DEF LEPPARD – Adrenalize [Japan SHM-CD new remaster / Limited Release] (2023) *HQ*
A few days ago Universal Music Japan started a new reissue campaign of DEF LEPPARD albums pressed on SHM-CD, a Limited Edition release on miniLP faithfully replicating the album first edition LP in miniature and the original Japanese OBI. This reissue differs from the previous (now sold out) SHM-CD reissues, as features a new remastering.
“Adrenalize” is Def Leppard’s fifth studio album, the first by the band following the death of guitarist Steve Clark. It was produced by Mike Shipley & Def Leppard, with Robert John “Mutt” Lange as executive producer.
We love Def Lepp’s “Adrenalize” for many reasons. First of all, it’s a terrific collection of songs but also had the honor to beat the Grunge clock for more than a year. Released on 31 March 1992, “Adrenalize” debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard chart and peaked at No. 1 on the UK Albums chart.
Def Leppard had always aimed to be a big deal. Their iconic 1987 album, Hysteria, had been a giant of an LP, breaking sales (and length) records, and propelling them to where they’d always wanted to be.
Singer Joe Elliott said of their fourth record, “We set out to be the biggest band in the world. And for a short while, we were.”
The momentum built by the British band had propelled them through the end of the ‘80s and into the ‘90s – but things were different by then. Musical tastes were changing; relied-upon colleagues were looking in other directions, and guitarist Steve Clark was dead. That was the backdrop to what would become Def Leppard’s fifth album, “Adrenalize”.
On Jan. 8, 1991, Clark’s girlfriend found him dead on his sofa. He’d suffered compression of the brain stem the previous day, brought on by alcohol and pills.
Def Leppard had faced tragedy before, most notably the 1984 car crash in which drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm. “Whenever anything negative happens to us, it always pulls us together, personally and musically,” Allen said after Clark’s death. “You batter on with the record and it takes your mind off whatever bad is happening.”
So that’s just what they did, operating as a four-piece, and leaving guitarist Phil Collen to play both his own parts and those of the much-missed Clark. The pair had influenced each other throughout the band’s career, with Collen’s Van Halen style set against Clark’s Jimmy Page influences.
Collen was forced to channel his late bandmate during the sessions. He described it as “the weirdest thing ever.” “It was like talking to a ghost,” he noted. “I’d done my parts, and I’d have to learn Steve’s parts as he played them. Although he didn’t play on it, he did through me. It was schizophrenic; his personality would come through.”
The band had reunited with longtime producer Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange – but there was a new twist. Def Leppard decided to take matters into their own hands and co-produce, along with engineer Mike Shipley, while placing Lange in the role of executive producer.
The result was a killer 10-track Melodic Hard Rock album that spawned seven singles, including three major hits.
There’s killer rockers in ‘Let’s Get Rocked’, the AORish ‘Stand Up [Kick Love Into Motion]’, ‘I Wanna Touch U’, the swagerin ‘Personal Property’ and while Elliott described the lyrics for ‘Make Love Like a Man’ as ‘too stupid’ after they attempted to deliver a tongue-in-cheek portrayal of “macho”, the single become a hit.
You find here as well the hit power ballad ‘Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad’, another superb tune from the Def Lepp craft.
While we like all tracks, our absolute favorites are ‘Tonight’ and ‘White Lightning’, easily among my 10 best Def Leppard songs. ‘Tonight’ is the perfect midtempo Melodic Rock song in the genre’s book, then ‘White Lightning’ is dedicated to the memory of Clark (as the entire album). This track started off as a Clark-Collen collaboration but eventually became a song about the band’s fallen comrade. Love it.
“Adrenalize” was the last time Lange worked with the band, and it turned out to be the last album categorized as “glam metal” to achieve No. 1 chart success before the musical revolution of the early ‘90s.
It sold more than three million copies in the U.S. during its first two months on sale. It kept Bruce Springsteen’s Human Touch off the top spot, while the Boss’ simultaneous release Lucky Town got to third position. It was also the last Def Leppard album to achieve large-scale mainstream success.
Yeah, we know most of you already has a copy of this album in one way or another. Anyway, let me tell you this new Japanese SHM-CD sound million bucks.
A MUST HAVE
ＵＮＩＶＥＲＳＡＬ ＭＵＳＩＣ ＪＡＰＡＮ / ＵＩＣＹ～80347
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01 – Let’s Get Rocked
02 – Heaven Is
03 – Make Love Like A Man
04 – Tonight
05 – White Lightning
06 – Stand Up [Kick Love Into Motion]
07 – Personal Property
08 – Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad
09 – I Wanna Touch U
10 – Tear It Down
Joe Elliott – lead & backing vocals
Phil Collen – guitars
Rick Savage – bass, acoustic guitar on “Tonight”
Rick Allen – drums