Def Leppard have a huge chip on their shoulder about being lumped in with the U.K. and U.S. hair-metal bands of the Eighties. To set the record straight, they've recorded this album of covers of songs by their real heroes: people like David Bowie, T.Rex and the Kinks, as well as lesser-known Seventies rockers such as Sweet and John Kongos. Happily, Yeah! is their most convincing album in fourteen years, which proves their point. Standout tracks include a straightforward cover of David Essex's ""Rock On"" and an amped-up take on the Faces' ""Stay With Me,"" in which Phil Collen seems to conjure Rod Stewart. The only real misstep is a flat rendition of Blondie's ""Hanging on the Telephone"" (coincidentally the only American group on the album). None of the arrangements veer far from the originals, but they don't need to — it's good enough to just hear the band having fun and to see where all the Hysteria came from.
- Def Leppard
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