Def Leppard: High 'N' Dry - Album Of The Week Club review

Nearly four decades afters its release, High ’N’ Dry remains a true rock classic and the springboard for all that followed

Def Leppard - High 'N' Dry
(Image: © UMC - Mercury)

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Def Leppard - High 'N' Dry

Def Leppard - High 'N' Dry

(Image credit: UMC - Mercury)

Let It Go
Another Hit And Run
High 'N' Dry (Saturday Night)
Bringin' On The Heartbreak
Switch 625
You Got Me Runnin'
Lady Strange
On Through The Night
Mirror Mirror (Look Into My Eyes)
No No No

Def Leppard’s second album is the connoisseur’s choice, a hard rock tour-de-force that fast-tracked them out of the NWOBHM ghetto. 

Working with Robert John "Mutt" Lange for the first time, Leppard made a huge leap forward from their debut On Through The Night. But they were still young, and wisely, Mutt didn’t smooth out all of their rough edges. Opening with the knockout one-two punch of Let It Go and Another Hit And RunHigh ‘N’ Dry is the rowdiest and most balls-out album the band has ever recorded. 

The pissed-up title track is Leppard’s Highway To Hell. The duelling guitars of Switch 625 had echoes of classic Thin Lizzy. Only the semi-ballad Bringin’ On The Heartbreak hinted at the pop crossover to come.

"When you look back at it now, there are bits of it that hit and bits of it that missed," says Joe Elliott. "But generally speaking, as the second album, it was the start of where we were going to go.

“We were open-minded and so happy to be working with a producer like Mutt Lange. He was like a teacher and we wanted to learn from him. He was this rock guru and we were prepared to get in the pit with him and wrestle it out."

Every week, Album of the Week Club listens to and discusses the album in question, votes on how good it is, and publishes our findings, with the aim of giving people reliable reviews and the wider rock community the chance to contribute. 

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Other albums released in July 1981

  • 4 - Foreigner
  • Signals, Calls, and Marches - Mission of Burma
  • You Want It You Got It - Bryan Adams
  • Pleasant Dreams - The Ramones
  • Bella Donna - Stevie Nicks
  • KooKoo - Debbie Harry
  • Escape - Journey
  • Blue and Gray - Poco
  • Dreamtime - Tom Verlaine
  • El Loco - ZZ Top
  • Girls to Chat and Boys to Bounce - Foghat
  • Marauder - Blackfoot
  • Night of the Demon - Demon
  • Precious Time - Pat Benatar
  • Time - Electric Light Orchestra
  • The Visitor - Mick Fleetwood

What they said...

"Def Leppard's second album, High 'N' Dry, continues in the vein of the anthemic, working-class hard rock of their debut. While still opting for a controlled musical attack and melodies as big-sounding and stadium-ready as possible, the band opens up its arrangements a bit more on High 'N' Dry, letting the songs breathe and groove while the rhythm section and guitar riffs play off one another." (AllMusic

"High ‘N’ Dry shows a young, maturing band, hungry for success and ready to take over the world. It is definitely one of those ;feeling good' old rock’n’roll records that you cannot expect to listen nowadays. Def Leppard were at their rawest, truest and more genuine finest here." (My Rock Mixtapes

"Overall High 'N' Dry is the strongest Def Leppard album because of its sharp and focused songwriting and the assistance of Lange and Shipley manning the boards. Def Leppard's hardest rocking album is also their strongest. It shows a young and hungry band whose vision was yet untainted with looming commercial desires." (Metal Archives)

What you said...

Jonathan Novajosky: A while back I decided to go through all of Def Leppard's other albums besides Hysteria and Pyromania. For whatever reason, at the time, I didn't love them as much as I expected to. Flash forward to today, and I have no idea what the hell I was thinking back then. High 'N' Dry is definitely a killer album.

It starts out strong with Let It Go and Another Hit And Run, two songs that should be more well known than they are. I particularly loved the buildup to Another Hit And Run. Even though, it's the popular song off this album, I forgot how great Bringin' On The Heartbreak was. Maybe I just haven't heard it in a while, but the song highlights all the strengths of Def Leppard: hard, melodic rock that pleases both metal heads and the casual radio listener. I was enjoying the song so much, I barely even noticed it transitioned into Switch 625, a cool little instrumental.

And it just keeps on hitting hard after that. I was just so impressed by all of these tracks. You Got Me Runnin' is going straight to some of my playlists. The guitar frenzy in the middle of Lady Strange was one of the best parts of the album, and Mirror Mirror may become a new favourite of mine with its rattling guitar and catchy lyrics. Sometimes when you listen to a popular band's deep cuts, you think "Oh I see why this song isn't as popular as that one we all know," or something to that effect. But I did not get that feeling at all here, especially in the second half of the album. I felt like all of these songs could have been hits. None sound so far off from the classics everyone knows like Photograph or Hysteria. Maybe not as MTV-friendly as those, and a little rougher, but nonetheless they all have that distinct Leppard sound. There is truly no weak point on this album.

There are only a few hard rock bands that I think have the perfect balance of heaviness and accessibility for those not normally into rock, and Def Leppard is certainly one of them. To me, part of their mass appeal to the casual audience is the perfect background vocals that help build an element of catchiness to a lot of their songs, something that is present here. I can't believe I didn't originally like this album. A fool I was, but now I can't wait to listen to High 'N' Dry over again multiple times. This will be the highest score I've given an album since Boston's debut. 9/10

Jacob Tannehill: Outstanding album. No issues with it at all. Saturday Night, Mirror Mirror, are some of the best songs they’ve ever done. Bringing On The Heartbreak of course is the winner on this album. Going into Swtch 625, which was always a genius idea. Saw them a few years ago, and they were doing those two together, and I don’t think I can listen to one without the other... is this one of Mutt Lange's first records? He kills it on this one!

Scott Spalding: I absolutely love this album! By far, my favourite by them. First album was sorta dull, and everything after was too slick, too over-produced (how could they not be, given the years of drama?). This one hits such a sweet spot, from top to bottom. It rocks balls! Oh, and any DJ worth his salt who plays Heartbreak without letting it go into Switch 625 should be shot. (Let it go!) And we won't even mention the hideous single version of Heartbreak with the clangy keyboards. WTF?

James Last: Probably their best album in my book, mainly because I prefer the rawer production, much closer to what they actually sounded like on stage. Nothing against what came after, but they were never quite the same after Pete Willis left. (remembering of course that he was on and had a hand in writing some of Pyromania too, credit where it's due!).

Adam Ranger: Not really a fan of Leppard. As a teenager I liked On Through The Night. And this album totally rocks. Great album. They kind of lost me after this album. The occasional good song but generally lost interest. It has however been a pleasure playing this album again.

Scott Parnell: Their best for me with a rockier edge still there before they were produced into the mainstream. Heartbreak into Switch still thrills like it did in my early teens. Just can’t fit the tour shirt now.

Michael Anderson: This is the album that really got me into hard rock. When MTV put their videos into rotation, I had to own High 'N' Dry. I was 10, and this record was awesome. I just wish they kept rocking, and didn't get all poppy.

Brian Leonard: High 'N' Dry is definitely a great album, but I’ve always liked On Through the Night as well. Along with Pyromania, those are three classics. I can’t stand Hysteria or anything later. They became a pop band by that time. The Willis and Clark sound was key (Pete did lay down rhythm tracks on Pyromania before he was fired.).

Wade Babineau: I had started with Pyromania when it first came out. Went back and discovered this one... was not disappointed then and the opinion remains true today. Not a bum track in the lot. Agree with others in that it had a little more polish than On Through The Night, but still had a raw rock sound!

Dave Hinsley: Amazing album and their best in my opinion. Hard rock with melodies throughout. My advice would be stop listening after No, No, No and avoid the abomination that is the 1984 remix of Bringing On The Heartbreak!

Brett Deighton: I was pretty young when this came out and so only really came across the band when Pyromania came out. I then went and bought High ‘N’ Dry and was blown away. Still love this album today

Tito Lesende Galán: Lovely choice. A smart mix of great guitar riffs, catchy melodies and young blood. Of course, there's Mutt Lange and that'll always mean a clever production, but the band still sounds like a bunch of lads with guts in that good old precious gap between decades. But, most of all, we've got the songs: Let It Go, You Got Me Runnin', Lady Strange and the superb Bringin' On The Heartache hit my mind. How could you ever lose? This is a great setlist, a great sounding rock record and a perfect picture of its time.

Bill Griffin: My introduction to Def Leppard and, for my money, still their best album. This is hard rock perfection; completely unrelenting as even Bringin' On The Heartbreak is heavy and the segue into Switch 625 is a brilliant bit of programming and mixing. Even the tracks which might have been filler are elevated above that trap. Credit probably goes to Mutt Lange. He certainly knew how to make this band sound good.

Graham Tarry: I got into the band at the start having heard sessions on the radio in 1979, and got the Getcha Rocks Off EP, and saw them supporting Sammy Hagar, but from then on it went downhill. The debut album is so badly produced, and despite having Mutt Lange at the helm, I find this album sub-standard. It sounds very dated, and only a handful of songs stand up to scrutiny now. 

I think Pyromania and Hysteria are much superior, but they've been living off them for decades (like most bands from the 80s), and are fortunate, like Iron Maiden, to have excellent marketing people in charge of running their affairs. Joe Elliott is a much better DJ than singer; his Saturday show on Planet Rock is a highlight of each week.

John Davidson: Well, this was a pleasant surprise. After an initial and very promising start with their self-published EP, Leppard stumbled with their first proper album On Through the Night. The production was weak, the songs didn’t deliver on the early promise and the track Hello America might as well have been called Fuck You UK as they were branded sell-outs by the broadly punk rock sensibilities of 1980s Britain.

That explains perhaps why when High 'N' Dry came out I didn’t spend my meagre student £££ on it. This was, in retrospect, a mistake as there is no doubt that I would have loved it at the time.

On first listen High 'N' Dry has a Highway To Hell-era AC/DC feel to the opening songs particularly on the title track. This is presumably down to the Mutt Lange influence and to be honest it was sounding good but not great until Switch 625 got me pricking up my ears and nodding along properly. From there it was a revelation, with Lady Strange being the high point of the album.

On second listen, all the songs sound sharp and the production shows off their best qualities. It sounds like they are having fun, but it’s not a shambles. The only song I didn’t really take to is Bringin' On The Heartache, which is a portent of what was to come on subsequent albums, but to be fair it’s raw enough and the guitars have enough attack for it to still pass muster, and the segue into Switch 625 is a killer.

So, for me this is Def Leppard in their very narrow sweet spot. Still a bit raw, but full of energy and delivering enough meat in between the hooks and choruses to make it feel like a proper full on rock album rather than the collection of over produced MTV video singles and power ballads they fell into after this.

In short - it’s a great album and one that I will probably add to my collection. 8/10

Shane Reho: Based on their radio hits, I'm not a fan of Def Leppard. Pop metal or whatever you wanna call it is where most of that falls, and I hate that sound with a passion. I'm also not a fan of Mutt Lange, who didn't make bad albums, but usually the bands he produced sounded better before he showed up (AC/DC sounded rawer and better with Henry Vanda & George Young on Voltage, Deeds, Let There Be Rock and Powerage than Lange on Highway). That being said, this album was a bit of a surprise. Most of it sounds raw and unpolished, which is how hard rock and heavy metal should sound. Too bad they didn't stick with that. Mirror Mirror and Switch 625 are my favourites as of now. Overall, I enjoyed it but won't be in any rush to buy a copy.

Mike Knoop: To quote Mary Poppins, High ‘N’ Dry is “practically perfect in every way.” To quote me, it’s exactly what a hard rock album should be: lean and muscular, riffs like a prizefighter throws punches. As others have written, I became a fan of the album and the band because of their videos on baby MTV and this album has remained my favourite by them ever since.

Could a High ‘N’ Dry II or III have brought the band the same level of success that the band has enjoyed for the last several decades? Unlikely, but this is an incredible album by a young band that sounds like seasoned professionals at the top of their game. I can find you at least one great song on every Def Leppard album, but this one has ten, well, nine, since we all agree Heartbreak and Switch 625 belong together like peanut better and jelly.

Gino Sigismondi: Though I'm a Pyromania guy (the first rock album I ever bought with my own money!), there is definitely something special about High 'n' Dry. It's one of those "cusp" records, where a band begins to transition from just promising newcomers, but haven't quite hit on all cylinders. The closest comparison I think of Ride the Lightning, which was a huge step forward for Metallica over Kill 'em All, but isn't quite the perfect landmark of Master of Puppets

On Through The Night is a fun album, but definitely shows it's age. It's hard to criticize it for being juvenile when the band essentially was juvenile when they recorded it! But enter Mutt Lange, and youthful Judas Priest-wannabees become a muscular, melodic juggernaut. The album is heavier and more muscular, yet catchier and more streamlined at the same time. For fans who already found Pyromania too poppy, High 'N' Dry may be the perfect Leppard disc. 

For my money, the sound and attitude of High 'N' Dry were never better for the band, but Pyromania still has the edge in memorable songs and repeated listening. But all the pieces were there, they just needed one more record for it all to come together. And then there's the back cover... shady mugshots and 3/5 shirtless! Ugh. My vinyl version is the 1984 re-release that includes remixes of Me And My Wine (fairly unremarkable) and Bringing' On The Heartbreak (additional cheesy keyboards - thank god they left the original version on there!). One of my favourite ways to annoy fans of Pour Some Sugar On Me is play them songs from the first two Leppard discs - this is when they still kicked ass!

Paul Salter: High 'N' Dry for me is their AC/DC moment. Brilliant from start to finish, without the song No No No. Mirror Mirror should be in every set list when they play live. People complain about the later albums, but if you take Clarke and Willis out of the line up, it’s never going to be the same. Personally I still think they put out quality work, and still back it up with phenomenal live shows. One of the best bands ever.

John Davidson: Having enjoyed High 'N' Dry more than I expected I'm now going back and listening to On Through The Night with fresh ears . The remastered version on The Early Years collection is far better than the original, so much so it almost sounds like a remix rather than a remaster.

While still a journeyman piece it's a far better album in retrospect than I gave it credit for at the time. I'm pretty sure I owned it but don't recall listening to it often. Elliot's vocals aren't great at times and the lyrics are a bit ropey, but the music (and the guitars in particular) are pretty good.

They hadn't found a voice of their own yet I'd suggest though - still sounding like UFO at times (not a bad band to emulate) with a few too many generic rock tropes (ooh yeh ooh yeh) thrown over the top. When the Walls Come Tumbling Down could have been performed by Spinal Tap - complete with spoken intro. It's fair to say Mutt Lange helped them find their voice on High 'N' Dry, though perhaps left them with too much of his own.

Bryan Mullins: This is a solid album, in my ears their best. I wish they would have stuck with this type of sound/edginess instead of becoming cheesy pop starts with Hysteria forward. When I saw them they were horrible, so loud that it sounded like white noise, literally couldn't hear the vendors out in the hallways well enough to order food or shirts. It was hard to identify songs it sounded so bad. Billy Idol, however who opened for them killed it. I will give this album a 10.

Carl Black: Coming in from a thrash angle I really wasn't looking forward to this album. Hysteria came out when I was at middle school, and although I'd already discovered Iron Maiden and Metallica, everyone assumed I was into Def Leppard. And I wasn't . And Hysteria casts a long shadow with all its over produced, radio friendly tomfoolery, American AOR-ness. 

But imagine my surprise when listening to High 'N' Dry that Def Leppard used to rock! Song after song of hard rock with AC/DC and early Kiss influences and a lick of ZZ Top with a slight, ever so slight C&W twang on it. Joe Elliott's vocals are superb, going at it like a rabbit on heat. A solid seven out of ten. I'll never reach for a Def Leppard album to pass the time and I'd never request a Def Leppard song but if I do, this will be my go to album. Saying that, I'd consider listening to this again in the future. It's a good album.

Happs Richards: Went all old-school on this one and dig out my original vinyl copy. I know this album courted a bit of controversy and to be fair I think I only initially bought it as a way of exploring their back catalog after Hysteria, but I do like it, maybe not their strongest, best known or the one that you go for when you grab one from the shelf, but it puts a smile on my face and is a testament to a band finding its sound so great to hear it again!

Iain Macaulay: Right out of the bat - I am not a fan of Def Leppard. All that pomp rock, American, MTV, radio-friendly, shiny shiny sounding processed rock just doesn’t do anything for me. Mutt Lange has a lot to answer for in my book. On the other hand, it’s a shame they didn’t stick to what this album alludes to as it’s quite good and paints a completely different picture of the band. Quite a nice surprise to find they actually started out as a rock band with a bit of balls.

Roland Bearne: When I first heard Def Leppard it was a mate who had the single of Hello America. I bought On Through The Night as soon as pocket money allowed and still love it to this day. High 'N' Dry with its striking cover art and photos of lads about my age having a ball on tour grabbed me even before the needle hit the plastic. Then the sounds flowed... wow. Just wow!! 

To this day I have it on rotation. Playing the verse pattern to Bringing On The Heartache on my acoustic is my version of meditating. Love this album, with Mutt they created a sound that transcended anything but Van Halen to these teenage ears. Then they did Pyromania... and that's the only reason High 'N' Dry is a 9. Pyromania gets the 10. Leppard fan for life. Bless em all.

Brian Carr: Pyromania was an important album for me. Most of the music I listened to up through 1982 was gleaned from my parents (who had decent musical taste) and especially my uncle, who played bass in various rock cover bands and had an exceptional record collection. Between his copy of Pyromania and the videos that aired constantly on MTV, I was hooked. Because Def Leppard were on the cover, I bought my first issue of Hit Parader magazine that summer and was soon seeking out bands on my own.

It probably wasn’t long before we picked up the vinyl copy of High 'N' Dry that is still in my possession. I can’t tell you when it overtook Pyromania in my preference, but it’s been a long damned time. Absolute rock! Bringin’ On The Heartbreak got reasonable play and you could catch a couple of the other side one rockers from time to time on the video channel, but what I love so much about High 'N' Dry is to my ears, You Got Me Runnin’, Lady Strange and Mirror Mirror are every bit as hook-filled. As an added bonus, when I eventually picked it up on CD, it included the slammin’ Me & My Wine.

High 'N' Dry probably isn’t a perfect album, but it’s absolutely a 10/10 for me.

Gary Claydon: Late summer of 1978 and there was a bit of a buzz on the local grapevine about a young band from just down the road in the Steel City. They had only played a couple of gigs and they had, quite frankly, a shit name but the word was that they were ones to watch. So, along with a couple of mates, I hot-footed it down to Wombwell Reform Club to see for myself. 

I was not disappointed. Def Leppard were raw, exciting, full of energy. They had that bit of cockiness about them, that attitude that said "we're good and we know we are" and, even in those very early days, it was difficult to argue. That was me hooked. I followed them round the South Yorkshire working men's club circuit and watched them get better & better. What's more, they were local lads, the same age as me & my mates and dressed like us. You'd see them in town at places such as The Wappentake or at all the same gigs that we went to. 

It wasn't long before they started to get the attention & the breaks they deserved and were quickly moving on to bigger & better things. Never before, or since, have I waited for an album as eagerly & excitedly as I did for their debut album. And never have I been as disappointed by one. In fact, 'disappointed ' probably doesn't do it justice. That raw, exciting band were lost on an album that sounded like it had been recorded through several layers of Reading festival mud and with a production which was flat as a fart. 

Those oh-so-familiar songs that I had joyfully banged my head to now sounded alien to me. At this point I feel it important to say that I never bought into the backlash that Def Leppard suffered in the UK around this time. Cries of sell-out were unfair. This was a talented but young, inexperienced band still trying to find their way. There was surely much better to come from them. Still, it was with some trepidation that I waited for the sophomore effort. 

As it turned out, I needn't have worried. High 'N' Dry is Def Leppard's best album by a country mile. They have never sounded better than they did here. A lot of the credit for that goes to Mutt Lange of course. Now, almost four decades later, I have mixed opinions about his work as a producer and most if it is on the negative side but back then he still had a bit of a magic touch and he applies it here to good effect. Yes it's a slicker more polished Def Leppard but this is undoubtedly a hard rock album. There are shades of Lange's work with AC/DC and you can hear bits of Lizzy or UFO here & there but this is the band really finding their feet & beginning to find their own sound.

High 'N' Dry rocks right out of the gate. The opening trio of Let It Go, Another Hit And Run and the title track set things up nicely. I've never been a big fan of Bringin' On The Heartbreak but love the way it segues into the excellent Switch 625. The next four tracks are OK but I feel things just get ever so slightly pedestrian here before No No No rounds things off in fine style and by this time it's a real Yes Yes Yes as far as High 'N' Dry is concerned. It's not perfect, but then few albums are.

This was very much Def Leppard's high water mark for me. As far as I was concerned they went downhill quickly from here. Pyromania was OK but gave a big pointer to the sugar-coated, pop-rock horror of Hysteria. That was where I lost interest in Def Leppard. It was great to see a band that I'd watched from so early on achieve such huge success but they had gone in a direction I couldn't stomach. 

As a final parting of the ways, I sold my pristine copy of the original Getcha Rocks Off E.P, complete with lyric insert hand written by Joe Elliot and his mum, to an American serviceman who was stationed in Britain and was collecting as much early material as he could of his new favourite band. He paid me nearly double my then weekly wage for it. You could say I sold out to the Yankee dollar, which would be appropriate really.

Nigel Lancashire: Following their exciting start with the self-released Bludgeon Riffola Getcha Rocks Off EP, Def Leppard must have been wondering where it was going so wrong by the time they hit the studio for High ‘N’ Dry. The Nick Tauber-produced Wasted and b-side Hello America were... polite rather than rip-roaring, so fresh off British Steel in came Judas Priest producer Tom Allom for debut album On Through the Night and it sounded... pedestrian beyond all expectations. 

Fans who had seen the songs played alive prior to recording (such as me) couldn’t believe how much life had been sucked out of the band and even on the tour supporting it, the band appeared disheartened, and trounced by the enthusiasm of support bands Tygers of Pan Tang and Magnum.

So no surprise when the Sheffield teenagers rushed into the arms of Robert ’Mutt’ Lange, an experienced producer able to give even rock-solid bands like AC/DC that extra chart-winning polish. And eventually we got High ‘N’ Dry, where Leppard’s full-of-promise UFO and Lizzy-influenced twin guitar sound met the Lange signature multilayer backing vocals that typify most of ‘his’ albums. Lange didn’t, and doesn’t, do natural or ‘live’ sounding studio recordings, but it’s hard to criticise his radio-friendly success – a thing Leppard and manager Peter Mensch desperately wanted by this point.

What High ‘N’ Dry delivers, and even more so listened to in retrospect, is a very balanced mix of already-existing, stage-tested Leppard songs with Lange’s knack for restructuring material, adding hooks and steering bands towards his already-charted waters. He carries forward lessons from his AC/DC work and the newer Leppard songs written during recording take on a strut and swagger straight out of the Angus Young songbook that they had never explored before.

Songs like Lady Strange exemplify the ‘old’ Leppard while album opener Let It Go and the title track show off the 1981-fresh version, less NWOBHM and more easily-relatable, Billboard chart-targeted rock and roll. Bringing On The Heartbreak and its segue into Switch 625 are where the two styles mesh best (for me) and fully realise that early promise.

Of course, the monster hit follow-ups Pyromania and Hysteria are where the Lange hit-making muscles get fully flexed and their familiarity makes it difficult to hear High ‘N’ Dry with virgin ears. I have to admit, they have always sounded cynical and clinical to my particular ears — all hits, no heart. I enjoy them, but feel nothing while listening. High ‘N’ Dry though, viewed alone as it should be, gets a 9 from me.

Chris Downie: In what is a true 'coming of age' moment, Def Leppard made a gargantuan step forward from their spirited and energetic (but undeniably rough around the edges) debut, with a sophomore album which improves on its predecessor in ways few bands have achieved, either before or since. In the process, they elevated themselves from promising youths, to fully-fledged contenders, who would soon outgrow the NWOBHM scene from which they spawned.

With regards to the latter point, it has always been a source of contention among fans and band alike whether they truly belonged to that scene, but to these ears there is no doubt that their first two albums are firmly in the Heavy Metal ballpark, with their classic third album Pyromania bridging the gap perfectly between their roots and the colossal stadium rock anthems they would later be immortalised by.

While it is fair to credit producer extraordinaire John 'Mutt' Lange for much of the aforementioned progress made on High 'N' Dry, it would be remiss to omit the new-found maturity of the songwriting here, honed after relentless pounding of the live circuits. The combination of Lange's professionalism and the band's improved songcraft provide a potent opening one-two punch in Let it Go and the brilliant Another Hit and Run to reinforce this point, but the classic power balladry of Bringing On The Heartbreak" and instrumental Switch 625 (arguably the late, great Steve Clarke's finest hour) round out a jaw-dropping first half.

If there is anything preventing High 'N' Dry from being an undisputed classic, as opposed to an important leap forward towards greatness, it is the fact the second side, though good, doesn't quite match the first and inevitably results in an ever-so-slight-but-noticable drop in momentum.

While this is, perhaps with the exception of the aforementioned Bringing On The Heartbreak, a far cry from the slick, commercialised power pop-rock of their later works, this album is a favourite among diehards and deservedly so. More crucially, it is a vital and fascinating stepping stone in the evolution of one of classic rock's most loved bands. Their next step would see the timeless Pyromania take the baton and run with it, while the rest, as they say, is history. 8.5/10.

Final Score: 8.50⁄10 (461 votes cast, with a total score of 3922)

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