Saturday, January 08, 2011

Devil music A-Z : Def Leppard (R.I.P Steve Clark)


Today marks the 20th anniversary of Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark's death and since Def Leppard is up next on the A-Z project what fitting time to talk about them a bit. I guess you can say this band was one of my gateways into hard rock and heavy metal. Pyromania was the first cassette I owned and it was due to the radio play of Rock of Ages and Rock Rock (Till you Drop). Funny looking back at how a 13 year old kid thought the music on that album was seriously heavy shit, man. But I did go backwards a bit and pick up High n' Dry too because it had some great tunes on it as well.

Fast forward four years and I'm in high school and news of a new Def Leppard album is being released and I think I was a bit excited about it because back then 4 years was a long time between releases. In fact due to Rick Allen's car accident and loss of an arm made me wonder if they were even going to continue on or what.Then the premiere of the new song 'Women' shows up on MTV and what a letdown. It's a long (for 80's standards) song that was tedious and the video took a page from A-Ha with the mix of live action and comic book pages. The hits started rolling in and I can't say I had the same feeling about this band I did in '83. The guys were looking more like a hair band with Joe Elliot's feathered mullet as well as hairspray on everybody but Phil Collen.

More years go by and and it's another long wait for another Leppard album and then the news that Steve Clark died from OD'ing on pills and alcohol.He was only 31.How much can one band go through? Adrenalize does release the next year with Vivian Campbell as a replacement.And it was more of the same from Hysteria with pop rock songs and sappy ballads. I haven't paid much attention to this band since then other then news bits of what they've been up to. After the jump is some classic Def Leppard videos from when I enjoyed them. Rick Allen had two arms and Steve Clark was still alive and seeming to enjoy life. Hope you've found peace where ever you are,Steve.

1 comment:

Mal said...

Despite Leppard's eventual dissolution into a pop-glam-hair rock slurry, Bringin' on the Heartbreak still features prominently in all my hard rock playlists. There actually seems to be some emotion lurking beneath the surface of that song, which you don't find in any of their later ballads.

I'm pretty sure everyone owned a copy of Hysteria, but despite the ubiquitousness of the album - High n Dry and Pyromania cast a long shadow.

Then again, I was somewhat deprived of giving Hysteria a great number of listens because SOMEBODY borrowed my tape. Permanently.

You'll notice I didn't rush out to replace in in the intervening 21 years. ^____^