REVIEW: Def Leppard – “Two Steps Behind” (1993 CD single)

This is the sixth and final part in a series on singles from Def Leppard’s Adrenalize era, including hard to find B-sides!  This is a bit of a “bonus” review, since this song wasn’t actually on Adrenalize!

DEL LEP SINGLE_0014DEF LEPPARD – “Two Steps Behind” (1993 Phonogram)

From a B-side to an A-side in its own right, “Two Steps Behind” has seen more releases than most Def Leppard songs. Sure, it’s significant that it was Def Leppard’s first acoustic song, but it’s really not that exciting.  When Arnold Schwarzenegger comes a-knockin’ and says “I need a rock band to give me ballad for my new movie” in that threatening Arnie voice of his, nobody’s going to refuse him.*

However it unfolded, “Two Steps Behind” was selected for the Arnie turd, Last Action Hero in 1992, next to bands such as AC/DC, Alice in Chains and Megadeth.  In comparison to the aggressive contributions from them, Def Leppard’s track seemed hopelessly behind the times.  It still charted in the US, going to #5.  It was spruced up with strings courtesy of Michael Kamen, and was given a high-budget music video.

This single falls between two albums.  Visually, the cover art recalls the prior Def Leppard singles with its yellow and red lego, but features the photographic style that the Retro-Active singles would sport.  Since it cleans up a few B-sides from the era that didn’t carry over onto Retro-Active, I’ve decided to include it here.

The first B-side is a “warts and all” acoustic version of “Tonight”.  This was later released on the deluxe Adrenalize as the “Sun Studios version”.  In many regards, it’s as good as the original.  Perhaps it’s even better, with its sparse but rich sound.  Without the layers of a typical Def Leppard recording, the song breaths like never before.

The final track on the single (and this series!) to discuss is “S.M.C.” which is still unavailable anywhere else.  Unfortunately it is only 1:14 long.  Written and performed solely by Collen, it is a pretty acoustic instrumental track.  Jaunty and light, it sounds classical in vibe.  Leppard fans would be well advised to seek out this single, to add this brief guitar workout to their Leppard libraries.

4/5 stars

* I’m not sure that this is exactly how it played out, but it could have!

DEL LEP SINGLE_0015

Adrenalize singles:

Part 1:  “Let’s Get Rocked”
Part 2: “Make Love Like a Man”
Part 3: “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad”
Part 4: “Heaven Is”
Part 5: “Tonight”
Bonus Part 6: “Two Steps Behind”

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31 comments

    1. Slutty Male Cougars
      So Many Cops
      Silly Manky C#*ts
      Some Men Can’t
      Stopping Most Cars
      Slippery Menacing Cats
      Stop Making Crocodiles
      Such Melodious Cheese
      Standing Much Cleaner
      Stewardesses Making Chances

      That’s ten. I could do this all day. Are any of those right, Mike?

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Hey thanks man! That’s what I go for — useful!

      Unlike our friends Geoff or Aaron (naught boys!), I always thought S.M.C. were somebody’s initials. He’s never had a wife or a child with those initials though, so I don’t know. His mother’s initials perhaps? Somebody with the last name Collen.

      Like

      1. “Useful Mike” that’s what I’ll be calling you from now on!

        I’ve just had a thought about the initals… wait for it… Steve Maynard Clarke.

        I reckon I’m the winner!!

        Also, I’ve listened to Adrenalize twice this week now thanks to you! It’s been going down pretty well especially Stand Up. That’s a great tune.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. This is another important one from my childhood Mike – this was one of the first tunes I learned to play on guitar. The verses are easy to play but When it gets to “there’s a magic running…” it goes to a F#minor chord which is a tricky one for new guitarists. Based on the difficulty I had with the chord, I remember thinking, wow these guys must have practiced this song for months!
    Enjoyed this series!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I liked this song when I first heard it, but now it just sort of blends into the wash of DL ballads. Decent tune, but also meh, now.

    Also: I liked Last Action Hero. It was fun, the way it played with action movie cliches. And yeah, Arnie was bad, the film was bad, but it was just bad enough to be awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh man – Last Action Hero is ace. Loved it when I first saw it in the cinema and I watched the video until it died. Have it on my Amazon list after you last mentioned this song …

    Liked by 1 person

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