Stand Up (Kick Love Into Motion)

RE-REVIEW: Def Leppard – Adrenalize (1992)

Part Thirteen of the Def Leppard Review Series

Original review:  Adrenalize deluxe (2009)
Singles reviews:
“Let’s Get Rocked” (1992)
“Make Love Like a Man” (1992)
Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad” (1992)
“Heaven Is” (1993)
“Tonight” (1993)

DEF LEPPARD – Adrenalize (CD Collection Volume 2 Disc 1) (Originally 1992, 2019 remaster)

Here they were again!  A #1 album.  Adrenalize eventually sold three million, no small feat during the peak of the grunge era.  A step down from Hysteria, but a success.  And after yet another devastating loss.  Choosing to record without replacing the fallen Steven Maynard Clark, it was up to Phil Collen to handle all the guitar work.  He rose to the occasion and the quartet emerged from their years of toil with an album they were satisfied with.  And they figured out how to do it on their own, without Mutt Lange tending to every detail.

It all begins with Joe asking the musical question:  “Do you wanna get rocked?”

“Let’s Get Rocked” didn’t break any new ground nor did it need to.  It served it purpose of putting Leppard back on the charts.  But it also highlighted something missing.  Where were the riffs?  “Let’s Get Rocked” is decidedly unriffy.  It relies on a bass groove and guitar pyrotechnics, but the razor sharp riffs of the past are seemingly missing.  That didn’t stop it from hitting #1 in the US during a year when bands like Def Leppard were getting dumped by their labels.

One of the most poppy of the new tunes, “Heaven Is”, hits the second slot running.  A little of that Steve Clark is present, but this one’s main feature is the melodically constructed vocal melodies.  The thick chorus harmony proved that Leppard had learned Mutt’s tricks.  Lange did help co-write most of the tracks, but his meticulous studio touch was no longer needed in a producer’s capacity.  This time, Leppard produced with Mike Shipley.  Mutt was “executive producer”, which pretty much means “quality control”.

The first stumble of album the was second single “Make Love Like a Man”.  This cowbell-inflected mid-tempo rocker would have been B-side material five years earlier.  Listen carefully for Phil Collen’s “Cockney rhyming rap”.

Fortunately side one is redeemed by one of Def Leppard’s greatest ballads.  Demoed during the Hysteria sessions, “Tonight” was the darkest Leppard ballad to date.  The standout Rick “Sav” Savage guitar structure is the foundation for a damn special song.  There’s Joe utilising his screaming voice a little bit on the chorus.  It used to be his trademark, but here reserved only for moments of great expression.

The first side concludes on the Steve Clark tribute “White Lightning”.  The brilliant Collen intro is designed to emulate Clark’s trademark guitar drones on “Gods of War”.  Tesla tried a similar trick on their own tribute called “Song and Emotion”.  In this track, Elliott warns of the dangers of addiction.  “You wanna dance with the devil, you gotta play his game.”  Clark’s demons are starkly laid out in the words, and the seven dramatic minutes of music are as epic as any of Leppard’s most ambitious moments.

Remarkably, side two opened on another top tier Leppard track.  “Stand Up (Kick Love Into Motion)” boasted an odd title, and some of Leppard’s catchiest music.  Call it a ballad?  Sure, why not.  It’s somewhere in between ballad and rock tune, but every minute that it’s playing is a minute of the best of Def Leppard.  Something about its pulse; its uplifting chime.  The undeniable chorus is the icing.

Next is the ode to monogamy called “Personal Property”, not essential Leppard.  We do love the part when Joe threatens/screams, “You wanna stay healthy man? Take my advice! You better hit the road Jack, and don’t come back.”

A decent, but syrupy throwaway ballad with the overlong title “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad” is the weakest of the three here, but that didn’t stop it from being chosen as a single and going top 10 in Canada and the US.  It’s just nothing special given the quantity of superior ballads in the past (and future).  Following that is the most pop track of the batch, “I Wanna Touch U”, a bouncy good song if vastly removed from “Wasted” and “Ride in the Sun”.

The 10th and final track is the new version of the familiar “Tear It Down”.  This born rocker has been polished up and produced just right for album release.  Which do you prefer?  The final Adrenalize rendition, or the raw B-side from ’87?

Like Hysteria before, Adrenalize came complete with a number of important B-sides.  Perhaps the most crucial of these was a track that could have been a throwaway, but “Two Steps Behind” turned into Leppard’s first acoustic song.  This opened doors to entirely new worlds for the band.  We will take a closer look at these B-sides when we arrive at the appropriate discs in the CD Collection Volume 2 box set.

With an album completed, released, and on the charts, there was another challenge ahead.  Def Leppard were a two guitar band.  Phil Collen did admirably well, playing all the guitars on the album.  Live, they’d need someone both capable and dedicated.  What are the odds of finding the exact right match?

Adrenalize did what it had to do.  It kept the band alive and viable.  Hysteria was a period of exponential musical growth for Def Leppard.  If they couldn’t repeat that kind of experimental innovation this time out, they’d have to give it a shot next time.  And they would.

3/5 stars



  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


14.  Live at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert



#973: “Let’s Get Rocked” – The Wait for Adrenalize

Part Twelve of the Def Leppard Review Series

RECORD STORE TALES #973: “Let’s Get Rocked” – The Wait for Adrenalize

Before the internet, the best way to access your rock news in Canada was to buy magazines and watch the Pepsi Power Hour.  We had all the US magazines plus M.E.A.T and some of the best rock coverage with MuchMusic.  You’d be negligent in your rock and roll duties if you didn’t buy some magazines.

I remember buying one at the end of the 80s, the turn of the decade.  It might have been Metal Edge or something of a lower tier.  (You bought what was on the shelf when pickings were slim.)  But they had a column by a psychic who was making rock and roll predictions for the coming decade.  Stuff like “Will Jon and Richie break up?”  What interested me the most was what she predicted for Joe Elliott of Def Leppard.  The biggest rock band in the world, she claimed, would get only get bigger.  Joe’s next album would outsell Hysteria, and he would get involved with some important causes.

Was she confusing Joe for Bono?  Cool if true, but outselling Hysteria?  Hard to imagine.

A few things were known about the next album at the start of the new decade.  They’d be trying to produce it without “Mutt” Lange for one.  “Mutt will be involved,” said Joe, but in a different capacity.  The goal was to make a “quick” album — one year instead of several.  They had one song earmarked from a B-side called “Tear It Down”.  They also had some unfinished ideas left over from Hysteria such as the ballad “Tonight”.  As kids, we imagined an album less produced than Hysteria, but hopefully just as good.  I had actual dreams of anticipation at night, imagining the new album cover sitting there on the shelves.  Continuing with the “-ia” naming convention, the next album was said to be titled Dementia.  A title they dropped in favour of something less negative, when once again things went down the toilet.

Rick Allen’s car accident was extremely unfortunate, but what happened this time was tragic.  Steve Clark, always the band’s riff-master and shape-throwing classic rocker, was gone.

The guitarist had been suffering from his addictions, and this time a deadly mixture of prescription pills and alcohol was enough to end his life.  January 8 1991, “Steamin'” Steve Clark was no more.

The band didn’t know what to do but carry on.  Record the the album as a four-piece.  Dedicate it to Steve.  Don’t even think about replacements until it’s necessary.

And so the fans mourned, and waited.  As the band toiled away, now producing with Mike Shipley, we anxiously awaited news.  Any news.  A few song titled leaked out:  “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad”, “Stand Up”, “Tonight”, “Tear It Down”.

And then, over a year after Clark’s death, listening to the radio one snowy afternoon:  Q107 out of Toronto, announced:  new Def Leppard.  Coming right up.

My sister and I huddled around the radio.  We may have popped in a tape to record it; I can’t remember.  We didn’t need to since it was about to carpet-bomb the nation with radio and video play.  “Let’s Get Rocked” was here!

And it was…


It was OK.  It sounded like Def Leppard.  It didn’t push the boundaries in any fashion.  It was safe, straightforward, and simple.

“Well, that classical section with the violins was different,” I said trying to see the bright side.

“Yeah, but that was just one short part,” answered my more realistic sister.

Through the years of anticipating a new Def Leppard album, we imagined some growth.  Maybe not as drastic a transition as they made from Pyromania to Hysteria, but something at least.  The one-time biggest band in the world shouldn’t just spin their tires musically.

“You know what, I’m gonna let it go,” I said.  “They’ve had to deal with so much, and when Steve died, they just needed to get an album out.  They can grow on the next album.”  (And boy did they!)

With that attitude, I counted the days until I would trek to the mall and finally get the new Def Leppard in my hands.  Now with the title Adrenalize, and with “Let’s Get Rocked” climbing up the charts, it was time for Leppard’s return.  A long time coming, if not the way it was planned!



  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


13:  Adrenalize

REVIEW: Def Leppard – Adrenalize (deluxe edition)

DEF LEPPARD – Adrenalize (1992, 2009 Universal deluxe edition)

Ahh, Adrenalize. I remember first buying it on that cold spring day in 1992, and noticing right away, “Where are the riffs?” After Steve Clark died, Def Leppard lost the guy who wrote some of their best riffs, and I miss him.  His absence is most palpable on the album that the band had just started working on when he died.

I was always willing to cut Def Leppard some slack on Adrenalize.  I remember sitting by the radio with my sister waiting for the premiere of “Let’s Get Rocked”.  “It sounds the same as Hysteria,” she said.  I responded, “Well, it had that part with the violins,” but my sister accurately observed that they were only in a section to parody classical music.  If you’re going to enjoy Adrenalize, you have to remember that it was recorded by 4/5 of a band, gutted of their riff writer and performer.  4/5 of a band following the biggest hard rock album of all time isn’t going to reproduce their best work, and we knew that.

Indeed, “Let’s Get Rocked” is pretty limp.  The main thing was just getting Def Leppard back.  Getting them back on the radio was a bonus.  “Heaven Is” was a better song, but it could have been a Bryan Adams outtake.  Sure it has a catchy melody and lush Leppard vocal part, but it doesn’t really rock.  The lyrics won’t be winning any awards:  “Heaven is a girl that I got to have, she makes me feel better when I’m feeling bad.”

IMG_20141116_095810Worse is “Make Love Like A Man”, which is a chorus that I do not want to sing and shout along to.  I give Phil Collen points for the experimentation of putting in a “cockney rhyming rap”, but it’s not enough to save the song.  This sounds like a hard rock version of a Shania Twain hit or something.  The first bonafide Def Leppard classic on Adrenalize is a friggin’ ballad, called “Tonight”.  This one finally captures the magic.  It’s perfect top to bottom, a classy tune that could have fit on Hysteria.

“White Lightning”, a “Gods of War” remake essentially, is a tribute to the fallen Clark.  “White lightning” refers to one of the substances that took him down, but it can also refer to Clark’s appearance on stage, with that big white Gibson guitar throwing shapes.  It’s an apt tribute, and a kick in the ass that this album desperately needed.

The second bonafide classic here is side two’s opener, “Stand Up (Kick Love Into Motion)”.  If you don’t count this slow pop rock song as a ballad, then it’s definitely close, but that chorus kills!  So do the delicate guitar layers, all done by Phil Collen.  It’s too bad this song had such a weird video, and that it was released as a single so late.  It could have been massive.  It’s worth pointing out that both “Stand Up” and “Tonight” were co-written with Steve Clark before he died, which is perhaps why both have memorable guitar parts.

“Personal Property” is one of the harder rock song, but unfortunately it blows.  Another ballad with the agonizing title of “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad” was a hit, but it’s inferior to the other two.  “I Wanna Touch U” is catchy and cute, but not hard enough.

That leaves us at the final song, “Tear It Down”, which is a re-recorded version of a B-side from “Animal” (1987).  The B-side version is better.  Predictably, the Adrenalize re-recorded track doesn’t rock nearly as hard.  In one of those “shoulda woulda coulda” moments, maybe Def Leppard should have just polished up the B-side and put it on the album.

Adrenalize went to #1, and millions of copies were sold, so if you’re a Def Leppard fan, you probably knew all that.  So what about this deluxe edition?


This reissue, part of a series of Universal deluxe editions including Hysteria and Pyromania, is a very welcome addition to anybody’s Leppard collection due to the quality of the bonus material. The sound has also been improved significantly enough to warrant an upgrade. As expected with a deluxe such as this, the packaging and liner notes are perfect, including many tales that even the most diehard of Leppard fans have never heard before.

Bonus tracks abound. They include the four live tracks from Leppard’s very rare club tour EP (Live: In the Clubs, in Your Face, 1992), as well as two of the three acoustic sessions with Hothouse Flowers (covers of “Little Wing” and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, replete with piano and tin whistle).  (The third Hothouse Flowers track, an original called “From the Inside”, was released in remixed form on the next Def Leppard album Retro-Active.)  These are some of the first tracks recorded to feature Clark’s replacement, Vivian Campbell.

There are two takes of “Tonight”, one being a stunning 1993 acoustic take, and the other being a 1988 demo with (yes!) Steve Clark. The original version of “Two Steps Behind” (before Michael Kamen added the strings) and a live track with Brian May (“Now I’m Here”) from the Freddy Mercury tribute concert are two more rare highlights. The set is rounded out with two live B-Sides also released on the In The Round – In Your Face home video, from Denver in 1988.  These Denver tracks are here because they were originally released in audio format as Adrenalize B-sides.

IMG_20141116_095843But so much material is missing! The 34 empty minutes available on CD one of this set could have housed many more missing treasures.  The Hysteria and Pyromania reissues really packed on the bonus material, Hysteria in particular, which included virtually every rare bonus track and B-side. Adrenalize is missing quite a few: “Only After Dark”, “Miss You In A Heartbeat”, “Action”, “From The Inside” and “She’s Too Tough”. All of these were originally available on long out of print singles, and are excluded here. Why? I can only guess because they are available in remixed form on the Retro-Active CD. However, the Hysteria reissue that came out earlier did not exclude similar tracks.  This leaves the original mixes of these Adrenalize B-sides frustratingly unavailable to collectors.

This deluxe edition of Adrenalize is such a mixed bag. On one hand they have given us some truly rare material such as that 1988 demo of “Tonight”, but on the other they have shorted us original mixes of many key Def Leppard B-sides from this era. I am certain most if not all would have fit. I find this dissapointing and frustrating.

3/5 stars

REVIEW: Def Leppard – “All I Want Is Everything” (2 part CD single)

Part 3 in my series of Def Leppard Slang reviews!  

Part 1:  “Slang”

Part 2:  “Work It Out”

DEF LEPPARD – “All I Want Is Everything” (1996 two part Mercury CD single)

“All I Want Is Everything” was the first song from Slang that we got to hear.  Def Leppard first revealed a live unplugged snippet on their Video Archive VHS.  I was still surprised when I heard the whole studio version: It is a lot darker than I expected.  I love it, don’t get me wrong.  I love its sparse, organic sound.  I think the chorus and verses are fantastic, but even better is the bridge.

A lot of my customers were turned off my Slang and songs like “All I Want Is Everything”.  While I could argue that this song is every bit as good as “Hysteria” or “Stand Up (Kick Love Into Motion)”, it is obviously a lot darker.  But it was also 1996.  In 1996, bands like Def Leppard moved with the times.  Bon Jovi made similar adjustments.   This is no singalong hit, but it is quality songwriting and production.

Next up on disc 1 of this single is “When Saturday Comes” performed by Joe, Phil and Sav.  This is apparently for a movie also called When Saturday Comes.  This song would be more satisfying to those wishing for an older school vibe; indeed it is a dead ringer for Van Hagar.  It is anthemic with some shredding from Phil.  It wouldn’t make my own personal Def Leppard mix tape, but I thank them anyway for including the song so I wouldn’t have to hunt down an obscure soundtrack.  “Jimmy’s Theme” performed by the same trio is an instrumental from the same soundtrack.  Out of context from a film I’ve never seen, it doesn’t do much for me.  It’s a nice slow blues with Phil playing some elegant melodies.  But it’s just “nice”, I don’t regularly come back to this one.  The CD ends with an edit version of “All I Want Is Everything” (whoop de do).

Disc 2, for whatever reason, also includes the same two versions of “All I Want Is Everything”.  Why not just put the album version on disc 1, and the edit version on disc 2?  Small gripe I guess but it got tedious when I had both discs in the changer and was too lazy to skip.

Also on disc 2 are a couple tracks from the Jeffology tribute record.  Phil Collen does “‘Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers”.   Personally I don’t think anybody can touch Jeff Beck on this one.  In fact Beck is so awesome on this, especially live, that I don’t really see the point of listening to a cover version.  Sorry Phil, that is nothing against your playing, which is really really great, especially when you start cookin’ around the 4 minute mark.  I just think nobody’s even in Beck’s league on this one, and I think that’s a fair assessment.

Vivian Campbell does “Led Boots” from Wired.  I love the original “Led Boots”.  It’s just funky, chunky and fucked up.  I think Vivian’s style is more suited to Beck than Phil’s is.  This is an enjoyable listen, Vivian gets to shred a bit.  It’s definitely less fucked up sounding than the original, but Vivian is just a pleasure to listen to, he is clearly enjoying himself.

The “Work It Out” single previous to this contained post cards of the first four Def Leppard albums.  CD 2 of “All I Want Is Everything” has the final four:  Adrenalize, Retro-Active, Vault, and Slang.

3/5 stars