CD Review: Def Leppard

Def Leppard
Bludgeon Riffola/Island/UME
By David Chiu

For a group that emerged during the new wave of British metal (i.e. Judas Priest), the members of Def Leppard were mainly influenced by pop and glam rock of its youth in the ‘70s. Yeah! is the band paying tribute to those influences with sincerity and vigor. Quite surprisingly and refreshingly, the selections are not the obvious hits but ones that are not often covered as T.Rex’s “20th Century Boy,” David Bowie’s “Drive-In Saturday,” ELO’s “10538 Overture,” Roxy Music’s “Street Life,” and the obscure John Kongos’ “I’m Gonna Step On You Again” (I’ve never heard of the song). Even longtime guitarist Phil Collen takes a rare lead vocal, sounding very much like Rod Stewart on the Faces’ “Stay With Me.” The band treats the songs to the letter pretty much and the sound is very lean minus the oomph and thump of their Mutt Lange-era recordings. Hopefully in a couple of years bands influenced by the Leps will treat their heroes with the same respect as the veteran Sheffield rockers has done with theirs.


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