Def Leppard experienced a flashback moment to game-changing 1987 hit “Pour Some Sugar On Me” as they finished upcoming album Diamond Star Halos.
That single, which secured success for troubled fourth LP Hysteria, was a late addition to the track list, even though the project was already horribly late and over budget. Frontman Joe Elliott happened to play a guitar riff he’d been thinking about for a short while, and producer “Mutt” Lange jumped on it. As a result, “Pour Some Sugar On Me” became the band’s signature song.
In a new Billboard interview, Elliott recalled that the band had recorded 14 songs for Diamond Star Halos — and considered the LP complete — before guitarist Phil Collen came up with the idea for “Kick.” The singer recalled: “Phil rang me up and said, ‘I’ve got this other song…but we’re done. And I’m like, ‘Well, it’s open-ended. There’s no delivery date. There’s no record deal yet. Send me an MP3.’ So he sent it to us, band-wide, and Sav [bassist Rick Savage] was the first one to comment, ‘OMG – ‘Sugar,’ anyone?’”
Collen said the track “represented where we were at as well,” adding: “It’s got that glam rock feel, that hand-clap groove, big vocals. It was just a no-brainer. It was not only that it’s got to be on the album, [but] it’s got to be the first single as well.”
Hear Def Leppard’s ‘Kick’
Watch Def Leppard’s ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’ Video
Elliott agreed: “It’s a stadium anthem, and we were about to go into stadiums,” referencing their postponed tour with Motley Crue, Poison and Joan Jett, which kicks off in June. “We didn’t write it for that reason, but Phil’s always trying to write the next ‘Sugar’ or ‘We Will Rock You’ Or ‘I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.’ We all are, but he actually came up with one, and it’s like, ‘Yeah, we’ve got to do that,’ so now it’s a 15-song record.”
He went on to note: “Had we done that tour when we were supposed to, we’d have been doing the tour with no new music. Now we’re doing it with a new album to promote, which puts a totally different slant on it. I think the fact we’re going out there refreshed and energized by new music that we can incorporate into the show, which we wouldn’t have been able to do in 2020, is going to make a huge difference in the way we present ourselves.”
Diamond Star Halos is out May 27.
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