Tag Archives: Vivian Campbell

DIO/Holy Diver(1983)

When people think of Ronnie James Dio I think it would be safe to say  that 1983’s epic DIO solo album Holy Diver would come to one’s mind!

My intro to Dio was when he was fronting Black Sabbath and if you’re talking about  favourite Sabbath albums I would tell you it would be 1981’s Mob Rules album just from the standpoint of that’s when I discovered Sabbath back in 1981. Besides Mob Rules had a bunch of classic tracks on it!

A short while later like what happens in so many bands Sabbath and Dio got all silly  with each other and Dio split and took at the time  current  Sabbath drummer Vinny Appice and they formed Dio along with bassist and  Dio’s former band member in Rainbow, Jimmy Bain(RIP).

Of course with it being 1983 Hot Shot wiz guitarists were the things to come by and Dio recruited Vivian Campbell  who basically takes Holy Diver into a whole other ballgame with his playing!

Its amazing at how this album still sounds 34 friggin years later!

Opener Stand Up and Shout has the Dio tour bus ripping down the highway with the police in hot pursuit. In other words this song sets the menu for the rest of the album. Stand Up…makes you indeed Stand Up and take notice throughout. The pace is frantic. Campbell easily becomes the one to watch on this album as he sets fire to his fretboard on the solo part of the track while Appice just slams around on his kit like nobodies business!

Track two and its the title track Holy Diver. What can I add to this song that already hasn’t been spoken or written about? I will say I love the groove set forth by Appice/Bain and another killer solo by Campbell and of course you get Ronnie’s lyrics and the way he sings. How about that opening lyrical line..

Holy Diver
You’ve been down too long in the midnight sea
Oh what’s becoming of me..

I totally think of the album cover of Holy Diver(with band mascot Murray whipping around that chain at the priest) when I hear Dio sing this line..

Jump The Tiger!

From there Gypsy soars right out of the gate with Campbell riffing like there is no tomorrow. ‘She was right out of Hell” sings Ronnie. Love the stomp of this track as the drums/bass/guitar just plow this song forward. Another huge solo from Vivian as that fret board is smoked!

Caught In The Middle has the pace set with Campbell and another straight ahead rocker. Dio soars vocally on this track

Don’t Talk To Strangers has to my ears a total Sabbath vibe as the song starts off real chill with the blend of acoustic and electric guitars and even Vinnie who was laying wast to his skit on the first 4 tracks even gets a moment of relaxation but before long  the song takes off and ramps up quick! This track chills out towards the end and once agin picks up steam….

Appice sets the tone right off the bat with Straight From The Heart with his attack of the drums and Dio lays down the law with his voice and Campbell plays for his supper and man if anything this song by the guitarist sounds like a Zak Wylde composition… I’m thinking Zakk nicked some stuff of Vivian…

Invisible starts off all trippy dippy like musically but rolls right back into familiar hard rock territory with more superstar axemanship.

Ok! Raise of hands. Who has not heard Rainbow In The Dark? Exactly we all have as it in indeed in an all time classic and man what a freakin fantastic guitar solo. This song has a wicked verse/chorus/everything. Like that twisted psycho like keyboard that’s swirls in an out at times.

Hey who woke up the wolves? Shame On The Night is another Sab like scorcher that rolls at a medieval pace that even has an evil Dio like scream at the end. The song just lets itself go at the end in a Sabbath like crawl…

What a debut solo album for Ronnie James. What a scorcher of a debut for Vivian Campbell who comes out of nowhere and rockets these songs to the top. The dude shows us that back in 83 that the concept of great hard rock singer mashing up with a hot-shot  6 stringer could reap huge benefits!

Too bad that when Campbell joined Def Leppard in 1992 they didn’t let Vivian wail on the guitar like he does on the early Dio albums.

Holy Diver proves that and basically made me purchase 1984’s Last In Line right away upon its release.

I always wondered what Ronnie’s old Sab mates(Tony and Geezer) thought at the time around 1983 when they heard Holy Diver for the first time as Sabbath was out recruiting Ian Gillian for Sabs Born Again album?

I’m thinking Geezer and Tony muttered something like “Ahh freakin fizzle sticks. We gotta step up!”

Def Leppard/Live In Winnipeg…Oct 10/1992

 

Quick shout out to my sister Kristin and her Boyfriend Darren who are on there way to see Def Lep Live tonight in Minneapolis Minnesota along with Poison (meh) and Tesla(awesome). Kristin this one’s for you!

Back to 1992 ….Frigg I’m getting old but those  buggers Leppard are older than me still..haha! I will tell ya something that this production that Leppard put on back in 1992 must have been one of the last big Arena Rock Shows for a while as Grunge Mania was sweeping across North America and everyone was lapping up the saucer bowl filled with Nirvana.

 

Def Lep though went about their business and when they announced this show in Winnipeg I pounced on tickets ASAP as I thought it would sell out quick. Well wasn’t I fooled when myself and Sidekick Sal took our seats. I was amazed that only 9500 people were at this show where the old Winnipeg Arena could hold up to 16,000(that was the amount of people who were stuffed in the joint back in 89 on the Bon Jovi Jersey Tour). What was more bizarre was that there were 2000 more people at this Lep show than the one they played in Winnipeg on the Hysteria Tour in 1988!

When the opening lines of Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry  vocal spiel was over (you know the part in the movie about looking down the barrel of gun) Leppard opened up with the leadoff single Let’s Get Rocked and the crowd was in it from the get go. Second track was Tear It Down followed by the classic Women (still love that end of the song  solo). Vocalist Joe Elliot is a good frontman as with the stage being in the middle of the arena there wasn’t a bad seat in the house. Actually all the Lepp dudes (except Drummer Rick Allen ) moved about and used up all  the stage as no one in the crowd could say they weren’t giving it there all.

Guitar Hero Dude’s Vivian Campbell & Phil Collen  layed down the law with the chops of a butcher! On one hand you got Topless Phil playing and at times riffing so over the top it was ridiculous but he somehow reigns it in and can contain himself in the Lep song catalogue. Campbell is more my kind of player. Little more chill relaxed in his deal as he was replacing the Great King Of All Riffs Mr Stephen Clark(RIP). I have said it before in all my reviews a lot of the riffs went to heaven that day Clark died. But Lep has moved on as they had too and in replacing Clark with Campbell they got a fellow who went through the guitar hero ranks in Dio. Played with Davey Coverdale in the 1987 version of Whitesnake. Played some slick guitar in the Riverdogs & Shadow King two bands that went nowhere before landing the Lep gig in early 92!

Campbell/Collen each got their moment in the sun (guitar solo’s) and it was pretty surprising that having two actual guitar solos in the show would kill the pace but it didn’t. The only real drag like the one I mentioned in my review of this tour which landed in Ladano’s Fav U.S City Duluth (about 6 weeks later after this show) was that basically the first two albums were ignored except for the acoustic rendition of Bringing On The Heartbreak.

Still though this was a great show with an over the top Lighting Truss that swirled a shit load of lights on moveable pods above the crowd on Gods Of War.

Hit after Hit was played … Rocket to this day still is one of my fav Lep  songs as a ton of Hysteria was played (8 songs off of it) whereas there was a huge dose of Pyromania and the current Adrenalize as well..

Top notch live show and the end of an era so to speak as Lep hit the skids shortly after as far as sales go though I feel that 1996’s Slang is one of there best!

Great Times and enjoy the show Kristin and Darren…..

Update….My sister has confirmed to me that she will review this show! 

Watch for it…..

 

 

 

Def Leppard/And There Will Be A Next Time(2017)

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So as I told a few of you already I had a momentary lapse of reason the other day and ended up coming home with the new Def Leppard DVD/2 CD Set Combo called And There Will Be A Next Time recorded in Detroit Rock City on there 2016 Tour.

I decided pretty quickly after I purchased it that I was gonna rip the Two Audio Discs and then pass this on to my sister who is going to see (Lep(COOL!)/Poison(Yuck!!)/Tesla(COOL!) this show Live in early April! Get there early Kristin and Darren you don’t want to miss Tesla!

Too be honest I have really no interest in watching any full Live DVD shows and if  I do it means I’m gonna get a little pickled up on Beer and hangout with Tbone! OK ok..If Iron Maiden drop a live DVD I’m There! Certain exceptions you could say!

UMMM…Do You Wanna Get Rocked?

Rick Savage – bass guitar, backing vocals
Joe Elliott – vocals
Rick Allen – drums
Phil Collen – guitars, backing vocals
Vivian Campbell – guitars, backing vocals

The Songs Of Lep…

Disc 1
1. “Let’s Go”
2. “Animal”
3. “Let It Go”
4. “Dangerous”
5. “Foolin’”
6. “Love Bites”
7. “Armaggeddon It”
8. “Rock On”
9. “Man Enough”

Disc 2
1. “Rocket”
2. “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak”
3. “Switch 625″
4.“Hysteria”
5. “Let’s Get Rocked”
6. “Pour Some Sugar on Me”
7. “Rock of Ages”
8. “Photograph”

When the Lep’s released the self titled studio Def Leppard back in 2015  I may have been one of the early one’s proclaiming it as a worthwhile listen as the album got real good after the halfway point. It’s like Lep stepped up their game 10 Fold and delivered!

I think it may have been at 2Louds Blog as he posted about this Live DVD release and  I went nope not interested. See…now you know about my Momentary Lapse Of Reason.

Aaron couldn’t believe I actually purchased a physical copy! Haha. True That Mr Books!

The packaging is pretty decent actually….Nice booklet with credits/info and some written stuff from David Fricke and Phil Collen.

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Truth be told the set list here take’s no chances( why is Rock On here? Really??) except for the classic Let It Go from 1981’s Mighty High N Dry album it’s kinda the same ol same ol as Joe and Crew have taken the KISS approach and play it safe…Kinda! But I’m a sucker for anything off of Hysteria and there are a ton of tracks from it. Late Great Guitarist Steve Clark has a co write on 12 of the tracks played on this set and it just goes to show you the huge impact  he had on all the Lep music until his untimely death in 1991. I have said before and I’ll say it again a lot of the riff’s went to heaven that day with Steve….

The Guitars of Collen and Campbell breathe life in the tracks. They are huge! Special mention must be made to Vivian Campbell  who lays down the law with a lot of rhythm and occasional leads on this release. I mean Campbell was ferocious on those first  two Dio albums(Holy Diver/Last In Line) so it’s impressive that he was able to chill out as like I have said in previous Lep live and studio reviews  as sidekick Collen can shred solo til your blue. Rocket  is so good here check out Campbell’s playing on the left side of your headphones. Airtight flawless….

Joe’s voice is good. I mean if this was the first Lep release I had heard I would have said cool rock voice but the dude has been going at it for over 3 Decades so it’s gonna be road burned a bit right? Still decent enough but the other day at work on the radio  Photograph was played and man Joe had deadly pipes back in 83. It’s funny how that resonated with me at that certain moment and then a few days later I buy this DVD set!

Give them credit they drop a couple of tracks from their current studio release which is commendable. Let’s Go one of the current track has that real cool catchy syrupy pre chorus that hooks me in every time.

I have no idea what the DVD will be like as really do I need to post video’s?  (Maybe my Sister can review it!) We all know these tracks verbatim!

Overall this is a decent release and the audio is way better than Motley’s The End…. that’s for sure!

Worth the $20 I paid for for it!

 

 

 

 

 

Def Leppard/Def Leppard (2015)

Def Leppard 2015 is a different beast than Def Leppard from 1980,1981,1983 and 1987! Those are the years that On Through The Night,High N Dry ,Pyromania and Hysteria were released and for some that’s where it ends.

For myself  when Steve Clark passed away in 1991 the riffs went with him and I only realized after Adrenalize just how much of a impact Clark had in the songs of Leppard!

So there’s a part of me that would understand why people would think that Lep has nose dived  in regards to there studio output.

I agree  X was a pretty mellow record, Euphoria was just a wanna  be 80s record in the late 90s while Slang from 1996 is a  classic! Lep reinvents there sound on Slang and I will review that album someday as for me it’s one of thsese under the radar classics! Kinda surprising to say that about a band that sold millions upon millions in the 80s but that just goes to show you how much the musical tide had changed by 1996.

2015 and I’m still a fan of Leppard. I have no desire whatsoever to see them live as I know they won’t top the In The Round Tour of 1992 but as far as recorded material goes I have bought everything they have put out so time after time I go back to Lep whenever new product hits the street and Kabooooooooom!  October 30th 2015….Here we go…….

Now Lep as many artists/bands do they released a single called Lets Go which was to hype the self titled Def Lep Hype Machine  and I think the Mighty HMO was the first one to talk about it and I think he was iffy with it! Once he said that I didn’t want to hear it just through the iPad i thought I’d wait it out til release day!

Joe Elliot,Rick Savage,Rick Allen,Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell show up in 2015 and will they make the grade?

LETS GO-the intro to Let’s Go is a 80s Hysteria Flashback. Is that the computer voice from Love Bites as well synched  in there? Am I tripping? Yup , Joe and crew want me to think that and at this point in my life I’m a-ok with it! Ha what’s wrong with Flashbacks? If it wasn’t for them we’d have no memory at all! The production of this song is produced well by Lep and the prechorus is pure Gold I wish they woulda went with it a little further! The chorus itself is real good and call me a sucker for Ear Candy and well Let’s Go is just that! Like the middle part where they break out some acoustic action before the sonics of the guitars take over. Special thanks to Phil Collen for not over shredding on the guitar solo! Is HMO cringing? Haha…

DANGEROUS-sure Dangerous could have fit on Adrenalize side 2(would have been a improvement). This is the school of rock that Leppard built! Quicky single like tempo! Big crisp clear backing vocals! Fast neat Collen Pickin! Elliot keeps the party going! Dangerous is a great track. I love me some good Ol hard rock bubble gum!

MAN ENOUGH-Rick Savage(bass) and Rick Allen(drums) lock horns with a snappy bass line mixed with drums and I hear Queens Dragon Attack at the start of this tune and if your gonna swipe,swipe from some of the best! Seriously this has the mix of Dragon Attack and Another One Bites The Dust! Dig the sharp jabs of a piano sting in the middle of the track! It comes out of no where! Such a cool song ! It’s different Leppard but the same Leppard if that makes sense!

WE BELONG-this is your typical mid tempo-ishy Lepp song! Each guy in this tune takes a lead vocal line! Yup the two Ricks,Vivan,Phil and of course Joe all singing there say! Has any band done that before? I’m sure Ladano would know! We Belong is a good track and 4 tracks in its ok to take a little breather! Just a little! Nice guitar work…..

INVINCIBLE-Sav and Allen start off this song while Elliot lays down a real chill lead vocal along with a real good pre chorus! It ramps up the and the guitars are crisp,drums are locked in and it’s one of those songs like all Lepp songs actually that has backing vocals but there not the usual big time Lepp style backing vocals that we all know. Lepp is changing it on the fly!

SEA OF LOVE-This album gets real interesting starting with this track! Love the hard rock strumming of the guitars mixed with some cool drums n such from Allen and this is a new hard Rock n Rolla from the boys in 2015! This is a well put together track,different rocking but just flat out rocks! Love the lyrics “drifting on the Sea Of Love…..open your mind be careful what you find!”

ENERGIZED- almost drum machine like as its that kinda mellowish tune but the chorus with the “Energized …Whoah oh Whoah !” Will leave Ya humming it long after its done! Big time added bell and whistles  added in regards to the percusion to this song and Lepp even fool the ol buzzard in me thinking I’m gonna skip this track ..Nope I didn’t and Nope I won’t! Wowzers did I just say that?

ALL TIME HIGH-I could see this tune being played  live and why not!  Love the start stop with the music and Elliot laying down the vocal in between sharp blasts of guitars and drums. It’s Lepp on overdrive as Savage lays down a straight ahead bass Line to keep the song rocking! The prechorus is rock solid quick with a good dose of don’t bore us get to the chorus!  This is something that could have fit on sneakey at the end of High N Dry! Yeah it really could have….Crank the vid posted! Damn fine song….

BATTLE OF MY OWN-Zeppelin meet Leppard in this mash up of super cool acoustic jams seriously this is a Zep sounding tune especially when the drums kick in at the half way mark of the tune! You can hear the Zep like influence in the backing track of the song! This is a great song kids! Def Zep it is and  while that may be its still Def Lepp! Listen to the vid ….

BROKE N BROKEN-HEARTED-another fantastic driven rocker with a great  bass line while Allen on the drums plays straight ahead rock! The guitars are almost Rolling Stones like during the verse’s yet cranked to 10 on the Marshalls! Even Elliot throws down some great lines in this song ‘don’t be crass or I’ll kick your Ass!” Haha! Fair enough Joe even he tosses in a “gonna huff and puff and blow your playhouse down!” Kinda silly but it fits and why not have fun….if Bandana Michaels were to say that in song in the year 2015. I would scoff! Elliot though I’m ok with! Ha! Yup I’m playing favourites!….another song posted so you all don’t think I’m talking out of my arse!

FOREVER YOUNG- holy crap another great track! 3 minutes of pure brilliance! Yep! It’s all hear driving drums and guitars during the verses and a ass kicker of a catchy chorus! Seriously I already got 4 vids posted from this album! I could post the whole damn album it’s that good! Ear Candy is great Ear Candy and this is one of them!

LAST DANCE-is a folky acoustic vibe! Not a rocker by any stretch of the imagination but a good song never  the less. Lepp dabble with a lot of acoustic on this album almost weaving in and out of various tracks! It helps when you got the songs to back it up…..this song is acoustic driven with a nice electric solo thrown in at the end…..

WINGS OF AN ANGEL- end of the album Gem! Wings Of A Angel is one of the best written Leppard songs I have heard in years! The song builds in the verse and when it hits the pre chorus its shifts back and upon first listen I was like …crap here we go but Lepp nail to a T a fantastic written chorus with great backing vocals and it must be Campbell who plays the solo as he co wrote this tune and what can you say! Leppard have schooled me bigtime in the do not count us out department! Notice taken! Crank ….no, Jack up the volume on the video!

BLIND FAITH-and so the album comes to a end with some acoustics and a chillness vibe all around the Lep Campfire. This song reminds me of a shot of the Beatles mixed with Wings and just as I hear that scenario! Kaboom comes the drums and some heavy devy guitars courtesy of Campbell and Collen and as quickly as they come they go back to the campfire  for a end of song chill out!

IN CONCLUSION-In my humble Rock opinion this self titled Def Leppard 2015 Lep release is there best since Slang and perhaps even since Hysteria! Yeah it’s that good! Amazing that Joe and the boys had enough gas in the creative tank to crank out 14 tracks that are all pretty damn good in each there own way!

Leppard borrows from there past,borrow from some greats yet keeping a eye on the present and rolling it all into one big ball of Rock!

The thing that’s most surprisng is that  the album for me gets real good from about track 6 on starting with Sea Of Love! The first 5 tracks are all good but man Leppard shift gears into a real mode of  great writing, fantastic arrangements,production and performance and tempo changes on the last 8 tracks!

2015 and I never thought I would be saying that about a Leppard album!

Leppard 2015 is easily making my year end list at Ladanos site……

 

DEF LEPPARD/Saturday Night High N Dry….Kinda!

Def Leppard/Nov 14 1992 / Duluth Arena

Cool that this vid was from the actual show that myself,my brother Todd, Al,Mr Tony ‘Anvil’ Gallo and Cementhead went too! Good ol You tube!…

So Leppard was still doing pretty big business in 92 considering more than a few bands from the Northwest region of the USA were making a ton of noise and selling a ton of records but here is Leppard in all there glory on a Saturday night in Duluth Minnesota playing on there In The Round Stage with no opening act in front of a sold out house 5,000 and not worrying about the massive shift in musical climate that is going on outside!

This is probably the last of the big arena shows put on by a band of Leppards size for quite a few years after! Who knew that there record sales would dwindle after Adrenalize  and there concert turnouts as well! Who knew ? I didn’t and neither did  the 5,000 others but wow Leppard was touring with new guitarist Viv Campbell he formerly of Dio and that MTV Glitzed version of Whitesnake! Campbell was a great addition to the lineup. He played all of Steve Clark’s parts for those keeping score at home. Anyways the curtain drops at the start of the show and Lep launches into Lets Get Rocked..here we go and now into Tear It Down (see vid) Women is up next love the outro solo at the end of the song. Too Late For Love,Hysteria, Make Love Like A Man and now were into the Phil Collen guitar solo! The dude is talented but he riffs like a looney tune on the fret board way to much overkill in my book man. Collen is great talent in the song structure but leave him to his own devices ie soloing I will pass thanks but hey I’m crammed down on the floor so I ain’t got no choice but too listen to him in Duluth!

The tribute to Steve Clark is next and that’s White Lightening. Foolin comes next,Animal and now Viv Campbell’s solo turn and he pulls a melodic yet effective solo and does not go down Collen Shredding Avenue! I mean listen to Campbell’s solo on Dios Rainbow In The Dark( great solo) for example.  Thanks Viv for not blowing out my eardrums on a shred fest fretboard workout that night at the Duluth Arena!

Campbell’s solo launches the band into God Of War and this folks is the big production number of the show. Four pods at each corner of the stage on a rail attached to the ceiling roll out over the crowd the pod opens and lights spin around I mean it’s the Gods Of Wars ,pretty cool effect from what I recall. Rocket fires up the crowd but is it just me or is Elliot’s voice a lot different live than on record,no it’s not me it’s fact man. Mutt Lange and his studio trickery. I wonder if when Lange was working for ACDC if he would have put Johnson throw the old vocal enhancer….not!

I guess  I’m being too critical here but seriously the backing vocals are good live  but compared to the studio polish,well I prefer the live better. And now cue the  acoustic song and that would be for Bringin On The Heartbreak which they electrify towards the end of the song segueing into Have You Needed Someone So Bad. Rock Of Ages with crowd interaction into mega hit 1988 Pour Some Sugar On Me! Leppard splits underneath to the cozy confines of there In The Round Stage!

There back and they finish up the show with back to back hits in Love Bites and Photograph!

If you wanted to attend a greatest hits show while plugging said current release well this was the show for you! Out of the 17 songs played 16 were from Pyromania, Hysteria and Adrenalize! Basically the first two studio outputs are ignored! So Leppard in 1992 are not playing for the fans from 1981( me!) but for the fans from 1983-1992. Don’t got me wrong it was a good show,but man to ditch a lot of good material from On Through The Night and High N Dry! What can you do! Leppard was a $$$$$ making machine back than. Give people want they want and I guess that’s what the Minnesotans wanted on that Saturday Night(High N Dry lite )November 1992!