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  • Slang
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4.3 out of 5 stars53
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 29 July 2010
This was definitely Def Leppard trying something completely different!! For me it worked. They stripped away all the gloss that was so right for 'Hysteria' and some of the dross from 'Adrenelize', added a pinch of grunge (and I do mean a pinch) and came up with 'Slang'.

This album was always going to be different because it was Viv Campbell's first album where he was involved in the writing process. It was a step in the right direction. 'Hysteria' captured the mood and the sound of the times perfectly. No one can doubt its legend status. 'Adrenelize' seemed to over egg the pudding, never mind the impossible task of following one of the biggest selling albums of the decade! It was sounding stale, rock music was changing...

What 'Slang' does best is it gets thru the record quick!! The first 3 songs are finished inside 10 mins. There are no long intro's, drawn out guitar solo's, just good songs. Stand out tracks are 'All I Want Is Everything', 'Where Does Love Go When It Dies?' and 'Pearl of Euphoria'

In a way this feels like Def Leppard have grown up... or maybe the harsh reality of life and the struggles the band endured along the way had forged a new vision... maybe this band had the balls to do something different... 'Slang' is what it is, for what it is; a damn good rock album that I still play and enjoy after all these years!
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on 5 August 2006
This was released back in 1996, on the back of first DL greatest hits album, 'Vault', it was said that Vault was the ending of the first Leppard era, and Slang was the start of a new one.

Well, people who are expecting the usual Leppard 'hair rock' will be surprised with this offering. Indeed, it leans in parts to Nirvana (Deliver Me), and in parts to Boyz II Men (Breathe A Sigh).

So a surprising mix, and it never sounds at all like Def Leppard (the title track aside). It is only Joe Elliott's distict voice that gives the game away.

It's a shame that this never got the commercial success to go alongside the critial acclaim, because it is truly an excellent album. It goes from the ultra-heavy (Gift of Flesh) to lush ballad (Blood Runs Cold) in a moment, and despite the mass of different sounds here, nothing sounds out of place.

Album highlights are the excellent 'All I Want Is Everything' and 'Work it Out', the latter being one of the best songs DL have ever recorded in my opinion.

In short, I would recommend this to anyone, as it has just about everything - heavy rockers, lush ballads and just about everything in between. Just don't expect another 'Hysteria' or 'Pyromania', as this is something totally different.

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on 12 February 2014
This is a review of the 2014 deluxe edition. It has been nearly 18 years since originally released and it is not relevant what 'musical trends' are going on at the moment, so the fact that this album sounds so different doesn't matter anymore. The original album contained a real mixture of styles and was all the better for it, there was classic Leppard with the title track, some harder stuff and some more experimental stuff with 'Turn to dust'. Some of the bonus tracks give a real insight to how the final versions had evolved and 'All on your touch', a track that didn't make it on the original recording could have become a standout track had it been fully evolved. This collection is well worth a listen, I hadn't heard the original for a while, and re-listening to it now along with its extra tracks has made me realise how good the album really is. It is a bargain at £10 for all this music, and makes you realise how inventive Def Leppard can be when they want to! Not a Leppard classic, but certainly a good listen.
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on 10 June 2009
This is where the band got serious and showed some adventure and the end product is their best studio album. A lot of fans slated the sudden change but ten years on it is the one album that truly stands the test of time. Got everything they done. From one night in Sheffield in front of 30 people I think it was, to international superstars the band totally deserve it and this is the one CD that I think shows how good this band can be. Buy with confidence.
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on 21 May 2006
I'm a huge def leppard fan but I hated it when I first listened to it. Then about a month ago I accidentally put it on in the car(it had found it's way into the "Hysteria" case) and something happened, maybe I grew up or something but I just heard a completely different album and I have to say that it's currently my favourite. If your expecting vintage 80's def leppard thought, you will be disappointed.
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on 17 February 2014
I am a long time Leppard fan, having started with the single Hello America in 1980 and carried on buying each album on release and seeing them a number of times in concert. I always liked Slang. It was a bit of a change in direction and was needed at the time. Adrenalize very much built on the big production sound of Hysteria and that probably couldn't be taken any further at the time. So if you don't already have Slang, this Deluxe Edition remaster is worth it as there are some really great Leppard songs in there including some fantastic ballads such as Breathe a Sigh and Where Does Love Go When It Dies plus some quite different rock songs such as the title track itself. The remaster is good, not much different from the original to my ears but I quite like the sound of the original anyway.
I didn't give it 4 or 5 because the package itself and the choice of extra tracks lets it down in my view.
I have the original Slang CD which came with a free CD featuring six Acoustic tracks live in Singapore. It is a great package.
It's quite unusual to say the original release beats the reissue in terms of extras, but it certainly does as live acoustic versions of Armageddon It, Two Steps Behind, From the Inside, Animal, When Love and Hate Collides and Pour Some Sugar on Me are well worth having. You'd be better tracking that down if you can.
The previous Deluxe Editions for Pyromania, Hysteria and Adrenalize are excellent in terms of extras. On Pyromania we got a live show from LA Forum from the Pyromania tour. On Hysteria, all the B sides and remixes plus some live tracks from the period. On Adrenalize all the B sides and some more live tracks. All three were consistently presented in gatefold digi packs and form quite a good collection of reissues. I expected Slang Deluxe to follow suit and maintain the consistent standard of the deluxe reissues.
Here we get various original 1st drafts and rough mixes of some of the Slang album track and a few extra songs that didn't make it to the album.
What is missing are the B sides from the Slang era singles. I would have liked the extras to include the versions of Bowie's Ziggy Stardust, Jeff Beck"s Cause We Ended as Lovers and Led Boots, When Saturday Comes, Jimmy's Theme etc plus the live versions of Slang, Deliver Me, All I Want Is Everything, Another Hit & Run, Rock Rock etc that were released at the time as B Sides. Some of the B Sides are included (Cant Keep Away From The Flame, Move With Me Slowly but the rest are missing in favour of the 1st drafts and rough mixes. I think that is a mistake and a missed opportunity to maintain the high standard of the previous deluxe editions.
Finally the packaging is very poor in comparison to the three previous Deluxe Editions. Rather than a gatefold digi pack, we get what is a double jewel case (the type that can take up to four discs and takes up the space of three CD boxes on the shelf). Nowadays, this looks quite old fashioned. The original release with the extra Acoustic Live in Singapore was packaged better in a single size, flip out style 2cd box.
Next to the previous three Leppard Deluxe Editions, Slang looks poorly done to me. There's no excuse for that. In terms of costs of production, all the recording costs are sunk on the initial release so it's just remastering and repackaging and adding a well compiled, comprehensive disc of extras. No reason why that is compromised on this release in comparison to the previous three.
In summary, Slang the album is excellent, buy it if you don't already have it but as a Deluxe Edition, this falls short of the high standard set by the previous releases and that's disappointing.
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on 30 March 2002
A move from the formula of Hysteria and Adrenalize, the Leps have moved away from collaboartion writing to more individual, experimental songs. This album will not be to everybody's tastes but hardcore Leps fans must give it a listen. There are a few too many slow songs but there are a few stand out tracks. Pearl of Euphoria is an epic worthy of the Leps, as is the Campbell penned Work It Out. The opening two of Truth? and Turn To Dust set the tone for the album. Not classic Def Leppard, but an album that has been neglected and seen as the album that might have killed off the Leps. I like it because it is different. Not the cliched rock that you expect from the Sheffield band. It may have been there undoing but I applauded them for having the balls at trying something new.
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on 13 February 2014
I love this album as much today as I did on its release day in 1996. To me, it still sounds fresh and I continue to hear new things within the tracks all these years later. A true sign of a good album.

There are many comments regarding this being different to previous Leppard albums and it doesn’t need to be covered here again, however the musical climate of the time necessitated a change in direction. When Hysteria was released, competition came from Motley Crue, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Poison & Bon Jovi. When Slang was released, competition came from Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, Alice In Chains, Hole & Pearl Jam. Incidentally, all the above 80’s bands also had albums out around the time of Slangs release and in my opinion, all tried a taste of the alternative and succeeded with some good music (94’s Motley Crue, 93’s Get A Grip, 95’s Balance, 93’s Native Tongue & 95’s These Days respectively). For Def Leppard, it was either sink or swim. And they swam.

My only comment on Slang that I felt at the time and still stand by, ‘Slang’ the single was too similar to previous work (specifically things from Adrenalize). To really stand out and stand up, the first single should have been Truth. Incidentally, if this track was released as a single now to an unaware public, it would still sound ‘new’. Perhaps this album was actually ahead of its time rather than being a reaction to what was happening at the time as many of the tracks would work today.

Overall, a great album that the band clearly still love and sounds fantastic in this remastered form.

With regard to the ‘extra’ tracks on this Deluxe Edition, it’s a mixed bag with a little too much repetition (All I Want Is Everything?). It’s nice to have a lot of these things but in all honesty, the ‘1st Drafts’ and ‘alternate versions’ are hardly different to the tracks that made the album in their finished state. Having said that, Def Leppard’s demo’s make other bands polished final products sound like they were recorded in a garage on a tape recorder!

Special mention on the extra tracks needs to go to Raise Your Love, Anger and Black Train. Great early versions of familiar Slang tracks and Pearl Of Euphoria and Truth (both of which were B Sides back then) are possibly better than the ones on the original album. All On Your Touch is pretty good and quite a departure for DL. The rest of the old B Sides (some of which didn’t appear originally until the Euphoria singles) are great to have in one place.

So, a good package for an underrated album (although did get good press at the time) and sounds terrific. If anything, I would have liked some of these songs as ‘live’ tracks instead of too similar alternative versions but alas anything this band releases is a must have for me.

Now, time to rest the archive for a bit and get a new album out! It’s way overdue!!!
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on 30 November 2011
This record does not really sound like Def Leppard, at least like the Def Leppard we know and loved in the 80's. I prefer this effort to deliver something a little different that the dumb copy of themselves in Adrenalize.
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`Slang' is the Def Leppard album where they attempted to move away from their `big hair' eighties rock sound and move towards a more relevant and developed rock. I find it to be of their most mature and definitely underrated albums. Unfortunately they bowed to the mass of critical onslaught and returned to the sound that made them famous and at the same time confined themselves to yesterdays music scene and eighties rock cliché. If only they had the courage to follow this through! The guitar playing is more nuanced and Joe Elliots singing is perfectly pitched to the songs on offer. `All I want is Everything' is an excellent track with a superb sustained solo towards the end and `Breathe A Sigh' is a gentler track that breaks up the album excellently. The track `Slang' is a fast, fun ride and shows that the band is still able to rock. I have all of Def leppards albums and enjoy them all in their own ways, but if you're expecting another `Hysteria' or `Adrenalize' you'll be disappointed. But if you come to this with an open mind, you will find an album of great song writing and a more mature side of the Leps. Underrated and well worth a try.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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