The Def Leppard Lowdown: From ‘Drastic Symphonies’ to Rick Allen Being Attacked

Ever wondered what Def Leppard would sound like with an orchestra? Well, get ready to be amazed! According to Consequence of Sound, the English hard rock band has teamed up with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for a brand new album featuring reimagined and orchestrated versions of the band’s classic hits and a few deep cuts as well. The album, Drastic Symphonies, will be released on May 19, 2023. Instead of re-recording the songs live with an orchestra, the album combines audio recordings from the original tapes with newly added guitar/vocal overdubs, and symphonic arrangements from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra done at Abbey Road Studios, the article continued. 

“When the offer to revisit some of our back catalogue with the Royal Philharmonic was presented to us, we all jumped at it. Although we’re far from the first band to ever do this, working directly with an orchestra at Abbey Road on some of our more orchestrated songs seemed too good of an opportunity to pass up,” said Joe Elliott.

A newly reconstructed version of “Animal” was released and is now available on streaming platforms. The symphonic melodies breathe new life into the Hysteria classic. The vocal harmonies sound just as fresh as they did in the late ‘80s. The orchestra definitely adds a haunting feel to the track. Especially with the vocals of a young Joe Elliott, it was almost like listening to a ghost of the past. It was very strange, yet fascinating at the same time. 

As mentioned before, the tracklist features a lot of Def Leppard classics. It also includes a few deep cuts and songs from the band’s most recent studio release, Diamond Star Halos (2022). From “Paper Sun” to “Gods of War,” the tracklist looks very promising. A track I’m really excited to hear on the album is “Kings of the World,” which was first introduced on the live album Mirror Ball – Live & More (2011). Written by Rick Savage, the song is basically Def Leppard doing their own version of Queen, with perfect vocal harmonies and dramatic elements to it.

Drastic Symphonies Album Tracklist

1. Turn to Dust

2. Paper Sun

3. Animal

4. Pour Some Sugar on Me (stripped version)

5. Hysteria

6. Love Bites

7. Goodbye for Good This Time

8. Love

9. Gods of War

10. Angels (Can’t Help You Now)

11. Bringin’ on the Heartbreak

12. Switch 625

13. Too Late for Love

14. When Love & Hate Collide

15. Kings of the World

Drastic Symphonies is more than just a typical greatest hits release. It’s a whole new experience for Def Leppard fans to take in and enjoy!

On a more serious note, drummer Rick Allen was attacked by a 19-year-old spring breaker outside his Florida hotel this past weekend. According to a Fort Lauderdale police report, transcribed by the Los Angeles Times, Max Edward Hartley was hiding behind a pillar before running full speed at the 59-year-old drummer. Allen, who was standing near the valet area of the Four Seasons Hotel smoking a cigarette, fell backwards and slammed his head against the cement, the article continued. A woman came rushing outside the hotel to help Allen, but Hartley attacked her as well, the article continued. Shortly afterwards, Hartley was arrested and was charged for battery, criminal mischief, and abusing an elderly adult. 

It was never announced why Hartley attacked the drummer in the first place, but I wanted to close this post by wishing Rick Allen a speedy recovery! How contrasting it is to start the post with exciting news from my favorite band ever and end it with sad news regarding the same band. Knowing that Allen played a huge part in my love for hard rock and heavy metal, however, I had to say something about this incident or else my conscience wouldn’t have forgiven me for it. Allen has overcome so much since losing his left arm in 1984 and I really hope that he can overcome this difficult time as well!

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