Def Leppard‘s 12th studio album, Diamond Star Halos, was released today.
The 15-track collection was recorded remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, with frontman Joe Elliott in Ireland, bassist Rick Savage in the U.K., and guitarists Phil Collen and Viv Campbell and drummer Rick Allen all in the U.S.
Elliott tells ABC Audio that he really enjoyed working on the album remotely.
“[T]he creating of the record was beautiful, really, because everybody just was in their own space,” the singer notes. “And…all you needed to do [was] pick up the phone or send an email going, ‘I’ve got an idea,’ and then, bing!, off goes your inbox and there’s an MP3, and you sit and listen to it…and see if there’s anything you can add to it.”
Collen also loved the process, explaining, “It just saved so much energy, and we were just allowed to express and create and be inspired constantly…It was great.”
The album title references a lyrical phrase from T. Rex‘s signature tune “Bang a Gong (Get It On),” and Collen points out that Def Leppard chose the moniker after realizing that many tracks on the record included elements that evoked the early-’70s glam-rock era — a major influence on the band.
“[W]e realized that [between] the songs there was a thread,” Phil notes. “It was like some of the lyrics, some of the ideas, some of the vibes and rhythms and grooves were very…from that period.”
Adding to the glam-rock theme, Def Leppard enlisted longtime David Bowie keyboardist Mike Garson to play piano on two tracks.
Elliott says Garson’s parts “had a little bit of avant-garde, kind of jazzy [feel], but not too much to…make it sound weird.”
Here’s Diamond Star Halos‘ full track list:
“Take What You Want”
“Fire It Up”
“This Guitar” — featuring Alison Krauss
“U Rok Mi”
“Goodbye for Good This Time”
“All We Need”
“Open Your Eyes”
“Gimme a Kiss”
“Angels (Can’t Help You Now)”
“Lifeless” — featuring Alison Krauss
“From Here to Eternity”
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