Tag Archives: Pete Willis

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)…..https://superdekes.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/sonic-waves-def-leppardhigh-n-dry/

Sonic Waves…Def Leppard/High N Dry

1981 like I said in a earlier post was the year I discovered Iron Maiden and Def Leppard. The day I went to buy one record it came down to a  new band choice. One record I had to decide on and well I went with Maiden that day and purchased Killers. Shortly after  I left home and came back with Def Leppards High N Dry release!

I’m gonna focus on Leppard and man what a cooker of a album High N Dry was and still is! I remember reading Kerrang and Creem Metal magazine back than and they were into this New Wave Of Heavy Metal scene that was happening over in England so I guess I was somewhat part of that new metal scene over here in Canada. Leppard by album number two had enlisted Mutt Lange the one for twiddling the dials on the last three ACDC albums (Highway To Hell,Back In Black,For Those About To Rock) so here he is as producer only  working with the young upstarts in Leppard. 33 years later and this record sounds like it could have came out last week. The sonics, songwriting and overall delivery of HIGH N DRY is a must have in any hard rock collection…..

Let me tell ya what all the fuss was about…..

LET IT GO- no punches pulled, here’s Leppard in 1981 ready to do battle and the guitars courtesy of Pete Willis and Steve Clark (RIP) set the tone. Joe Elliot’s vocals are almost like a clean version of Brian Johnson from ACDC. Actually this song could have been ACDC it’s a slick piece of well put together hard rock and man it’s only track one!

ANOTHER HIT AND RUN-just continues the pace set by Let It Go this song just flat out rocks and man Leppard is a band to contend with. Leppard  will hit ya and they will run right over you! The two solos in this song are wickedly good and the Clark/Willis combo are right up there with Smith/Murray from Maiden at this point !

HIGH N DRY-the title track and Joes stumbling around being wasted all day! Dude pulls the vocals off convincingly on this whole album. This is hard rock 101 at its finest! Love the drum sound courtesy of Rick Allen.

BRINGING ON THE HEARTBREAK-I don’t think Leppard knew at the time they were composing the first big heavy rock power ballad in 1981 but they were. This is no sap from the tap! The drums move it along during the pre Chrous into the Chrous and the guitars take over! For me after all these years i can hear the Infleunce of Mutt Lange that would come after on there recorded works. But back than all that mattered to me was that this song wasn’t Journey like!

SWITCH 625-ends side one with Willis and Clark soloing and jamming out and Joe takes a breather during this musical diversion! Whew side one ends with a loud boot up the rear!

YOU GOT ME RUNNIN- this is my fav tune off High N Dry. I have no idea if they ever played it live but man what a great tune. Well written the guitar work just shines on this tune! If You Got Me Runnin does make you wanna rock out Nuthin will!

LADY STRANGE- just keeps the party going. I just really glad they never made a video for this back than cause it would have been beyond cheeseball! Why? I have no idea but I’m just glad they didn’t! This song is number 7 and it’s full out balls to the walls so far!

ON THROUGH THE NIGHT- wow the debut album was called this and now the followup has the title track to the debut! Cool all out rocker. The solo by Clark is deadly and you know what after his passing(1991) this band was never the same again. Even Willis leaving you could make a case for! Look at the cowrites on this album and Pyromania and Willis is a pretty big damn contributer that always gets left out of Leppard talk! Shame really!

MIRROR MIRROR(LOOK INTO MY EYES)- cool they brought this tune back last year to play live. It was a good rock track with some excellent musicianship in it as well!

NO NO NO – stomps the album to a close and makes you wanting more and more and well the answer for right now is No No No. This song just boot s the door wide open once more before slamming shut! Holy hell I love High N Dry! Of course the song ends and Elliot says No I think 48 times is it? Who knows I probably got confused and lost count ! Math and counting was never my forte in high school but ROCK was!

IN CONCLUSION- This is a all time classic which for me I would have to say next to Pyromania is there best work! They hit one out of the ball park here and made us believers until Pyromania kicked it universally everywhere for them! They were never the same after High N Dry and of course they gave Pete Willis the boot and out  went a big clog of talent.  Of course Mutt Lange really took the reins over after High N Dry but I kinda wish he would just chilled back a bit kinda like the role he had on this one and the ACDC albums. BUT I think Leppard 2014 would not agree with me.