Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Def Leppard - Let It Go

Although Def Leppard is one of the bands that defined music in the 1980's, there are some rare and semi-rare videos of them.  In this way they are a lot like Bon Jovi, who went up on the blog last September.  And like Bon Jovi, the Leppards were not an overnight success; it took a few years to find their sound.

The band formed in Sheffield, England in 1977 and emerged as part of the new wave of British heavy metal in the early 1980's, alongside such bands as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.  Def Leppard's first album came out in 1980, and it was immediately apparent that they were different from most other metal groups in terms of their melodic, pop-influenced melodies.  In a stroke of good fortune, their sound caught the ear of producer extraordinaire Mutt Lange, who agreed to work on the band's second album, 1981's High and Dry.  [Lange would continue to work with the band on the Pyromania and Hysteria albums, as well.]

High and Dry was a modest success, reaching #38 on the U.S. charts, although "Let It Go" did not break the top 100.  I have to say, High and Dry is my favorite Def Leppard album -- it was a bit rougher than the band's later stuff, but it is really good.

The video was a straight up performance filmed at the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool, England.  In fact, Def Leppard shot "Let It Go," "High and Dry" and the original version of "Bringin' On the Heartbreak" all at the same time ... ah, the innocence of those pre-MTV days.

Of course, Def Leppard would crack the code of pop-metal with their 1983 Pyromania album (the catchy videos on MTV didn't hurt) and become huge stars -- Pyromania and Hysteria (1987) each sold in excess of 10 million units in the U.S.  Unfortunately, the band was also know for their tragedies as well, especially drummer Rick Allen's 1984 car accident (and loss of an arm) and guitarist Steve Clark's death in 1991.

Cool trivia fact:  The working title of "Let It Go" was "When The Rain Falls."

Cool trivia fact #2:  The dark-haired guitarist (with the Gibson Explorer) is Pete Willis, who was fired from the band in 1982 for alcoholism.  He was replaced by Phil Collen (not the one from Genesis), who remains in the band to the present day.

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