Saturday, August 13, 2011

A song a day: Def Leppard - Gods of War

When I was a teenager I loved metal - some heavy, some hair. In my defense I was an idiot but I make no attempt to hide my musical past. In my little town, Sonic Youth was probably the follow up to Debbie Gibson's Electric Youth for all I knew. One album I really loved was Def Leppard's Hysteria - big production, big hair, big songs. Anyhow, I recently took a long train trip and decided to listen to the whole album from beginning to end for the first time in about 24 years. My lord was it terrible. I never realized that the first two songs had basically the same chorus - the two syllable attack of 'WO-MAN!' and 'ROCK-ET!' and lord knows what my sexually inexperienced mind made of the lines 'Legs! Thighs! What's that smell!' (actually, I'm still a little non-plussed by that but every line seems to end with an exclamation mark). Most of it is pretty plodding and uninspiring but obviously my teenage self found something to love in this album. The one track I think which still sounds pretty good is the Gods of War mainly because of a pretty memorable riff and some nice vocal work. I don't mind some falsetto in my rock and Def Leppard's vocal harmonies are always pretty strong, particularly on the chorus here. The song itself is the usual 80's cold war paranoia but what is truly chilling is that they have samples of Reagen and Thatcher at the end of the song. They sound truly crazed and it's amazing any of us survived the 80's at all particularly when you had as bad taste in music as I did back then.


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