What if Adrian had joined Def Leppard?

Mosh

And I should contemplate this change
Staff member
Hysteria is where Def Leppard loses me. There are some great tunes like Rocket and Animal but too much of it is littered with really dull material too.
 

Mosh

And I should contemplate this change
Staff member
I don't know if they ever really sold out. They always had a huge pop sensibility, it's no surprise they continued in that direction. Songs like Bringing On the Heartbreak could've easily been on Hyteria and that's early Leppard.
 

mckindog

Living for Sanctuary from the law
Staff member
Early Leppard did show the pop hooks that eventually overcame them, but it still rocked.
Songs like these are legit NWOBHM, very much in the same vein as other good stuff from that era — British Steel, Wheels of Steel, Back in Black, Blackout. It's a shame they moved away from it.


 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
That first song features a main guitar riff, echoing Prowler's main melody "Walking through the city".
 

2Mins

Educated Fool
They were NWOBHM until they sold out.
A lot of disparate stuff was lumped together under the label 'NWOBHM'. Def Leppard were always at the glam/pop end of the rock spectrum. Yes, they were a bit rockier before Hysteria, but I always thought that album represented who they really were. It's meticulous, layered, technical and yet still big, dumb arena rock. It's a fantastic album.

Also, the NWOBHM acts wouldn't have been ashamed to be influenced by Queen, T-Rex, Free, etc. It wasn't all Sabbath, Purple and Led Zep. I think many bands from subsequent generations of metal have taken their influences from a narrower and narrower pool, and fans too, and it has produced some closed-minded music and music fans.
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
Hysteria is where Def Leppard loses me. There are some great tunes like Rocket and Animal but too much of it is littered with really dull material too.
I like it much more, but I'll be the first to agree it's entirely overproduced. "Pour Some Sugar On Me" is closer to pop, but we know they can rock a song like that (see "Rock Of Ages").

I remember an interview, one of the guitarists said that the pre-chorus guitar chords on the song "Hysteria" - for instance right here - were actually recorded on 6 tracks, one guitar string at a time (!), to make sure they all hit at once rather than a strum. (Despite the video showing a strum there, but that's just a video.) Now that's overproduced.
 

Perun

And the world, unheeding, turns
Staff member
A lot of disparate stuff was lumped together under the label 'NWOBHM'. Def Leppard were always at the glam/pop end of the rock spectrum. Yes, they were a bit rockier before Hysteria, but I always thought that album represented who they really were. It's meticulous, layered, technical and yet still big, dumb arena rock. It's a fantastic album.

Also, the NWOBHM acts wouldn't have been ashamed to be influenced by Queen, T-Rex, Free, etc. It wasn't all Sabbath, Purple and Led Zep. I think many bands from subsequent generations of metal have taken their influences from a narrower and narrower pool, and fans too, and it has produced some closed-minded music and music fans.
True, and I doubt that things were seen as strictly at the time. I think what Zare is pointing at, and I agree, is that On Through the Night is nowadays regarded as a seminal NWOBHM album, and Def Leppard are considered to have been part of the scene up to and including that release. I don't know if it's a case of selling out or whether they just got really big really fast, but I'd argue that High 'n' Dry is no longer NWOBHM by any measure.
 

Mosh

And I should contemplate this change
Staff member
Yea Gods of War is a good one.

I like it much more, but I'll be the first to agree it's entirely overproduced. "Pour Some Sugar On Me" is closer to pop, but we know they can rock a song like that (see "Rock Of Ages").
Rock Of Ages is awesome. I'm all for some good arena glam rock but the problem is Def Leppard isn't very good at it imo. They could get maybe get one or two songs of that on an album and be fine but doing whole albums of it just doesn't work.

I remember an interview, one of the guitarists said that the pre-chorus guitar chords on the song "Hysteria" - for instance right here - were actually recorded on 6 tracks, one guitar string at a time (!), to make sure they all hit at once rather than a strum. (Despite the video showing a strum there, but that's just a video.) Now that's overproduced.
Yea that's ridiculous. I just pulled up the tune now to listen for that and it stuck out like a sore thumb. Almost sounds like a computer.

Early Leppard did show the pop hooks that eventually overcame them, but it still rocked.
Songs like these are legit NWOBHM, very much in the same vein as other good stuff from that era — British Steel, Wheels of Steel, Back in Black, Blackout. It's a shame they moved away from it.
Oh yea definitely not going to deny that. I just don't get the selling out accusations when they were headed in that direction from the start anyway.
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
I think what Zare is pointing at, and I agree, is that On Through the Night is nowadays regarded as a seminal NWOBHM album, and Def Leppard are considered to have been part of the scene up to and including that release
Yes, but what 2Mins is trying to say, if I understand correctly, it's not Def Leppard that regards itself as a NWOBHM band, and it's not them stamping "NWOBHM classic" on albums or songs. Journalists/critics do that.

I always had a problem with NWOBHM as whole because it's not cohesive, it's not a musical movement and bands involved in it are diametrically on opposite sides in regards to a lot of stuff. It's often said for NWOBHM that it dropped blues influences and proggy stuff that early heavy metal bands like Sabbath and Purple, in favour of punk speed et cetera, but the seminal NWOBHM band always openly hated punk, were inspired by a ton of prog and blues bands and had a ton of prog and blues on their records. Only the uneducated and ignorant can attribute Maiden's speed to "punk influence" while in reality that comes from early 70's metal and prog.

Anyways sorry for ranting but this labeling and boxing stuff seems only to add to confusion.
 

Perun

And the world, unheeding, turns
Staff member
Agreed, NWOBHM is a label used by journalists of the time and historians now - nothing the artists themselves ever came up with or promoted. It makes sense to use the label now for analytical purposes, but it's like any historical era. It starts dissolving once you look at it more closely.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Only the uneducated and ignorant can attribute Maiden's speed to "punk influence" while in reality that comes from early 70's metal and prog.
Maiden will deny any relation with punk because they (Steve) hated the movement, but I bet some of these NWOBHM bands were not deaf for punk, and would admit a connection. Punk surely attributed to the aggression (and also speed) and attitude of lots of bands. I don't need to read that. I simply hear it in the music. It's no rocket science analysis.

Steve hated, but I still think punk must have crept even into Maiden, even though he'd never admit it. If that makes me uneducated and ignorant so be it. :D
 
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Rotam

Night and day I scan horizon, sea and sky
But there's also another question: either if we cannot see the NWOBHM as a musical movement, maybe we can see it as a reemergence of metal? Where old metal acts were collapsing, punk was fashionable, and dance music was everywhere. Bee Gees were multi-platinum only in and after 1975. Saturday Night Fever was released in 1977.

Maybe 1980 was a turning point, a new wave of heavy metal, with new elements. Both Priest and Maiden went number 4 on UK charts in 1980. Heaven and Hell was the best selling Sabbath album since Sabotage...
 

Zare

Automaton Sovietico
@Forostar, yes again I'm giving that out as a discrepancy between influences of various NWOBHM bands, some were clearly picking up what punk bands were doing, etc. I don't think that anything "punk" has crept into Maiden apart from that both punks and metalheads were on the lower end of same society, hence the similar attitude and so-called Indie approach to stuff.
 

Mosh

And I should contemplate this change
Staff member
I find the speed and energy found in early Maiden as being very punk influenced. The difference was that Maiden also had prog and metal influence that made them stand out more musically.
 

Forostar

Ancient Mariner
Running Free and Prowler certainly have some punk rockish sounding parts to it. Purgatory and other fast paced material from the Di'Anno era as well.
That fast riff in Another Life (from about 1.46) is pure punk rock. 100%.
 

Mosh

And I should contemplate this change
Staff member
Phantom Of the Opera is my favorite example because it's realy definitive of the early Maiden sound. You get the intricate almost proggy parts but there's also some really punkish stuff like the verse riff.
 
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