Def Leppard – “High ‘N’ Dry” (1981)

Pyromania was the album that got me into Def Leppard, coming out as it did at the same time that we finally got MTV at my house. I was a big fan of both it and Leppard’s follow-up Hysteria, but for some reason never listened much to their back catalog. “Bringin’ On The Heartbreak” and “High ‘N’ Dry (Saturday Night)” occasionally got some radio airplay back in the day, but this afternoon might be the first time I heard most of the tracks on 1981s High ‘N’ Dry.

I don’t think rock and metal from this era will ever sound old to my ears and these High ‘N’ Dry tracks fall squarely into that period, so needless to say, I love them. Pre-Hysteria Leppard is pure, simple rock without all the fancy production work. It’s almost hard to believe that High ‘N’ Dry and Hysteria were put out by the same band having almost the exact same line-up (with Phil Collen replacing Pete Willis on guitar) and even the same producer. Hysteria has a density that High ‘N’ Dry lacks, and that density was part of the formula that made it such a huge hit across different segments of music fandom while the band’s earlier stuff primarily appealed to dudes who wore denim jackets.

I guess I’m going to have to stay on the lookout for a clean copy of On Through The Night now…