Sunday, August 23, 2020

"Women" by Def Leppard

Song#:  3235
Date:  08/22/1987
Debut:  94
Peak:  80
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Hard Rock, Arena Rock

Pop Bits:  Back in 1983, Def Leppard broke through in a big way with their third album Pyromania. It would be a multi-platinum #2 that featured four Rock Top 10 tracks (two hit #1) and three Pop Top 30 singles, including the #12 "Photograph." Anxious to get started on a follow-up, the band started to write songs along with producer Mutt Lange in 1984. However, a couple of setbacks (see below) sidelined the band and delayed the album. After a difficult three-year period, they were finally able to return with their fourth album Hysteria. This first single was released and predictably it did well at Rock getting to #7. Unfortunately, it just didn't register with pop listeners and the song could only manage a brief appearance at the bottom of the Pop chart. It was an unexpected slow start for the LP, but it wouldn't be long before the band came roaring back with a string of hits that would make the album the best selling of their career.

ReduxReview:  Oddly, this song was the first single in the US and Canada, but the rest of the world got "Animal" first. According to what I've read, the band wanted to do that in order to make sure that fans of their original hard rock sound got on board first before releasing tracks that were geared more towards a mainstream audience. It was a risky move because if the song tanked at Pop (which it did) and it caused the next single to not do well, the album might have been sunk. However, the ploy worked as after this song they unleashed a string of radio-ready fare that pushed them to superstardom. As for this track, yeah, it was a bit on the rough side for pop, but it was still solid and catchy with heavy, booming production by Lange. It has kind of been forgotten these days in favor of the band's bigger hits, yet I'll listen to this jam most any time.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  During the creation of the Hysteria album, the band experience several issues and setbacks. Initially, their producer/co-writer Mutt Lange was set to work on the LP, but after things got kicked off, Lange decided he needed to drop out due to a heavy schedule that left him exhausted. The band then got Jim Steinman to step in. Steinman's and the band's visions for the albums didn't sync and after one completed track, the two parties decided it wasn't working and Steinman was out. The band then tried to produce it themselves, but that didn't work either and all sessions were scrapped. Then the worst part happened. Drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm in a car accident. Undeterred and supported by the band, Allen worked out how to play the drums with just one arm. This of course delayed the album further, but the extra time allowed for Lange to return following his break. It would seem the band had had enough bad luck, but then Lange had his own accident that caused a minor delay and then lead singer Joe Elliott somehow got the mumps. Still, the band persevered and finally finished the album.


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