While most of their teen peers were embracing nascent '70s U.K. punk with all the snotty 'tude they could muster, Sheffield's Def Leppard instead infused then-moribund metal with bracing pop smarts. Having long since sold a gazillion or two records with that formula, the '80s superstars pay homage to the eclectic, chart-savvy tastes that spawned it on this collection of covers, recharging their contemporary fortunes a bit in the bargain. Their takes on Me Decade standards like The Faces' "Stay With Me," Badfinger's "No Matter What," and T Rex's "20th Century Boy" may be arguably too faithful, right down to Joe Elliot's often dead-on vocal chameleon routine. But elsewhere they perform some admirable pop archaeology, imparting a darker edge to David Essex's spooky "Rock On" and pumping Blondie's "Hanging on the Telephone," one-hit-wonder John Kongos's riff-fest "He's Gonna Step On You Again," and Sweet's "Hell Raiser" full of patent Lep energy. --Jerry McCulley
。。。が、英国ロックへのオマージュ溢れる「The Songs in the Sparkle Lounge」(2008)を聴いてから、
バリバリのLEPPS流な、tr. 1 (T. REX), tr. 5 (SWEET)！
じっくり聴ける、tr. 4 (THE KINKS), tr. 8 (MOTT THE HOOPLE)
キレ、スピードがあって、想像以上にかっこよかった、tr. 3 (BLONDIE)！ （コレをベストトラックに選ぶ人も多いのでは？）
味のあるボーカル & 独特のGroove・ハモリがいい、tr. 13 (THIN LIZZY)！
ロックの超定番曲、tr. 2 (David Essex)！
「70's Rock 入門のキッカケにも、いいのでは？」と思います。
日本盤は、ボーナストラック「American Girl (Tom Petty & THE HEARTBREAKERS)」「Search & Destroy (Iggy Pop)」収録。
Now sure, the band went on far too long with Robert "Mutt" Lange, but the fact is they carved a particular sound into the rock and roll world that can't be stripped away. I continued to buy their 90's output along with 2002's "X". Most of it was so-so with maybe the exception of 1999's "Euphoria". I still enjoy the "Pyromania" and "Hysteria" era of the band.
"Yeah!" is the band's first album of all cover songs, and what an interesting blend of 70's influences the band members have. I would not have thought they liked some of the artists that they cover. As for the cover versions....they are solid but do not offer an original take. They seem very much like their popular ancestors. In fact, note for note, I found very little difference in their version of T. Rex's "20th Century Boy" or David Essex's "Rock On" (which was also covered by soap star Michael Damian in 1988 from the film "Dream A Little Dream" starring Corey Haim and Corey Feldman. "Hanging On The Telephone" was popularized by Blondie, and I think I like Blondie's version better. The Kink's "Waterloo Sunset" is interesting. I think the band sounds very different here in a good way. I was not familiar with Sweet or "Hellraiser". Sweet was not that popular in America, and so Def Leppard's version I assume is good since I have nothing to compare it with. Electric Light Orchestra's "10538 Overture" is handled well while Roxy Music's "Street Life" is also good.
The second half of the disc was less familiar to me. David Bowie's "Drive In Saturday" was good, and Free's "Little Bit Of Love" sounded identical to the original. Mott The Hoople wasn't that popular in America and neither was Badfinger or John Kongos, but I enjoyed all three of their songs "The Golden Age Of Rock 'N' Roll", "No Matter What" and "He's Gonna Step On You Again", respectively. Thin Lizzy is yet another band that wasn't that popular in America, so again, I assume "Don't Believe A Word" is suitable.
Most surprising to me was Phil Collen's dead-on imitation of Rod Stewart in The Faces' "Stay With Me" which closes the album. The band members poses for different popular 70's album covers is hilarious on the inner sleeve, plus they offer some insight into why they selected each track. All in all, one of the better Leppard albums in the past decade. Let's see how this spills over to a new album of original material......
Such records, more often than not, become an artist's swan song (the examples are WAY too numerous to mention), since they are often the result of a contractual obligation, and many other times, they fortell the impending decline of a band that has little or nothing else to say. Considering that the last release from the Leppard boys WAS a greatest hits, I'd say we SHOULD be worried...I'm hoping I'm wrong, though, 'cause they are one of my fav bands...but to be honest with y'all, I've RARELY been proven wrong about things such as this...Anyway...Artistic worries aside, I think that the record is very good from a musical point of view: I knew the vast majority of these songs,as well as the artist that originally performed them beforehand (although I must admit that I'd never heard of John Kongos before...), and the end results are great!
The album is great because, in my humble opinion, it succeeds in doing 3 critical things: 1)the new versions remain true to the spirit and emotion of the originals, which is THE most difficult thing to do when making a cover (how many HORRORS have we had to endure because of this very issue? too many to count...)2)the songs, while being covers, also show the inprint of the band's own personality 3)the trademark sound of the band is preserved, while at the same time it is updated, in other words, this doesn't sound like "Hysteria", but you can immediately tell that this is Def Leppard.
Personally, I enjoy cover albums (The Spaghetti Incident, Acid Eaters, etc), and 13 years ago thanks to GN'R, I ended up discovering a myriad of great bands thanks to their own cover album: being a diehard, i took time to read ALL the liner notes, including their last message "do yourself a favor,go get the originals." The Leps don't actually say as much, but I think the message is implied in their own liner notes as well. Who knows? Maybe this will spark a new wave of interest in 70's rock? I think that would be great!
But on to the music: this record IS NOT a glam cover record! (Just as GN'R record WAS NOT a punk cover album...) granted, Sweet, Bowie and T-Rex were definitely glam, but on the other hand, Thin Lizzy, Free, The Kinks and/or Badfinger WERE NOT glam. This is a tribute to their earliest influences, some of which happened to be glam. Most of the songs rock, and they are trully faithful renditions of the originals, with maybe a change here or there. My personal favorites are "Don't Believe a Word" (one of my fav Lizzy songs, and I couldn't be happier with the result), "Waterloo Sunset", "A little bit of Love", "20th Century Boy" (is he by any chance the boyfriend of the "21st Century Sha-la-la-la Girl"?) and "No matter what".
A couple of songs can throw you off a little bit, especially if you're a hard rocker, such as John Kongos "He's gonna step on you again" and Bowie's "Drive-in Saturday". Now, don't get me wrong, they are great, but a little different from the rest of the album. But in the case of Bowie's tune, I feel it is a decidedly improvement over the original, which I never really liked, and I finally realized why: Bowie's delivery is flat and uninspired, the total opposite from Joe Elliott's. Again, don't get me wrong, I don't think it's likely to see Joe win any "best vocalist" accolades for his job here, but I believe he is a great singer and does a great work here.
I only have two more observations: 1)why did they include YET AGAIN "No matter what", which was already On their Greatest Hits package, when they had additional songs to choose from, such as Space Oddity, Search and Destroy, etc??? 2)And how come their version of "Hell Raiser" sounds a little stiff? This is very weird, especially since the Leps had done "Action" 13 years ago for "Retroactive", and their version was by far superior than the original; in this case, the song sounds good, but I guess I'll stick with the original.
All in all, this is a great album, an although I'm not old enough to remember those days (as Sav says), I have been able to greatly enjoy the music from that era. Do yourself a favor and give this record a try, and while you're at it, check out the originals, too!!!