Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen admits that after the dying of bandmate Steve Clark in 1991, he had severe questions on persevering with with the band.

Although the group determined collectively to maneuver ahead with work on their Adrenalize album, Collen felt uncomfortable.

“It was a really strange time,” the guitarist tells UCR. “Steve had just died. We actually wrote some of the songs with Steve. So it was a bit strange. You know, I actually remember not really wanting to continue at the time.”

Ultimately, it was Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott who convinced Collen to continue with the group.

“Joe actually talked me into it,” Collen explains. “He said, ‘Yeah, but we wrote all these songs with Steve. It actually means something. It’s going to be an album that’s kind of a tribute to Steve.’ That was it.”

Collen goes on to admit that he had “a lot of strange feelings” about the album, even as it became a success after its 1992 release.

“When it came out it went straight to number one in the States, but it was during the LA riots. So it was a pretty dark time again. Many strange things happened. I remember all of that.”

Although Collen describes Adenalize as “the third part of a trilogy” (after Pyromania and Hysteria), he believes the band would have been higher off releasing the extra experimental slang in 1992 as a substitute.

“In hindsight, we really should have made the slang album right after Hysteria. Because you can’t really top that,” explains the guitarist. “I think another album in the style of [that]Looking back, I don’t want to say it was a mistake, but if it were now, we would have done something radically different. Slang would have been a great sequel to Hysteria. And maybe we’ll do Adrenalinize afterwards. But you know, by then everything had changed. Nirvana and everything else.”

Def Leppard albums ranked

From their metallic-tinged debut to their pop breakthrough to current albums, we price each single LP.


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