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Music Review: Def Leppard’s Expanded 30th Anniversary ‘Hysteria’ Reissue

Music Review: Def Leppard’s Expanded 30th Anniversary ‘Hysteria’ Reissue

I dare just about anyone walking over the age of 24 to not hear the song “Pour Some Sugar on Me and not single along. If one thing is synonymous with the late 1980’s era of excess and fun loving times its Def Leppard’s “Hysteria” album. 5 chart topping singles, over 10 million albums sold worldwide, a sold out 16 month world tour and 30 years later the legend grows as the music is still going.

In February 1984  the band Def Leppard  entered  a studio to record an album called Animal Instinct with producer Mutt Lange of AC/DC fame. Lange quit while in pre-production due to exhaustion. After s few other producers and song writers came and went the initial recording sessions were entirely scrapped. In December 1984, Rick Allen lost his left arm when he wrecked his car on a back road. Further adding to the delay as Allen’s recovery and learning his new drum kit.  Lange unexpectedly returned in the fall of 1985 and the band continued on with production.

January 1987 the band recorded one last song as a possible b side titled “Pour Some Sugar on Me“. Sequencing, mixing, artwork and a music video would take another 7 months and then the album was finally released August 1987. A weird choice if the song “Women” was the first single released and it pretty much flopped in the US. It was number 1 in England and after 3 singles including “Animal” and “Hysteria” the last recorded “Pour Some Sugar on Me” was released and the rest is history. 30 years later Def Leppard gives us the 30th Anniversary of “Hysteria” in multiple formats.

Included in this set is the of course the original album remastered. A book with never before seen photos, liner notes about the songs and recordings. 2 disc’s of preciously released b-sides, live sings and various remixes. including your reviewers favorite “TEAR IT DOWN”.  Disc 4 and 5 is a live show called  “IN THE ROUND, IN YOUR FACE” from the HYSTERIA world tour. Most of the showers were performed “in the round”, the staging was set up in the middle of arenas, giving the audience a “in the round” view so there wasn’t a bad seat in the house. Also underneath the stage is where a lot of hijinx and rock n roll decadence took place.

The Hysteria tour lasted 16 months with 4 different trips through the US. My Brother told me that he saw the band 3 times on the Hysteria tour and everytime the setlist was different giving the fans a reason to see it more than once. There was no bigger album in the 1980’s from a hard rock band released. This album is in a catagory with other 1980’s mega sellers such as “Thriller”, “Purple Rain”, “Whitney Houston”, “Bad” and “1984”.  Another interesting fact is that Tesla was the opening act on this tour for their sophomore album “Mechanical Resonance” with so much exposure on the 16 month tour this helped to get this band put on the map as a force to be reckoned with.

Tesla would later have a hand in helping launce the “unplugged craze” and the 2 bands continue to tour together today. This anniversry set is available in 3 different versions. A few other interesting things to know about ‘Hysteria’ is that is album at the time was the longest single album clocking in at 63 minutes. The new technology of Compact Disc’s helped with the ingenuity of that. “Pour Some Sugar on Me” was actually a slight Mutt Lange experiment into the rap/rock genre made famous a few years earlier by Aerosmith and RUN DMC. Drummer Rick Allen’s hospital stay from his arm amputation gave him time to sit and think up his innovation electro/acoustic drum set he would use for the next 30 years.

John E. Thunder – Staff Writer
Born in the 70’s and raised in the 80’s, John is a true child of the the greatest decade. A lifelong fan of Star Wars and glam rock, he shows no fear in still rockin’ a fanny pack. While Jason Voorhees may have struck fear into his heart as a boy, now it’s responsibilities of adulthood which leave him quaking in his boots. A father of 3 boys, he takes great pride in passing on the great music and movies decades past to future generations. John E. can be found on a beach during the summer and traveling the country in the fall and winter. His motto is ….”Gene Simmons, Gene Lovell and G.I. JOE taught me everything that I’ll ever need to know”.

Legendary British rock ‘n’ roll icons Def Leppard celebrate the 30th anniversary of their seminal album ‘Hysteria,’ one of the best-selling and most influential releases in music history, with the release of Hysteria (Remastered 2017). 

‘Hysteria’ Tracklisting

Disc 1: Original album remastered
1. Women
2. Rocket
3. Animal
4. Love Bites
5. Pour Some Sugar on Me
6. Armageddon It
7. Gods of War
8. Don’t Shoot Shotgun
9. Run Riot
10. Hysteria
11. Excitable
12. Love and Affection

Disc 2: B-Sides and Hysteria Radio Documentary
1. Tear It Down – B-Side
2. I Wanna Be Your Hero – Retro-Active
3. Ride into The Sun – Retro-Active
4. Ring of Fire – B-Side
5. Women – Edit Version
6. Rocket (Lunar Mix) – 7″ Single
7. Love Bites – Radio Edit
8. Hysteria – Edit Version
9. Pour Some Sugar on Me – Edit Version
10. Armageddon It – Edit Version
11. Release Me – Stumpus Maximus
12. Classic Album – Hysteria: BBC Radio Documentary

Disc 3: Mixes / B-Sides
1. Rocket (The Lunar Mix – Extended Version) – B-Side
2. Armageddon It (The Nuclear Mix) – 12″ Single
3. Animal – Extended Version
4. Pour Some Sugar on Me – Extended Version
5. Excitable (The Orgasmic Mix) – B-Side
6. Rocket (Lunar Mix) – B-Side
7. Armageddon It (The Atomic Mix) – 7″ Single
8. Rock of Ages (Live) – B-Side
9. Love and Affection (Live) – B-Side
10. Billy’s Got a Gun (Live) – B-Side

Disc 4: In The Round In Your Face (Live)
1. Stagefright
2. Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)
3. Women
4. Too Late for Love
5. Hysteria
6. Gods of War
7. Die Hard the Hunter

Disc 5: In the Round in Your Face (Live)
1. Bringin’ On the Heartbreak
2. Foolin’
3. Armageddon It
4. Animal
5. Pour Some Sugar on Me
6. Rock of Ages
7. Photograph

DVD 1: Documentary / Live Performances / Promo Videos
1. Rock of Ages: Def Leppard Documentary
2. Rocket – TOTP
3. Pour Some Sugar on Me – TOTP
4. Animal – TOTP
5. Pour Some Sugar on Me – Brit Awards
6. Women – Promo Video
7. Animal – Promo Video
8. Pour Some Sugar on Me – Promo Video
9. Pour Some Sugar on Me – US Version Live
10. Hysteria – Promo Video
11. Love Bites – Promo Video
12. Rocket – Promo Video
13. Armageddon It (Live) – Promo Video

DVD 2: Classic Album Documentary
1. Introduction
2. Animal
3. Hysteria
4. Rocket
5. Love Bites
6. Pour Some Sugar on Me
7. Initial Recordings of Animal
8. Rick Gets Hysterical
9. Hysteria (Acoustic Performance)
10. Drumming – Return to The Status Quo
11. The Album According to Joe
12. Sugar Stripped Down
13. Pour Some Sugar on Me (Acoustic Performance)
14. Guitars, Guitars, Guitars
15. Windmill II and The Gods of War
16. Mutt’s Vocals in The Mix
17. The Album Is Finally Released

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Singer-Songwriter Ashley Clark Talks Career And The Making of his “Greyhound” EP

Singer-Songwriter Ashley Clark Talks Career And The Making of his “Greyhound” EP

ashley-clark-2015-2

Singer-songwriter Ashley Clark has spent the better part of his life making music. His story begins as one of 11 children born to a traveling Pentecostal preacher. Throughout Clark’s childhood, the family was constantly on the road, an experience he likens to “a traveling circus.” Everyone was expected to perform as part of the services and they would find themselves at an ever-rotating array of churches, tent revivals, and festivals across the South. While the upbringing was far from what one might call “normal,” and things that other kids take for granted (a stable home, traditional schooling) were lacking, it gave him an amazing crash course in music. He would soon strike out on his own to pursue his passion for entertaining and bring sings to faces of music fans both young and old.

Clark soon found himself in Nashville and word quickly spread about the new lightning-fast fiddle player. Clark soon began playing with a newly christened ‘American Idol’ winner named Carrie Underwood. He played in Underwood’s touring band for two and half years, traveling the world and figuring that he’d found a great life as a working musician, but fate came calling in the form of a reality TV show. One night, Clark saw a promo calling for bands to appear on an upcoming Fox show called ‘The Next Great American Band.’ Ashley called two of his brothers and formed a new band, christening themselves Sons of Sylvia. The powerful group won the competition and Clark and his brothers were signed to the management company of the show’s creator, Simon Fuller. It became clear to Fuller that the true star of his newly signed band was its magnetic lead singer and fiddle player Ashley. And soon enough, when the super producer Mutt Lange said he was interested in finding a new country artist with whom to work, Fuller knew he had the perfect candidate.

His collaboration with Mutt Lange is the latest and most exciting chapter of his story to date. Lange was knocked out by Clark’s talent after hearing his initial batch of songs. To Lange, Clark’s roots loom large in his music — a blend of country and pop informed by the Americana styles Clark absorbed as a kid and the soulfulness of his voice. Over the next two years, they reworked Clark’s songs, co-wrote a host of others, and collaborated closely on an entire album, something Lange hadn’t done with a brand new artist for 20 years. That last artist? Shania Twain. To say Lange is selective is quite the understatement. Having sold in excess of a quarter billion albums, his dance card is made up primarily of superstar bands looking to make a sonic leap (most recently Muse and Maroon 5) and his batting average is incredibly high, so Clark knows that he is beyond lucky. And he aims to take full advantage of his good fortune, setting his sights ever higher.

Ashley Clark’s story is one of closing doors and opening windows, of taking advantage of lucky breaks and following your dreams even if it means making tough choices. Ashley recently took time out of his busy schedule to do a quick Q&A with Icon Vs. Icon. In the chat, we discuss his new EP, “Greyhound,” working alongside legendary producer Mutt Lange, the challenges they encountered along the way, his quest for world domination and more!

Ashley Clark's 'Greyhound'

Ashley Clark’s ‘Greyhound’

Going back to your early years, what are your first memories of music and what drew you to it?

My first memories of music are of my dad buying me a fiddle when I was five. It was for Christmas. When I tried playing it for the first time it sounded so bad that I didn’t want to play it again. I remember hiding in the hay barn and dad chasing me down wanting me to practice. I’d hide myself in the hay and he’d stab the fiddle bow into the hay looking for me. Ha!

Was there a particular moment where you knew a career in music was something you had to pursue?

I think when I wrote my first song when I was 16. I loved it. I had to keep doing it.

Who had the biggest impact on you as an artist?

Bryan Adams and Elvis Presley. They both have their own style and unique voice.

Many people will know you from your past work but now you are stepping into the spotlight as a solo artist. What has that transition been like for you?

It’s been extremely exciting. I’ve played in bands my whole life and to be able to be calling the shots on my own on stage is pretty spectacular.

You have been hard at work on your EP where you have teamed up with legendary producer Mutt Lange. How did the collaboration come about and what are your recollections of meeting him for the first time?

I met him through my manager, Simon Fuller. When I first met him he was taller than I thought he would be and nicer than I thought he would be. We talked for about 8 hours until the sun went down and everyone else left the office. We talked about AC/DC, bluegrass, everything under the sun. We hit it off. I consider him a dear friend now.

Did you have any particular goals or expectations for this album going into the creative process of the EP?

You just do the best you can and hope for the best. I’m really pleased with the outcome and can’t wait for world domination.

 

You had the chance to work with some very talented people for this release. What can you tell us about what went into putting this collection of tunes together?

I really listened to Mutt and his wisdom on what songs should be released on an EP first. We’re still writing and still finishing the record, but I’m excited for everyone to hear the whole thing.

ashley-clark-2015-4

You recorded the EP in the Bahamas. Did that setting play a role in the process in some sense?

Absolutely. It was very hot and lazy. We kind of lost track of time. Sometimes it was hard to record because we talked mostly. Mutt has so many stories I told him he needs to write a book.

It is no secret that Mutt Lange brings a certain magic to his projects. What do you feel he brought to this album and what did you learn from him along the way?

Mutt brought his magic and I learned how to be better in the studio.

Creating an EP or an album is an intense process. What do you feel you learned about yourself as an artist through this experience?

I feel like I’ve learned to keep digging deeper.

Ashley Clark

Ashley Clark

What are your plans in regard to a full album release? Where are you in the process?

Close! Hopefully, it should be out early next year.

You have definitely come a long way since you first started out. How do you feel you have most evolved as an artist along the way?

I feel like I’ve gained a lot of confidence performing live and connecting with people on stage.

You have spent a lot of time on stage over the years. Have you ever had a “Spinal Tap Moment” on stage where something totally unexpected or hilarious happened to you?

I’ve done something hilarious to Carrie Underwood. I came out on stage wearing a Santa suit and was supposed to sing with her. She couldn’t sing because she was laughing so much.

You have seen the music industry change exponentially through the years. What excites you most about music in this day and age?

How it’s anything goes these days. Musical walls and boundaries are almost non-existent.

What is the best lesson to be taken from your journey as an artist so far?

Never give up.

What should we be on the lookout for from you in both the short and long term?

Short term – just doing radio tours and opening up for acts. Long term – total world domination.

Keep up with Ashley Clark via his official site at www.ashleyclarkofficial.com. Connect with him on social media via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. ‘Greyhound’ is available now on iTunes!

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Muse To Release ‘Drones’ On June 9th, “Dead Inside” Single To Debut The Week of March 23rd

Muse To Release ‘Drones’ On June 9th, “Dead Inside” Single To Debut The Week of March 23rd

muse-drones
Muse will release their new album Drones on June 9th on Warner Bros. Records.  Co-produced by Muse and Robert John “Mutt” Lange, the album contains 12 tracks.

Matt Bellamy said today, “To me, ‘Drones’ are metaphorical psychopaths which enable psychopathic behavior with no recourse.  The world is run by Drones utilizing Drones to turn us all into Drones.  Drones explores the journey of a human, from their abandonment and loss of hope, to their indoctrination by the system to be a human drone, to their eventual defection from their oppressors.”

TRACKLISTING

1.         Dead Inside

2.         [Drill Sergeant]

3.         Psycho

4.         Mercy

5.         Reapers

6.         The Handler

7.         [JFK]

8.         Defector

9.         Revolt

10.      Aftermath

11.      The Globalist

12.      Drones

The band will premiere an album track “Psycho,” via their Youtube channel at 6:00pm GMT on March 12th.  This song will be immediately available worldwide when pre-ordering the album Drones, beginning at 7:30PM GMT that same day.

The first official single from the album, “Dead Inside,” will debut the week of March 23rd.

Muse have also announced that beginning on Sunday, March 15th at Belfast’s Ulster Hall they will embark on a six date smaller venue UK tour. The Psycho UK Tour also plays Glasgow, Newport, Exeter, Manchester and Brighton.

PSYCHO UK TOUR DATES

MARCH

15 – BELFAST ULSTER HALL

16 – GLASGOW BARROWLANDS

19 – NEWPORT CENTRE

20 – EXETER GREAT HALL

22 – MANCHESTER ACADEMY

23 – BRIGHTON DOME

A fan club presale takes place from 6pm Wednesday, March 11th.  Tickets to the public go on sale at 9:30am on Thursday, March 12th.

As previously announced Muse headline Download Festival on June 13.

Muse have sold 17 million albums worldwide.  Their last album “The 2nd Law” was released in October 2012 and topped the chart in 21 countries including the UK. The album was their highest ever debut in the USA, entering the chart at No 2.

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