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14 August 2008 @ 04:56 pm
Song of the Week #23 - Def Leppard "Love"  
From the new album, Songs from the Sparkle Lounge, Def Leppard: "Love"

Ok, let's get the history out of the way first.

*Was Def Leppard my first favorite band? Yes.
*Did the song "Photograph" have a tremendous impact on my life? Yes. It's why I do what I do today. It's why music plays such a large role in my life. One riff and five guys from Sheffield. That was my Beatles on Sullivan moment - that video on MTV in early 1983.
*Did I ask my Dad when I was 9 if I could legally change my name to Phil Collen? Yes. He told me once I was 18 that I could. Great way to avoid an argument and he knew I'd grow out of it - man what a smart move!

Now I'm tripping down Leppard memory lane...
*Friday Night Video Fights on MTV where "Rock of Ages" was a perennial winner.
*The Circus magazine 18-page special issue and the almost flight to NY.
*Countless hours spent with my brother re-enacting videos in our room (Me as Phil and he as Joe). Thanks to my Dad for a splendid job on the wooden Ibanez guitar.
*The anticipation when MTV premiered the return of Leppard with the "Women" video and our first glimpse of Rick's one-armed drumming.
*Grilling my brother the night after he saw them on 7/23/1988 in Weedsport, NY about each and every detail of the show.
*Collecting all those great 7" singles that created a puzzle of the album cover.
*The frustration of static-filled reception as I recorded the nationally broadcast Definitive Def Leppard Radio Show on the night "Armageddon It" was released as a single (Nov. 88).
*The pure bliss of sitting in front of the TV for the two days following that radio broadcast for MTV's Def Leppard weekend and the premiere of the "Armageddon It" video plus interviews and videos all weekend long!
*How many hours did I spend in the summer of '88 watching the Hysteria video over and over, and then the following fall when I bought 'In the Round In Your Face' on my brother's b-day.
*I left a message for my brother the night that Steve Clark died (Jan 8, 1991) and came home from school during lunch the following day and listened to his daily college radio show where he played a string of Leppard songs and remember crying as he played "Hysteria." That song has held special meaning for me ever since. I'm a teetotaler due in large part to Steve.
*Adrenalize was released my senior year of high school and as friends around me were discovering this band from Seattle with a tune called "Smells Like Teen Spirit," I was all about the Lep.
*Watching them play for the first time with Vivian at the Freddie Mercury tribute show in April of 1992...where I discovered my first love for Queen as well.
*Finally seeing my first Leppard show on October 28, 1992 at the Knick Arena in Albany - I recorded the show....I'm sure it sounds horrible now, but I listened to it non-stop for weeks.
*Tour Manager Malvin Mortimer giving me a big break and letting me photograph an extra song in Syracuse on the 1999 Euphoria tour when I had camera trouble.
*Finding a goldmine of 15 UK, Japan, European CD singles at a used shop in Albany a couple years ago and gobbling them all up.
*Hearing "Promises" both on the way to my first TW interview and then immediately after my hiring interview on WPYX.
*Tearing ligaments in my ankle immediately after shooting them at the Pepsi on X tour - I threw down cash at the box office an hour before the show for a 5th row Phil Collen side ticket, (my best seat in 6 Lep shows) I wasn't going to let some silly ligaments keep me from that seat!

Oh, but wait, isn't there a song I'm supposed to introduce here or something? Right, from their new album, Songs from the Sparkle Lounge, comes the very Queen-influenced track, "Love." Check out the beautiful Brian May-like guitar solo, the drama and grandeur of early '70s Queen records like I and II. Another band and you might think it's a rip-off, but from Leppard it's a homage to one of the best groups ever to record music and they do it in great style; the layered harmonies, the dramatic segues, bold chords, and direction changes.

More great tracks from the new album:
Come Undone

Classic Must Hear Leppard:
Hysteria (acoustic Phil & Joe)

Bringin' on the Heartbreak live 1988
3:47 - the vocal change from the studio version is brilliant
4:40 - amazing concert moment - at no decibel level is this too loud
5:10 - Go Joe!