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Nine Lives?

Def Leppard is set to release Songs from the Sparkle Lounge in two days (April 29). The album is already leaked on the Internet, but I've been very good and not sampled any of the illicit tracks. I have, however, spent some quality time digesting the first single "Nine Lives." In case you are not familiar, the song features country star Tim McGraw.

I don't like it. I am trying to like it, but I swear the country twang ruins it for me. If I wanted to hear country music I'd go to Nashville. If I was in Nashville, I'd hunt down Alison Krauss and Union Station and not Tim McGraw. No disrespect to him, but his songs are not my cup of tea. Back to the Leps.

You should know by now I love Def Leppard. They are one my favorite bands of all time. I've always thought my life would be irrevocably different if Hysteria was never released. I keep listening to "Nine Lives" and counting references to other songs, especially Aerosmith tunes. Is the title a reference to Aerosmith? Maybe I am just nuts, or let my Aerosmith obsession cloud my judgment.

Reinvention isn't necessarily new to DL. After all, they started out much heavier and changed their sound to fit the times. Still, there's a reason nearly every person I know owns either Pyromania or Hysteria: the albums plain rock. So, I stuck with the Leps through the death of Steve Clark, the lean years when Grunge was king...and come Tuesday, I'll be with them in the Sparkle Lounge.

Is it too much to ask for another song as good as "Animal?" Sigh.

Judge for yourself. I already know quite a lot of you are digging "Nine Lives." Here's the video:

Reader Comments (34)

Allyson...I love you. I love you. I love you.

I agree whole-heartedly. I have been a Def Lep fan for 27 years. Tim McGraw can kiss my big, fat, white arse. He has NO place on a Def Lep CD.

I was SO hoping for a rockin' CD. If this is ANY indication, I won't be buying the new CD.
April 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVicky
I had to get used to it..But I heard the other songs on the new album are very 70s glam orientated..and in a ac/dc style..When I saw them the other night they only played Nine lives from the new album and he rest were from pyromania and hysteria..but I'm with you..Def Leppard is one of my all time favorites too =)
April 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoe
HAHAHA!!!!!...Vicky YOU ROCK!!!..I can't stand country at all either..Hate these closet rockers who sing country just to make a bleeping buck. I even saw a picture of Rascal Flats in Guns and Roses and Van Halen T-Shirts..thats like me wearing a cowboy hat and sporting Garth Brooks T-shirts HAHAHA!!!
April 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoe
I'm no exception to this Tim McGraw confusion, I mean, I'm not a fan of a "new country" drawl so I wasn't sure about how he'd fit in to all of the "sparkle" of the Def Leppard sound. But I rolled the idea around in my mouth for a while, and decided are they really that far apart? New country is big and boisterous, and in recent years, so has the sound of Lepp. The helping hand of a big star like Tim McGraw could give Def Leppard the boost on the charts which is something they haven't really enjoyed in 12 years. To that end, I'll be grateful.

As for the song itself, well... it didn't fall far from the Yeah! tree. And that's not a complaint. While I am a notorious aficionado for their earliest works, I've learned to love the shiny pop canon that is the Leppard 2000. "All Night" grew on me, alright? Like an infection really, but it grew on me. I respect this band so much. It would take a lot for them to piss me off. A techno side project, possibly.

Anyway, this is the first time I'll be anticipating a new Def Leppard album, and bloody hell, this wait is annoying. I like what I've heard, and I will take what I can get.
April 27, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterlesh
it made no sense to have mcgraw sing 4 lines and then disapear. it added nothing to the song and wasn't needed. i heard the rockline they did and the rest of the album is all over the place. it is nothing i would spend my money on. joe's voice is heavily doctored and it's different on a lot of the songs. at times you can't hear the guitars until the chorus or the solo. it just sounded like crap to me.
April 27, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdon
I'm unaware of having heard country sounding quite like that. If it did, maybe I'd be a convert. Don't be fooled by the presence of Tim McGraw, because it doesn't sound remotely close to anything he's recorded. In fact, the riff almost has a Cinderella feel to it

Given what many people have been saying about this song, I was expecting something much worse.
April 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPat
I agree completly....this song is a disapointment for all of us Def Leppard fans, I listened to some other tracks on internet, and seems like the whole album is in the same direction...was it too much to ask to have something like Hysteria , Adrenalize or X ?
April 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterXavier
I like the song and Tim McGraw's presence doesn't bother me at all. Not surprising though since I like country music too.
April 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
personally it think the countryness only effects the start of the song. After that its all kick ass and very photograph in feel!

The album is ok, but the songs with more serious tones arnt as good, i like fun Def Leppard songs. And you get that with songs like GO, and my personal favourite on the album, Cmon Cmon.

Its missing steve clarkes awesome riffage though :(
April 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMrlee
What "twang" are you hearing? I don't hear one ounce of "twang" in this rocker. Now Allison Krauss? That's got some twang in it.

People need to get over their fear of anything country coming near anything rock and enjoy it for what it And good music at that. Everything I've heard about this album has me excited about new stuff from Def Leppard. I've been with them since "On Through The Night" so I'm not just some kid talking. The kids are the ones who can't get past their hang-ups of two genres coming together to make one fun, excellent song. Sign me up for more of this.

Thanks for sharing the video! And thanks for all of the work you put into this blog.
April 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMike
One more thing. If the video is honest, Tim McGraw sings more than 4 lines. He sings off and on throughout the entire song. And, if that's the case, Tim sounds a whole heck of a lot like Joe. Maybe he can bring some of that to his country albums. Great job, Tim! I don't own any of your music, but bring some of this rock to it, and I may have to reconsider.
April 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMike
yeah, i saw this video on tv last night and was wondering, why the hell is country playing on metal mania. I thought i was going crazy cuz i recognized the members of Def Leppard and was very confused till finally found out what the deal was.
But i gotta say, not diggin' it so much. I prefer it to be just Def Leppard.
April 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterStenji
Well, Allyson, I think you nailed it. Pyromania ( which I like more ) and Hysteria are both classic albums. Before that, IMO, they were average. After that, there was a nose dive. But, for so many of these bands, I ignore what they need to live up to, and enjoy it for what it is. I think the song is OK, I will buy the CD, and I won't *love* it, but I'll still be able to say that I own every Def Lep CD, and gave them a listen.

Every album ACDC released after back in black has suffered from being compared to it. That's also true of Metallica with their black album, although they deserve it, they just plain sold out, far more than Def Lep could ever hope to do.
April 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
If anyone wants a sampling of the songs...go here:

April 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVicky
p.s. Allyson...I know you don't like Nine Lives, so you should do what I do when I watch the video. Turn the sound down and just stare longingly at Joe Elliott.


I've had a crush on him since I was 12. He's still pretty damn delicious. ;)
April 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVicky
On through the night and High n' dry were "average" albums? HAHAHAHA!!!..WOW!
April 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoe
I have heard the whole album a couple of times, don't be put off by the country twang on one song, it is a solid album, pop rock but still enjoyable.They are touring in the UK with Whitesnake - now that I would like to see!
April 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJJA
As a huge Leppard fan, I get sick of this crap. People expect the band to make the same god damn album over and over and f**cking over again. It's not god damn 198-f**cking 7 anymore. If you want to listen to another Hysteria, listen to Adrenalize - which has not held up well over the years. The band has tried to please fans like you for years after you bitched and moaned about Slang... and what did we get for it? The absolutely subpar Euphoria, and the poppy X. Thanks. 12 years after an amazing album we get sidetracked with blah music. I'm glad to see the band is back to trying something new - like singing with Tim McGraw.

I've heard all of Sparkle Lounge, and it is easily Leppard's best work since Slang. The album is diverse and a mix of Yeah! and Slang. It's a bit more raw.. a bit more honest than the overproduced stuff. Songs like Go and Tomorrow have hit potential all over them. There's a bit of 70's glam influence like Cmon Cmon.

For the first time, I feel like I'm listening to something fresh from Def Leppard, not the same ol' same ol'.
April 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTyk
i have no problem with "real country" coming close to rock. i have a problem with this. mcgraw, his wife and the rest of that ilk are not real country. it's countrified pop. this release is pop and i think it sucks. my opinion. and just because somebody doesn't like the melding of 2 styles doesn't make them a kid. hell, back in 1985 i was listening to a cowpunk band called rank and file. i liked it because it was original and didn't sound like everything else. i've always liked dwight yoakum too but then again he's too country for most countrypop fans. i don't listen to a genre, i listen to artists whose music i like and respect. if you're sick of people griping you'd better get over it or stop listening and reading topics like these because guess what? it's called a forum and that's where people express their opinions. just because you're a huge fan doesn't make you the ONLY fan who matters. we all have our thoughts and ideas and it doesn't make you wrong if you disagree with me. it just makes you stupid. (that is a blatant joke okay? i don't mean it but i guarantee somebody will still take it seriously.)
April 28, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdon
I was expressing MY opinion. If people don't like it, they can ignore it or disagree with it. My comments weren't directed at any one person, just in general. You're right... it's a forum, which means I can give my differing opinion.

Never said I was the ONLY fan that matters either. If you don't like the new stuff, don't listen to it. Keep listening to 20 year old albums... doesn't affect me at all.

April 28, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTyk

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