.  While their version is faster and louder, the Leppard version sounds way better.   Helix had production issues on their album, while Leppard recorded theirs with trusted engineer Pete Woodroffe as a quartet during the Adrenalize sessions.  The single contains the original version of the track.  Rick Allen re-recorded the drums in June 1993, and that version was released on the Retro-Active album.  No matter which version you have, it’s an absolute pleasure to hear Leppard with Joe screaming like he used to.

“Elected” is indeed a live cover of the Alice Cooper classic.  This one dates back to 1987 and features the late Steve Clark on guitar!  A young, energized Leppard  have no problem filling this with all the electricity needed.  One must assume the old tapes were not the best, since the credits claim the track was “salvaged” by engineer Pete Woodroffe!  Following this is a new live recording, of “Let’s Get Rocked” in 1992, from Bonn, Germany.  Naturally that means this features the new boy Vivian Campbell on rhythm guitar.  This version, from the 1992 club tour, is available on the deluxe Adrenalize.

As for the A-side itself, “Heaven Is” works as a pleasant enough pop rock song.  Fans were tiring of that schtick, but “Heaven Is” is fine for a second-tier Def Leppard hit.  When Steve Clark died I don’t think the band felt it was the time to stretch out and find new musical avenues.  Writing safe rock was the easiest and probably only real course of action.

4/5 stars

Adrenalize singles:

Part 1:  “Let’s Get Rocked”
Part 2: “Make Love Like a Man”
Part 3: “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad”

Up next:  “Tonight”

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11 comments

      1. Fair enough but Lepps to me is ok it’s just to sugar coated….by the way thanks to u I finished my spin on Adrenalize ..watch for it soon! Not this week!

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  1. Man this is a fun series. All this stuff I’d forgotten about, or hadn’t even heard in the first place. DL covering Alice? Mind blown. Clearly I need to get out more.

    “Safe rock” is the easiest cours eof action? Negatory! The only way to kick ass would be to tell Mutt Lnge to get stuffed and make another record of their old school NWOBHM like their first two! Show their new fans how it’s REALLY done!

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    1. I don’t knoe if I agree that Mutt was all to blame. I have tons of albums of his early work. City Boy, Foreigner, AC/DC, Savoy Brown, The Cars, The Boomtown Rats. He had the chops. His best work was in the kate 70’s to mud 80’s, however that was the time, more than the man. Music changed and he changed with it. He was a hit making machine and all record companies cared about was selling records. If Def Leppard had reverted back to their early 80’s style you and I would have liked it better, but the buying public in general probably would not have bought their albums, the record label would have dumped them, and they may have broken up. Grunge had that effect on tons of bands, and Def Leppard was one of the few to ride the wave and stay together as a band, so for that I actually like that Mutt was in charge to keep the band afloat.

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      1. I think Mutt taught them how to do certain things with production and melody. But Slang really turned that all upside down…I loved what they did on it. I wish they’d take chances like Slang more often. (but NOT like X!)

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    2. Man I wish they would do that. I wish day and night they would make another High N’ Dry instead of just talking about it.

      But both guitarists from that era are gone and I think that’s the issue.

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  2. ‘Safe rock’ is a label I’d probably attach to most of what I’ve heard of Def Leppard, I’m afraid.

    A friend gave me a bunch of their albums and while I’ve ripped them to the old iTunes, the bits I’ve heard haven’t grabbed me. He assures me they’re great though.

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