DEF LEPPARD – On Through the Night

Def Leppard – On Through the Night (1980, Mercury Records)

1. “Rock Brigade” (3:09)
2. “Hello America” (3:27)
3. “Sorrow Is A Woman” (3:54)
4. “It Could Be You” (2:33)
5. “Satellite” (4:28)
6. “When the Walls Came Tumbling Down” (4:44)
7. “Wasted” (3:45)
8. “Rocks Off” (3:42)
9. “It Don’t Matter” (3:21)
10. “Answer to the Master” (3:13)
11. “Overture” (7:44)

Joe Elliott – Lead Vocals
Steve Clark – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Pete Willis – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Rick Savage – Bass, Backing Vocals
Rick Allen – Drums, Backing Vocals

Additional Musicians:
Chris Hughes – Synthesizer

Produced by: Tom Allom

Wait… What is this? Is this a Def Leppard album? Is this HEAVY METAL? “Yes” to both questions!

Despite Joe Elliott’s statements that Def Leppard were NEVER “heavy metal” (Seriously, Joe, are you trying to convince the fans or yourself?), this is indeed a heavy metal album. New Wave of British Heavy Metal, to be exact. I didn’t buy this album until far into being a fan of Def Leppard. I loved the “Mutt Lange sound” so much that hearing them do heavy metal wasn’t a top priority for me.

I’ve probably owned this album for about 7 or 8 years now and while I rarely listen to it, it’s a definite NWOBHM classic. I prefer the pop metal/glam rock sound the band would later evolve to, but you can’t deny the power behind metal classics like “Rock Brigade”, “It Could Be You”, “Rocks Off” and “Wasted” (my favorite song from this album). IF the band had continued in this heavy metal direction, they would’ve been doing just fine. More than likely, they wouldn’t have been as popular, but they could’ve been a great heavy metal band nonetheless.

You can really see how far Joe has come as a vocalist. He’s got the generic NWOBHM whiny/nasally vocals down here, but it pales in comparison to what he would do later. He’s not necessarily a great singer, but I’ve always enjoyed his voice.

Nearly 30 years after this album’s release, there are still some rock fans who call out for Def Leppard to “return to their roots” and get all New Wave of British Heavy Metal on us. Well, I think it is time to STOP saying that!

It’s been DECADES since On Through the Night and High ‘n’ Dry (which was somewhat of a bridge between this album and Pyromania anyway) and they were their first two albums. Many bands evolve as they continue to tour and record. Sometimes their “roots” aren’t really afforded the opportunity to shine until the band has proven themselves as a solid and bankable act. How many bands can say they sound exactly like they did on their first release? And would that even be a good thing to say? As far as I’m concerned, the sound they put in motion with legendary producer Mutt Lange is their “roots”. That sound has more in common with the glitter & glam rock they grew up on than this album does.

Longtime Judas Priest producer Tom Allom sat in the chair for these sessions. Not surprisingly, the band has kind of turned their back on this album, even going as far to say that High ‘n’ Dry is their first “real” release.

Highlights: “Rock Brigade”, “Sorrow Is A Woman”, “It Could Be You”, “When the Walls Came Tumbling Down”, “Wasted”, “Rocks Off”

Posted on September 9, 2009, in Def Leppard and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Dr. Feelgood

    This is like Bon Jovi but to a higher degree, they acknowledge their Hair EMtal roots unlike Joe Elliot, but they refuse to go completely back to their roots, Bon Jovi siad they would make a rock album which is more or less rock than pop rock, Def Leppard won’t go to their NWOBHM roots but they will continue with their arena rock style but they might turn to country like bon jovi because last year they appeared at the country music awards doing pour some sugar on me and big & rich was on their last album

  2. This Here is the reason why they don’t play anything much at all from On Through the Night, because most of the crowd doesn’t have a clue what they are singing. I am surprised wasted appeared on the Rock of Ages greatest Hits by them, but that is a good thing

  1. Pingback: Concert Review: Def Leppard & Heart (6/19/11) « Metal Excess

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