Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Def Leppard

  • Pyromania [Mercury, 1983] C
  • Hysteria [Mercury, 1987] C
  • Adrenalize [Mercury, 1992] Dud
  • Vault 1980-1995: Def Leppard Greatest Hits [Mercury, 1995] Dud

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Pyromania [Mercury, 1983]
Fuckin' right there's a difference between new heavy metal and old heavy metal. The new stuff is about five silly beats-per-minute faster. And the new lead singers sound not only "free" and white, but also more or less twenty-one. C

Hysteria [Mercury, 1987]
You know about the music, and if you don't think you'll like it you won't: impeccable pop metal of no discernible content, it will inspire active interest only in AOR programmers and the several million addicts of the genre. In short, it's product--but as product, significant, because it's product for the CD age. Stuck with over an hour of material after four years (after all, could twelve songs be any shorter?), they elected to put it all on one disc because as technocrats they instinctively conceive for formats that can accommodate an hour of music: cassettes, which now outsell vinyl discs, and CDs, which outdollar them. The cassette sound is a little too dim, as commercial cassette sound usually is, and though I sometimes find myself preferring the depth of the vinyl once I've turned my amp up to six or seven, the clarity of the CD gets more and more decisive as the needle approaches the outgroove. I mean, I have trouble perceiving these guys as human beings under ideal circumstances. Not docked a notch because at least they didn't pad it into a double. C

Adrenalize [Mercury, 1992] Dud

Vault 1980-1995: Def Leppard Greatest Hits [Mercury, 1995] Dud