Def Leppard’s ‘Diamond Star Halos’ An Exercise of Excellence from a Legendary Act

By “Tampa” Earl Burton

Review: Def Leppard’s album Diamond Star Halos-Release date May 27, 2022

They have been a part of the rock world for 45 years. They have had the highest of moments of success and plunged to the depths of despair where it would have been easy to quit. But, for the past 45 years, the British hard rock band Def Leppard has weathered their way through the storm. For the first time in six years, the band has released a new CD, entitled Diamond Star Halos, in advance of their forthcoming summer tour of the States of America with fellow Eighties legends Mötley Crüe, Poison, and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

We must establish a few things here. This is not the same band of frenetic teenage boys who came out of Sheffield with a chip on their shoulder to help lead the attack of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal in 1977. The current incarnation of Def Leppard is not even the same mega-hit machine that spawned two Diamond Award albums (ten million sales) in the Eighties (1983’s Pyromania and 1987’s Hysteria). Only five bands have ever achieved such lofty status: The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Van Halen, and Def Leppard.

No, the wizened men who are Def Leppard, circa 2022, are older, wiser, and perhaps even better than the peak of their powers previously. Singer Joe Elliott, guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell (added in 1993 after the death of Steve Clark), bassist Rick Savage and drummer Rick Allen (himself a survivor of a near-death auto accident on New Year’s Eve in 1984 that resulted in the amputation of his left arm) have been through the hell of “rock and roll” and are still around to tell those stories. That is what they do well on the fifteen tracks that make up Diamond Star Halos.

Photo Credit: Anton Corbijn

The CD opens with a typical Leppard rock song that demonstrates their appeal to both their male and female audience members. “Take What You Want” demonstrates the power of the twin guitar attack of Collen and Campbell, while Elliott’s voice, even at his age (62) still is a strong and powerful tool in the Leppard attack. The tune segues into current release from the CD, “Kick,” which was a perfect “welcome back” for fans of the band.

Looking deeper into the album, the next release should have been an excellent rock track called “SOS Emergency.” What has stopped that from happening, however, is that there are two tracks on the album which show the musical virtuosity of Def Leppard. Taking a page from the Robert Plant approach, Elliott and the gang have teamed up with bluegrass songbird Alison Krauss for a couple of tunes that accentuate the “elder statesmen” approach that Def Leppard now enjoys.

On “This Guitar,” Krauss and Elliott trade a duet over Collen’s mournful bluesy guitar. The song traces the life of a couple and how they have grown over the years. Or is it a song about how “a guitar saved my life?” It is tough to judge which emotion comes through and the song is excellently done. The second song, “Lifeless,” is a little more Def Leppard oriented (think “Two Steps Behind”), but Krauss’ touches on the tune are unmistakable and improve the performance beyond what it would have been without her.

While the band’s members are all hovering around the sixty-year-old line, that isn’t keeping them from putting out some strong new material. Additionally, they are the only part of this massive touring package this summer that is putting out new material, 45 years since On Through the Night slammed into the Americas. Diamond Star Halos is an excellent way for Def Leppard to rediscover the rock and roll world and is a highly worthy addition to their lengthy recording legacy. We can only hope that this is not the last time that we have heard from them.



ORDER HERE Check out the full track listing below.            TRACKLISTING

  1. Take What You Want
  2. Kick
  3. Fire It Up
  4. This Guitar [feat. Alison Krauss]
  5. SOS Emergency
  6. Liquid Dust
  7. U Rok Mi
  8. Goodbye For Good This Time
  9. All We Need
  10. Open Your Eyes
  11. Gimme A Kiss
  12. Angels (Can’t Help You Now)
  13. Lifeless [feat. Alison Krauss]
  14. Unbreakable
  15. From Here To Eternity

The artwork for Diamond Star Halos is art in itself. The design follows pedigree with their instantly recognizable album covers from their celebrated past. With images by world renowned photographer and director Anton Corbijn, styling concepts by Maryam Malakpour and graphics by the UK based Munden Brothers, the design truly follows the band’s influence through their eyes today.  Following the album’s release, Def Leppard will co-headline the massive 36 city The Stadium Tour with Mötley Crüe joined by special guests Poison and Joan Jett.

 TOUR DATES:6/16     Atlanta, GA                             Truist Park6/18     Miami Gardens, FL                 Hard Rock Stadium6/19     Orlando, FL                             Camping World Stadium6/22     Washington, D.C.                   Nationals Park6/24     Flushing, NY                           Citi Field6/25     Philadelphia, PA                     Citizens Bank Park6/28     Charlotte, NC                          Bank of America Stadium6/30     Nashville, TN                          Nissan Stadium7/2       Jacksonville, FL                      TIAA Bank Field7/5       St. Louis, MO                          Busch Stadium7/8       Chicago, IL                             Wrigley Field7/10     Detroit, MI                               Comerica Park7/12     Hershey, PA                           Hersheypark Stadium7/14     Cleveland, OH                        FirstEnergy Stadium7/15     Cincinnati, OH                        Great American Ball Park7/17     Milwaukee, WI                        American Family Field7/19     Kansas City, MO                     Kauffman Stadium7/21     Denver, CO                             Coors Field8/5       Boston, MA                             Fenway Park8/6       Boston, MA                             Fenway Park8/8       Toronto, ON                            Roger’s Centre 8/10     Orchard Park, NY                   Highmark Stadium8/12     Pittsburgh, PA                         PNC Park8/14     Minneapolis, MN                     U.S. Bank Stadium8/16     Indianapolis, IN                       Lucas Oil Stadium8/19     Houston, TX                            Minute Maid Park8/21     San Antonio, TX                     Alamodome8/22     Arlington, TX                           Global Life Field8/25     Glendale, AZ                           State Farm Stadium8/27     Inglewood, CA                        SoFi Stadium8/28     San Diego, CA                        Petco Park8/31     Seattle, WA                             T-Mobile Park9/2       Vancouver, BC                       BC Place9/4       Edmonton, AB                        Commonwealth Stadium 9/7       San Francisco, CA                 Oracle Park9/9       Las Vegas, NV                        Allegiant Stadium 2022 is the year of Def Leppard.

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Tampa Earl