Sunday, July 2, 2017

DEF LEPPARD - High 'n' Dry [Japan SHM-CD miniLP] Out Of Print

DEF LEPPARD - High 'n' Dry [Japan SHM-CD miniLP] Out Of Print - full

Warming up for the upcoming Hysteria huge reissue, here's more DEF LEPPARD classics in a high quality Japanese SHM-CD pressing. Now we have the out of print "High 'n' Dry", the band's second studio record, and guitarist Pete Willis' last full-time album with Def Leppard.

Before Def Leppard sold 25 million copies of Hysteria, even before they sold 10 million units of Pyromania, they recorded an album many devoted fans consider their very best: 1981’s pivotal "High ‘n’ Dry".
It didn’t earn platinum certification until more than a decade later, but "High ‘n’ Dry" is where Def Leppard came of age and established their signature sound, under the helpful tutelage of super producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange.

Def Leppard matures on their second release. A lot. Certainly the presence of world-class producer "Mutt" Lange helped the group out, but they were maturing as songwriters and as musicians regardless. This is without a doubt one of their strongest albums, and it also happens to rock the harder than anything before or after it.
Indeed "High ‘n’ Dry" feels sharper and with more determination than the previous On Through The Night, and has much more energy than any of the more commercial albums that came after. Pete Willis seemed to have been the force keeping these guys rocking hard, with ballsy solos and a metallic edge.

The sound quality of the album is superb and fits the style. The presence of Mike Shipley (engineer) and Lange is more than welcome at this point, the guitars have much more mid-range power than on the debut, the drums thump, and you can actually hear Rick Savage's bass in the mix.
Not to mention Joe Elliot has greatly improved as a singer. His voice has matured and has also adopted a more gravel based rock style. This new level of vocal perfection is most likely because of the addition of Lange and his meticulous detail of perfection in all aspects of the making of an album.
Coming between Lange's productions of Back In Black and For Those About To Rock We Salute You, this album has an obvious AC/DC influence.

"Another Hit and Run", the killer "No No No" and "On Through The Night" (the song, not the album) are the heaviest tracks this band would ever record. "Another Hit and Run" is a heavy, very angry response to the criticism that their debut received. Catchy hard riffs dominate the verses with a loud shout chorus to climax that anger. There's a soft breakdown in the bridge that just fits the song and adds to the dynamics, giving it the chance to crash into the chorus which is the climax of the song.
"On Through The Night" sounds like nothing released on the previous album of the same name, it rocks hard fast and never lets up.

The album also has one of the band's best ballads in "Bringin' On The Heartbreak". The only instrumental on the early Leppard albums "Switch 625" is not technically astounding, but it is melodically pleasing and has a nice build of intensity, their best instrumental by default really.
Title track "High ‘n’ Dry" is another favorite, where Elliott pull out some killer lead vocals and love the drum sound courtesy of Rick Allen. This is British hard rock 101 at its finest.
The other songs as a whole are very high quality rockers delivered with power, energy, hunger, and a looseness that this band would never match again, in favor to their equally awesome upcoming multi-layered melodic rock formula.

DEF LEPPARD - High 'n' Dry [Japan SHM-CD miniLP] Out Of Print - back

Following the success of Pyromania, the album re-entered in the US chart and reached No. 72 in 1983, being reissued on 31 May 1984 with two bonus tracks: "Bringin' On The Heartbreak (Remix)", essentially the same recording with a few synthesizer overdubs akin the 'new' Def Lepp sound.
The other is "Me & My Wine (Remix)", a remixed version of a 1981 B-side, a fun song that doesn't really fit the style of the album but where the band seems to be having a good time and letting loose.

Every song on "High ‘n’ Dry" rocks hard (even the ballad has pulse), and delivers the goods with catchy riffs and strong melodic hooks that were missing from the debut. Def Leppard's hardest rocking album is also one of their strongest. It shows a young and hungry band whose vision was yet untainted with looming commercial desires.
"High ‘n’ Dry" never was remastered... but this SHM-CD sounds really good, perhaps the best version you can get of this rocking album.
HIGHLY Recommended

Universal Japan ~UICY-93451

01 - Let It Go
02 - Another Hit And Run
03 - High'N'Dry [Saturday Night]
04 - Bringin' On The Heartbreak
05 - Switch 625
06 - You Got Me Runnin'
07 - Lady Strange
08 - On Through The Night
09 - Mirror, Mirror [Look Into My Eyes]
10 - No No No
11 - Bringin' On The Hearbreak [Remix]
12 - Me & My Wine [Remix]

Joe Elliott – lead vocals
Steve Clark – guitars, backing vocals
Pete Willis – guitars, backing vocals
Rick Savage – bass, backing vocals
Rick Allen – drums, backing vocals

Out Of Print



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