Written By Braddon S. Williams
Def Leppard: High “N” Dry
Once upon a time, Def Leppard was a young, up and coming contender in the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM). Their second album, High ‘N’ Dry (1981), was a raw slice of AC/DC influenced bare knuckles rock, with plenty of throat rattling screams from lead vocalist Joe Elliot, twin lead guitar rampages courtesy of Steve Clark and Pete Willis, and the solid foundation of Rick Savage’s bass and the 2 armed drumming of Rick Allen. Big-time producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange foreshadowed the superstardom that awaited his young charges with the power ballad Bringin’ On The Heartbreak, but the rest of the album was pure, in your face heavy rock.
The title song was a ripper, as was the opening track, Let It Go. Other prime contenders were On Through The Night, No No No, Another Hit And Run, Lady Strange, and the badass instrumental Switch 625.
Of course, Def Leppard went on to astronomical success with their next several albums, but for me, High ‘N’ Dry was where that youthful exuberance and hell bent for leather attitude was at its peak.
I count myself extremely lucky to have witnessed this version of the band open for Ozzy Osbourne (with Randy Rhoads) just over a month after this album was released.