Album Review: “On Through the Night” By Def Leppard
via DEF LEPPARD/YouTube
Where It All Began
Def Leppard announced their arrival to the rock scene with “On Through The Night” and they were basically at the forefront of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. It’s their heaviest album and many ardent fans still prefer it over the more accessible and more commercial LPs that followed it.
“On Through The Night” shows their music influences and for a band still starting out, it’s actually pretty good. It’s a tight and consistent LP with several gems scattered throughout. And as far as debut LPs go, Def Leppard definitely showed promise with their first studio effort. It’s far from perfect but it offers a glimpse into their greatness – after all, they were still a bunch of kids at the time.
Although it was eventually certified platinum a decade after its release, it only peaked at #51 on the US Billboard 200. Clearly, their sound and style weren’t everyone’s cup of tea. And though they would go on to create masterpieces like 1983’s Pyromania and 1987’s Hysteria, it was “On Through the Night” that started it all. From the get-go, the group was already oozing with confidence and ambition.
They were still years away from finally refining their sound but in all the ways that matter, “On Through the Night” served as their jumping-off point. The songs are raw, heavy-hitting, and full of energy. It’s not as polished or sophisticated as their later LPs and in a way, that adds to its charm and appeal. Over four decades later, the entire LP sounds dated and most of the cuts didn’t stand the test of time. Nevertheless, it’s still a fun listening experience.
The key tracks include Hello America, Rock Brigade, Wasted and Rocks Off.