Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Def Leppard Slang

Slang is the sixth studio album by British hard rock band Def Leppard, released in 1996. The album marked a radical musical departure from their signature sound, and was produced by the band with Pete Woodroffe.The album charted at #14 on The Billboard 200 and #5 on the UK Albums Chart. It is also the only Def Leppard album that does not feature their recognizable logo.

Between the releases of Retro Active and Slang, Def Leppard endured hardships including Phil Collen's divorce, the death of Rick Savage's father and Savage's battle with Bell's Palsy, and the arrests of both Rick Allen and Joe Elliott for spousal abuse and assault, respectively. Though the band says Adrenalize  was recorded during a bleaker time, the absence of Mutt Lange (for the first time on a Def Leppard record since 1981) made it possible for the band to show what they were really feeling. Says Joe Elliott, "There was a period with Mutt where if you came out with anything slightly negative, it was 'Fuck it!' and it was gone!" Continues Phil Collen, "We've all got personal things that have happened during the recording of Slang, and we've just ploughed on and some of it has come out on the record."

Doing without the services Mutt Lange, the band changed another habit by recording together as a band, in a townhouse in Marbella, Spain. Slang would feature less production in favour of a more organic sound, catalysed by drummer Rick Allen's reversion to a semi-acoustic kit. "We'd got so sick of recording the old way. We didn't want to do it any more. We wanted the music to be more personalised and let the character of the individuals to come out," explains Rick Savage.

Songs such as "Turn to Dust" introduced sarangi and other instrumentation atypical for the band. The album's lyrical content featured a darker and more introspective turn for the most part, with lighter fare restricted to the Prince-influenced "Slang".

Slang was the first Def Leppard album to fail to achieve platinum sales in the US. Elsewhere, the album performed better: it placed four singles on the UK charts, and did go platinum in Canada. On the supporting tour the band performed for the first time in Southeast Asia, South Africa and South America.

A limited edition release included a 6-track bonus disc, "Acoustic in Singapore", recorded live in October 1995.