No artist can keep the creative fire burning forever. The well is bound to dry up eventually, and the more time you’re in the spotlight, the more likely you’re going to be liable to screw up your winning streak, either pumping out some of the worst material of your career or gradually going down the tubes until you’re practically unrecognizable anymore. Even when they were at their lowest though, these artists at least had a little bit of gas in the tank for these albums.
For all of the mediocrity that surrounds these songs, each of them have held up as classics for the artists in question, being right on par with their earlier material and not having to compromise any part of their sound in the process. It’s just a shame that before you get to this song, you also have to delve through some of the most underwhelming material of their career as well, from songs that have no business being on a major rock album to songs that will make you think what the hell these guys were doing wasting away in the studio.
Regardless of how the record was conceived through, these are the few glimmers to be taken from these sessions, at least showing us that the band was more or less on the right track when they were taking chances in the studio. These might be the bottom of the barrel for every single artist on this list, but it’s nice to know that these songs are at least a step in the right direction.
10. Long Long Way To Go - Def Leppard
Def Leppard has always suffered with a bit of an identity crisis throughout most of their career. Before they became the hair metal icons we know them as today, they were originally a hard rock band in line with the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. When they faced another setback once grunge kicked in though, X saw them go in the exact opposite direction of rock in the early ‘00s.
Compared to their other hair metal counterparts, there’s hardly any rock present on here, with the band trying to cash in on the modern sounds of the early ‘00s and sounding a lot more like Avril Lavigne than Bon Jovi. For an album that’s all straight pop songs though, it’s no surprise that the band still knocked it out of the park with the ballads, with Long Long Way To Go being one of the best slow burns they’ve made since their glory days. Sticking to acoustics for the first time since Two Steps Behind, this is pretty much a standard rock and roll ballad that found its way onto the track listing, with Joe Elliott wearing his heart on his sleeve about the long road he has to take to accept that his lover doesn’t want him anymore.
Even without pop producer Mutt Lange this time, the harmonies still sound better than ever, giving you that raspy version of the Queen-like vocal sound that Leppard were always masters at. X is definitely not any rock fan’s favorite Leppard album, but for a pop record, you can certainly do worse than a song like this.