Sunday, 13 June 2010
CD Review: High 'N' Dry, by Def Leppard (1981)
High 'N' Dry captures a band on the cusp of greatness. Def Leppard sound raspy and edgy, members still of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, but also clearly demonstrate the catchy song writing talent and performance skills that will take them to the next level of stratospheric superstardom in the hard rock arena.
In the colourful career of Def Leppard, High 'N' Dry is relatively forgotten and generally under-appreciated. It lives in the shadow of the mammoth success achieved by Pyromania and Hysteria later in the mid-Eighties. But High 'N' Dry is a terrific album in its own right, without the over-polished production values of its successors. It is also a more straightforward rock album, less obsessed with radio play and dual-gender appeal.
High 'N' Dry features a collection of riff-driven, melody-centric tracks that straddle the accessible border territory between hard rock and heavy metal. Setting the long-term objective of dominating the mainstream US market, and working for the first time with producer legend John "Mutt" Lange, Def Leppard deliver an irresistible opening trio of Let It Go, Another Hit And Run, and High ' N' Dry (Saturday Night) to open the album. The three tracks successfully unspool almost like one one long song in three distinct parts, with Joe Elliott energetic on vocals, and the duo of Steve Clark and Pete Willis having great fun driving the songs with effective and honest riffs and solos.
The instrumental Switch 625 and the energetic On Through The Night add to the high quality album content, and there are several other strong supporting tracks, including the power ballad Bringin' On The Heartbreak.
High 'N' Dry is a most satisfying snapshot of a band blossoming from the strong roots of metal to a spectacular future in rock.
Joe Elliott - Vocals
Steve Clark - Guitar
Pete Willis - Guitar
Rick Savage - Bass
Rick Allen - Drums
Songlist (ratings out of 10):
1. Let It Go - 9 *See Video Below*
2. Another Hit And Run - 9
3. High 'N' Dry (Saturday Night) - 9
4. Bringin' On The Heartbreak - 8
5. Switch 625 - 10
6. You Got Me Runnin' - 7
7. Lady Strange - 8
8. On Through The Night - 9
9. Mirror, Mirror (Look Into My Eyes) - 8
10. No No No - 6
Produced by John "Mutt" Lange.
Engineered by Mike Shipley.
All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.