SONIC WAVES…Def Leppard/Adrenalize

No word of a lie! Tbone had like three copies on cd of Adrenalize? One was still sealed In plastic 5 years after its release in 1992!

Have no idea why perhaps he will answer to us all about that one!

This album I thought may have  been close to 3/4’s Filler but it squeaks by. Now if we’re keeping score here I dig in the Leppard catalogue in no order On Through The Night,High N Dry,Pyromania,Hysteria and one of which flies under the radar which is Slang even that Sparkle Lounge record had some decent moments except for that fuckin awful Hee Haw McGraw track…..

Some others like Euphoria and X just don’t cut the mustard! Perhaps one day I will tackle them but I just can’t wrap my head sonically around them right now!

Mike Ladano at mikeladano.com posted on his blog all the singles on Adrenalize and I was kind of meandering on writing this as I had it sitting for a while in my unfinished posts sections. So reading Mikes writes kinda spurred me on to finish this so here we go….

1992 and the musical landscape has changed! I don’t need to explain in great detail but the usual musical suspects from the Pacific Northwest chucked a lot of Southern Cal Cheeserock Acts into the dumpster and fair enough so many Cheeseball acts were getting deals in the late 80s that the market was over saturated and trust me folks I got hosed on a few(won’t name names yet!).

So Leps are down to 4 as the great King Of Riffs Mr Steve Clark passed away in January of 1991! For me and some others so did the quality of tunes!

So if my memory serves me correct 5 songs on Adrenalize were co written by Clark(good songs)before he passed and 5 without(so so songs) and that kinda shoulda been the sign but here we are 23 years later and I finally figured it out just how important Clark to Leppard was and it isn’t until he dies that I figure it out……

Having said that give Joe Elliot,Rick Allen,Rick Savage and Phil Collen there due. They coulda take their bat and glove and just gone home! Oh wait! That ain’t happening it’s called $$$$$$$$$$$!

LETS GET ROCKED-ok ok i can admit it! When this was released as the opening single I lapped it up! I mean Joe’s asking me If I wanna get Rocked? Absolutley boss I do and here we go and its pretty clear that at the 1 minute mark this is a continuation of Hysteria and well many a band have done this and three  acts coming to mind right away ZZ Top with Eliminator followed by AfterBurner and Boston basically after the first Boston tried to duplicate it on the Don’t Look Back album(pretty good) and Third Stage(borderline Meh! except for Brad Delp(RIP) whose vocals save the day) and of course AC/DC with their whole back catalogue(there Gods and they know how to do it!)Leppard though in a way it’s good to be back with some rock and the drums courtesy of Allen have the big percussive sound and Phil Collen shreds into the shredders night with an Solo and man that’s were Steve Clark is missed whereas Clark  was the real guitar slinger, playing not nearly the same amount of FAST LOOK AT ME MAMA notes as Collen but more chill,more of an Impact you could say. A thinkers guitar player! Let’s Get Rocked after a while though gets tired but for a moment in 92      Ummm Lets Get Rocked!

HEAVEN IS-“a step in the right direction,kinda…” That’s my quote that I posted on Mikes review of Heaven Is. Leppard knows that it’s all about AirPlay and VideoPlay and that’s what Heaven Is! Keeping the pockets of Record Company Suits filled with dough and come to think of it,they sunk Tbone for three copies of this album! Ha! Heaven Is a straight ahead rock track and with Mutt Lange dialing along for the ride this could have fit perfectly on Bryan Adams Waking Up The Neighbours album which to no ones surprise Mutt Lange wore the producers hat for…..

MAKE LOVE LIKE A MAN-dig the music but man the lyrics are just brutal. So for that I hardly paid attention to it but was forced to when I caught the Adranalize 7 Day Weekend Tour in 1992! The vibe of the tune is good with the use of the percussive beats of Allen but man the lyrics are just (Hey)Stoopid! But can you blame Lep? It was 4 years earlier in 1988 when Pour Some Sugar On Me was huge so I guess Lep thought what the hell it worked once so it should work twice..Nope it didn’t!

TONIGHT-now this is a good track as well. Sure it’s typical Lepp fodder but it’s a well blended piece of melodic Rock using both acoustic and electric guitars and Lepp not overdoing it!

WHITE LIGHTENING-Steve Clark gets his due here man! (7 Minutes of Sonics here!) This is a big blast of tribute Rock to their fallen comrade! Epic building song stsrting off with a solo and if Joe and boys had done more tunes like this on Adrenalize I would have been all for it! They played this tune live as well and lasered the heck out of it ! It was a huge production piece and so be it as Clark was the deal!

STAND UP(Kick Love Into Motion)-Ok fasten up your  seat belt but 23 years later and I have to say this is the best well written piece of music on this album! Yeah I just did say that! Stand Up melds some real great rhythm here and the song is performed exceptionally and the chorus is gold! Even Elliot’s voice carries the tune as well and is fit tailor made to this style! Well Done and dare i say it? A Gem!

PERSONAL PROPERTY -a pretty decent rocker with same old same old lyrics but Leppard play this tune like they believe in it and it’s a 4 on the floor Leppy stomper! Well for Adrenalize purposes that is!

HAVE YOU EVER NEEDED SOMEONE SO BAD-ugh man oh man just so obvious. When Love Bites and such from Hysteria shot to thhe top of the charts I was ok with it. Reason being is Lepp was forging a new sound with that style of writing on Hysteria but here they try to duplicate it and Nope no go Hombre! Too obvious…..Blah!

I WANNA TOUCH-Geez I wish Lepp would have sold this tune to Bandana Micheals and Poison at the time this is right up there alley! I couldn’t even get thru this track after the first 30 seconds so in other words tracks 8&9 on Adrenalize= Skip! That’s being polite!

TEAR IT DOWN-Ok the Lepps dig back in the vaults and recharge the batteries and crank this one out! Kinda like AC/DC musically a bit meaning straight ahead music! No frills and sometimes that’s the best policy! Great chorus and this song boosts up the end of the album after I tossed up  my lunch after tracks 8&9!

IN CONCLUSION-Hmmm interesting record looking back on it! But what do you do? 1991 must have been the shits for these guys after Clark passed! Like how the hell do we record a record without the king of riffs! Well they did kinda. Half written with Clark and Half not! So props to that. I guess you just have to push forward!

Up til recently I have not listened to this album in a real  long time. It’s like when you bump into someone you haven’t seen in a long time  and you get caught up and then move on. That’s what Adrenalize is to me!

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20 thoughts on “SONIC WAVES…Def Leppard/Adrenalize”

  1. Good write-up, Deke. I was thinking this album sounded a bit patchy and I haven’t really been that inclined to give it any attention. Maybe need to make more of an effort to listen to Def Leppard …

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For sure J….start off with On Through The Night,High N Dry,Pyromania and go from there between Mike and my stuff we have reviewed a ton of Lep. I even got a review of tour floating around here as well….

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Yeah, I’ve been enjoying this one lately after reading Mike’s reviews too. I think the only songs I could happily skip are Personal Property and I Wanna Touch U. In fairness to Collen, he plays lots of classy, simple solos. He very rarely plays widdly fast solos, even though he can.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mike spurred me on to finish this as well ….Collen though I dunno on record he keeps,himself in check but live he just sometimes goes overboard with shredding and I could never handle that….
      The live show thats added in the Pyromania deluxe from 83 he just goes so overkill on some of the solos it’s borderline annoying! Ha! maybe I’m being harsh here but dude ….relax,chill out on the riffing hahaha!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good point Deke. I was talking more about the records really. He does overdo it more live. I remember the live gig in Vault video. Him and Vivian trading widdly licks and trying to outdo each other. But Campbell is much better at flashy playing than Collen. All Collen’s fast solos sound a bit samey. He’s better at melodic stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great closing comparison Deke – can totally picture those brief reuions, OK we’re up to date, let’s move on!
    I remember my cousin being really unimpressed with early 90s DL – feeling with the emphasis on the ballads, they were writing music geared towards 14 year old girls.
    You guys have inspired me to break out Hysteria, it’s on the 1001 list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Geoff.
      I guess the success of Hysteria makes your desire to keep the sound the same! If it ain’t broke don’t fix it philospy fits the Leppard Model here!
      I can see how or hear how your cousin would think that they were writing music for 14 yr old girls as the push was on ballad at times with these guys! Thanks for that Love Bites!
      Haha!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I was 19-20 when this came out. While I was aware of an inferiority to Hysteria, I forgave it based on Steve Clark’s death, and all the rest of the adversity. Adrenalize is like a really good swing in the 9th inning when you’re really tired, that connects but doesn’t hit it all the way out of the park.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I never really followed these guys, though I loved Pyromania as a kid. I knew tons of people who were into them, though, and I heard them a lot. Honestly, to me their stuff in the 90s was kind of like that Far Side cartoon with the two jellyfish outhouses, and the pictures on the doors are identical and the tagline underneath says “Only they know the difference.” That, of course, is lack of effort on my part, but the hits I’ve heard all sound like it could’ve come from one album, to me.

    Also, “It’s like when you bump into someone you haven’t seen in a long time and you get caught up and than move on. That’s what Adrenalize is to me!” Good enough for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Do you wanna get rocked?

    “Absolutley boss I do”

    Who wasn’t excited for new Def Lep by then? So much time had passed…I really thought it might be too late. But Lep had plenty o’ hits on this one.

    I like that you said Stand Up was well written…bang on there. Sure enough it’s one of the Mutt co-writes.

    Liked by 1 person

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