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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Record Reviews > Def Leppard

MUSIC REVIEWS

Def Leppard-Yeah! (Island)

For their first all-covers CD, these 80s metal heads surprise by avoiding the obvious classic rock influences – Led Zep, Cream, the Who – and instead turn out to be closet glam rock freaks with a few other surprises up their sleeves. 

It all makes sense when you read the band’s liner notes about growing up in 70s England, addicted to Top of the Pops.

This CD was previewed by their single last year of Badfinger's “No Matter What,” which is also present here in a slightly remixed version and is as the band suggests, a near perfect song.  They also do a rocking version of T-Rex’s “20th Century Boy” and impress with pulling out Roxy Music’s “Street Life,” not only a good song but rather low down in that band’s songbook as a tune likely to be chosen for a cover.

They also slip in a little punk with a cool cover of Blondie’s “Hanging on the Telephone.”  There is some odd rock soul, John Kongas’ “She’s Gonna Step on You Again,” which was covered by the Happy Mondays (as "Step On '91") in Def’s heyday and also became possibly the most sampled song in hip hop, with its distinct yelping background anchoring Rob Base and EZ Rock’s “It Takes Two,” Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” and many others.  Probably the prettiest song here is a slightly muscled up cover of the Kinks’ classic Brit Pop winsome beauty “Waterloo Sunset.”

However, some of these choices are a little odd.  Come on, couldn’t they come up with a better Electric Light Orchestra song than “10538 Overture?”  Also, no matter how often people try to ram it down my throat; I still don’t get David Essex’s “Rock On.” 

Overall, though, Yeah! is a fun tribute to Def Leppard’s roots.  (6/06)

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright © 2006 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.  Posted: June 5, 2006.

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Copyright © 2006 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.  Posted: June 5, 2006.

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