Sure for some out there in Blogsworld one might think a little differently if you were to consider an Impact Album if you’re a Leppard fan but hear me out on this one folks!
I could easily consider the next two Leppard albums after the 1980 debut On Through The Night. Those being 81’s High N Dry and 83’s Pyromania more of an Impact Album perse and I totally get it and trust me at some point those will be tackled upon in a future Impact Album feature but this album OTTN is a great debut!
I have written about in the past how back in June of 1981. Along with my buddy Muc we headed into a local Record Shop here in Thunder Bay together with just enough cash between us to buy one album each.
We both wanted two different albums. So we decided each of us would buy the opposite album that way we could spin em and then tape the other record that one of us didn’t have so we would each have a copy…
I picked the recently released Iron Maiden Killers while Muc went with On Through The Night…
We were blown away by both ..
Fast forward to April 2019 and as I put on the debut album of Leppard from 1980 It dawns on me that of all the bands that I discovered Leppard was the first band I had listened to that only had the debut out at the time that Muc purchased it.
Meaning we got into this band with only one album in its catalog!
Man, we are old! HAHA
That day I bought Maiden they were on their second release with Killers.
Below are some of the bands that I discovered back in 81 for the first time!
Van Halen, I discovered in Jan of 1981 with Women and Children First, which was Halen’s third release.
Rush, as well with Moving Pictures, had multiple albums out.
Triumph I had purchased Allied Forces as well in 1981, and they had a handful of albums out so…
Def Leppard is a band that I have followed since the summer of 1981 right from the debut on. Though the excellent material (80’s output). Through some questionable content (90’s and Beyond) as well as one primarily ignored piece of brilliance (1996′ s Slang)I have been on that Lep Ride for almost 40 years!
So when I spun OTTN recently I than realized just how excellent this debut is even though at times Lepp themselves have distanced themselves from this release. Case in point is when I caught Def Lepp live back in 1992 the debut was totally ignored!
Blah and Gah.
Now of course when Leppard shacked up with one of those Vegas residency deals a few years back, they dusted off a lot of the material from the first two albums which I thought was a really cool thing to do…
But back to the debut. From classic opener Rock Brigade to album closer Overture OTTN features a very young band basically going for it. Man, I love these albums when groups have no dough, and in Lepp’s case, it wasn’t until 83’s Pyromania blew up everywhere that these guy’s made any serious money!
OTTN is a wicked album. Tom Allom who produced it kept it a little rough around the edges of course, which is a sound I really like as it would give you an idea how these young cats would sound live…
The late great Steve Clark along with Pete Willis became an excellent guitar duo. Neither guy is a shredder. Clark kept the ship steady with his playing as did Willis with each guy having their own songs to solo or at times do the dual lead thingy that became so prominent with a ton of acts throughout the ’80s!
Rick Savage especially on the earlier albums you can hear him playing Bass, and before you let out a chuckle check out album closer Rush influenced Overture to hear Rick slappa da Bass before Mutt Lange basically drowned him out by 1988’s Hysteria album.
Rick Allen was no slouch on the kit, and I think when OTTN was recorded, he was like 17 or 18 years old! Sounds like a seasoned vet who keeps the beat stable and check out Rocks Off on Side 2 as he plows the path at the halfway point of the tune before Clark lifts off on the solo!
Joe Elliott had that young throat and could sing right off the bat as he takes charge from Rock Brigade on. Joe knows his limits, and for that, you have to give him credit that he didn’t go on some high falsetto mumbo jumbo. Keep it simple…
On Through The Night made inroads in the U.S back in 1980 when Leppard hit America and opened for Pat Travers and Nugent among others. (Leppard didn’t play Canada until 1983!) So the U.S was the biggie for them.
That came at a cost to Leppard at home as England kinda busted there balls by writing a song called Hello America! Which back in 80 I get it as it sounds like a total cop-out, but it isn’t! I think Elliot spun the lyrics as a dude dreaming about going to California, but Joe didn’t want to be messing with those Headbangers back in 1980!
I can honestly say I can listen to this album from front to back while not skipping tracks. Sure I suppose you could dig around whatever your preference of choice would be for a debut as some other Hard Rock debuts are better. I would tend to agree with you. For myself and I can probably speak for Muc as well that it was pretty cool to discover a band from across the pond with only one album under its belt which not too many had yet heard!
Well, Played Muc!