People always associate Def Leppard with the kind of sugar coated, big haired, commercial rock they dealt out in the late 80s and early 90s. However, that was not always the case.
'On Through The Night' was Leppard's debut album and came out at a time when heavy metal was enjoying a resurgence in the UK in 1980. This album sees the band taking their place besides bands like Iron Maiden and Saxon, who spearheaded the rebirth of metal at the time, and it's a quite remarkable debut, when you consider how young the band members were back then.
The first three tracks, 'Rock Brigade', 'Hello America, and 'Sorrow Is a Woman' get the album off to a storming start. The first two being good balls out rockers with good riffs and lots of energy. The latter being a haunting, dark, brooding ballad.
'Wasted' and 'Rocks Off' are a good pair of galloping metallers and both 'Overture' and 'The Walls Come Tumbling Down' show an epic side to the band.
The whole album has echoes of Thin Lizzy, UFO and even Judas Priest at times, and the enthusiasm and energy with which the band rattle through these tracks make 'On Through The Night' a really entertaining album to listen to. It's a shame that the band have tried to distance themselves from it.
Anyone who has any doubts about Leppard's hard rock credibility, based on the music they have made post 1984 needs to unearth this one.