DEF LEPPARD, Great Britain's premiere arena rock band, is back with a bang-kicking off 2008 with the release of their 14th studio album and a U.S. arena concert tour scheduled for this spring. Entitled "Songs From The Sparkle Lounge" (Bludgeon Riffola/Island/UMe), the album set for release on April 29, contains 11 new songs including the highly-anticipated single "Nine Lives" featuring a groundbreaking collaboration with country music superstar Tim McGraw. The band is set to debut the single on ABC-TV's "Dancing With The Stars" on April 29 and on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" on April 30. "Songs From The Sparkle Lounge" is DEF LEPPARD's first album of brand new material since 2002's "X" and begins yet another remarkable new chapter in the band's 30-year recording career.
Recorded last year during month-long stints at lead singer Joe Elliott's Dublin studio, the album's title refers to a backstage area called "The Sparkle Lounge" on DEF LEPPARD's 2006 tour where the band would go to write songs. Tracks from the album have been described by the group as written in the style of "Hysteria", with the production of "High N' Dry".
"The whole record's got a great '70s feel," said lead singer Joe Elliott. "By our standards, it's a very different album as we've been very adventurous, musically, on certain numbers. On the album there are classic DEF LEPPARD songs and then there's also tracks that are very new-wave influenced while others sound like middle-to-late '70s AC/DC. There will definitely be some moments on it where anybody that's familiar with our music will go, 'Whoa! I wasn't expecting that!'"
The foundation for the album's collaboration with country music superstar Tim McGraw was layed at DEF LEPPARD's 2006 Hollywood Bowl show where McGraw joined the band on stage for an encore performance of "Pour Some Sugar On Me". The artists stayed in touch following the performance, and when the band started writing the song "Nine Lives" they immediately thought of reaching out to McGraw to sing on it. Guitarist Phil Collen flew to Nashville to play it for McGraw who loved it and recorded the song in Nashville shortly after. Other standout tracks on the album include "Go", reminiscent of the band's classic track "Rocket" in its power and aggressive tribal beat; "Love", an emotive and moving epic song; and the anthemic "Tomorrow", a song written by guitarist Collen about the death of his father.