[Album Review] "On Through the Night" – Def Leppard

On Through the Night - Def LeppardAlbum Title: On Through the Night
Artist: Def Leppard
Year: 1980
Running Time: 44m 8s

Track listing: 1 Rock Brigade; 2 Hello America; 3 Sorrow is a Woman; 4 It Could Be You; 5 Satellite; 6 When the Walls Came Tumbling Down; 7 Wasted; 8 Rocks Off; 9 It Don’t Matter; 10 Answer to the Master; 11 Overture

Rumour has it that Def Leppard have practically disowned their debut release, “On Through the Night”. If you heard this before you’d heard the album, you might be expecting a travesty. It’s far from it.

Riding on the wave that was “New British Metal” in the late seventies/early eighties, Joe Elliot, Rick Savage, Steve Clark, Rick Allen and Pete Willis left the working-class shadows of Sheffield, intent on being the biggest band in the world.

Such was the macho appeal of metal music, certainly relative to the glam movement that had come before it, sticking the word ‘rock’ into titles was a common tool of songwriters. For Def Leppard, it was a common strategy. Album opener ‘Rock Brigade’ rocks consistently complete with tight guitar solos and they carry on the theme in the live recorded but less impressive ‘Rocks Off’.

But there’s plenty of top notch rock fare on offer. ‘Hello America’, an anouncement of their future intentions, sounds like Queen turned up to ten and ‘It Could be You’ grooves with it’s gritty, yet catchy, chorus. The rather interesting biblical-metal of ‘When the Walls Came Tumbling Down’ preceeds classic eighties-metal in ‘Wasted’ and the extremely likable pop-metal of ‘It Don’t Matter’.

‘Answer to the Master’ is a slightly ludicrous attempt to bring satanic imagery to the table, but ‘Overture’ is more restrained but essentially bland closing tune. And boy are the lyrics ridiculous.

‘Sorrow is a Woman’ is again full of naff lyrics, but the tune is not too bad and ‘Satellite’ is bearable riff-rock folly.

Ok so the lyrics are pretty much awful throughout the record, but there is some good rock music here and a steady start for five lads who reckoned they would be the biggest in the world.

2halfstar

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