Just a quick break from the everything else that is going on here at the PiercingMetal Command HQ to raise a few pairs of horns in honor of the Def Leppard debut album “On Through The Night” based on its being released thirty five years ago today. Now historically speaking in terms of my own Hard Rock and Metal years at the time, I was not following the band at the time of their debut. My own first go at them would come with the “High And Dry” album based on the song “Bringin’ On The Heartbreak” being in semi-regular rotation on the radio stations that played heavy music and of course the U68 video channel. As I think about that song, I think I also saw it a lot on MTV since the fledgling music video network was giving those who had it a solid introduction to bands like this but I digress. Despite the late introduction to the band I clearly remember heading into the West Village of NYC to scour the record shops because one of the girls in our circle was looking for one of the bands 12” releases and would not sleep until she found it. There were about five of us tagging along and she was very easy on the eye with her rocking self so there were no complaints from us lads as we walked up and down street after street. At one of these shops I picked up my own copy of “On Through The Night” and mostly because I had to learn the tunes “Wasted” and “Hello America” to jam with some other musicians who entertained playing it in a band. The cover of this album always made me smile since it was a great image of a truck hauling a guitar in the night sky. It reminded me a little of the Heavy Metal Magazine kind of stuff and that was a science fiction magazine that had nothing to do with music in case you wondered. Now let’s take a look at the complete track list from the album and pick up again after that.
1. Rock Brigade
2. Hello America
3. Sorrow Is A Woman
4. It Could Be You
6. When The Walls Came Tumbling Down
8. Rocks Off
9. It Don’t Matter
10. Answer To The Master
Side B of the record that this originally came out on would begin with “Wasted” and since I had to learn the tune I would generally start my listening to the release with this side. Technically speaking this is not a complex track to do on the drums but at the time I was still pretty green about the instrument. I liked what Rick Allen was doing on the drums at the time and felt he was quite the heavy hitter. Anyway, I have not listened to this particular album in quite some time outside of the tunes that I had kept as my favorites since first hearing it and those in no particular order were “Wasted”, “Hello America”, “Rock Brigade” and “Satellite”. I gave it a spin once again today and can admit that this was a particularly strong debut from the band and one that truly set their wheels in motion. Their career as far as attention in the States would be a slower climb until the “Heartbreak” track and the eventual juggernaut of a release with “Pyromania” the bands third album. Where you a big fan of this release in the bands history or were you like me and started your adventure with a later album? Let me know in the comments section because I would love to hear your own thoughts about it. I bypassed all the technical information about the album because that can be easily examined via the recordings Wikipedia entry which is linked below. Congrats Def Leppard on having your debut hit this milestone and to its continuing to rock their lifelong fans along with the new ones.
I didn’t see a special edition remaster when I searched on Amazon for the link below but this particular edition is nice and cheap if you wanted a physical copy.