Acts often get inspired by one another, and for Joe Elliott, the music of Fleetwood Mac and the Eagles influenced a period in Def Leppard’s creative direction. While recently chatting with Radioacktiva, the singer discussed how these two bands inspired him and his bandmates to produce a new sound a bit different than the cult sound of Def Leppard.
The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac have undergone creative changes over their careers. Def Leppard saw these two bands’ successes with their new tunes as an opportunity to try something fresh while producing their latest album, ‘Diamond Star Halos.’ As they composed the track, ‘This Guitar,’ Elliott and his bandmates knew it was going to differ from the classical sound of Def Leppard.
“‘This Guitar’ was a pivotal song,” said Joe. “Because everything else we did, you know, whether it be ‘SOS’ or ‘Gimme a Kiss’ or ‘Kick’ or ‘Fire It Up,’ where what you’d call classic Def Leppard. What we were doing with songs like ‘Goodbye for Good This Time,’ ‘Angels,’ ‘From Here to Eternity,’ and specifically ‘This Guitar,’ in ‘Lifeless,’ they were a little bit more left-field than anything we’d done in the past which is exactly what we wanted to do as a band we are now.”
The vocalist continued, “We’ve watched from a distance how Fleetwood Mac just came out of nowhere with ‘Rumours.’ It was nothing to do with the Peter Green years. When the biggest band in the world at the time, the Eagles, did this ‘Greatest Hits’ record and then followed that with ‘Hotel California.’”
He addressed, “You’re like, ‘Holy crap. These records are monumental albums in the history of music, never mind those bands. So, why can’t we do the same thing?’ So, we just worked and worked on ‘This Guitar,’ we knew it had a bit of a country kind of feel to it. So, Vivian did some lovely slide guitar on it. We put pedal steel on it, and then it just came into our orbit.”
When the Eagles and Fleetwood Mac had a creative change in their musical directions in the past, Def Leppard saw this as an opportunity to rebrand their music. So, they recorded ‘This Guitar’ and some of the other tracks of ‘Diamond Star Halos’ with this mindset. However, the album also had its classic sound in it. So, they managed to hold onto the cult sound of Def Leppard while trying something different.