Tag: Brian May

Tunes for Tuesday: Hysteria

Def Leppard is an English rock group formed in Sheffield in 1977and is considered part of the new wave of British heavy metal. Since 1992, Def Leppard has consisted of Joe Elliott (lead vocals), Rick Savage (bass, backing vocals), Rick Allen (drums, backing vocals), Phil Collen (guitars, backing vocals), and Vivian Campbell (guitars, backing vocals). This line-up has been the band’s longest-running. And, these boys don’t fool around.

Foolin

The band’s most significant commercial success came between the early 1980s and the early 1990s. Their 1981 album, High ‘n’ Dry, was produced by Mutt Lange, who helped them begin to define their style, and the album’s leading track, “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak” became one of the first rock videos played on MTV in 1982.

Bringin’ on the Heartbreak (Version 1)

Many like to compliment the vocal harmonic genius of other groups such as Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Queen, The Mamas & the Papas, or The Beach Boys. And nobody would argue they are not great all great. However, Def Leppard put out a lot of music with terrific vocal harmonies as well. I think it mostly went unrecognized because, well, it is British metal after all. Metal doesn’t harmonize … does it?

Photograph

As one of the world’s best-selling rock music artists, Def Leppard has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, and have two albums with RIAA diamond certification, they are Pyromania and Hysteria.

Near the end of recording the album Hysteria, during a production break, lead singer Joe Elliott was jamming with a riff he had come up with two weeks earlier on an acoustic guitar. Producer Mutt Lange, expressing great liking of it, suggested that it be developed into another song. That riff went on to become a song that could instantly transform the shyest, most introverted, prim and proper young lady into an amazingly sexy pole dancer wannabe.

Pour Some Sugar On Me

Some of you may have noticed that in the earlier videos, the drummer had two arms. On December 31, 1984, drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm in a car crash on the A57 in the hills near the band’s home city of Sheffield.

Allen and his Dutch girlfriend, Miriam Barendsen, were in his Corvette when it swerved off the road on a sharp bend and went through a drystone wall. Despite the severity of the accident, Allen was determined to continuing his role as Def Leppard’s drummer. and realized that he could use his legs to do some of the drumming work previously done with his arms.

All the members of the band supported Allen’s recovery efforts and never sought a replacement. Allen was given a separate studio to practice his new drums. After a few months, the band gathered together to hear Allen perform the intro to the Led Zeppelin version of “When The Levee Breaks.” His progress was amazing. Allen’s comeback was announced at the 1986 Monsters of Rock festival in England, with an emotionally charged ovation after Rick Allen’s reintroduction by Joe Elliott.

Hysteria

On 9 October 2018, Def Leppard received an induction nomination from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In addition to the 1,000 members of the Hall of Fame voting committee, the general public also had an opportunity to participate in the “Fan Vote”.

On 13 December 2018, Def Leppard was named in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019. The band won the Klipsch Audio Fan Vote, beating 14 other nominees with 547,647 general public votes (119,803 and 28% more than second vote receiver Stevie Nicks.

Not everybody realizes that these guys are not just crowd-pleasers. They also embody such amazing technical excellence. They have it all. I regard all these guys as great friends and kind of part of my family, that’s why it’s so important for me to be here. I wouldn’t have let anybody else do this.

Brian May, inducting Def Leppard into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In 2001, Hysteria – The Def Leppard Story, a made for television movie, was released. I have seen it a couple of time. It’s not too bad for a rock documentary.

Anyway, I will sum it up by saying these guys from Sheffield, England were a pretty damn fantastic rock band, with some real musical talent, and under-appreciated vocal harmonies. Are you getting it?

Armageddon it (Live)

If you’ve got any Rock and Roll Soul, please take a few minutes and check out some of my other Tunes for Tuesday blog posts by clicking here!

And also, if you enjoy reading a good action-adventure story, check out my new novel, Montagnard, on Amazon.com! It’s getting really rave reviews.

Tunes for Tuesday: Queen

Queen was a British rock band formed in London in 1970. They went on to become one of the most commercially successful musical acts of all time. Queen consisted of Brian May (Guitar, Vocals), Roger Taylor (Drums, Vocals), John Deacon (Bass), and Freddie Mercury (Lead Vocals, Piano). Their earliest works were influenced by progressive rock, hard rock, and heavy metal. The band gradually ventured into a more conventional and radio-friendly format by incorporating further styles, such as arena rock and pop-rock.

Somebody to Love (Official Video)

I saw Queen at the Providence Civic Center in Providence, Rhode Island in 1980. That was one of the very best concerts I have ever seen, and I have seen a lot of ever seens!

Bohemian Rhapsody (Wembley, 1986)

As I often seem to find, I do like the earlier Queen when their music had less of a pop feel too it. That is just the rocker in me. I mean, hey, I still like to hear a little cowbell now and again. But while the later stuff may not be my cup of tea, sound-wise, you cannot argue with its success and musical genius.

Tie Your Mother Down (Montreal, 1981)

Live Aid, 1985

At the Live Aid concert held at Wembley on July 13, 1985, Queen performed some of their greatest hits in front of the largest-ever TV audience of 1.9 billion viewers. The sold-out stadium audience of 72,000 people were thoroughly entranced by the band’s performance. The show’s organizers, Bob Geldof and Midge Ure; along with other musicians, such as Elton John, Cliff Richard, and Dave Grohl; and journalists writing for the BBC, CNN, Rolling Stone, MTV, and The Telegraph, among others, later described Queen as the highlight band of the event.

We Will Rock You (Montreal, 1981)

In the late 80s, fans began to notice Mercury’s increasingly gaunt appearance. The media started to report that Freddie Mercury was seriously ill, with AIDS frequently mentioned as a likely illness. Mercury denied this, insisting he was merely “exhausted” and too busy to provide interviews. Mercury had, in fact, been diagnosed as HIV positive in 1987; however, he shared this knowledge with only his inner circle of friends and colleagues.

I Want It All (1989)

The Mercury Phoenix Trust

After Freddie Mercury died in 1991, The Mercury Phoenix Trust was founded by Brian May, Roger Taylor, and their manager Jim Beach in memory of their friend and colleague.

While AIDS is not in the news as often these days, it is still a problem in many countries, especially in Africa. In the last 21 years, the Trust has given away over 17 million dollars in Freddie Mercury’s name and funded over 1000 projects in the global battle against HIV/AIDS.

And while there may be a few factual inaccuracies, the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, released in 2018, is well worth your time. I was reluctant to watch it at first but finally did. I was very pleasantly surprised.

It was very well done. Rami Malek did a fantastic job portraying Freddie Mercury, and the film earned five Oscar nominations including one for best picture and a best actor for Malek.

I hope you will take the time to check out some of my other posts by clicking here!