Saturday, 2 February 2013

Photograph (Def Leppard)

Although Def Leppard’s lyrics are uniformly silly and lightweight -- and that’s putting it as gently as I can -- I still derive a great deal of joy from listening to their music. They consistently pack more career-making hooks into a single song than most contemporary bands can manage across three or four albums, and from that angle I consider them to be spectacularly talented musicians.

The circumstances surrounding Rick Allen’s loss of his left arm also win my admiration. Admittedly, the accident itself was pretty stupid, but let’s face it, he was 21 years old at the time. I don’t think many of us can claim they were much more responsible at that age, and certainly not if we had achieved similarly meteoric success by then. The band’s solidarity in standing by their injured comrade, as well as the singleminded determination of Allen himself in overcoming his limitation, serve as shining examples of human qualities that I consider particularly inspirational.

There is not a great deal I can say about this song that I couldn’t say about any of their other singles -- it grabs one’s attention immediately, then moves from strength to strength as it lights up the sensorium with its enthusiasm, excitement, energy, its high-spirited and uncomplicated sincerity. It is all but impossible for me not to feel cheerful and motivated when listening to this song, and for that I applaud Def Leppard unreservedly -- they have made my world a better place.

I suppose I do identify with one aspect of the sentiment expressed in these lyrics: until very recently, I had nothing but digital contact with my best friend. Metaphorically speaking, all I had was a photograph. Now that I have actually spent two radiant weeks with her, I have a new photograph to enjoy -- and it is rich with connotations of a wholly different kind.

Check it out on YouTube

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