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Biz Prof

Phil Collen: A note (or thousand) too far

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Just watched a few minutes of a  relatively recent Def Leppard concert on AXS. While I admit to being a longtime fan of the original incarnation of the band...And a slightly less enthusiastic fan of the Pyromania tour lineup, Phil Collen's incessant 32nd note noodling and whammy dive at every conceivable fill spot within each song is mind-numbing. It's like the guitar turd in a musical punch bowl, especially on the older material where that kind of embellishment simply doesn't fit.

Even with Joe's voice being a bit weaker that in decades past, the band is tight and sounds quite good. Their song selection on more recent tours is a reasonable mixture of older and newer material. With the benefit of time, I now realize that Viv was/is a solid replacement for Steve Clark. He's a disciplined, musical player and keeps the songs sounding both fresh and accurate. Phil has morphed into the British Zakk Wylde....and I don't mean that in a flattering way. 

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Biz Prof said:

Phil Collen's incessant 32nd note noodling and whammy dive at every conceivable fill spot within each song is mind-numbing. It's like the guitar turd in a musical punch bowl, especially on the older material where that kind of embellishment simply doesn't fit.

You should see Yngwie Malmsteen. The relentless barrages of 64th notes, and drop-spin-kicks of pics into the audience will bore the hell out of you. Saw him with G3 almost 20 years ago, and I've never been prouder to see a time slot end. With the possible exception of a 25+ minute jam-band version of 'I'm your Captain' by Mark Farner in 2000. God that was excruciating.

Edited by DaveH
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Posted (edited)

I agree. But in the 80s I think that Steve Clarks guitar parts made it Collens parts tolerable. Steve's style and riffs were such a big part of the bands sound. On Pyromania, and on Hysteria, their styles matched each others. Hysteria is a master piece of an album, (and funny enough a blue print for the successfull boybands of the late 1990s and early 00s. Backstreet Boys, Britney etc took much of their sound and arrangements from that album). 

When the band lost Steve and Collen took over as a guitarist it all fell apart. Adrenalize has some good songs, and Collen said in interviews that he tried to "fake" Steves style and guitarparts on the album. But after that it's 100% down hill. Viv Cambell was a safe card. His style and precense in the band is harmless, and hardly noticable. I have read that for instance Adrian Smith auditioned for the gig. He would have been a more exiting choice. Perhaps he could have sparked some new energy. Instead it became more of the same. The band even took in Backstreet Boys producers and songwriters for their album "X" (Max Martin; Andreas Carlsson, Samuel Waermö). Their sound became the boyband sound Hysteria was the blueprint for.  

 

edited for memory loss

Edited by Disturber

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Disturber said:

The band even took in Backstreet Boys producers and songwriters for their album "X" (Max Martin; Andreas Carlsson, Samuel Waermö). Their sound became the boyband sound Hysteria was the blueprint for.  

This ^^^ is prolly the most UN-rocknroll thing I have ever seen on the web. Shame on them. 

I was vinyl shopping last week and saw a new DL boxed set which had OTTN, HnD and Pyromania LPs. “Live at the L.A. Forum 1983”, a reissue of their first EP and an extra, “Rarities”, LP. Lotta cool stuff there. The DL collector/fanboy would love this but it was very expensive. 

“Fanboy” would not describe myself vis a vis DL. They had a shelf-life of about 4yrs. I lost interest in them pretty quickly. 

Edited by RobB

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7 hours ago, Disturber said:

I have read that for instance Dave Murray auditioned for the gig.

What?  Why? 

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Posted (edited)

EVH auditioned for UFO when they booted Schenker. 

Edited by RobB

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13 hours ago, Disturber said:

I have read that for instance Dave Murray auditioned for the gig.

What?  Who?

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Toadroller said:

What?  Who?

 

21 hours ago, Steve Haynie said:

What?  Why? 

Sorry. I am absent minded as hell. That other Iron Maiden guy, Adrian Smith. Guess it was when he was out of Iron Maiden for a while. 

edit:
"Just a few days after the album’s release, the new guitarist in Def Leppard was announced: Vivian Campbell, formerly of Dio and Whitesnake. Behind the scenes, the band had already tried out other guitarists, including John Sykes, also ex-Whitesnake, and Adrian Smith, at that time between tenures in Iron Maiden. As Collen explains: “There was no formal audition with John and Adrian, they just came and played with us for a while. It was more about us getting a sense of what they were like as people.” Sykes ended up singing backing vocals on Adrenalize.

“John could sing his ass off,” Elliott says. “And he wrote Still Of The Night for Whitesnake. Adrian I adore, and in the end it worked out well for him because he’s back in Maiden where he belongs. We also tried out a young unknown kid from Birmingham, Huey Lucas. Great player, but his voice wasn’t that strong. Vivian was always the number-one candidate. For us it wasn’t about how well you could play, it was more about how well you can sing. And more importantly, we’ve got to get on with this person.”
"

Edited by Disturber

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Posted (edited)
On 3/30/2019 at 10:33 PM, Biz Prof said:

 While I admit to being a longtime fan of the original incarnation of the band... It's like the guitar turd in a musical punch bowl (and I don't mean that in a flattering way.) 

I hear ya!

20190401_092443.jpg

Edited by LefThanDed
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Posted (edited)

I see what you did there...

ETA: At what point do you suppose  Phil Collins had an epiphany ...... that his receding hairline had morphed into a mohawk?

Edited by Biz Prof
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I still don’t “get” Def Leppard, even if I’ve tried. The other day I watched a recent show of them, filmed in Las Vegas. Viv and Phil can play and the band sounds tight and solid, but no song of theirs would get me excited. That was one of the dullest shows I’ve ever watched, actually. And when I try to listen to their albums, I get bored quickly. I find their music overproduced and far from being... enthralling.😕 I guess they’re not for me? 🤷🏻‍♂️ Or what album have I missed?

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The first album is the one to get.  It does not sound like the rest. 

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I was lucky to catch Def Leppard right after their first album came out. They opened for the Scorpions and played in a small venue of less than a thousand people. Great show by both bands. The interesting thing was that Def Leppard had a issue with their gear. Truck broke down or something like that. A local music store, The Great House of Guitars lended them amps and guitars for the show. Both guitarists played Hamers the whole night. 

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2 hours ago, zorrow said:

I still don’t “get” Def Leppard, even if I’ve tried. The other day I watched a recent show of them, filmed in Las Vegas. Viv and Phil can play and the band sounds tight and solid, but no song of theirs would get me excited. That was one of the dullest shows I’ve ever watched, actually. And when I try to listen to their albums, I get bored quickly. I find their music overproduced and far from being... enthralling.😕 I guess they’re not for me? 🤷🏻‍♂️ Or what album have I missed?

I like the first three, but I put High n' Dry at number one.  Hysteria is good if you accept it for what it is.  I think they knew what they were going for and achieved it beyond their wildest imaginations.

I actually liked Phil Collen's playing on Pyromania and Hysteria, but when he plays the earlier songs he ruins them for me.  It's like if Eddie Van Halen joined AC/DC - just not the right fit.  Of course I'm a big Clark/Willis lineup fan anyway so I'm probably biased.  Phil was OK in Girl too.

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OTTN and H&D are great. I loved OTTN when it came out...such great RNR. I think I’ll play Wasted later in it’s honor.

...and Schenker tried to audition for Perry’s slot in 1979.....IIRC, the band left him sitting in some sleazy motel and couldn’t get it together enough for a proper audition. Crespo was the right choice.

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Honestly, I never saw the appeal, and most of what I consider their "best" stuff was recorded with Steve Clark AND Pete Willis, who also wrote a good number of songs. I don't really know how much Collen contributed to Pyromania. I really like the rhythm work more than any of the solos, in the Def Leppard catalog anyway.

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3 hours ago, Jakeboy said:

OTTN and H&D are great. I loved OTTN when it came out...such great RNR. I think I’ll play Wasted later in it’s honor.

Here, here!  Pip pip and cheerio!

 

I think I will always play Wasted for the rest of my life.  I learned it right away when On Through The Night came out. 

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I like 'em.   They got "mutt langed" for better and worse.   The musicianship improved.   The singing/harmonies are impressive.   But the pop sensibility  gutted most of the rawk.

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I was excited about them when I was a yoof, because they were opening for someone in Denver the summer I was there, and the radio ad intoned “...whose average age is..nineteen” so I could dream of being a rawk star in a few years. Bought On Through the Night, but then got more into The Clash, and in a couple years I discovered The Cure and I never again listened to bands that wore Lycra and big white basketball shoes. 

Photograph is a hell of a great pop song, though. 

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On 3/31/2019 at 3:52 AM, DaveH said:

You should see Yngwie Malmsteen. The relentless barrages of 64th notes, and drop-spin-kicks of pics into the audience will bore the hell out of you. Saw him with G3 almost 20 years ago, and I've never been prouder to see a time slot end. With the possible exception of a 25+ minute jam-band version of 'I'm your Captain' by Mark Farner in 2000. God that was excruciating.

Dude, that is what Yngwie is all about???????????????????????????????? Remember that Yngwie line, More is More.

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48 minutes ago, Steve Haynie said:

Yngwie has upcoming tour dates.  For $400 you can meet him so he can berate you in front of people over something you say that he takes the wrong way. 

It sounds almost worth it if you could really upset him.  Perhaps over his waistline or something?  

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Posted (edited)

I've always thought Phil Collen was the weakest part of the band. I was a big DL fan when the first two records were released. When Pyromania hit the shelves, I was so disappointed. Even as a 12 yr old , I could tell the band I loved had been changed completely. I saw them in '92 (free tickets) and was shocked that the show was so bad. I walked out after 45 minutes in the 8th row. Even Steve Clark couldn't make up for Collen's incessant butchering of nearly perfect hard rock songs. He stood there shirtless right in front of me, noodling away and shitting all over the "High N Dry" material. I got up and walked out, shaking my head. Today, I'd like to see two things - One- DL taking off Viv's leash and letting him rip through the old stuff and Two - Phil putting on a shirt and playing the maracas backstage. 

Edited by Bluesking
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10 hours ago, fasteddie said:

Dude, that is what Yngwie is all about???????????????????????????????? Remember that Yngwie line, More is More.

Yngwie has upcoming tour dates.  For $400 you can meet him so he can berate you in front of people over something you say that he takes the wrong way. 

Well there ya go fasteddie, sounds right up your alley. Go and catch ya some spinning drop-kicks... Who knows, you might even get a pic or two out of the deal.

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22 hours ago, BubbaVO said:

They got "mutt langed" for better and worse.

Still better than being "DiBergi'd" like Spinal Tap.

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