Tag Archives: steve clark

Def Leppard’s “On Through The Night” Still Driving At 35 Years

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.
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“Rock of Ages: Definitive Collection DVD” by Def Leppard

Artist: Def Leppard
Title: “Rock Of Ages: Definitive Collection DVD”
Label: Universal Records
Release Date: 11/15/2005
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 7/10

The moment that I began to watch this DVD I was brought back to my youth as I remembered nights with friends as we watched either “Friday Night Videos” or MTV. In my circle, “Friday Night Videos” was the way to go since not everyone had the famous music video channel back then. The videos of Def Leppard were staple rotations on this and similar programs and while not as unique as Duran Duran or ZZ Top’s offerings they still had an inherent coolness factor to them. I loved seeing this Heavy Rock band being a regular feature on these programs as they allowed us to see such things in an influential time for music. Time has caused me to lose memory of the other shows that did this for bands and there were a few of them trust me on that. During this time in Music History the use of videos really helped the genre and this was especially the case on Heavy Rock and Metal bands. These were groups that focused and held such a need for the visual end of things that there were always a few videos for each album that was released. Even new bands were assured of having some videos accompany their album and soon after they would make their way to the networks. This DVD comes to us as a companion release to their CD Anthology also entitled “Rock Of Ages”; this is a suitable title to name a hits piece after one of the group’s biggest songs. While this is not the entire collection of 39 existing video films that I believe the band has in their archives, this single DVD gives you an almost song for song version to enjoy visually after you have absorbed the double CD. Those that seek the other videos the group has can look up their “Historia/In The Round” or “Visualize: Video Archive” for those. The DVD comes with a booklet that has some brief liner notes as well as some great photos of the band members. There is also a dedication page to the late Steve Clark who passed away in 1991. The bonus features are simply the rehearsal of an upcoming track on their new CD and some band commentary. You are also able to setup your own play list of the DVD and that allows you to bypass that which you don’t like.
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“Rock Of Ages: The Definitive Collection” by Def Leppard

Artist: Def Leppard
Title: “Rock Of Ages: The Definitive Collection”
Label: Universal Music
Release Date: 5/2005
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 8.5

In reviewing the 25 year history of Def Leppard it was quite the treat to listen to this Anthology piece. Entitled “Rock Of Ages” after one of their biggest hits this 2 CD set contains 35 tracks from their long and prosperous musical career. In an instant I felt that you cannot go wrong with a CD that gives you this much music for the dollar. Especially when many bands place these items on the shelf and load them with new songs or the selection of real hits is limited. I feel that the fans that have followed the group from the very beginning will enjoy this the most for there is a large amount of emphasis placed on the bands first three releases. Most prominently figured and almost an expectation is the album “Pyromania”. The record broke ground for Hard Rock music and back in 1983 it achieved a chart position of #2. This is impressive since we were just coming off the Disco craze and Rock music was again taking hold based on that new thing we were calling “MTV”. Seven tunes from this album are present but there are also many of the staple tracks from “High & Dry” and “Hysteria”. It seemed you could not turn on this music video channel (as it really did play videos once) and not see Def Leppard in every half hour of broadcast.
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