Def Leppard’s Crazy New Idea: Let’s Sound Like Def Leppard

I’m not writing this post to pick on Def Leppard in spite of their callously screwing up a Mother’s Day for me back in 2009. I’m pretty much over that now and really, most of that can be pinned squarely on Aerosmith anyway. No, I’m writing this to sort of pick on Def Leppard because I find this bit of hype for their semi-new song kind of funny.

Speaking with Billboard about the new album, guitarist Phil Collen said of the upcoming LP, “It’s the freest, most liberating thing we’ve ever done. It’s the first time we’ve ever done an album where there weren’t any constraints. We didn’t have a record company or an executive at a label going, ‘OK, we need this, we need that’ or ‘OK, the concept of the album is gonna be blah, blah, blah…’ It was the first time we were allowed to be an artist, going back to the Zeppelin, Beatles, Bowie, Stones thing. When the Stones did ‘Wild Horses’ and ‘Brown Sugar,’ they just had some great ideas and were like, ‘Oh shit, we want to go record this,’ so they did. That’s really refreshing. So we pretty much did that and just followed the muse.”

Wow, this could be really interesting. I wonder in what sorts of brave new directions the muse took them. Well, straight into basically every Def Leppard song you’ve ever heard, it turns out.

It’s not bad, it’s not good, it’s just…Def Leppard, only not quite as epic sounding as they were 20 or 30 years ago.

Now to be fair, I’m judging this liberating and free business entirely on the strength of one song. Maybe I’d fire on the rest of the album and wonder who the hell it is I’m listening to. But still, if you’re going to make a statement like that, releasing a single that might prove your point would have maybe been a good idea, especially since you’ve presumably got the freedom to do so.

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