.

Def Leppard Do Covermania

British rockers record glam classics for "Yeah!"

January 5, 2006 12:00 AM ET

After a nonstop 2005 — marked by a twenty-fifth-anniversary hits compilation, a slew of TV appearances and tours with Bryan Adams and Cheap Trick — Def Leppard have no plans of stopping. This spring will bring a covers album, Yeah!, followed by a summer tour.

For Yeah!, the Eighties mega-rockers plan to reach back into music history for over-the-top favorites that predate the band. "I saw Marc Bolan and T. Rex in 1971 on Top of the Pops," Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell recalls, "and [singer] Joe [Elliott] has the same memory. I was nine years old, and I knew I wanted to play guitar. So most of the songs come from the glam era: T. Rex, Roxy Music, E.L.O."

While the album will include renditions of E.L.O.'s "10538 Overture" and Roxy Music's "Street Life" — which Campbell says the band recorded "as more of a punk-rock song" — expect more straight-up rockers, like Thin Lizzy's "Don't Believe a Word," as well as some melodic material, like the Kinks classic "Waterloo Sunset." "But we really made it sound like Def Leppard," Campbell says of the Kinks track. "Joe does a great vocal, and we made the guitar parts work."

After a summer tour, likely to launch in June, Def Leppard plan to get to work on a new studio album, due in 2007. "We've really tried to gather ideas on the road this last summer," Campbell explains.

Meanwhile, the guitarist has further kept himself busy this year with the release of his first solo album, Two Sides of If — a blues-flavored collection of covers that finds him taking the mike for the first time. "Blues as a genre works well for me, because it can accommodate me as a guitar player as well as a singer," he explains.

But while a solo project has long been a mission for Campbell, there's no chance of him quitting the band he joined some 13 years ago. "I did this record because I wanted to and I could," he says. "I don't desire to be the point guy. I prefer being a team guy — if it's the right team."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com