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Def Leppard|Drastic Symphonies

Drastic Symphonies

Def Leppard, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

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As on their 2006 covers album Yeah!, British hard rock giants Def Leppard make a surprisingly enjoyable meal out of what is usually a predictable exercise. Drastic Symphonies is not an album of new material, nor even entirely new recordings. A collaboration with London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, it's a symphonic reimagining of 16 career-spanning songs, including well-known hits and a smattering of deep cuts. Blending their original multi-track recordings with new overdubs to fit the theme, Drastic Symphonies is a pastiche of new and old ideas that, more often than not, reflects the sturdy pop construction on which their career was built. There was always a bit of romantic grandeur to Def Leppard's strain of lush glam metal, especially on early classics like "Too Late for Love" and "Bringin' On the Heartbreak," both of which get full orchestral treatment here. Joe Elliott, still in fine voice, can often be heard singing new leads atop the giant stacks of Mutt Lange-produced harmonies that became their '80s hallmark. Some songs are significantly altered, with only the occasional guitar solo poking out, while others sound very close to their original mixes, albeit with a bit of melodic sweetening from one of the world's great orchestras. The dense and swirling "Paper Sun," from 1999's Euphoria, is a highlight, punching up Def Leppard's original into something more thrilling and cinematic, and their 1987 smash "Animal" is practically built for the kind of pomp it receives here. Of course, any project like this is a mixed bag, and ironically, their biggest hit is Drastic Symphonies' biggest misfire. Naturally, they had to include "Pour Some Sugar on Me," but its stripped-down romantic duet arrangement falls flat without its glammy fizz. Overall, though, the band comes off much better than expected.

© Timothy Monger /TiVo

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Drastic Symphonies

Def Leppard

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1
Turn To Dust
00:05:29

Robert Ziegler, Conductor, MainArtist - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Rhodes, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe LaPorta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Phil Collen, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Eric Gorfain, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Nick Patrick, Producer - Ronan McHugh, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Craig Pruess, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Vivian Patrick Campbell, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Elliott, Vocals, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Pete Woodruff, Producer - Rick Allen, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Rick Savage, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Def Leppard, MainArtist - Ian Maclay, Orchestra Contractor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2023 Bludgeon Riffola Limited

2
Paper Sun
00:05:33

Robert Ziegler, Conductor, MainArtist - Pete Woodroffe, ComposerLyricist - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Rhodes, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe LaPorta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Phil Collen, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Eric Gorfain, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Nick Patrick, Producer - Ronan McHugh, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Vivian Patrick Campbell, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Joe Elliott, Vocals, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Richard Savage, ComposerLyricist - Pete Woodruff, Producer - Rick Allen, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Rick Savage, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Def Leppard, MainArtist - Ian Maclay, Orchestra Contractor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2023 Bludgeon Riffola Limited

3
Animal
00:04:03

Robert John "Mutt" Lange, Producer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Robert Ziegler, Conductor, MainArtist - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Rhodes, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe LaPorta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Phil Collen, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Eric Gorfain, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Nick Patrick, Producer - Ronan McHugh, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Elliott, Vocals, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Richard Savage, ComposerLyricist - Rick Allen, Drums, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Rick Savage, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Def Leppard, MainArtist - Stephen Maynard Clark, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ian Maclay, Orchestra Contractor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2023 Bludgeon Riffola Limited

4
Pour Some Sugar On Me
00:05:26

Robert John "Mutt" Lange, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Robert Ziegler, Conductor, MainArtist - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Rhodes, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe LaPorta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Phil Collen, ComposerLyricist - Eric Gorfain, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Nick Patrick, Producer - Ronan McHugh, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Elliott, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Richard Savage, ComposerLyricist - Def Leppard, MainArtist - Stephen Maynard Clark, ComposerLyricist - Ian Maclay, Orchestra Contractor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Emm Gryner, String Arranger, Piano, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Russ Mackay, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2023 Bludgeon Riffola Limited

5
Hysteria
00:05:56

Robert John "Mutt" Lange, Producer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Robert Ziegler, Conductor, MainArtist - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Rhodes, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe LaPorta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Phil Collen, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Eric Gorfain, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Nick Patrick, Producer - Ronan McHugh, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Elliott, Vocals, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Richard Savage, ComposerLyricist - Rick Allen, Drums, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Rick Savage, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Def Leppard, MainArtist - Stephen Maynard Clark, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ian Maclay, Orchestra Contractor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2023 Bludgeon Riffola Limited

6
Love Bites
00:06:41

Robert John "Mutt" Lange, Producer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Robert Ziegler, Conductor, MainArtist - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Rhodes, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe LaPorta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Phil Collen, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Eric Gorfain, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Nick Patrick, Producer - Ronan McHugh, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Elliott, Vocals, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Richard Savage, ComposerLyricist - Rick Allen, Drums, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Rick Savage, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Def Leppard, MainArtist - Stephen Maynard Clark, Guitar, Additional Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ian Maclay, Orchestra Contractor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2023 Bludgeon Riffola Limited

7
Goodbye For Good This Time
00:04:26

Robert Ziegler, Conductor, MainArtist - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Rhodes, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe LaPorta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Phil Collen, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Eric Gorfain, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Mike Garson, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Nick Patrick, Producer - Ronan McHugh, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Vivian Patrick Campbell, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Elliott, Vocals, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Rick Allen, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Rick Savage, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Def Leppard, MainArtist - Ian Maclay, Orchestra Contractor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2023 Bludgeon Riffola Limited

8
Love
00:03:55

Robert Ziegler, Conductor, MainArtist - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Rhodes, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe LaPorta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Phil Collen, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Eric Gorfain, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Nick Patrick, Producer - Ronan McHugh, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Vivian Patrick Campbell, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Elliott, Vocals, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Rick Allen, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Rick Savage, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Def Leppard, MainArtist - Ian Maclay, Orchestra Contractor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2023 Bludgeon Riffola Limited

9
Gods Of War
00:06:45

Robert John "Mutt" Lange, Producer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Robert Ziegler, Conductor, MainArtist - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Rhodes, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe LaPorta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Phil Collen, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Eric Gorfain, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Nick Patrick, Producer - Ronan McHugh, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Elliott, Vocals, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Richard Savage, ComposerLyricist - Rick Allen, Drums, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Rick Savage, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Def Leppard, MainArtist - Stephen Maynard Clark, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ian Maclay, Orchestra Contractor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2023 Bludgeon Riffola Limited

10
Angels (Can't Help You Now)
00:04:58

Robert Ziegler, MainArtist - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Rhodes, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe LaPorta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Phil Collen, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Eric Gorfain, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Mike Garson, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Nick Patrick, Producer - Ronan McHugh, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Vivian Patrick Campbell, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Elliott, Vocals, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Rick Allen, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Rick Savage, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Def Leppard, MainArtist - Ian Maclay, MainArtist

℗ 2023 Bludgeon Riffola Limited

11
Bringin' On The Heartbreak
00:04:33

Robert John "Mutt" Lange, Producer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Robert Ziegler, Conductor, MainArtist - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Rhodes, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe LaPorta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Phil Collen, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Eric Gorfain, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Nick Patrick, Producer - Ronan McHugh, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Elliott, Vocals, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Rick Allen, Drums, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Rick Savage, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Def Leppard, MainArtist - Stephen Maynard Clark, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Peter Andrew Willis, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Ian Maclay, Orchestra Contractor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2023 Bludgeon Riffola Limited

12
Switch 625
00:03:04

Robert John "Mutt" Lange, Producer - Robert Ziegler, Conductor, MainArtist - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Rhodes, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe LaPorta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Eric Gorfain, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Nick Patrick, Producer - Ronan McHugh, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Elliott, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Rick Allen, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Rick Savage, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Def Leppard, MainArtist - Stephen Maynard Clark, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Peter Andrew Willis, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ian Maclay, Orchestra Contractor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2023 Bludgeon Riffola Limited

13
Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad
00:04:55

Robert John "Mutt" Lange, ComposerLyricist - Robert Ziegler, Conductor, MainArtist - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Rhodes, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe LaPorta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Phil Collen, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Eric Gorfain, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Nick Patrick, Producer - Ronan McHugh, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Vivian Patrick Campbell, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Elliott, Vocals, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Rick Allen, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Rick Savage, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Def Leppard, MainArtist - Ian Maclay, Orchestra Contractor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2023 Bludgeon Riffola Limited

14
Too Late For Love
00:05:37

Robert John "Mutt" Lange, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Robert Ziegler, Conductor, MainArtist - John Kongos, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Rhodes, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe LaPorta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Eric Gorfain, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Thomas Dolby, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Nick Patrick, Producer - Ronan McHugh, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Joe Elliott, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Richard Savage, ComposerLyricist - Rick Allen, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Rick Savage, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - PETER WILLIS, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Def Leppard, MainArtist - Stephen Maynard Clark, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Peter Andrew Willis, ComposerLyricist - Ian Maclay, Orchestra Contractor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - The Lepparettes, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2023 Bludgeon Riffola Limited

15
When Love & Hate Collide
00:04:16

Robert Ziegler, Conductor, MainArtist - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Rhodes, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe LaPorta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Phil Collen, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Eric Gorfain, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Nick Patrick, Producer - Ronan McHugh, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Vivian Patrick Campbell, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Elliott, Vocals, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Richard Savage, ComposerLyricist - Rick Allen, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Rick Savage, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Def Leppard, MainArtist - Ian Maclay, Orchestra Contractor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2023 Bludgeon Riffola Limited

16
Kings Of The World
00:06:19

Robert Ziegler, Conductor, MainArtist - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra, MainArtist - Simon Rhodes, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Joe LaPorta, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Phil Collen, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Eric Gorfain, String Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Nick Patrick, Producer - Ronan McHugh, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Vivian Patrick Campbell, Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Joe Elliott, Vocals, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Rick Allen, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Rick Savage, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Def Leppard, MainArtist - Ian Maclay, Orchestra Contractor, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Dick Decent, Piano, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2023 Bludgeon Riffola Limited

Album review

As on their 2006 covers album Yeah!, British hard rock giants Def Leppard make a surprisingly enjoyable meal out of what is usually a predictable exercise. Drastic Symphonies is not an album of new material, nor even entirely new recordings. A collaboration with London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, it's a symphonic reimagining of 16 career-spanning songs, including well-known hits and a smattering of deep cuts. Blending their original multi-track recordings with new overdubs to fit the theme, Drastic Symphonies is a pastiche of new and old ideas that, more often than not, reflects the sturdy pop construction on which their career was built. There was always a bit of romantic grandeur to Def Leppard's strain of lush glam metal, especially on early classics like "Too Late for Love" and "Bringin' On the Heartbreak," both of which get full orchestral treatment here. Joe Elliott, still in fine voice, can often be heard singing new leads atop the giant stacks of Mutt Lange-produced harmonies that became their '80s hallmark. Some songs are significantly altered, with only the occasional guitar solo poking out, while others sound very close to their original mixes, albeit with a bit of melodic sweetening from one of the world's great orchestras. The dense and swirling "Paper Sun," from 1999's Euphoria, is a highlight, punching up Def Leppard's original into something more thrilling and cinematic, and their 1987 smash "Animal" is practically built for the kind of pomp it receives here. Of course, any project like this is a mixed bag, and ironically, their biggest hit is Drastic Symphonies' biggest misfire. Naturally, they had to include "Pour Some Sugar on Me," but its stripped-down romantic duet arrangement falls flat without its glammy fizz. Overall, though, the band comes off much better than expected.

© Timothy Monger /TiVo

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