DEF LEPPARD – Euphoria [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.
After experimenting with Slang, “Euphoria” aimed to return Def Lepp’s signature sound made famous by the band in the ’80s. Indeed, for most fans “Euphoria” still stands between leaders Hysteria and Pyromania as the band’s best album (I’ll add to that Adrenalize).
There were many interesting things going on in the musical realm at the end of the ’90s as the Rock audience grew bored with the fly by night fads of Grunge and Alternative Rock. Appeared in 1999, “Euphoria” was a breath of fresh air bringing back catchy rhythms, huge choruses and melody to a rock song.
Although produced by Def Leppard with Pete Woodroffe, former producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange collaborated co-writing 3 songs, lent background vocals (as he had on other albums) and even played guitar.
The spirit of Hysteria and Pyromania is all over “Euphoria”, and I love that.
As with all their solid releases, Def Leppard really shines during its harder rocking moments. “Demolition Man” and “Paper Sun” are instant classics that will please fans from all the band’s eras.
“21st Century Sha La La La Girl” is not far behind with some wicked rock riffs and driving atmosphere. The short instrumental “Disintegrate” is a nice little technical surprise from a band that rarely dabbles in such things and showcases the all around talent this group possesses.
And there’s the sweet melodic rockers that only Def Leppard can create.
“Promises” has that recognizable melody / riff, some kind of a variation of Pyromania’s Photograph, while midtempo “Guilty” and its more laid back sister “Goodbye” also could be inserted into the Hysteria album and fit in perfectly.
The huge layered “Back in your Face”, despite its little silly lyrics, it’s a trademark Def Lepp bombastic tune, and one of my favorites.
“I Am Your Child” is the Japanese Bonus Track, and another fine midtempo tune with some Pyromania songwriting feel yet with the Adrenalize sound.
Def Leppard reinvented themselves with “Euphoria” bringing back melody to Rock music and somehow started the end of the dark ages of grunge. The album charted at No. 11 at Billboard and No. 11 as well on the UK Albums Chart, while “Promises” hit the number 1 spot on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Chart, something that never happened in the last 6 years for a melodic rock band.
“Euphoria” is a very good Def Lepp album. It’s not perfect, it’s not original, but if you liked Pyromania and Hysteria this will most likely treat you almost as well as those albums did. This new remaster sounds fabulous on SHM-CD.
ＵＮＩＶＥＲＳＡＬ ＭＵＳＩＣ ＪＡＰＡＮ / ＵＩＣＹ～80350
【ＬＴＤ ＳＨＭ－ＣＤ】 ２０２３
Ｄ Ｅ Ｆ Ｌ Ｅ Ｐ Ｐ Ａ Ｒ Ｄ
01 – Demolition Man
02 – Promises
03 – Back in Your Face
04 – Goodbye
05 – All Night
06 – Paper Sun
07 – It’s Only Love
08 – 21st Century Sha La La La Girl
09 – To Be Alive
10 – Disintegrate
11 – Guilty
12 – Day After Day
13 – Kings of Oblivion
Joe Elliott – lead vocals
Phil Collen – guitar, backing vocals
Vivian Campbell – guitar, backing vocals
Rick “Sav” Savage – bass guitar, backing vocals
Rick Allen – drums
Mutt Lange – add. vocals on 2, 5, add. guitar on 5
Damon Hill – end guitar solo on 1
Ciaran McGoldrick, Gary Sullivan, Ricky Warwick – hey’s and claps on 3