Slang (album)

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Slang
Studio album by Def Leppard
Released 14 May 1996 (1996-05-14)
Recorded 1994–1995 in Marbella, Spain and 1996 at Bow Lane Studios in Dublin, Ireland
Genre Rock, hard rock, grunge[1]
Length 45:58
Label Mercury
Producer Pete Woodroffe and Def Leppard
Def Leppard chronology
Vault: Def Leppard Greatest Hits (1980–1995)
(1995)
Slang
(1996)
Euphoria
(1999)
Singles from Slang
  1. "Slang"
    Released: May 1996
  2. "Work It Out"
    Released: July 1996
  3. "All I Want Is Everything"
    Released: August 1996 (US), September 1996 (worldwide)
  4. "Breathe a Sigh"
    Released: November 1996
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars link
Chicago Sun-Times 1.5/4 stars[2]
The Cincinnati Post (D+)[3]
Entertainment Weekly (B+) link
Sputnik Music 2.5/5 stars link
Rolling Stone (mixed) link
Q 4/5 stars[4]

Slang is the sixth studio album by English hard rock band Def Leppard, released in 1996. The album marked a radical musical departure from their signature sound, and was produced by the band with Pete Woodroffe. Slang is the first album with new material (Campbell had previously played on B-side collection Retro Active in 1993 and on the new song on Vault a year earlier) to feature new guitarist Vivian Campbell. It charted at #14 on The Billboard 200[5] and #5 on the UK Albums Chart.[6] It is also the only Def Leppard album that does not feature their recognisable logo on the album cover.

Overview[edit]

Between the releases of Retro Active and Slang, Def Leppard endured hardships including guitarist Phil Collen's divorce from actress Jacqueline Collen, bassist Rick Savage's battle with Bell's Palsy and the death of his father, and the arrests of both drummer Rick Allen and lead singer Joe Elliott for spousal abuse and assault, respectively. Though the band says Adrenalize was recorded during a bleaker time, the absence of Mutt Lange (for the first time on a Def Leppard record since 1981) made it possible for the band to show what they were really feeling.[7] Says Joe Elliott, "There was a period with Mutt where if you came out with anything slightly negative, it was 'Fuck it!' and it was gone!" Continues Phil Collen, "We've all got personal things that have happened during the recording of Slang, and we've just ploughed on and some of it has come out on the record."

Doing without the services of Mutt Lange, the band changed another habit by recording together as a band, in a townhouse in Marbella, Spain. Slang would feature less production in favour of a more organic sound, catalysed by drummer Rick Allen's reversion to a semi-acoustic kit. "We'd got so sick of recording the old way. We didn't want to do it any more. We wanted the music to be more personalised and let the character of the individuals to come out," explains Rick Savage.[7]

Songs such as "Turn to Dust" introduced sarangi and other instrumentation atypical for the band. The album's lyrical content featured a darker and more introspective turn for the most part, with lighter fare restricted to the Prince-influenced "Slang".

"The whole thing is potty," David Quantick wrote in Q, "but in a supple and melodic way – even the ballads lack the usual Def Leppard sense of having been written for lead-lined hippos to sing. Slang is the sound of a band doing something fast and interesting, at the exact point in their lives when most bands are taking up golf and inhaling the contents of aquariums in country manors."[8] Q later included the album among its 'best of 1996', describing it as "the work of a huge band, aware that the straight-ahead rock they once plied so enthusiastically is dead and who have embraced the new breed with élan."[9]

Slang was the first Def Leppard album to fail to achieve platinum sales in the US. Elsewhere, the album performed better: it placed four singles on the UK charts, and did go platinum in Canada. On the supporting tour the band performed for the first time in Southeast Asia, South Africa and South America.

A limited edition release included a 6-track bonus disc, "Acoustic in Singapore", recorded live in October 1995.

Deluxe Edition[edit]

On 22 November 2011, Phil Collen revealed in an interview to the Birmingham Express And Star newspaper that the band plan to reissue Slang in the future with extra tracks included. He stated the band "...did have a lot of songs when we recorded, different versions, songs that never quite got finished." On 26 December 2011, Vivian Campbell gave an update on the re-issue whilst speaking on his Facebook page in response to fan questions about Christmas songs. "We did once record a song called "Heavy Metal Christmas" during the Slang sessions - tongues very firmly in cheeks! It was actually a proper (and rather good!) song but was lacking lyrics - hence the goof-off title. It'll likely see the light of day when we re-release Slang soon. Some unheard stuff, too, as far as I know."

On January 18th 2012, Vivian mentioned on his Facebook regarding the proposed re-issue that "Ownership of Slang masters (and all out-takes) revert to us later this year, so there's a good chance that we'll re-release with bonus material."

Joe Elliott confirmed on his August 25th 2012 Planet Rock radio show that "...in a few months time we are re-releasing Slang as a double vinyl, a double CD with loads and loads of different mixes, bonus tracks and all sorts of stuff." This was followed by Elliott playing the bands 1999 Euphoria B-Side 'Burnout' (which was first released on the "Goodbye" CD single) at the end of the show and revealed it had been recorded during the 1995/1996 Slang sessions, which the singer described as "...a little teaser", implying that the song may be included on the upcoming re-issue.

On 21 January 2014, it was announced on Def Leppard's Twitter page that Slang will be re-issued on 11 February 2014.[10] The re-issued album will include 19 additional tracks, made up of various early versions of songs on the original album, as well as previously unreleased material.[11]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Truth?"   Phil Collen, Joe Elliott, Rick Savage, Vivian Campbell 3:00
2. "Turn to Dust"   Collen 4:21
3. "Slang"   Collen, Elliott 2:37
4. "All I Want Is Everything"   Elliott 5:20
5. "Work It Out"   Campbell 4:49
6. "Breathe a Sigh"   Collen 4:06
7. "Deliver Me"   Collen, Elliott 3:04
8. "Gift of Flesh"   Collen 3:48
9. "Blood Runs Cold"   Collen, Elliott 4:26
10. "Where Does Love Go When It Dies"   Elliott, Collen 4:04
11. "Pearl of Euphoria"   Elliott, Collen, Savage 6:21
12. "Move with Me Slowly" (Japanese edition bonus track) Collen 6:19

Deluxe edition[edit]

Disc one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
13. "Truth? (Original Version)" (B-Side from "Work It Out" UK Single)   5:09
14. "Burn Out" (B-Side from "Goodbye" UK Single.) Rick Allen, Campbell, Collen, Elliott, Savage 4:10
15. "Worlds Collide" (B-Side from "Promises" UK Single.) Elliott, Savage 3:43
16. "Can't Keep Away From The Flame" (Japanese Bonus Track from Vault: Def Leppard Greatest Hits (1980–1995) and B-Side from "Slang" Souvenir Pack.)   2:36
Disc two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Turn to Dust" (Phil Verse Vocal)   4:03
2. "Raise Your Love" (Version of "Slang")   3:01
3. "All I Want is Everything" (1st Draft)   5:19
4. "Work It Out" (1st Draft)   5:19
5. "Breathe A Sigh" (Feb '96 Rough Mix)   4:08
6. "Deliver Me" (Feb '96 Rough Mix)   3:17
7. "Black Train" (Version of "Gift of Flesh") Collen 4:06
8. "Blood Runs Cold" (Feb '96 Rough Mix)   4:12
9. "Where Does Love Go When It Dies (1st Draft)" (1st Draft)   4:36
10. "Pearl Of Euphoria" (Feb '96 Rough Mix)   5:49
11. "All On Your Touch" (2012 Revisit) Campbell 3:58
12. "Anger" ("Deliver Me" 1st Draft) Collen, Elliott 3:15
13. "Move On Up" (Vivian Demo) Campbell 3:31
14. "Gift of Flesh" (Phil Collen Vocal)   4:03
iTunes Bonus Tracks
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Truth?" (Demo Version)   4:56
2. "Work It Out" (B-Side from "Work It Out" UK Single)   3:33
3. "All I Want is Everything" (Demo Version)   5:03
4. "Move With Me Slowly" (1st Draft)   6:22
5. "When Saturday Comes" (From the film When Saturday Comes and "All I Want Is Everything" Single)   4:21
6. "Jimmy's Theme" (From the film When Saturday Comes and "All I Want Is Everything" Single)   3:20
7. "Cause We Ended as Lovers" (From the Jeff Beck tribute album Jeffology: A Guitar Chronicle and "All I Want Is Everything" Single)   6:04
8. "Led Boots" (From the Jeff Beck tribute album Jeffology: A Guitar Chronicle and "All I Want Is Everything" Single)   4:03
Acoustic in Singapore (1996 limited edition bonus disc)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Armageddon It"   Steve Clark, Collen, Elliott, Mutt Lange, Savage 4:16
2. "Two Steps Behind"   Elliott 4:01
3. "From the Inside"   Elliott 3:28
4. "Animal"   Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange, Savage 3:47
5. "When Love & Hate Collide"   Elliott, Savage 4:18
6. "Pour Some Sugar on Me"   Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange, Savage 4:08

Certifications[edit]

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

Personnel[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

  • Gloria Flores – Spanish voice on "Slang"
  • Ram Naravan – intro sarangi sample on "Turn to Dust"
  • Craig Pruess – string and percussion arranging and conducting on "Turn to Dust"
  • Av Singh – dohl on "Turn to Dust"
  • Shyam Vatish – outro sarangi sample on "Turn to Dust"
  • Pete Woodroffe – piano on "Blood Runs Cold", keyboard strings on "Where Does Love Go When It Dies"
  • Gavyn Wright – string leader on "Turn to Dust"

Production[edit]

  • Pete Woodroffe – producer, engineer, mixing
  • Def Leppard – producer
  • Ger McDonnell – engineer, programming on "Truth?"
  • Matt Pakucko – mixing assistant
  • Bob Ludwig – mastering
  • Brad Buxer, Bobby Brooks – programming on "Slang" and "Breathe a Sigh"
  • Hugh Drumm – programming on "Truth?"
  • Jeff Murray – art direction
  • Jager di Paola – design
  • Cynthia Levine, Jeff Rooney – photography

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Aizlewood, John (August 2012). "Def Leppard Embrace Grunge. GrungeAlternative Rock Recoils". Q: 63. "There's nothing like selling squillions of records to induce a mid-life crisis. Hence Def Leppard's decision in 1996 to get down with the kids, hire a villa in Spain and, rather belatedly, go grunge for their sixth album, Slang." 
  2. ^ Barron, John (2 June 1996). "Spin Control". Chicago Sun-Times. p. 13. 
  3. ^ Wilson, Ken (20 June 1996). "Leppard lacking in appeal". The Cincinnati Post. pp. Metro 20. 
  4. ^ Q, June 1996
  5. ^ "Allmusic (Def Leppard charts and awards) Billboard albums". 
  6. ^ "Def Leppard chart stats". Archived from the original on 2012-05-27. 
  7. ^ a b Ewing, Jerry (June 1996). "Def Leppard". Metal Hammer. pp. 58–60. 
  8. ^ Q, June 1996
  9. ^ Q, January 1997
  10. ^ https://twitter.com/def_leppard/status/425766063058747392
  11. ^ "Def Leppard Gather Demos and Unreleased Tracks for ‘Slang’ Reissue". Ultimate Classic Rock. 22 January 2014. Archived from the original on 22 January 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]