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Def Leppard Tour History Fan Archive.
Joe Elliott On BBC Radio 2 Tracks Of My Years Day 5

Friday, 22nd January 2016

Joe Elliott 2015.
Joe Elliott/Ken Bruce 2015

Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott appeared on the Ken Bruce show today for day five of the Track Of My Years feature.

Ken Bruce plays two tracks each weekday chosen by different guests and Joe is featured this week.

On the fifth and final show today Joe played songs by Steve Harley and The Clash.

Read his comments about each artist and song below.

A further two songs are being played each day this week. Joe is pictured above at the BBC Radio studios with host Ken Bruce.

The appearance was recorded and announced in December 2015.

Listen to today's show via the BBC iPlayer link - Joe's part starts at 2hrs 10:30mins in.

The full 10 track/48 min show is also now available and the playlist is shown below.

Ken Bruce Presents Track of My Years - Joe Elliott Day Five

Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel

"I'm a huge fan of, and I hope you're not listening Steve Harley, but I'm a huge fan of people that can't sing. What you might call standard singing. And what I mean by that is people like Gary Holton from the Heavy Metal Kids. Ian Hunter from Mott The Hoople and Steve Harley. They're of the Bob Dylan school of singing as opposed to the Ottis Redding school of singing. They've got a style and the style for me is way more important than you know oh he can hit every note like an Olympian singer. It's like if you've got a bit of humour or you've got a great lyric and you put the song across well. It doesn't matter if it's not the most perfect voice. If it's recognisable from the third word they sing. That's Bob Dylan you know that's Ian Hunter. That's Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel. And Harley was a fantastic writer."

"Still is actually a fantastic writer. And before Come Up And See Me, which is the one song that the whole world knows. He had a bunch of that were just brilliantly put together. There was Mr. Soft. Sebastian, one of the best things he ever did. I mean who in 1972 can say that they had a hit single with a seven minute track. But he did in Germany or somewhere. Somewhere in Europe. But when Judy Teen came out again it's got the vaudeville connection. And I have a big connection with anything like that. It's very end of pier, seaside, scary clown music I suppose is one way of describing it."

The Clash

"Yeah, well I thought I better move up to at least the end of the 70s for one song. I remember the first time I heard it. I thought this is hauntingly familiar and I couldn't figure out why and I was reading all this stuff. And I'm looking at what they're into and they've got Guy Stevens producing this song. And Guy Stevens produced the first Mott The Hoople albums. So I knew somebody somewhere was a fan. And I read Mick Jones was huge into Mott. Used to follow them around. He was in the fan club and all this kind of stuff. And then one day it clicked and I remember I just adore the song. Still do. But it's the chord sequence. It's from a song called Cracked Actor by David Bowie from his Aladdin Sane album. And I thought well done Mick Jones because you've - seven years on from that song, I'm the only person that's gone and spotted it. You know the anal Joe Elliott is back. There was a generation of people who were ready and willing to listen to that and believe it or not I was actually one of them. I went in a very different direction musically but I got the whole punk ethos, I really did."

DJ - It was obviously important to you. It probably informed something of your music?

"Well yeah it did in fairness. When we first got together. We were doing songs called Wasted! and they were three minutes long with a fifteen second guitar solo. We weren't doing what all the other rock bands were doing which was 20 minute songs with fifteen minute guitar solos and drum solos. I mentioned yesterday/day before Thin Lizzy and AC/DC were short, sharp songs. Punk did it. They were just musical. That's the only difference. But they great thing about Punk is like when we got together as kids we would be watching all the different punk bands. Wheter it'd be the Buzzcocks, the Pistols, The Clash, The Jam and even the more slightly musical ones that were more New Wave like Eddie And the Hotrods, Dr. Feelgood who were more of an R 'n' B band. And you'd look at most of them and say well they actually can't play. But the noise that they made was fantastic."

"And we being slightly more snobbish I suppose were going well we can actually play a bit. But if we can take that attitude and bring it into the music that we make. Surely there's got to be something that will work you know."

Joe also spoke about Def Leppard's future plans at the end. Read that part here.

Ken Bruce Presents Track of My Years - Playlist

  • 01 - Ian Hunter - Once Bitten Twice Shy - 18th January
  • 02 - T. Rex - Metal Guru - 18th January

  • 03 - Queen - Now I'm Here - 19th January
  • 04 - David Bowie - Starman - 19th January

  • 05 - Slade - Coz I Love You - 20th January
  • 06 - Mott The Hoople - All The Young Dudes - 20th January

  • 07 - Sparks - This Town Ain't Big Enough - 21st January
  • 08 - Thin Lizzy - The Boys Are Back in Town - 21st January

  • 09 - Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - Judy Teen - 22nd January
  • 10 - The Clash - London Calling - 22nd January