Classic Rock Bottom

Artist: Def Leppard

Genre: Rock

Nationality: English

Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Member: No

Album: High 'n' Dry

Producer: Robert John "Mutt" Lange

Release Date: July 11, 1981

Running Time: 42:15

RJ's Top 3 Songs: 1. Bringin' On The Heartbreak...2. Lady Strange...3. Mirror, Mirror (Look Into My Eyes)

RIAA Certification: Double Platinum

Peak Billboard Chart Position: #38

Singles: Let It Go/Bringin' On The Heartbreak


Disclaimer: All info that does not reside in my brain is gathered from (mostly because Jon can't stand it). 

For some reason, I have just been absolutely unable to pick something for Album of the Week on my own lately.  So, back to my Facebook question a couple of weeks ago when I asked folks to name a great album.  The first one on the list that hadn't been featured (Cinderella's Night Songs) made an appearance last week.  This week I went to the second album that hasn't been featured here, so, thanks to Scott Gabbert, you get High 'N' Dry by Def Leppard.

My introduction to DL was Pyromania.  It was and still is my favorite DL album.  However, since I purchased this album some years back, it has moved firmly into second place.  This sounds a bit more raw than Pyromania, and a whole helluva lot more raw that Hysteria. The songs are really all fantastic.  I love the way Bringin' On The Heartbreak rolls right into Switch 625, which is one of my all-time favorite instrumentals.  High 'n' Dry (Saturday Night) and Let It Go deserve mention as well.  

Top to bottom, I think this album is great.  Scott thinks this album is great.  What do you think about it?  

Side One:

1. Let It Go

2. Another Hit And Run

3. High 'n' Dry (Saturday Night)

4. Bringin' On The Heartbreak

5. Switch 625

Side Two:

6. You Got Me Runnin'

7. Lady Strange

8. On Through The Night

9. Mirror, Mirror (Look Into My Eyes)

10. No No No

Note: Podsnack is not working for me, so here is a youtube video for the whole album.

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And to this day, Scott thinks this is still Def Leppards best album!

In 1981 I drove a Datsun B-210 - blue, with 4 doors.  Inside of it I installed a cassette deck, stacked on an equalizer, and 4 new speakers.  Jensen I believe was the brand of everything.  I did all the work and it was good.  It was so good that it turned a 4 door Datsun B-210 into a very loud rock and roll machine!  You could hear me coming for blocks...  As a result my car was always the one at the park with the doors and trunk wide open blasting the tunes while we kicked the hackeysack and picked up chicks!  Don't ask questions, just know it worked, and worked well!

But to live this lavish rock and roll high school lifestyle one had to have the best music pumping through the speakers.  And no one ever said no to High N Dry.  It was like an assault from the opening riffs of Let It Go.  Everything was turned up to a hole nutha level - the "HNL" if you will!! It was compared to ACDC mostly, and you could hear that to some degree, mostly in the production, but Mutt was the best producer of the 80's so it was fair warning of what was to come!

Another Hit And Run continued the assault.  And then the title track, which is why I think the ACDC comparisons were made (Well that and Lady Strange), its the one that resembles an ACDC track most.  But still, high quality rock and roll. And then the pre-requisite ballad.  I remember when they ruined this song by adding keyboards to it.  Blasphemy!  Switch 625 was a good excuse to bring out the air geetar - that made the chicks go wild!  Especially if you had a 6 pack of Coors Extra Gold, our drink of choice!  Don't judge it was good beer!

My cassette was so advanced that you didn't even have to turn it over, it would play both sides.  So Side 2 just makes it all better IMO.  They even were ballsy enough to include the title track to their previous record!  No one does that except Zep!  There's no filler here, every song a winner, every song a rocker, and every song still sounds great!

And as for that Datsun?  It had its best days in 81 and 82, succumbing to an unfortunate off-road experience that bent the frame.  Those were the days!!!

I USED to think, that this is Leppards best album. In fact, I did that for maybe 25 years or more.

But the last few years, I believe, that Pyromania, not only being their greatest album, but also their best.

But High'N'Dry is a VERY close second.

I was supposed to have seen Leppard live months BEFORE they released this album, in the spring of '81, as support to Rainbow on their "Difficult To Cure"-tour, but when we arrived at the show, we learned that Leppard had cancelled. It was actually Leppard I was looking forward to. Rainbow was just a bonus. They were okay, but seemed like an old band. I was there to see a young fresh band, on their way to the very top, and at the time, they had only released "On Through The Night", off course. But I got to see Leppard on their Pyromania- and Hysteria-tours in '83 and '88. The Pyromania-show was a total classic!! Still I wish I'd seen them with Pete Willis on guitar as well.

I knew, I was in for a treat, when I learned, that Mutt Lange should produce High'N'Dry. I had noticed Lange as producer on some of my favorite albums in the late 70's, by City Boy and The Boomtown Rats.

This is Def Leppard's best album, hands down. Not overproduced, just down and dirty rock. I just wish the remix of "Bringin' On The Heartbreak" was never done, but am thankful someone didn't go back and remix this whole album. "Pyromania" is the second best, but that over production starting creeping in. This is a solid, HUNGRY album from top to bottom.    


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