Mandatory Metal: 5 Essential Def Leppard Songs

Def Leppard, 1970; photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Heavy music is full of legendary bands boasting deep catalogs stacked with iconic songs — sometimes it can be hard to know where to start, or what to consider their best. With that in mind, we present the “Mandatory Metal” lists, which collect what we consider to be the definitive tracks from various members of the metallurgic pantheon. Up today, Def Leppard, those NWOBHM upstarts turned poodly-haired pop stars whose perfect earworm confections like “Love Bites” and “Pour Some Sugar on Me” appear on seemingly every Eighties movie soundtrack and turn up at every karaoke session. Joe Elliot, Phil Collen and Co. are being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2019, and as such, have crucial cuts to spare, but in our opinion, these tracks are their most essential. If you disagree, sound off on The Pit Facebook page.

“ROCK BRIGADE”
ALBUM: ON THROUGH THE NIGHT

A Thin Lizzy-inspired romp in which longhaired ruffians terrorize the countryside with their hard music and tight trousers.
Sample lyrics: “So when they hit your town you’d better get down/’Cause they live for rock and roll/They’ll try to steal your soul/Might even try to steal your sister.”

“ME AND MY WINE”
ALBUM: HIGH ‘N’ DRY

This ode to booze took on an eerie meaning when guitarist Steve Clark succumbed to alcoholism in 1991.
Sample lyrics: “Now my brain and my body are runnin’ on different rails/And I died and just say hi what if all else fails.”

“ROCK OF AGES”
ALBUM: PYROMANIA

You guessed it: This song is about the metal, not the Christ.
Sample lyrics: “Gunter glieben glauten globen.”

“PHOTOGRAPH”
ALBUM: PYROMANIA

The greatest pop-metal song ever, and it’s about a stalker spanking his monkey.
Sample lyrics: “Passion killer, you’re too much/You’re the only one I wanna touch/I see your face every time I dream/On every page, every magazine.”

“WOMEN”
ALBUM: HYSTERIA

Singer Joe Elliott explores the reasons why he loves the ladies — even though they got us run out of Eden, thus dooming mankind to a lifetime of suffering.
Sample lyrics: “The animal instinct, the wanton man/ She fed him with a hunger, an appetite/And fillin’ with emotion he took a bite.”