Def Leppard: Joe Elliott (vocals); Pete Willis, Steve Clark (guitar); Rick Savage (bass); Rick Allen (drums).
Additional personnel: Chris M. Hughes (synthesizer).
Recorded at Startling Studios, Ascot, England in December 1979.
After spending a few years honing their chops playing bars in England, the members of Def Leppard released their first full-length album, ON THROUGH THE NIGHT, in 1980. Though the young band (all the members were either in their early 20s or still teenagers) was an exciting live draw, on record, Def Leppard was still finding its sound. ON THROUGH THE NIGHT shows that the group had great promise, and that its chief influences (Judas Priest, AC/DC, and especially Led Zeppelin), are easily detectable. There's also a palpable excitement that comes across from a band recording its first album.
ON THROUGH THE NIGHT does not contain any hit singles that are still played on rock radio today (as the group's future releases PYROMANIA and HYSTERIA would), but it remains one of the band's most straightforward release. Although some of the material gets bogged down in cliches ("Rock Brigade," "Rocks Off," "Wasted," etc.), tracks such as "Hello America" and "Overture" contain soaring vocal harmonies and evidence the melodic rock direction that the band would soon take to the top. ON THROUGH THE NIGHT was produced by Judas Priest producer Tom Allom. On future releases, producer Mutt Lange, the "sixth Leppard," sculpted the band's sound.