There were a lot of heavy metal bands in the 1980s and there were a lot of pop bands too; there weren't many who combined the two styles as well as Def Leppard did. This is a statement that the simply titled The CD Collection, Vol. 1 proves over and over during the course of its playing time. Made up of the four albums the band released during the 1980s, a live show recorded in 1983 (which was issued as part of the deluxe edition of Pyromania), a disc of B-sides and rarities, and a mini-disc of the band's self-titled 1979 EP, the set is filled with razor-sharp riffs, hooky choruses, thudding backbeats, inferno-hot guitar soloing, keening vocal harmonies, and the inimitable yelp of singer Joe Elliott as it runs through their early career. Starting with the EP, it's plain that Def Leppard had the goods right away, but all they needed was a producer to help them clean it up a little.
Don Airey's discography is definitely one of the most impressive for any British musician. It is hard to find a name between all those that in the last 30 years have left a mark in the history of rock that has not worked with him at some point. To name the most obvious of Don Airey s associations: Ozzy Osbourne, Rainbow, Whitesnake, Judas Priest, Gary Moore, Brian May, Uriah Heep, Black Sabbath and, obviously, Deep Purple, the band Don Airey has been a full time member of for over ten years. Don Airey has never been a session player. Bands and artists have worked with him for his unique musical vision, for the twist he could give to songs…
There was something in the air in the urban corners of late ‘60s Japan. Student protests and a rising youth culture gave way to the angura (short for “underground) movement that thrived on subverting traditions of the post-war years. Rejection of the Beatlemania-inspired Group Sounds and the squeaky clean College Folk movements led the rise of what came to be known in Japan as “New Music,” where authenticity mattered more than replicating the sounds of their idols.
Electric Light Orchestra's third album showed a marked advancement, with a fuller, more cohesive sound from the band as a whole and major improvements in Jeff Lynne's singing and songwriting. This is where the band took on its familiar sound, Lynne's voice suddenly showing an attractive expressiveness reminiscent of John Lennon in his early solo years, and also sporting a convincing white British soulful quality that was utterly lacking earlier. The group also plugged the holes that made its work seem so close to being ragged on those earlier records. "Showdown" and "Ma-Ma-Ma Belle" (the latter featuring Marc Bolan on double lead guitar with Lynne) became AM radio fixtures while "Daybreaker" became a concert opener for the group and, along with "In the Hall of the Mountain King," kept the group's FM/art rock credentials in order.
Cut during the fall of 1972, Electric Light Orchestra II was where Jeff Lynne started rebuilding the sound of Electric Light Orchestra following the departure of Roy Wood from the original lineup. It was as personal an effort as Lynne had ever made in music, showcasing his work as singer, songwriter, guitarist, sometime synthesizer player, and producer, and it is more focused than its predecessor but also retains some of the earlier album's lean textures. Lynne, drummer Bev Bevan, bassist Mike D'Albuquerque, and keyboardist Richard Tandy comprise the core of the band, with two cellists and a violinist sawing away around them.