Part Twenty-Seven of the Def Leppard Review Series
While fans awaited the return of Def Leppard with another new album to follow 1999’s Euphoria, Joe Elliott and Phil Collen released more recordings from their Cybernauts side-project, a fun David Bowie cover band featuring members of the Spiders From Mars. This time they entered the studio (both in Ireland and Japan) to lay down some covers. These were released on a bonus disc in a very rare, very limited 2001 2 CD issue of the Cybernauts Live album.
Hendrix’s “Manic Depression” opens; organ-heavy and slightly more psychedelic. After that rocks your socks, an awesome rendition of “All the Young Dudes” follows. Purists may not like Joe Elliott’s straight-ahead delivery compared to the original, but his pure love of the song comes out. He’s not trying to be someone else. Just Joe. And that’s fine for Leppard fans!
Phil Collen opens “Moonage Daydream” with some very delectable guitar. An album highlight, the guys really do this one plenty of justice. Keyboards add the appropriate subtle lush backdrop. The solo section is sharp and wicked. Just a killer cover.
A fairly standard version of “The Man Who Sold the World” is satisfactory but the song is picky about who sounds good covering it. Phil’s guitar work is notable, as it has been throughout this set.
One tune that wasn’t on the live disc was “Time” from Aladdin Sane. Dick Decent (R.I.P.) tickles the ivories in glorious glee. From the same album comes “Panic in Detroit”, upbeat rock that doubtless inspired bands like The Darkness and Def Leppard. The Cybernauts sound at home covering it. The second half of the song is just a band jamming together and having a blast in the studio.
The closing track, “Lady Grinning Soul” is an excellent deep cut to go out on. Complex, passionate and performed with expertise. But is it really the end? The track time of 19 minutes tells us something is up. After a 10 minute silence, the Cybernauts return with an unlisted bonus track. It’s an acoustic version of “Moonage Daydream”! Probably even better than the first version! Stunning acoustic solo by Phil. Worth the wait? Well, I invite you to edit out the silence yourself and just enjoy the music.
This double disc of the Cybernauts will cost you a pretty penny. It goes for over $200 when you can find an original. Good hunting!
- The Early Years Disc One – On Through the Night
- The Early Years Disc Two – High N’ Dry
- The Early Years Disc Three – When The Walls Came Tumbling Down: Live at the New Theater Oxford – 1980
- The Early Years Disc Four – Too Many Jitterbugs – EP, singles & unreleased
- The Early Years Disc 5 – Raw – Early BBC Recordings
- The Early Years 79-81 (Summary)
- Pyromania Live – L.A. Forum, 11 September 1983
- Soundtrack From the Video Historia – Record Store Tales
- In The Round In Your Face DVD
- “Let’s Get Rocked” – The Wait for Adrenalize – Record Store Tales
- Live at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert
- Vault: Def Leppard’s Greatest Hits / Limited Edition Live CD
- Video Archive
- “Slang” CD single
- I Got A Bad Feeling About This: Euphoria – Record Store Tales
- Rarities 2
- Rarities 3
- Rarities 4
- Cybernauts – Live