I previously wrote a post titled, My Top Five Def Leppard Songs I Can’t Live Without in December 2019, but that was early in my Def Leppard obsession. I’ve always wanted to write an updated list of my top five Def Leppard songs because a lot can happen in a year, but I never got around to doing so; until now! I know I wrote My Top Five AC/DC Songs post early in my AC/DC obsession, but I had more time to listen to their songs because we’re in the middle of a pandemic, haha. I ended up making it a top ten Def Leppard songs post because it was too much pressure for me to choose only five. But enough stalling, let’s get on with the list; shall we?
10. “When Love and Hate Collide” (1995)
Def Leppard’s ballads are so beautiful, and “When Love and Hate Collide” proves my point! What’s interesting about this song is that the band wrote it while Steve Clark was in rehab. The original demo contains Clark’s final recorded guitar solo and is about two minutes longer than the final studio version. The latter got stripped down, the vocals are crystal clear, and Rick Allen’s acoustic drums are spot on! I watched the music video for the first time after my cousin’s wedding, during summer 2019, and I was in shock to see Rick Savage wearing glasses and rocking short hair. Little did I know that Savage cut his hair even shorter during the Slang era, yikes!
9. “You Got Me Runnin'” from High ‘n’ Dry (1981)
Something about this song turned me on! I love how it starts with the galloping hi-hat and tasteful guitar riff, then Joe Elliott screams away, and the rest of the band comes in. Overall, it’s got a great guitar riff, the backing vocals are incredible, Elliott sounds so bad*** in that track, and it’s straight-up hard rock!
8. “Let Me Be the One” from X (2002)
Thank goodness Def Leppard played this gem on their 2019 Vegas residency shows, or else I would’ve never known it existed! “Let Me Be the One” is the 12th track on the infamous X (2002) album, and I say the album is worth it for that. I’ll admit, there are some cheesy ballads where the lyrics make me go “ugh,” but this track is one of the better ones on the album. It’s my second favorite on there.
7. “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad” from Adrenalize (1992)
No joke, this song helped me get over my agonizing seven-year crush, which is very odd because it’s a silly love song. However, music can move people in many ways, so who cares! I love those songs that I can feel a personal connection with because it makes listening to the song more enjoyable. My dad showed me this song, and at the time, I only heard the band’s upbeat rock anthems, so “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad” was a nice change of pace.
6. “Long, Long Way to Go” from X (2002)
Maybe it’s because I grew up listening to pop music, but that album takes me back to my happy memories as a tween. I can connect with the lyrics to “Long, Long Way to Go” because I’ve been unlucky in love countless times from intermediate school to the first two years of college. Because of that personal connection, it’s my favorite song on the album, and I’ve been singing that one a lot more recently.
5. “High ‘n’ Dry (Saturday Night)” from High ‘n’ Dry (1981)
This song was number four on my old list, so it dropped a ranking, sorry! I still love “High ‘n’ Dry (Saturday Night)”; actually, the entire album is a banger. High ‘n’ Dry (1981) is a treasured gem because it’s the last album with former guitarist Pete Willis. He may be small, but boy, can he play! That opening riff is so AC/DC and very blues-rock. AC/DC ended up being the band that defined my 2020, so my liking of the song was a sign that I’d get into them sooner or later.
4. “Armageddon It” from Hysteria (1987)
“Armageddon It” and “Pour Some Sugar On Me” are my favorite songs from Hysteria (1987) because they summarize what the 80s were all about; a fun time where no one had a care in the world! The lyrics to “Armageddon It” are fun and playful, the drums are kicking, and the guitar riff immediately gets you in the zone. I find it funny that in the music video, they zoom in on Clark’s shoes. I’m laughing on the inside thinking about it.
3. “Pour Some Sugar On Me” from Hysteria (1987)
The chorus is so freaking good! I sang this song all the time, walking around campus during Fall 2019. Unfortunately, I never got to do it as much during Spring 2020 because UH Manoa switched to online learning after spring break. I don’t sing this one as often now because I’m learning to appreciate other Def Leppard songs, but “Pour Some Sugar On Me” still holds a special place in my heart because it was one of the first Def Leppard songs that made me go, “Wow, this is awesome!”
2. “Rock of Ages” from Pyromania (1983)
I first heard “Rock of Ages” on Def Leppard Live in Germany: Part 2 (Rockpop in Concert) during the summer of 2019. Rick Allen started the song with a cowbell while hitting the snare drum and the tempo was much faster than the original. The performance was from the Pyromania era, so the band played most of their songs faster. I was a new fan, so I thought that was the original tempo, but then sometime later in the summer, I heard the original version and the live version from Live: In the Round, in Your Face (1988). I became obsessed with figuring out the different tempos for each version that the song became engraved in my brain!
1. “White Lightning” from Adrenalize (1992)
It feels like a crime knowing that I haven’t memorized the lyrics to “White Lightning” yet because I’ve talked about this song on my blog countless times. It’s Steve Clark’s tribute, so why did the band drop it from their setlist? I have no idea why! The intro has a haunting feel to it, and when the guitar comes in, it sounds like a siren to me. The song is one big roller coaster ride, knowing what Clark went through and how hard he tried to fight his addictions. But it also shows how powerful song lyrics are and that they can be about anything.
There you have it! Those are my top ten Def Leppard songs. See any of your favorites as well? Let me know in the comments below what your top ten Def Leppard songs are!
Take care and see ya real soon!