SONIC WAVES….Def Leppard/On Through The Night

Summer of 1981 and my pal Muc buys Leppards debut album On Through The Night and I counter at the same time with my very first Iron Maiden purchase with Killers!

I was totally blown away by Maiden and I’ll  have to review it at some point but man when I seen what Muc had purchased the music junkie in me said “holy shit Muc give me a hit of that vinyl there will you fella!”

Just like that I’m aboard the Lep Xpress and how could you not?! Leppard 1980 are young guys and there rocking out by the photo on the back of the album and with a bad ass rock guitar truck as a cover Yee haw!

Its crazy to think that this album is 35 years old!! I mean where does time fly? The great thing is this is Leppard sounding raw,going for the throat and Kickin mine and Mucs ass circa 1981! Job well done Steve Clark(RIP)/Pete Willis/Rick Savage/Rick Allan and Joe Elliot!

Don’t Be Pouring No Sugar On Me ….

ROCK BRIGADE- Willis and Clark open up with a real cool riff and before you hear AH here comes Ricky’s Drums Rollin all over and boom what a great ear catching opening! You know the deal here it’s Leppard 1980 there young,they got the looks,hooks and Yep they got the Rock Brigade with them so Ya better watch your Ass! The lyrics even though are kinda silly who cares this is fun Leppard and whoever throws down that solo(Willis I think) I salute you! It cooks man…love how the song just ends…the battle is over …whoosh this is only song 1 !

HELLO AMERICA- big poppy acapella Vocals welcome Leppard to America and I think back in time of its release it was not well received in England as the locals thought Leppard were selling there rock souls to the big American Market! Can Ya blame Lep? Na I don’t so that’s where the $$$ are, I like the tune during the chorus they have swirly Synthy sounds that enhance the song. Did I just say that? Ha but you know 2 songs in and me and Muc are aboard so Hello Thunder Bay!

SORROW IS A WOMAN- Tom Allom who produced a ton of Judas Priest albums in the 80s produced this one as well and man he makes the album sound raw in a  real cool way and then beginning of this song proves it! Drums,bass and guitars mash up at the beginning and when Joes vocal comes in everything goes chill with clean sounding guitars,chill drums and than it ramps back up at the chrous and the guitar solo in this track is awesome as its locked in tighter than Tbones Scotch Cabinet and than it keeps ramping up back in the chorus! Great track….

IT COULD BE YOU-this is a great rocker! It could be U….it could be anyonnnne! The verse is raw ruff Lep! No studio polish found anywhere near this record and that’s Allright! Clark and Willis make a great team guitar wise and its too bad that Willis unravelled but give the cat his credit he was a big clog in Lepps sound and in a kinda way they were never the same after they punted Willis and totally never the same after Clark died in 1991.

SATALLITE-Allen destroys his snare at the beginning of Satallite and were off toss in some ‘oh yeahs ‘ and some great guitaring by those young fellas and i was always intrigued by the sound that they may have have forged with songs like this one,Overture and When The Walls….before Mutt Lange showed up with his musical blender and squeezed eventually all the great Rock rawness out of Lep!

WHEN THE WALLS CAME TUMBLING DOWN- if memory serves me correct I think this was Mucs fav tune off of this album! It’s Leppy going proggy mixed with hard rock! Spoken word intro and chill vibe of Joes voice gives way to a walloping galloping surge into rocksphere with Willis and Clark and man I dig the the twin riffing and boom in to then solo and Rick Allen drives the cymbal and smashes thrashes his kit and whoah Muc you may be right (I may be crazy! Ha) but you might be onto SUMTHIN here!

WASTED- big power riffs start Wasted and boom lets snort some lines and get …Wasted! That’s Lep talking not me the only lines I was doing back in 1981 was writing ” I will do my homework” over an over on a chalkboard at school! Still though this song to this day rocks and what a great Clark solo! The dude was the king of Lep riffs! Gone but not forgotten!

ROCKS OFF-Willis and Clark peel rubber right off the hop at the start of the track and hey these boys may be Wasted but man there rocking tighter than the  spandex Olivia Newton John wore in the movie Grease! Elliot tells us all to get our Rocks Off and boom before you know it were into the real cool part where Allen smashes and thrashes on his drums  along with Willis and Clark and man this song is slick! Great riff,great song and what there’s a audience dubbed in at the end and  Elliot tosses a “Goodnight!!!” Those funny young Leppard chaps fuckin with me marbles! Well done!

IT DONT MATTER- easy said friends! I love this song and man insert cool cowbell smacking to keep the pace of the tune going and hey man It Don’t Matter!  Awesome verses,prechorus ,chlrus, great lead vocal by Elliot,great guitars,bass an drums it’s all here rolled into one gigantic Def Lep Fatty! This song is easily an end of the album Gem here at Arena Rock!

ANSWER TO THE MASTER- big power riffs,big power rock and Joe and the boys lay it down no Love Bites here at this train station ladies!

OVERTURE- you know listening to Overture would have Lepp kept this style of Rock going If good Ol Mutt Lange had not waltzed in to there sound? Who knows but I would think Yep! It’s Lep going a little proggy at the end of there debut and why not! They aced this debut and they can do what they want! Well in my book anyways!

IN CONCLUSION- We got a winner Muc! 35 years young is On Through The Night and 35 years older is Muc! Hahahaha! Seriously what a great start for Leppard and it always kinda pissed me that in interviews Lepp would ignore the debut? Like really? You Guys were like 20 years old here figuring it out don’t ignore it,accept it this thing slays a lot of stuff in there catalogue that came later(in my book!) Tom Allom who produced this kept it real and for that ..great job. Also of note Leppard 2015 ignore this album and it’s a shame at least I have seen on this tour they are playing a few, just a few from High N Dry (see review of High N Dry here)…..

17 thoughts on “SONIC WAVES….Def Leppard/On Through The Night”

  1. Love this album Deke. The only song I’m never too keen on is When the Walls Came Tumbling Down. Always thought it was a bit clumsy. But it’s a great album. I think Satellite might be one of my top Lep tunes!


      1. That narrated bit? That was the intro to our movie! I don’t know what happened to the tapes. We only shot the opening scene and then the project was abandoned. I remember that this guy gets super powers like Gary Mitchell did in the second Star Trek pilot…moving things with his mind (string) etc. Boy I wish I had that tape!


    1. Awesome HMO…..I’m glad that Leppard somewhat righted the ship when they did there Ded Flatbird and played a bunch of old stuff on the Viva Hysteria set….


      1. Yeah they totally did. I think the first four Leps are all great. Fan of Adrenalize, Retroactive and Slang too… they only really started to suck with Euphoria as far as I’m concerned. Songs from the Sparkle Lounge was decent effort too, hoping for good things from their new one.


  2. This is the only early DL that I still need on CD. I have it on cassette, though! (cassette SO HAWT)

    It’s been a while since I played it, but I remember thinking exactly along the lines of what you’ve written here, so thatnks Deke! You’ve saved me the work! 🙂 I’d much rather this than a lot of the later stuff.


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