On Through the Night
|On Through the Night|
|Studio album by|
|Released||14 March 1980|
|Studio||Startling Studios, Ascot, Berkshire|
|Label||Vertigo (UK and Europe)|
Mercury (North America)
|Producer||(Colonel) Tom Allom|
|Def Leppard chronology|
|Singles from On Through the Night|
On Through the Night is the debut studio album by the English heavy metal band Def Leppard, released on 14 March 1980. The album was produced by Tom Allom. It charted at No. 15 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 51 on the Billboard 200. 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 re-recorded versions of early demos, some of which later appeared on the 2020 box set The Early Years 79–81. The album was certified gold by the RIAA on 18 November 1983 and platinum on 9 May 1989.
"Wasted", "Hello America" and "Rock Brigade" were released as singles. However, the version of "Wasted" that appears on the single is a different recording from that of the LP, as is its B-side, "Hello America".
The spoken word intro to "When the Walls Came Tumbling Down" was performed by Dave Cousins of Strawbs fame, although Joe Elliott had done the spoken portion in earlier live performances and demo recordings that showed up on some early bootlegs. In his biography, Cousins claims that he did his best Laurence Olivier impersonation for the song's intro.
|Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal||8/10|
The album received mostly positive reviews. AllMusic's Steve Huey noted that On Through the Night "established the band as one of the leading lights of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal." Although he stated that "it may lack the detailed production and more pop-oriented songwriting of later efforts, (...) some Leppard fans prefer this sound." Canadian journalist Martin Popoff praised the album for being "one of the most polished and savvy of the NWOBHM", evoking the sound of "acts like Thin Lizzy, UFO, even Queen and Mott the Hoople." For him, On Through the Night was "a welcome breath of fresh air" among the dark, "thrashy" and "punky" music coming from the UK at the time. Rolling Stone's David Fricke reviewed the album favourably on the same wavelength, 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 Elliott "wails wonderfully in a resonating tenor, fortified by backup harmonies and Tom Allom's battering-ram production." He concluded that the band "displays a wisdom beyond their years" in mixing melody and heaviness, coming up with an album that "is awfully impressive for a band making its vinyl debut." Sputnikmusic staff review 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 On Through the Night "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."
Most of the songs on the album were dropped from the band's live setlists after 1983, although "Rock Brigade" and "Wasted" would see periodic revivals after 2000. Also, the non-album track from the same era entitled "Good Morning Freedom" would be played live in 2013 during the opening to the "Viva Hysteria" shows.
|1.||"Rock Brigade"||Rick Savage, Steve Clark, Joe Elliott||Pete Willis||3:09|
|2.||"Hello America"||Savage, Clark, Elliott||Clark||3:27|
|3.||"Sorrow Is a Woman"||Savage, Clark, Willis, Elliott||1 - Clark / 2 - Willis / 3 - Clark & Willis||3:54|
|4.||"It Could Be You"||Willis, Elliott||Willis||2:33|
|5.||"Satellite"||Savage, Clark, Willis, Elliott||Willis / ride out licks: Clark||4:28|
|6.||"When the Walls Came Tumbling Down"||Clark, Elliott, Andrew Smith||Clark||4:44|
|8.||"Rocks Off"||Willis, Savage, Clark, Elliott||Clark||3:42|
|9.||"It Don't Matter"||Willis, Elliott, Clark||Willis||3:21|
|10.||"Answer to the Master"||Willis, Clark, Savage, Elliott||1 - Clark / 2 - Willis||3:13|
|11.||"Overture"||Savage, Clark, Willis, Elliott||1, 2 & 4 - Clark / 3 & 5 - Willis||7:44|
- Joe Elliott – lead vocals, backing vocals
- Steve Clark – lead and rhythm guitars, backing vocals
- Pete Willis – lead and rhythm guitars, backing vocals
- Rick Savage – bass guitar, backing vocals
- Rick Allen – drums, backing vocals
- Chris M. Hughes – synthesiser on "Hello America"
- Dave Cousins – voice on "When the Walls Came Tumblin' Down"
- (Colonel) Tom Allom – producer
- Louis "Snook" Austin – engineer
- Dick Plant – engineer
- Alan Schmidt – artwork
|USA||RIAA||1989||Platinum (+ 1,000,000)|
|Canada||CRIA||1991||Platinum (+ 100,000)|
- "Def Leppard Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
- "On through the Night Billboard Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
- Grow, Kory; Grow, Kory (29 January 2020). "Def Leppard Collect Unreleased Earliest Recordings for New Box Set". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 23 March 2020.
- "RIAA Searchable Database: search for "Def Leppard"". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
- Huey, Steve. "Def Leppard - On Through the Night review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
- Popoff, Martin (1 November 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 92. ISBN 978-1894959315.
- "Def Leppard - On Through the Night (staff review)". Sputnikmusic.com. 22 December 2008. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
- Fricke, David (26 June 1980). "On through the Night - Def Leppard". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
- "Gold Platinum Search for Def Leppard". Music Canada. Retrieved 10 July 2015.