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Def Leppard’s sophomore album, ‘High ‘n’ Dry,’ celebrates its 40th anniversary this weekend

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Mercury Records

Def Leppard‘s second album, High ‘n’ Dry, was released 40 years ago this Sunday, July 11.

The album helped establish the band in the U.S. in advance of its massive 1983 breakthrough, Pyromania, peaking at #38 on the Billboard 200.

The best-known song from High ‘n’ Dry is “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak,” which garnered the band a lot of attention in the States when a performance video for the tune went into heavy rotation on MTV.

The album also featured the song “Let It Go,” which reached #34 on Billboard‘s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

Both “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak” and “Let It Go” were co-written by frontman Joe Elliott and guitarists Steve Clark and Pete Willis. Willis, who struggled with alcoholism, was fired from the group in 1982 and replaced by Phil Collen.

“‘Bringin’ On the Heartbreak’…when that came out on MTV, I think that kind of blew the doors off the place,” Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen tells ABC Audio. “If anything, that record really set up Pyromania perfect. And then…once Pyromania came out, you know, with MTV and everything that was going on at that time, I think that was a big reason for our success. But…I think that was probably one of the most important songs off of [High ‘n’ Dry].”

Allen adds that he also was a fan of the rocking “Let It Go,” which he says was “the closest we’ve ever got to sounding like AC/DC.”

A remix of “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak,” with new guitar parts by Collen replacing Willis’ original licks, was released in 1984, and made it to #61 on the Billboard Hot 100.

High ‘n’ Dry went on to sell over 2 million copies in the U.S.

Here’s the full High ‘n’ Dry track list:

“Let It Go”
“Another Hit and Run”
“High ‘n’ Dry (Saturday Night)”
“Bringin’ On the Heartbreak”
“Switch 625”
“You Got Me Runnin'”
“Lady Strange”
“On Through the Night”
“Mirror, Mirror (Look into My Eyes)”
“No No No”

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