Def Leppard Week continues with a look at some of the band’s finest early work on seven inch vinyl. Raiding the rushonrock archives, we’ve found a trio of top tunes spanning the first six years of the Sheffield band’s existence – a period which saw them go from South Yorkshire club band to US arena fillers.
Check out the pre-Hysteria artwork, the early stab at meeting friends and influencing people from across the Pond and even a sleeve missing the band’s famous logo. Enjoy.
Wasted b/w Hello America (1979)
Leppard’s first single followed the band’s debut EP and featured what is still one of the band’s finest songs to date.
Wasted might not have made the cut by the time Mutt Lange was crafting the band into stadium stars but as a slice of classic NWOBHM it can’t be beaten.
We’re not sure about Joe Elliott’s camp pose and Leo Sayer-esque perm and poor Rick Allen’s face is completely indistinguishable behind his drum kit. And of course this was before the band had settled on its now iconic angular logo.
Hello America b/w Good Morning Freedom (1980)
Promoted from the B-side of Wasted, this anthemic effort was actually the tune which greeted UK single buyers for the first time, reaching the giddy heights of 45.
Showcasing one of the first versions of the famous Leppard logo (note the unfamiliar ‘f’), the basic but effective artwork is brought to life by the stars and stripes in vivid red, white and blue. If Wasted was the sound of five young men full of teen angst then Hello America hinted at the long-term potential these classy rockers quickly fulfilled.
Photograph b/w Bringin’ On The Heartbreak (1983)
With uber producer Mutt Lange’s fingerprints all over it this was the song which made America sit up and take notice of a British band with an eye on conquering the US.
This neat little version of the seven inch release folds out into a cardboard camera and through the peep hole you can see a smiling Marilyn Monroe – the inspiration for a genuine Leppard classic. A must for any fan and if you can get it on this format then feel very, very good about yourself.