In honor of the recent anniversary of Steve Clark’s death on January 8th, we’d like you to enjoy a full Def Leppard concert from 1984.
Def Leppard‘s 1983 album, Pyromania, was one of the first hard rock/heavy metal albums that I connected with… that is until I started getting my own albums. See, Pyromania was a gift to my mother from my uncle, but I kind of took over ownership. That should tell you what kind of household I was raised in. I still have the vinyl and have never owned this album in any other format.
It’s true that 1987’s Hysteria was Def Leppard’s biggest record, but it’s Pyromania that broke the band. And it was a pivitol album too. It was the last album to feature orginal guitarist Pete Willis on rhythm guitar before he was asked to leave because of his excessive alcohol abuse. Consequently, Pyromania introduced Phil Collen who contributed solos and other parts to the album that hadn’t been recorded yet. It was also the last album on which drummer Rick Allen would have two arms. Perhaps most importantly, Pyromania had famed producer Mutt Lange on board for a second time with Def Leppard and he pushed Joe Elliot’s vocals further than ever before.
In my opinion, Pyromania is Def Leppard’s best album. Although many fans and critics disagree with me, citing either On Through the Night or High ‘n’ Dry as the band’s best. I simply find Pyromania to be their most cohesive and most energetic, and Elliot’s vocals were the best they ever got.
It’s true that Def Leppard faded away in a big way and have yet to call it quites, they became a cliche and ended up being mocked by thousands, but I will argue till my dying breath that they were once one of the best hard rock bands on the scene. Although their sound has strayed far away from their origins, Def Leppard remains one of the bands that pioneered the New Wave of British Heavy Metal genre — stick that in your hat and wear it!
The short live concert included in the player above may not be of the best quality, but I really wanted to focus on the Pyromania era. I think you’ll find that the raw energy in the performance is as pure as the Colombian white stuff. In the video, Def Leppard is playing at the RockPop Festival in Dortmund, Germany, in 1984; other guests included Iron Maiden, Scorpions, Ozzy Osbourne, Quiet Riot, Judas Priest, Krokus, and The Michael Schenker Group. If you’re looking for something with a bigger budget, check out their 1988 concert in Denver.
And if you’re wondering what my first hard rock/heavy metal albums were, Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry and Van Halen – 1984.
Def Leppard – PopRock Festival 1984 Set List:
1. Rock Rock
2. Billy’s Got A Gun
4. Rock of Ages
5. Let It Go
Yell! Magazine’s Concert Series brings you kick-ass live shows to get your party started right and to help you vent your Friday frustrations.
Rock Hard \m/