Friday, May 19, 2006

The Cutting Edge

Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen (not Collins you ass!) said it best when he himself said, "There's a fine line between the cutting edge, and the chopping board!"

As a dedicated die-hard, if you would've asked me in 2004 what Def Leppard had done to leave claw marks in the music industry in the previous decade, I would've had no good answer. The fact is, from 1994 - 2004, Def Leppard was one of the few classic rock bands strong enough to keep swimming around in the industry (leopard paddling no doubt!), just barely managing to keep their heads above water.

Even in 1999, when they made a [almost]comeback with the rock single "Promises", they struggled for exposure, falling just short of victory.

Again in 2002, Leppard released a great album. Great photos were taken, and great music was written, but there were no grand television appearances to push the album forward. The band had sharpened up a bit (fashion-wise), but still the commercial album's failure was felt by a major snubbing in the rock fan community.

It wasn't until the band shook themselves of Q-prime management that things really started turning around.

Now, I'm not well informed on the ins and outs of the management companies "jobs", but I will say this: it seems to me that post Q-prime [management] Def Leppard is making a lot of good moves lately in terms of photographers, sleeve design, wardrobe, and television/radio appearances.

In 2002, with the release of "X", Def Leppard's most major television appearance was in CLIPS on NASCAR. Oh GAWD! I was actually pretty excited, simply because it was SOME exposure.

But since management has changed late in 2005, we have quickly become spoiled with major appearances:


- LIVE 8 (DL's performance not aired)
- Jimmy Kimmel Live (musical act)
- Spike TV Video Game Awards (musical act)
- Big in '05 VH1 Awards (closing musical act)


- The Tonight Show (Jay Lenno)
- The Late Late Show (Craig Ferguson)
- VH1 Rock Honors


So, May 23rd, the Def Leppard covers album "YEAH!" is released. You can listen to the album on's 'hear music first'. I recommend "Hellraiser", "The Golden Age Of Rock n Roll", "Waterloo Sunset", "No Matter What", and "Hangin On The Telephone". (Yes that last one IS a Blondie song. Def Leppard doing Blondie? Check it out!!)


The album is great, and if you like any of the glam or pop rock of the 60's, and 70's, pick yourself up a copy. It's a return to roots, which means classic pop hooks with loud guitars.

With that said, we have the new tour with Journey [who suck live by the way - Leppard will blow them off the stage], and work on a new all original studio album, which is rumored to be a departure from 2002's poppy X album, and a return to rawer, "sparkier" guitar oriented material that made the band big in the first place. Not to bird-hop around, but I think anytime a band of Journey's stature is opening for you, it's a good sign that you're getting pretty popular!

Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention the bands new found respect for fashion, and it's importance in today's music industry (bar Sav's new hair, ICK!).

Hell YEAH!

So, what else could I touch base on? about the rumored bonus tracks? I'm not sure how true the rumors are, but it is said that the album will have 2 bonus tracks. The TRICK is, the TARGET version, BEST BUY version, and WALMART version will each have unique bonus tracks.

If it's true, it could prove to be a VERY smart way to shift some units come May 23rd! For if only die-hards buy this CD, CD sales will be for the most part tripled! (I really hope it's true, because Best Buy's copy allegedly may contain "Winter Song", one of my favorite Leppard covers of all time.)

In summary, to those of you who have made fun of me for liking a "washed up 80's band", you can kiss my rosy butt, because I'm sensing good things in the future for the mighty, inconquerable, Def Leppard.