Def Leppard Earns 10/10 Rating in Classic Rock Magazine

Featured on the cover of Classic Rock Magazine’s 20th Birthday issue, Def Leppard earns a shining 10/10 rating on the Hysteria: The Singles box set and 9/10 rating for The Story So Far: The Best of Def Leppard.

Check out a preview of the issue below and get your copy – on newsstands now.

Order Hysteria: The Singles Box Set:

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London’s 5 star show review by The Guardian

Via: The Guardian

Def Leppard review – metal legends revisit a riff-laden classic


O2 Arena, London 

The British hard-rock favourites play their 1987 album Hysteria in full in a show that demonstrates their scintillating craft

wo days before his 61st birthday, Phil Collen stands stripped to the waist, his torso oiled, striking the first notes of Def Leppard’s 1987 album Hysteria on his guitar. In fairness, after several decades in which the gym has taken the place of drink and drugs, he has the kind of body most men his age would consider achievable only by means of radical surgery. What’s more, the song he’s starting – Women – is one so silly that an oiled torso seems only fitting. “And in the garden, lust began,” sings Joe Elliott – who remains fully clothed at all times – “the animal instinct, the wanton man.”

Lyrics were never Def Leppard’s strong suit. But hooks were. Hysteria – played in full tonight – has sold somewhere in the region of 25m copies because it leaves nothing to chance. Rather than write songs and record them, Def Leppard wrote the best sections they could, which they then assembled into songs in the studio with producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange. Live, you realise just how complex the edifice is: the interlocking vocals (with lots of glam-rock chanting), the switches between guitars, the fact that every song just gets bigger: this bit should be the chorus! No, this bit should! No, this is the chorus! It’s irresistible.

 Irresistible … Elliott with guitarist Phil Collen.
Irresistible … Elliott with guitarist Phil Collen. Photograph: Jo Hale/Redferns

It’s a testimony to how powerful Hysteria was that we’re 40 minutes into the show before there’s a song that wouldn’t be intimately familiar to anyone around in the late 80s. Hysteria spawned seven singles, and thoroughly deserves its reputation as hard rock’s Thriller. You realise how sophisticated it was when the band follow it with their second single, Wasted, from 1979. It’s perfectly decent, miles better than most of their New Wave of British Heavy Metal peers, but it would never have opened arena doors for them. It took the set closer, Photograph, to do that. Collen and Vivian Campbell burst into its opening riff – one so indelible it will be playing in a loop on some automated classic rock station long after humanity has died – and you can’t help but thrill. What a great British pop group.

 At Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham, on 8 December. Then touring.


Planet Rock - Joe Photo

This weeks program features songs from ACE FREHLEY, FLEETWOOD MAC, QUEEN, ALICE COOPER amongst others, as well as some stories from Joe!

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Dublin Show Review

Read the full article HERE

The list of great bands grows ever smaller, with the likes of Slayer, Twisted Sister, Black Sabbath and many others hanging up their guitar strings and saying goodbye to the millions of people that have been supporting and listening to their music for the last 20, 30, or 40 years.

One band, however, that shows no signs of slowing down are UK rock legends, Def Leppard. Still delivering the goods after over 40 years on the go, they take to the 3 Arena in Dublin for another high octane performance.

Cheap Trick are the openers to the event, and I was quite excited to see them because they’d been a bucket-list live act that has since eluded me. Armed with this sense of wonder at one of the most well-known bands that came from the USA, I was thrilled to finally see them.

As all 5 members took to the stage, with trademark novel guitars in tow, Cheap Trick got stuck in. Frontman Robin Zander has a real “Alice Cooper” thing going on, complete with top-hat and spangled white jacket but it seems that he is sorely disinterested in doing anything other than walking around the stage, and at one time, leans on the speakers mid-song. Now, I do get that the man is no spring chicken, but he just doesn’t seem to want to be there.

There was no real engagement with the crowd, and a golden opportunity to light the place up during “I Want You To Want Me” was missed as the band skipped the part of the song where only the drums play and Zander sings that would have had everyone’s gears greased. I’m sure there’s a reason for it, but it escapes me.

Lead guitarist Rick Nielsen however, seems to be loving it, as he never stops smiling from one minute to the next. Sporting a perfectly square guitar, and at one point, a 5-neck axe, he is seriously involved. That’s the best part of the night so far – Nielsen is giving it socks and remembers that he still loves to do what he does. The final bow out of “Surrender” goes down a smash, but I see people shaking their heads at a lacklustre performance overall. 2/5

Def Leppard are no strangers to Irish shores with a long history of living, recording and gigging here, having in-fact been here only 3 years ago.  Tonight, the band is bringing their infamous “Hysteria” album under their collective arms, and break it across our heads.

Playing it in its entirety, “Hysteria” has been hailed as one of the greatest rock albums of all time, and is still selling to this day, despite coming out in the early 1980s. It has aged well, and still rocks the house whenever I hear “Pour Some Sugar On Me”, or “Animal”.

Frontman Joe Elliott is his usual upbeat and gracious self, acknowledging the audience and generally being a dude onstage. Shredder Vivian Campbell is still the monster he always was and never stops moving. Drummer Rick Allen sports a very snazzy pair of glittery headphones that you can see from space. The perma-permed bassist Rick Savage bounces all over the stage and stands on the speakers for an eagle-eyed view of the audience for ‘Gods of War’.

The lighting for the show is as always, absorbing and the sound is perfectly timed. This is a testament to how well the band works together, and it is obvious by watching them move together onstage. Guitarist Phil Collen does his usual thing of showing off the chest that is the envy of the gym-going workaholics that like their greasy food and occasional pint of plain (I include myself in that cohort).

So “Hysteria” kicks off with ‘Women’, ‘Rocket’, and ‘Animal’ the atmosphere is electric here. Each person is banging the heads, dancing and pumping their fist in the air. Elliott works his magic with his bandmates, igniting the night for everyone’s enjoyment. The visuals pretty much stick to the image of an old TV with clips of Richard Nixon, Ziggy Stardust, the Apollo launch and a host of other 70’s era media coverage.

There is a touching moment with a clip of original guitarist Stephen Clarke performing with Leppard back in the 80s (Clarke tragically died in 1991 in London from alcohol poisoning).

The Leppard throw us 2 songs never before played in Dublin (‘Don’t Shoot Shotgun’ and ‘Excitable’), and the audience erupts in appreciation when Elliott makes the declarations that they weren’t played there before. As the night goes on, the hits keep coming, and the singalong ‘When Love & Hate Collide’ that goes hand-in-hand with ’Rock of Ages’ and ‘Photograph’.

It’s a typical Def Leppard gig: the lads let the music do the talking, and it’s louder than any speech. As the night draws to a close, we are reminded “If you don’t forget us, we won’t forget you!” All 5 men take a bow front and centre on the end of the walkway protruding from the centre stage and bid us goodnight. This was another absolutely fantastic gig with nostalgia and good times throughout. The event is over by 11 pm – but in Dublin on a Saturday night, that’s only early. 4/5


01 – Women

02 – Rocket

03 – Animal

04 – Love Bites

05 – Pour Some Sugar On Me

06 – Armageddon It  (Steve Clark Guitar Solo)

07 – Gods Of War

08 – Don’t Shoot Shotgun – (First time in Dublin)

09 – Run Riot

10 – Hysteria

11 – Excitable – (First time in Dublin)

12 – Love And Affection

13 – Action

14 – When Love & Hate Collide

15 – Let’s Get Rocked

16 – Rock Of Ages

17 – Photograph