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Def Leppard Tour History Fan Archive.
Phil Collen/Delta Deep Track By Track Album Review

Friday, 15th May 2015

Delta Deep 2015.
Delta Deep 2015

Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen's side band Delta Deep release their self-titled debut album in late June and a track by track review is available.

Phil is releasing the first album with his new band next month and below is a preview/review of every track on this fantastic album.

The 11 track debut will be released on 23rd June in the US and presumably the 22nd in the UK. No order links are yet available.

The first radio single 'Bang The Lid' was recently previewed on Youtube and played in full on Joe Elliott's Planet Rock radio show.

The album is being released on Mailboat Records who released the last few Def Leppard albums including last year's 'Slang Deluxe Edition'.

A UK music blog has also written a short review - link available below.

Delta Deep - Track By Track Album Review By DefDazz/Darren

01 - Bang The Lid

"As previewed on Youtube this track is full of Phil's slide guitar and very uptempo. Stomping bass drum beat from Forrest Robinson with added handclaps and some cool bass. A song impossible to listen to without tapping your feet."

02 - Whiskey

"Lead vocals by Debbi Blackwell-Cook. A slower song but not a ballad. The first of a few quieter songs throughout the album. A song that you can imagine the band playing in a small blues club. Despite the softer blues guitar approach Phil still manages to get a few fast parts in that let you know it's still him playing."

"Down in the delta
In the delta deep
Down in the delta
You make a grown man weep."

03 - Down In The Delta

"Just as you think this album is going to be all slow blues...wrong!. Track 3 kicks in and Delta Deep become Led Zeppelin with a touch of Manraze thrown in. Very typical Phil Collen guitar riffs and powerful drums. Instantly my favourite song by the band and the most rock sounding of the album. Debbi sings lead vocals on the verses before Phil joins in on the very shouty chorus. A song title already cheekily revealed by the band on their facebook "location" - Down in the Delta, USA. Phil had mentioned in many radio interviews that people who had heard the album already compare them to Zeppelin with Tina Turner singing. He must have been playing them this song. It rocks!."

04 - Treat Her Like Candy

"The first true "duet" with Phil and Debbi trading vocal lines. A very nice song that reminds you of Closer To Me or even All I Wanna Do from the second Manraze album 'punkfunkrootsrock' only a little more uptempo. Just a really nice feel to the song and the vocal blend really shows. The first of many songs when you start to think - OK, maybe this is my favourite. The guitar sound at the start reminds me of the U2 song 'In A Little While' although this is a very different type of song. It also reminds you of 'Move With Me Slowly' in places which outside of Manraze is the only comparable thing to Delta Deep that Phil's done before."

05 - Miss Me

"A song that was previewed in demo form in December 2013 on the Radioscreamer show. Now it has been improved with new bass and drums and has transformed from a decent song into a very good song indeed. This (like many others) could be a future single. Debbi and Phil each sing a verse before joining each other on the chorus. It's easy once again to compare this to Manraze because that's the only other time we've heard Phil sing lead vocals this much. Therefore Manraze fans will probably embrace this album the most. Quite handy then if you like Manraze - which I do!."

06 - Burnt Sally

"This song features the first guest in the form of Jeffery "CJ" Vanston on Hammond B3 Organ. Phil's on/off writing partner and co-writer of Def Leppard track 'It's All About Believin''. Another song already heard during one of the many live radio appearances in 2013/2014. I have to say I wasn't that into the song when they played it live. It sounds much better now with Forrest's rock drums added to it. Phil's bluesy playing is also great on this track. Having been a fan of Stone Temple Pilots since 1992 it was great to find out Robert Deleo would be a part of this project and his bass playing is excellent throughout."

07 - Private Number

"Baby, baby, bay-by!. You can see why David Coverdale chose to sing this song as these lines were made for him. I swear I've heard him sing that in many Whitesnake songs but this doesn't sound anything at all like Whitesnake!. A similar quieter side of the band like track 4. A softer sound and it highlights the vocals more. David and Debbi duetting on this cover of a 1968 song by Judy Clay and William Bell. If anyone expected David would be singing on a Led Zeppelin style rocker - wrong, although Phil's guitar solo is very rocking it has to be said."

08 - Shuffle Sweet

"I mentioned Manraze before and you would be forgiven for thinking this is a Manraze song. In fact I really think this was a track originally written for Manraze or perhaps one Phil has shamelessly "stolen"...(from himself?) to use for Delta Deep. Phil and Debbi again trade lines on the verses and you are basically hearing a song that could have been on "punkfunkrootsrock" - again, no bad thing at all!. If track 3 is the most traditional "rock" song on the album then this would be in second place. Another contender for favourite."

09 - Black Coffee

"A lead vocal from Phil and you probably haven't heard him sing like this before. The only comparable time would perhaps be on the cover of the Faces song 'Stay With Me'. Well it starts out like that but when the song kicks in it goes somewhere else. This definitely stands out as the biggest surprise of the album, at least for me, which is not a bad thing at all. Probably because of all the traditional "blues" songs on the album - Whiskey, Burnt Sally and Black Coffee - this is the one where it's not Debbi Blackwell-Cook singing lead. To hear Phil singing this song and in this way was a surprise. A good surprise though and you can't help but think - wow, that's the guy from Def Leppard singing. The other surprise being the one song that features Paul Cook on drums and Simon Laffy on bass (from Manraze) sounds absolutely nothing like Manraze at all. A cover of a song originally done by Ike And Tina Turner and also covered by the UK band Humble Pie. This version mirrors the tempo of the Humble Pie cover including a small lyrical change."

10 - Feelit

"Phil described this in a recent interview as being his favourite. To me this song is as Phil says very commercial and it reminds you of Treat Her Like Candy but slightly slower. Very much a Phil/Debbi duet. Their voices blend together really well. As the title suggests - it's very feel good. The song also highlights Robert's funky bass playing. Definitely one of my favourties alongside Down In The Delta."

11 - Mistreated

"Phil Collen on lead I have to say I really don't know many Deep Purple songs outside of Smoke On The Water, so I've not heard the original. Based on this I may have to check it out. Phil's guitar and Debbi's voice doing a vocal/guitar duet was pretty stunning to hear. Followed by a solo where Phil plays like a demon. And the Joe Elliott turns up and starts singing - "I've been mistreated...". Not sure about that but those guitar strings certainly were!. Phil playing awesome rock guitar whilst Debbi and Joe duet above it. Not a bad way to end the album. The song was first released in 1974 and written by Richie Blackmore and album guest David Coverdale. The reason he is not singing this version is due to Whitesnake covering it on their new Deep Purple covers release 'The Purple Album'. A similar vocal to Joe's cover of The Who's 'Love Reign O'er Me' from the 2012 'Who Are You' tribute album."

"Joe of course already knows this song as he played tambourine on it with Kings of Chaos and sang lead vocals on the Deep Purple song 'Never Before' with them on the tribute album 'Re-Machined'.

Final Thoughts

I would say this is album will surprise many people. Especially anyone who thought it would feature a lot of very traditional or old sounding blues songs.

It's very different from what I was expecting - in a good way.

To me this is very much a rock album but with more of a pop sound mixed in with the obvious blues/soul/funk influence. A couple of blues songs included and lots of lead vocals from Debbi Blackwell-Cook who has an amazing voice but there is plenty of Phil in here too.

It is different enough to be nothing like Def Leppard but not different enough that it won't appeal to Def Leppard and Manraze fans alike. Especially those with open minds and good musical taste.