On Through the Night

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On Through the Night
Studio album by Def Leppard
Released 14 March 1980
Recorded December 1979 at Startling Studios, Ascot, Berkshire
Genre Heavy metal[1]
Length 43:47
Label Vertigo (UK and Europe)
Mercury (USA)
Producer (Colonel) Tom Allom
Def Leppard chronology
The Def Leppard E.P.
On Through the Night
High 'n' Dry
Singles from On Through the Night
  1. "Rocks Off"
    Released: September 1979
  2. "Wasted"
    Released: 17 November 1979
  3. "Hello America"
    Released: February 1980
  4. "Rock Brigade"
    Released: May 1980 (USA Only)

On Through the Night is the debut album by English rock band Def Leppard, released in 1980. It charted at #51 on the Billboard 200[2] and #15 on the UK Albums Chart.[3] The album features re-recorded versions of "Rocks Off" and "Overture", tracks from the band's original independently released EP, The Def Leppard E.P. Other tracks are rerecorded versions of early demos, some of which appeared on the First Strike and Warchild bootlegs. The album was certified platinum by the RIAA on 9 May 1989.

"Rocks Off", "Wasted", "Rock Brigade" (b/w "When the Walls Came Tumbling Down") and "Hello America" were released as singles. However, the versions of "Rocks Off" and "Wasted" that appears on the singles is a different recording from that of the LP, as is its B-side, "Hello America". The album was produced by Tom Allom.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3.5/5 stars[4]
Rolling Stone (favourable)[5]
Sputnik Music 3.0/5 stars[6]

AllMusic's Steve Huey rated On Through the Night three-and-a-half out of five stars. He noted that it "established the band as one of the leading lights of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal." He also called it "a collection of working-class hard rock anthems informed by the big, glittering hooks of glam rock." Although he stated that "it may lack the detailed production and more pop-oriented songwriting of later efforts," but concluded that "some Leppard fans prefer this sound."[4] A staff member at Sputnik Music rated the album three out of five points. He noted that the "middle-class common-man image" of the "New Wave of British Heavy Metal" movement "partially played a part in making Def Leppard one of [its] leaders". He also stated that the band's ambition "would never allow [them] to be tunnel-visioned", but he concluded that the album "can be categorized as a grower of an album since the more superficial elements that would appeal to the mainstream will initially distract some listeners from what is actually an incredibly tight musical and vocal performance."[6] Rolling Stone's David Fricke found the album favourable, explaining that it "shows they not only respect their elders, they've taken cues from their New Wave peers, too." He also stated that "guitarists Pete Willis and Steve Clark shoot from the hip, packing their licks into tight, three-minute pop arrangements", and that lead singer Joe Elliot "wails wonderfully in a resonating tenor, fortified by backup harmonies and Tom Allom's battering-ram production." He concluded that the album "is awfully impressive for a band making its vinyl debut."[5]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Rock Brigade"   Rick Savage, Steve Clark, Joe Elliott 3:09
2. "Hello America"   Savage, Clark, Elliott 3:27
3. "Sorrow Is a Woman"   Savage, Clark, Pete Willis, Elliott 3:54
4. "It Could Be You"   Willis, Elliott 2:33
5. "Satellite"   Willis, Elliott 4:28
6. "When the Walls Came Tumbling Down"   Clark, Elliott, Andrew Smith 4:44
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Wasted"   Clark, Elliott 3:45
2. "Rocks Off"   Willis, Savage, Clark, Elliott 3:42
3. "It Don't Matter"   Willis, Elliott, Clark 3:21
4. "Answer to the Master"   Willis, Elliott, Clark 3:13
5. "Overture"   Savage, Clark, Willis, Elliott 7:44


Additional personnel[edit]



Year Chart Peak position
1980 US Billboard Pop Albums 51
1983 US Billboard 200 131
Year Single Chart Position
1979 "Rocks Off"
1979 "Wasted" UK 61
1980 "Rock Brigade"[7] US
1980 "Hello America" UK 45


Country Provider Certification
(sales thresholds)
United States RIAA Platinum
Canada CRIA Platinum


  1. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/on-through-the-night-mw0000652946
  2. ^ "Allmusic (Def Leppard charts and awards) Billboard albums". 
  3. ^ "Def Leppard chart stats". Archived from the original on 2012-05-27. 
  4. ^ a b Huey, Steve. On Through the Night - Def Leppard at AllMusic. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
  5. ^ a b Fricke, David (26 June 1980). "On Through the Night by Def Leppard". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved 4 August 2011. 
  6. ^ a b "Def Leppard - On Through the Night (staff review)". Sputnikmusic.com. 22 December 2008. Retrieved 4 August 2011. 
  7. ^ DEF LEPPARD | Discography | Rockdetector