Friday, April 15, 2011

One Great Song - "You Got Me Runnin'" - Def Leppard - 1981

If I had to pick a favorite song, it would change from day to day, maybe even hour to hour.  But there's definitely a Top 100. And well toward the upper end of that list would be Def Leppard's "You Got Me Runnin'," from what I consider to be the finest album in their catalogue, High 'n' Dry. The album as a whole is sharper than their debut. It doesn't quite sport the stadium sheen that was to come with Pyromania and Hysteria but retains a hunger that comes through from beginning to end.

In a solid platter of outstanding songs, "You Got Me Runnin'" is the absolute best. Listen to the three chords - the definition of "power" if ever there was one - up and down, that set the stage followed by a killer bass line, cymbals and drums shocked to life with a Joe Elliott "hey-hey" and "yeeee-ah!" Joe tells the story of a girl "backstabbin' and sidesteppin'" - she's no good and, of course, has him running. She never redeems herself. She's just nasty and he's perpetually fleeing. Simple stuff.  It has a vibe not unlike the Stones at their best and that's saying a lot. The harmonies throughout set it apart from straight-up hard rock and really define the best of the classic-era Def Leppard sound. Add to this an incendiary solo three minutes in and it's cemented as one of the absolute finest moments in hard rock.

Pop Quiz: anyone know if this solo was Steve Clark or Pete Willis?

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