#998: Yeah…Nah!

Part Thirty-Three of the Def Leppard Review Series

There comes in a time in many, but not all, bands’ lives.  Its a fan moment, not a band moment, but just as important.  It’s the point in time when a fan starts losing interest.  Every fan has their own reasons.  I can chart the trajectory of my own Def Leppard love on a graph.

In grades 10 and 11, when Hysteria was at its peak, Def Leppard were my favourite band.  I cut them some slack for the lack of anything truly new on Adrenalize, given what the band had endured to get there.  Slang was the spiritual successor to Hysteria, returning to musical experimentation and dramatic change.  But it didn’t catch on, so Leppard were forced to contrive a “return to roots” on Euphoria, which failed to resonate with me.  The X debacle with all the boy-band pretensions was a right turnoff.  Only on Sparkle Lounge did the trajectory start to return in the right direction.

But…it was not the same.  A trust had been broken.  The band that I had loved in highschool (when my previous favourite band, Kiss, made some dubious direction choices in the late 80s) had taken some serious detours over the years that left me unsure.  As much as Kiss had let the quality slide themselves, I had a hard time forgiving Def Leppard over X.  And I don’t think that feeling from the before-fore times ever really comes back.

The Taylor Swift thing was like a reminder.  “Def Leppard are going to do things that you don’t like much.”  Nothing against Taylor who has her own style of art.  There is an entire demographic of fans that are not going to listen to a collaboration with Taylor Swift.  Many of them are reading this now.  Meanwhile, there are fans who have delighted to one degree or another in every twist and turn in the Def Leppard discography.  And that’s fine too.  There is no right or wrong.  It’s only fair for you to know where the head of the reviewer is.  This is your disclaimer.

Because of my love for this band, I’ll always give them a fair shot.  I just won’t always care.  And that’s the big difference.  Def Leppard went from a band that I cared deeply about, to one that I was buying music from out of routine instead of passion.  Similarly, with these reviews, they are being written out of diligence and not a place of deep commitment.  It is becoming harder work, so beware!

Thanks to Holen for the inspiration

Previous:  

  1. The Early Years Disc One – On Through the Night 
  2. The Early Years Disc Two – High N’ Dry
  3. The Early Years Disc Three – When The Walls Came Tumbling Down: Live at the New Theater Oxford – 1980
  4. The Early Years Disc Four – Too Many Jitterbugs – EP, singles & unreleased
  5. The Early Years Disc 5 – Raw – Early BBC Recordings 
  6. The Early Years 79-81 (Summary)
  7. Pyromania
  8. Pyromania Live – L.A. Forum, 11 September 1983
  9. Hysteria
  10. Soundtrack From the Video Historia – Record Store Tales
  11. In The Round In Your Face DVD
  12. “Let’s Get Rocked” – The Wait for Adrenalize – Record Store Tales
  13. Adrenalize
  14. Live at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert
  15. Retro-Active
  16. Visualize
  17. Vault: Def Leppard’s Greatest Hits / Limited Edition Live CD
  18. Video Archive
  19. “Slang” CD single
  20. Slang
  21. I Got A Bad Feeling About This: Euphoria – Record Store Tales
  22. Euphoria
  23. Rarities 2
  24. Rarities 3
  25. Rarities 4
  26. Cybernauts – Live
  27. Cybernauts – The Further Adventures of the Cybernauts (bonus disc)
  28. X
  29. Best Of (UK)
  30. Rock Of Ages: The Definitive Collection
  31. Yeah!
  32. Yeah! Bonus CD With Backstage Interviews

Next:

34. Songs From the Sparkle Lounge

40 comments

  1. Been there so many times… I still keep up on Lep but I don’t have much enthusiasm for the task. Marillion is another one, still haven’t bought their last album actually. Whereas with Bon Jovi I just stopped altogether a few albums back (and should have stopped sooner than that really).

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I hear what you’re saying. With BJ not sure what happened but I love 2020, it reminds me of BJ’s solo album. I’m a fan of Destination anywhere.

        Was really surprised how good that Leppard st album was. Haven’t listened to the new one yet. I don’t get X either. Got the boxes partly ‘cos u guys just keep praising them. Thank u for that!

        With Kiss still can’t get with Hot in the shade. But every so often I try listening to it again.

        But still in the long run I think I prefer all of them for trying different things ‘cos they all can’t pull of being AC/DC.

        Like

  2. It doesn’t matter how kickass the album would be, I just can’t get over the name Songs From The Sparkle Lounge. Why any self-respecting (or even not self-respecting) rock band would name their album that is beyond me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As much as I love Def Leppard, there are a few bands that I’m really starting to dig more than them. I’m grateful for what Rick Allen has done for my mental health, but I also feel obligated to pay attention to them because of that.

    Like

  4. Yeah I bought there stuff I guess up to to the self titled release from 5 years ago. I liked that one but yeah they got patchy after Slang and I agree with u on X…. I give them props for putting out new product for a tour but I cannot get into it..

    Like

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