“Yeah” by Def Leppard

Artist: Def Leppard
Title: “Yeah”
Label: Universal Music
Release Date: 5/23/2006
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 9/10

I will be one of the first to admit that I enjoyed the music of Def Leppard back in the Hard Rock heyday of the 80’s. Their powerful blend of melody and heavy music made albums like “Pyromania” and “High & Dry” instantly successful and propelled the band on to greatness for many years. In their early years the band never held back references to those that influenced them, and in interviews you would find regular mention of The Sweet, Mott The Hoople and David Bowie. Now, more than twenty years after they came upon the scene the band has decided to pay homage to these artists who helped form and inspire them by giving listeners their renditions of some of this music. Being honest to the originals would be an understatement for as you listen you will find very little Def Leppard present and almost spot on covers of these songs. The choice to make is on whether this is a good or bad thing, and in my opinion I think it is great. Too often we find the bands “interpretations” of classic tracks to be very far from the original or including elements that don’t fit at all. Def Leppard’s goal was to bring you into their world for these tracks and have you as the listener understand what made them special to them during their formative years. They could do no less than deliver above par performances. Of the fourteen tracks there are a few standout numbers such as “Hell Raiser” and “20th Century Boy” where the band sounds almost exactly like Sweet and T.Rex. Other tracks I enjoyed ended up with “No Matter What” (Badfinger), “Stay With Me” (Faces) and “Rock On” (David Essex).

The guys cover a lot of interesting ground by also delivering numbers by Blondie, David Bowie, The Kinks and Mott The Hoople among several other interesting choices. It’s up to you as a listener to vote on if you liked the closeness of the sound more than unique interpretations. The packaging of this album impressed me very much as well, for it is loaded with the necessary photos but also information about each song in the liner notes. The members of the band include where their head was at during the time they heard this song and what it meant to them on a personal level. That increased the appeal of the booklet for me and made it a fun read as I listened to the songs presented. This new release follows their successful Anthology release of a year ago and it is my hope that the band plans to rock like never before on their next studio effort. After all this reminder of the glory of their past and their origins they can do no less for the fans.

Track Listing:
1. 20th Century Boy
2. Rock On
3. Hanging On The Telephone
4. Waterloo Sunset
5. Hell Raiser
6. 10538 Overture
7. Street Life
8. Drive-In Saturday
9. Little Bit Of Love
10. The Golden Age Of Rock ‘N Roll
11. No Matter What
12. He’s Gonna Step On You Again
13. Don’t Believe A Word
14. Stay With Me

Official Website: www.defleppard.com

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