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  #1  
Old 02-20-2015, 07:23 AM
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Default Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

Hi all.. So, there are a ton a extremely good drummers on here that have been talked about over and over again. It might just be me, but I just pulled out some old vinyl of High and Dry and Pyromania and now I can't stop listening to them. I'm rediscovering this amazing talent (when he had 2 arms) all over again.

It seems like a shame he lost an arm in a stupid bus accident but I've always been amazed how he overcame that to continue pounding out beats, albeit not as cutting edge as his two armed stuff.

Would anyone like to join me in discussing this gentleman?

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Old 02-20-2015, 08:12 AM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

I read he was racing his sports car around and when he hit something, he flew out of the car, but his arm was held in by the seat belt - not true?

I was never a fan of the band, but I thought his road to recovery and continuing on with the band should be seen as an inspiration. Great come back. I did see a present-day Def Leppard concert on AXS tv a few weeks ago and it doesn't sound like I'm listening to a drummer with one arm. More power to him!
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Old 02-20-2015, 08:58 AM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

Adapting the way he did with what he (now) has to work with, to me is saying something. I was never a big fan of Def Leppard myself, but it doesn't mean I can't appreciate and recognize someone's drive and determination to overcome what he was faced with. I would imagine with a lot of drummers, this would've been a devastating, career ending blow.
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Old 02-20-2015, 01:02 PM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

Yes i too had heard he was driving a sports car and lost control..As for his drumming.I dug the band in its heyday.But playing with one arm ,Not only Is inspiring,But Kudos to the rest of the band with sticking with him........
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Old 02-20-2015, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Defender View Post
Hi all.. So, there are a ton a extremely good drummers on here that have been talked about over and over again. It might just be me, but I just pulled out some old vinyl of High and Dry and Pyromania and now I can't stop listening to them. I'm rediscovering this amazing talent (when he had 2 arms) all over again.

It seems like a shame he lost an arm in a stupid bus accident but I've always been amazed how he overcame that to continue pounding out beats, albeit not as cutting edge as his two armed stuff.

Would anyone like to join me in discussing this gentleman?

Peace, Defender
It was not a bus accident. He totaled his sports car
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  #6  
Old 02-20-2015, 02:44 PM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

the day I found out that the drumming on Pyromania was a drum machine part of my childhood was stolen to me

now when I hear it I can't believe I never realized it because it is so painfully obvious

I always liked Rick and have much respect for him
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Old 02-20-2015, 03:30 PM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

Sorry guys... you're so right.. he wrecked his Corvette. Apparently I threw some Cliff Burton (Metallica bassist) into the article..lol.

The drums on Pyromania weren't him playing? Well, if this is true, you just busted my bubble. Can someone please provide a link to such an accusation?
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Old 02-20-2015, 04:02 PM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

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Originally Posted by Defender View Post

The drums on Pyromania weren't him playing? Well, if this is true, you just busted my bubble. Can someone please provide a link to such an accusation?

this is no accusation my friend ...

they are very open about it both Pyromania and Hysteria are Mutt Lange and Rick programming a Linn drum machine
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Old 02-20-2015, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

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Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post
this is no accusation my friend ...

they are very open about it both Pyromania and Hysteria are Mutt Lange and Rick programming a Linn drum machine
Partly true. The cymbals are acoustic and played by Rick, but the majority of the drum tracks are programmed.

Rick just wasn't good enough with one arm at that point yet.
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  #10  
Old 02-20-2015, 04:33 PM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

100% agreed. i saw def leppard in the 80s during the pyromania tour [OPENED for Billy Squire at the time. odd "performance"...long story] and it was completely KILLIN. he had that magic rock x-factor even back then: sick groove, behind-the-beat feel, power, musical, single kick greatness. what he is doing in "Foolin' " is just great. cowbell ? yes & yes !

yeah crashed his '84 Corvette in the UK somewhere...seat belt / flip ripped his arm off. too dirty / damaged to sew back on. FUGGG, a drummer worst nightmare. his comeback & drum parts for Hysteria is mind boggling. http://phscollectorcarworld.blogspot...-corvette.html
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Old 02-20-2015, 04:37 PM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

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Originally Posted by Naigewron View Post
Partly true. The cymbals are acoustic and played by Rick, but the majority of the drum tracks are programmed.

Rick just wasn't good enough with one arm at that point yet.
he had two arms for the recording of Pyromania and Mutt still insisted on programming .... and all of the drums on that record are programmed

this isn't some secret they tried to keep

------------------


"While I was talking to them, Rick Allen came up behind me and said, 'I really want to be on this record.'"

"I said, 'Hey! You're the drummer, you'll be on the record!' And then I found out he isn't even on 'Pyromania', it's all machines. He isn't on 'Hysteria' either."

"So we get the drum machine out, like Mutt says, and program it. Rick starts to play along, and he's really good! He was as good as any rock 'n' roll drummer I've ever worked with. So we use all live drums."

"Mutt comes down two weeks into recording, (He had helped the band during pre-production but originally opted out of producing. - Ed.) listens to a little of the drums, which sound perfect to me. And he goes, 'What are you doing? You're gonna throw these poor kids careers' in the toilet!' This was with the drummer right there! So we have to do the drums his way."

http://webcache.googleusercontent.co...hl=en&&ct=clnk

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  #12  
Old 02-20-2015, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

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Originally Posted by Matt Bo Eder View Post
I read he was racing his sports car around and when he hit something, he flew out of the car, but his arm was held in by the seat belt - not true?
It was a sports car (Porsche i think). He was driving alone after a party, xmas or new years. It was a one car accident. I can neither confirm nor deny the whereabouts of his arm. He claims he was conscious and aware of the circumstances. On the topic I think it's a very sad story. He was a great drummer. Tasty, good pocket, energetic and dynamic, and still so very young. While it's inspiring that he was able to play again, he was never the same. His playing was unique and deft, and at 21 years old, he still had time to improve and mature.
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  #13  
Old 02-20-2015, 06:13 PM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

I'd love to hear the original drum tracks for some of these albums where the producer replaced the drummer. I'm trying to imagine how bad they would have to be to affect sales. I'm sure it's legit in some cases where the band's drummer is not able to deliver a satisfactory performance. But I think successful people in this industry tend to be control freaks who are rewarded for doing things their way and there is too much at stake to take chances. So even if there's nothing much wrong with the drummer, it's safer to bring in the known entity.
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  #14  
Old 02-20-2015, 07:30 PM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

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Originally Posted by Naigewron View Post
Partly true. The cymbals are acoustic and played by Rick, but the majority of the drum tracks are programmed.

Rick just wasn't good enough with one arm at that point yet.
He still had both for Pyromania. I will never understand why you choose to not play on something you worked your entire life to achieve. Did he get paid, sure. Is it anything to take pride in? Hell no. More like a laughing stock
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Old 02-20-2015, 07:33 PM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

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Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post
he had two arms for the recording of Pyromania and Mutt still insisted on programming .... and all of the drums on that record are programmed

this isn't some secret they tried to keep
My mistake, I got the album titles mixed up. My point stands though, he still played the cymbals :-)

Didn't mean to make it sound like I contradicted you, just wanted to clarify your point.
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Old 02-20-2015, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

I think I read another article with another member of the band (I forget who), but he said the whole incident really brought out the best in people (sarcastically). They got a lot of calls while Rick was in the hospital about drummers offering their services, and this band member was like, "We're not even thinking of the band right now, we're thinking about Rick".

After observing this music industry for some time now, this doesn't even surprise me. It's sad.
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Old 02-20-2015, 08:01 PM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

I don't claim to be a really good drummer, but I can "get by" on most songs "fine." With that said, I recently learned "Photograph" to play with some local friends and the whole thing felt totally unnatural. I struggled with it. I got it, but I've made fun of myself many times for struggling with a Def Leppard song.

I guess the fact that they were programmed explains it all. I feel "slightly" better about myself right now. Thanks!
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Old 02-20-2015, 08:11 PM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

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He still had both for Pyromania. I will never understand why you choose to not play on something you worked your entire life to achieve. Did he get paid, sure. Is it anything to take pride in? Hell no. More like a laughing stock
Rick didn't choose not to play ... Mutt Lange pulled rank and it was his way or the highway basically
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Old 02-20-2015, 08:28 PM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

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Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post
Rick didn't choose not to play ... Mutt Lange pulled rank and it was his way or the highway basically
No one pulls rank on the band unless they allow it. He chose to be a laughing stock. That's his business. If you don't stand up for yourself, no one else is going to. He could have walked. He made his choice.

I have a lot of respect for Rick as a human and his determination to live, adapt and come back from a tragic accident. I don't have a lot of respect for his non-playing on those records. Honestly he is not the only one who bent over for Lange in that band. I guess money cures many ills.
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Old 02-20-2015, 09:07 PM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

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No one pulls rank on the band unless they allow it. He chose to be a laughing stock. That's his business. If you don't stand up for yourself, no one else is going to. He could have walked. He made his choice.

I have a lot of respect for Rick as a human and his determination to live, adapt and come back from a tragic accident. I don't have a lot of respect for his non-playing on those records. Honestly he is not the only one who bent over for Lange in that band. I guess money cures many ills.
they wanted Mutt and the only way he would do it was with programmed drums

they tracked the songs with live drums and when Mutt came in he asked if Jim Steinman was trying to ruin their careers

they hired Mutt Lange and thats what he wanted

Def Leppard had zero pull at the time of the recording of Pyromania .... no one knew who they were.

on through the night and high and dry had basically done nothing and that is why they signed on with Mutt in the first place.... they wanted hit songs

and hit songs they got ... drum machine and all

Rick went on to play them live and watched his bank account grow
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Old 02-20-2015, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

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Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post
they wanted Mutt and the only way he would do it was with programmed drums

they tracked the songs with live drums and when Mutt came in he asked if Jim Steinman was trying to ruin their careers

they hired Mutt Lange and thats what he wanted

Def Leppard had zero pull at the time of the recording of Pyromania .... no one knew who they were.

on through the night and high and dry had basically done nothing and that is why they signed on with Mutt in the first place.... they wanted hit songs

and hit songs they got ... drum machine and all

Rick went on to play them live and watched his bank account grow
No pull my ass. No one MADE them use Mutt Lange. They always had a choice to say no. They chose to say yes. So be it.

I see cover band drummers that play them live too. So what? He gets to play in a Mutt Lange cover band.

They wanted to be a wealthy cover band apparently. They got their wish. They got what they wanted and just had to sell their souls to get it. They made their choice. I hope they enjoy playing Mutts music immensely.
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Old 02-20-2015, 10:23 PM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

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Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
No one pulls rank on the band unless they allow it. He chose to be a laughing stock. That's his business. If you don't stand up for yourself, no one else is going to. He could have walked. He made his choice.

I have a lot of respect for Rick as a human and his determination to live, adapt and come back from a tragic accident. I don't have a lot of respect for his non-playing on those records. Honestly he is not the only one who bent over for Lange in that band. I guess money cures many ills.
Rick could have quit Def Leppard. If the band supported Lange's decision, that was probably his only option. Then he never gets to be part of one of the most successful rock bands of the era. He never gets to tour the world inspiring people by overcoming adversity.

I don't judge him so harshly and I don't think the prevailing opinion is that he's a laughing stock. If Rick Allen had gone the other way, we probably wouldn't even be talking about him because nobody would know who he is.

Your diatribe against Rick and the band strikes me as a little harsh. Producers are not always shoved down the band's throat by a label; some bands hire a certain producer to be objective and drive them to do things they either can't or wouldn't want to do on their own.

I don't disagree that replacing band members seems disingenuous. And the fact that it's common and has been done for decades doesn't make it right. As I argued earlier, I suspect it's also completely unnecessary and done for the wrong reasons sometimes. But making money doing something you don't want to can enable you to do whatever you want later. Hell, that's what most musicians working day jobs are doing.
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Old 02-21-2015, 02:29 AM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

I learned he didn't play on those records a few years back on this very forum (from DED?), and in that same thread, learned that Frank Beard didn't play on Eliminator.

You'd be hard pressed to conjure up a legitimate beef with Beard's drumming and he had long since established his formidable skills on many records prior, so I was always at a loss to understand why anyone thought that was a good idea. I've always hated that record and was actually happy to learn that he didn't play on it. But it doesn't matter that I didn't like it since they sold them by the truck-load.

I gotta wonder if it would have sold as well without the programmed drums. Sadly, I suspect not.
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Old 02-21-2015, 02:47 AM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

One thing I just don't get is, I realize there's a lot of studio magic on a lot of albums both new and old.. What I don't understand is why would you allow someone to bastardize your musical instrument and turn it into a sham?

There's actually some very raw sounding albums by various artists (mostly blues stuff) that sounds freakin' crazy good and it's all related to that "raw" sound. I know Lang was supposed to be this amazing producer back in the 80s, but if someone told me they were going to program my instrument in a computer, I'd probably just tell them to get bent.

Am I off base here? I just don't understand this...
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Old 02-21-2015, 03:50 AM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

If those are real cymbals on Pyromania they are the worst sounding cymbals ever recorded, holy crap.

Theres some good tunes on Pyromania, but the drum sound makes it unlistenable to me. And some of the fills are...odd. Cant really say why, some of it just seems weird.
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Old 02-21-2015, 04:10 AM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

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If those are real cymbals on Pyromania they are the worst sounding cymbals ever recorded, holy crap.

Theres some good tunes on Pyromania, but the drum sound makes it unlistenable to me. And some of the fills are...odd. Cant really say why, some of it just seems weird.
I thought that oddness was Rick Allen's thing that made him great. My world has been shaken today hearing that it was programming. I admit though, I've programmed a song or two myself.
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Old 02-21-2015, 04:59 AM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

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Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post
the day I found out that the drumming on Pyromania was a drum machine part of my childhood was stolen to me

now when I hear it I can't believe I never realized it because it is so painfully obvious

I always liked Rick and have much respect for him
I agree, it's painfully obvious now, but I no idea for the longest time.

Still, I love that album.

I saw Def Leppard live on the Hysteria tour, and I was very impressed with how consistent Rick was, knowing most guys would get bored and want to throw in little licks, or vary it up. But he played for the audience and not himself. It was a lesson learned.

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this is no accusation my friend ...

they are very open about it both Pyromania and Hysteria are Mutt Lange and Rick programming a Linn drum machine
Yes, it's been covered in numerous documentaries.

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Originally Posted by Naigewron View Post
Partly true. The cymbals are acoustic and played by Rick, but the majority of the drum tracks are programmed.
.
Yes, the drums were programmed, and then Mutt had Rick over dub real cymbals.

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Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
No one pulls rank on the band unless they allow it. He chose to be a laughing stock. That's his business. If you don't stand up for yourself, no one else is going to. He could have walked. He made his choice. .
Not really. Rick was 15 when he joined Def Leppard and only 17 when they started working with Mutt Lange. He was young, the entire band was relatively young, and broke. Their first album didn't sell, they were still working day jobs. Mutt offered them a chance, they took it. What's a kid who dropped out of high school going to do?

And really, it's not much different than the thousands of albums out there where the drummer played, but had their tracks quantized and/or sound replaced so it ends up sounding like a machine.

Or much different than Hal Blaine playing on albums for the Beach Boys, Partridge Family etc, where someone else got the credit for being a band member.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post
they wanted Mutt and the only way he would do it was with programmed drums

they tracked the songs with live drums and when Mutt came in he asked if Jim Steinman was trying to ruin their careers

they hired Mutt Lange and thats what he wanted

Def Leppard had zero pull at the time of the recording of Pyromania .... no one knew who they were.

on through the night and high and dry had basically done nothing and that is why they signed on with Mutt in the first place.... they wanted hit songs

and hit songs they got ... drum machine and all

Rick went on to play them live and watched his bank account grow
^ This, although Mutt produced High and Dry as well.

Anyhow,
You can see more about the making the album:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d98UWiQi-Nw

The part about over dubbing cymbals is discussed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYvkoIStSGw#t=335

Last edited by DrumEatDrum; 02-21-2015 at 05:26 AM.
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Old 02-21-2015, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Not really. Rick was 15 when he joined Def Leppard and only 17 when they started working with Mutt Lange. He was young, the entire band was relatively young, and broke. Their first album didn't sell, they were still working day jobs. Mutt offered them a chance, they took it. What's a kid who dropped out of high school going to do?

And really, it's not much different than the thousands of albums out there where the drummer played, but had their tracks quantized and/or sound replaced so it ends up sounding like a machine.
This. You have to look at things in context of the era at the time. Everything was being programmed around that point. I remember lots of articles back in the day saying how session work was disappearing for drummers, and in 10 years no one would even have drummers anymore. When Grunge came out, it wasn't just the death of the hair metal bands, it brought back real drum sounds. Every song from the mid 80's all had that same drum sound.


Rick was 17 at the time, and if the producer is telling him that the best sound for the band was if all the drums are programmed, then he is a hero for putting what's the best for band in front of his own ego.

And we don't know how much the record company or other influences were pressuring them. I remember watching a documentary and they said Hysteria had to sell 6 or 7 million records, just to break even when it finally came out.
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Old 02-21-2015, 06:45 PM
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

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Originally Posted by Axe View Post
If those are real cymbals on Pyromania they are the worst sounding cymbals ever recorded, holy crap.

Theres some good tunes on Pyromania, but the drum sound makes it unlistenable to me. And some of the fills are...odd. Cant really say why, some of it just seems weird.
Glad to hear others say his fills were odd. I felt really incompetent when I didn't get some of those fills right off the bat. LOL

Knowing now that they were programmed really explains why they are odd.
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Old 02-21-2015, 11:47 PM
AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken AllTheCoolNamesAreTaken is offline
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Default Re: Rick Allen (Def Leppard)

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I learned he didn't play on those records a few years back on this very forum (from DED?), and in that same thread, learned that Frank Beard didn't play on Eliminator.

You'd be hard pressed to conjure up a legitimate beef with Beard's drumming and he had long since established his formidable skills on many records prior, so I was always at a loss to understand why anyone thought that was a good idea.
It's simple: because the 80s. That was the sound everyone wanted.

I wasn't even into drumming in the 80s (well I was but didn't realize it) and I recall lots of people saying the era of the human drummer was over. Everyone thought computer synth music was the new thing, not just an aside. Like they always do with everything.
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