On Through The Night – Def Leppard

I had this album copied on music cassette at first. I can’t quite remember who I got it from but it was possibly the chap who I had planned to see Def Leppard with in 1988. There were two of us at school who liked the band and I was meant to go and see them play at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the Hysteria tour. I didn’t go to that in the end as I secured a place on the Cyprus camp and that seemed more worthwhile.

This is the first album by this band. IT is a monster album musically. I don’t know if it was a numerical success [checks Wikipedia], it did OK for a debut. I reckon it did well ultimately because fans went back and bought the back catalogue. I know that Def Leppard were disappointed at being lumped in with the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal which was a mostly London thing. Def Leppard were from [checks Wikipedia, wants to write Sheffield] Sheffield and didn’t really like all that London stuff.

I love this album.

What gets me most is how well all the songs are crafted so well for such a young band. You could swap this and their second album and it would make more sense. In my mid to late teens I found High n Dry a little too-samey and this, the first album, was interesting all the way through. I would definitely recommend this to anyone interested in that early 80s sound of rolling bass lines and proper sounding guitars.

So, the singer has a classic high voice, but that was a part of its time. The bass is lovely and loud, the guitars work together in harmony and each song has tempo breaks and fits together in a Coca Cola contour-bottle shaped audio-scape [that last metaphor is either amazing or bullshit].

When writing these reviews I tend to have that album on in the background, jogging my memory as I write. The sounds for this album have made me stop and listen a number of times. This is a good thing, I normally don’t pay attention to the music, or at times I don’t have the songs playing as it is an album I know intimately.

  • Rock Brigade – lovely
  • Hello America – a little bit bullshitty
  • Sorrow Is A Woman – great guitars, lovely lyrics, good riff
  • It Could Be You – look, all these songs are
  • Satellite – really good, except for the “ooh yeah”s in this one
  • When The Walls Come Tumbling Down – a post apocalyptic wonder
  • Wasted – Excellent opening riff, the beat keeps going, excellent
  • Rocks Off – classic high speed riffage (possibly live but I think the crowd sounds were a post production issue
  • It Don’t Matter – Lovely
  • Answer To The Master – to be said with an American accent, also has a classic starty-stop solo section with some awesome bass work [I guess the guitars are good too]
  • Overture – this is an amazing piece of writing that still shakes me

Look metal fans. Go and buy this. Listen and enjoy. Play it to your family telling them it’s one of the best. They won’t understand.