Saturday, July 20, 2013

Def Leppard - High 'n' Dry, 1981

The way I see it, there are bands growing up during their careers and there are bands aging. (Clearly with all possible scenarios in between) For a long time I perceived Def Leppard strictly as a growing up kind, who literally started as kids and were absorbing life's lessons from album to album. And this way I should have probably begun with Slang – another listed album of theirs, which I personally perceive as a peak in their recording history.

However, I'm choosing to save that for another post and to sing anthem for youth rather than wisdom today. I guess it took me to pass a certain stage in my own ongoing growing up to suddenly reevaluate their early records as a quintessence of energy and sincerity – essentially the youth. And the brightest of the earliest has always been High 'n' Dry to me.

Second out of three first albums - the Pete Willis era, who was the main songwriter at the time and got fired during the recording of Pyromania (first out of two lineup changes Def Leppard had ever had). The sound of albums following Pyromania has changed a lot, but out of these first three High 'n' Dry is my sure preference. The reason being melodism: while being far from the “most melodic album” nomination in general, it would definitely win it out of the early Leppard records. While at the same time preserving the energy and that charming touch of naivety showing through unbreakably strong band’s voice.

Starting in an action manner and finding a comfy pace of fast and slow songs interleaved down the playlist, the sound of High 'n' Dry is becoming perceived both hard and smooth at the same time. And be sure to get a release featuring Me & My Wine as a bonus track – the guys were in the perfect spot to write and sing about hangovers.


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