Hard to believe this record is 30 years old.
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Source: www.rollingstone.com via brian on Gentlemint
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In 1980, I took a chance by buying a record from the "international" section of the local record store. That album was "On Through the Night," Def Leppard's first full-length LP. I was hooked immediately and turned all of my friends on to it. When "High 'n' Dry" came out, I was all in. I still think that was probably their best true rock album.
I saw them live on the "Pyromania" tour at the Spectrum in Philadelphia in '83 (they opened for Billy Squier). While I enjoyed that album, I could tell there was a shift in the music from rock to more pop. "Hysteria" confirmed that suspicion and I just did not enjoy it that much. But the girls loved it so it got plenty of rotation in my car's cassette deck.
I was relatively young when Hysteria came out, too young to get how commercial and poppy it sounded. I just really liked it (with the notable exception of Pour Some Sugar On Me, which I was apparently smart enough even at that age to realize was a crap song). As I got a little older, I purchased Pyromania and then High N' Dry and then On Through the Night.
It was great for their pocket books to go the way they did, but like you I still think High N' Dry and On Through the Night are great albums. High N' Dry is probably the album I have listened to most in my life actually. If you can put the utter ridiculousness of everything after Pyromania out of your head, Def Leppard's first two albums just sound like a bad ass classic rock n' roll band.
Also, I much prefer Pete Willis to Phil Collen. No disrespect to Phil, but Pete Willis had an incredible knack for kicking out some smooth grooves.
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