Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard
Posted by: Geir ()
Date: March 06, 2014 07:15AM

A few more quotes on the whole Steinman vs. Def Leppard situation:

But things haven’t always gone entirely to plan. In 1984, Steinman was hired to produce the follow-up to Def Leppard’s Pyromania album. The arrangement was abruptly terminated, neither side speaking fondly of the other.

“When I arrived, Leppard had no guitar amps and they didn’t know where to get them,” Steinman would recall of the sessions, later picked up again by Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange and released as Hysteria. “They’d look at you like these little puppies, ‘Oooh, what are we going to do? We thought you’d have them…’”

Perhaps in keeping with the aforementioned ‘everything on the menu’ story, Leppard vocalist Joe Elliott dryly responded: “All that Jim Steinman knew about the studio was that he didn’t like the colour of the carpet.” The results of the recordings, assuming they even got that far, remain under lock and key.


Source: Classic Rock Magazine - Cult Heroes


Do you like the people you work with?

"I've liked almost everyone I've worked with, even the people I felt were ridiculous like Def Leppard, because they're all, er, interesting. Def Leppard was interesting, in a way a scientist finds a really strange sort of insect interesting."

Insects?

"Listen, I did four months of hell with those guys in Holland. I was called in on the last album ("Hysteria") because Mutt Lange (Def Leppard's producer) was having a nervous breakdown, which I think he has at regular intervals. It's kind of like mixing to him - he mixes, remixes and then he has a nervous breakdown. It was weird, I'd done the Billy Squier album because Mutt pulled out when he had a nervous breakdown after he finished The Cars and then he had another one so I was brought in to do Def Leppard. It was insane, I was wandering the globe cleaning up after Mutt's nervous breakdowns. Def Leppard were nice kids even though they're a bit faceless. To me they're like the George Bush of rock 'n' roll, there's nothing there, it's like Peter Sellers in 'Being There.' It's all behind them, they have planners and programmers and people who package them..."

You've got some nerve criticizing a group for being planned, programmed and packaged when you've spent your entire adult life doing that to other people and expecting them to be taken seriously.

Steinman laughs: "Well, the difference is that what I'm doing with, say, Pandora's Box is packaging an idea and using people that I think are really powerful to convey it. It's their power I'm using. For me they're actors where Def Leppard are just pieces of animation, they're a vacuum, a blur that nobody can define. That's why I say George Bush - everyone can read something different into it. It's not like Bon Jovi which is like the Ronald Reagan of rock and roll where there's something vaguely, mythically reassuring and sweet about it. Def Leppard truly scares me, not even they know what they're about. That was brought home to me in pre-production when I asked who wrote each song on the demos, who played what guitar solo, and no one had the slightest idea."


Source: JimSteinman.com ... interview circa Pandora's Box


It was a total eclipse of the charts, and Jim Steinman, the hotshot hitmaker reborn, was chosen to produce Def Leppard's follow-up to their multi-platinum 'Mutt' Lange-produced monster 'Pyromania.'

"It was a weird time," says Steinman. "Mutt Lange is totally insane. He has nervous breakdowns as part of his process of making records! He mixes, remixes and has a nervous breakdown. That's why they're always finished up by his engineers, Nigel Green or Mike Shipley."

"I went to Dublin to meet the band, where they were living in tax exile. They're great kids, but they were like little boys lost."

"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."

"Joe Elliot was the hardest to get along with. He's got a great really low voice, and a great high voice, but he has a real problem in the middle registers. So we start on a verse, and it's in the middle registers and he's having trouble."

"So I said, 'Let's skip onto the chorus to get you going,' because that was higher. It was good, so I say, 'Lets do another track,' and after a while he comes storming in the control room and says 'What the f**k are you doing?'"

"It turns out that when Mutt does vocals, he uses one track and he won't let him go on to the second line of the song until he has the first line right! And he keeps erasing the first line till it's right! Joe was going, 'How am I supposed to feel the song if I'm jumping to the chorus!'"

"It's a very bizarre set-up there. I got sick of it after about four months. Mutt did almost everything. He created them, and they were lost without him."


Source: Jim Steinman interviewed by Jon Hotten for Kerrang, 1989


Def Leppard originally worked with Jim Steinman as Hysteria’s producer. Is it true he was rejected because he thought everything the band was recording at the time sounded good?

"Yeah. We originally got in touch with him because of his reputation as a vocal guy. We expected him to bring something to us, to learn stuff [from], not just because we wanted to do a recording, but because we wanted the songs to sound timeless, so Mutt came back in. [Steinman] wasn’t the right choice; we made a mistake with that and it didn’t work out at all."

Did any recordings survive from the Steinman sessions?

"I think there’s probably some demos floating around; they’re definitely on a cassette somewhere."

How long did you work with Steinman in the studio?

"Probably about six months, I would think."

That’s definitely long enough to know whether it’s a good fit or not.

"Yeah. Well, we went in there trying to get the sound. Actually, it was less than that, since it was a while ago, like 26 years ago. It was probably just three months, since we would have known straightaway. Just working on the songs, and actually trying to get some new songs, as well. We actually had finished all the songs for the record, so we trying to come up with some new stuff. Even as a songwriter, [with Steinman] it was just the wrong fit. The chemistry wasn’t there."


Source: Phil Collen interviewed @ Examiner circa "Mirrorball"


On a final note: Mutt Lange, as stated elsewhere here, was originally slated to do Billy Squier's "Signs of Life" album. Here's why Mutt didn't, according to Squier himself:

"I've always looked at "Signs of Life" as being a pivotal record in my career, though for reasons you might not expect. Going into the project, things couldn't have been better. I'd just come off a great success with the "Emotions..." LP and tour. I'd bought my first home in the city where I'd struggled to make ends meet for over ten years while pursuing my dream of a career in music...the only dream that ever really mattered. I had back-to-back smash records and was on top of the world (or close to it). But things aren't always as they seem.

I'd signed up Robert John "Mutt" Lange to produce SOL. Mutt was really coming into his own, having produced major records for AC/DC, Foreigner, and Def Leppard, and the idea of working together really excited both of us. Several years earlier, before meeting Mutt, I'd had a brief tryst with his wife, whom I met at Tramp's, the famous London night club owned by Johnny Gold. This sort of dalliance was fairly common practice in those days, and I never gave it much thought. As we readied ourselves to go into the studio, Mutt fell behind schedule with The Cars "Heartbeat City" record, so I took the band into rehearsals to start fleshing out the new material I'd written. One day, we were interrupted by a long-distance phone call from Mutt: "Billy, I know all about you and Olga - I'm not doing the record." Just like that, our spectacular collaboration was in ruins. I was stunned. I soon learned that the two of them were breaking up and surmised she must have said something catty, to the effect of, "Have fun with Billy, I did." Mutt is a very decisive and strong-willed person, and when he makes his mind up, that's that. He would not allow us to have a conversation about what had transpired...he just shut the door and walked away."


Source link here. (Supposedly from BillySquier.com at some point, although I couldn't find it there currently.)

Sorry if some of the above repeats other sources quoted on this thread. And while sympathy certainly seems to go Def Leppard's way on this forum, I do like Steinman, although he wasn't the man for this particular job!

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Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 837 Pressure 03/05/2014 12:29AM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 556 Ken 03/05/2014 01:34AM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 467 Scott 03/05/2014 01:51AM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 421 Pressure 03/05/2014 02:22AM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 403 Geir 03/05/2014 02:56AM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 384 Tony Bainbridge 03/05/2014 02:42AM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 301 rickyboy999 03/05/2014 05:29AM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 302 Burg 03/05/2014 07:32AM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 268 Julian H 03/05/2014 08:37AM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 288 Ken 03/05/2014 10:16AM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 328 Wardy 03/05/2014 01:33PM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 220 Scott 03/05/2014 04:58PM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 222 Wardy 03/05/2014 10:26PM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 221 Ken 03/06/2014 01:15AM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 148 Wardy 03/06/2014 07:25AM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 153 Ken 03/06/2014 07:43AM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 313 Alex 03/05/2014 09:12AM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 384 Andrew 03/05/2014 10:05AM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 278 stevebme 03/05/2014 10:37AM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 281 Ken 03/05/2014 11:16AM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 336 Andrew 03/05/2014 11:42AM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 304 Ken 03/05/2014 11:51AM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 241 Tony Bainbridge 03/05/2014 06:11PM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard381 Geir 03/06/2014 07:15AM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 165 Pressure 03/06/2014 09:46AM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 172 Ken 03/06/2014 10:04AM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 154 Surfpunk 03/07/2014 10:51AM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 144 Ken 03/07/2014 11:02AM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 145 OzzMosiz 03/08/2014 12:41AM
Re: Jim Steinman and Def Leppard 113 Ken 03/08/2014 01:33AM


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