Monday, June 21, 2004

I'm a Spaced-Out Alien, a Techno Sapien, Crashing on Down to Earth

Last week I had a great idea.

The CD player in my car can play MP3 audio files, and it can also read recordable (CD-R) and rewriteable (CD-RW) CDs. I have almost my entire CD collection ripped to MP3s, and I also have a sizeable collection of, um, extraneous MP3s, so this is perfect for me. Each CD can hold about 150 MP3 files, give or take, so I can just burn a bunch of tracks onto one disc as opposed to carrying around a bunch of CDs. With CD-RWs, I can even use the same physical disc over and over again.

Last Thursday I was getting stuff ready for my trip to Stow, and I decided to burn a disc full of tunes. I've been listening a lot to the new Velvet Revolver CD I picked up last week, which reminds me at times of Def Leppard. Being in the mood for that sort of sound, I filled up a disc with all my Def Leppard tunes.

That's quite a few songs. I've got all the albums from Pyromania (1983) to X (2002), and a couple of other random songs I've found here and there. It wasn't enough to fill a disc to the brim, but it was more than enough for two hours of driving. Let me tell you, Def Leppard makes for some damned fine driving music.

If there was to be only one band to survive the hair-metal purge of the early 90s (brought on by the surge of alternative rock, led by bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam), I wish it could have been Def Leppard instead of Bon Jovi. I like Bon Jovi, but I think Def Leppard is an altogether better band. And Def Leppard is still around, still coming out with albums every few years, but their popularity has dropped significantly.

One reason I think Def Leppard is so great is because they're very good at reinventing themselves. They've done a couple of albums recently (Slang and X) which have almost an alternative feel to them, with a more typical Def Leppard album (Euphoria) sandwiched in between. All of them are very good.

I also really appreciate the musicianship. People have a tendency to scoff at bands like this that were popular through the 1980s, but these guys are genuinely good. Listening to this collection of songs I made, there was no way to tell that most of the songs included a one-armed drummer. I think the opening riff to "Pour Some Sugar On Me" is one of the greatest rock riffs of all time (also the one sequence I can still play on guitar), and although I might be alone, I think some of the lyrics are well written as well. Not all of them, but a lot.

I was also pleased to discover that I'm ready once again to embrace the song "Armageddon It." I had issues with this song for quite some time due to how much it was overplayed on the radio and MTV (when the "M" in MTV actually meant something) back when it was popular. That was in 1988, and it's taken me sixteen years to be able to wholly enjoy the song again. I still don't really like "Love Bites," though.

I can't believe how much I enjoyed this CD. I think I'll probably go ahead and put all these songs on a recordable disc and just keep it. Then I can use the rewriteable disc for something else--maybe a mix of other hair bands popular in the 80s.

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