PHIL COLLEN Says 'Just Like 73' Single Is 'Absolutely The Seed Of Another DEF LEPPARD' Album

June 24, 2024

During an appearance on the June 20 episode of SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk", DEF LEPPARD guitarist Phil Collen spoke about the band's latest single, "Just Like 73". The track, which features a guest guitar solo from Tom Morello, can be heard below.

"We started it when we were doing [2022's] 'Diamond Star Halos' [album], and anyone who doesn't know, that's a line from a Marc Bolan song [from] T. REX," Phil said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "He says 'hubcap diamond star halo'. And me and Joe [Elliott, DEF LEPPARD singer] have always used that phrase to describe the time that we got really baptized into music. I remember seeing [David] Bowie on 'The Old Grey Whistle Test' and 'Top Of The Pops' and was, like, 'Oh my God. This is my guy.' I was, like, 14 or 15. I'd already seen DEEP PURPLE; it my first concert, which was amazing. So, then all of a sudden this glam stuff came out. So we would always describe that as 'Diamond Star Halos'."

Phil continued: "I was writing a song with Dave Bassett, who I wrote 'Kick' with. And the same deal — I really want to put a SLADE slant on the backing vocals and just make it very much about '72 or '73. And Joe heard the demo and he's, like, 'Why can't you have both?' So we did, and then Joe started writing some lyrics because he's obviously really tapped into that, and all the verse lyrics and all the imagery from exactly that 'Diamond Star Halos' period ends up on this song. We actually hadn't finished it, so the rest of the band hadn't even heard the demo, and we played it to everyone and they all loved it. They all put their stuff on it. Viv [guitarist Vivian Campbell] played guitar, Sav [Rick Savage] did [his bass tracks], Rick [Allen, DEF LEPPARD drummer] put his part on and then we had some vocals — everyone had sung on it — and before you know it, it came out like this. So, we're really thrilled. It actually sounds better than the stuff on 'Diamond Star Halos', to my ears. So I'm really excited about that. And it seems that everyone really digs it as well."

Asked if this is a one-off single or the seed of another DEF LEPPARD full-length album, Phil said: "Oh, it's absolutely the seed of another DEF LEPPARD record. I mean, it was a leftover from the album before, but it was also the start of a new album. So, without a doubt. [Joe and I] write all the time. We send each other things. Sav gets in on there. Just between the three of us, there's just a lot of stuff floating around already. So we've, yeah, got a bunch of stuff. It's really exciting. And it's a great place to be. It's never that thing where, 'Well, we've got to sit down and write an album.' It's, like, 'Wow, I can't wait to play this to the guys and see what the reaction is.' And we keep pushing the boat out even further."

Regarding whether he envisions a new DEF LEPPARD full-length album coming out this year, Phil said: "This year would be pushing it, I think this year. But once we kind of get into the groove, I think — yeah. Who knows? Next year [or] early the year after. But you know how these things go. We have these tours and everything, but we've got a new song. So that's really exciting. So that'll be on the go pretty soon."

"Just Like 73" will arrive on seven-inch vinyl on August 2, 2024 and will be available in a special color variant only through the band's D2C store and in black at all retailers.

"Just Like 73" notably marks the first collaboration between the iconic rock titans and the legendary guitarist, sonic innovator and co-founder of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE and AUDIOSLAVE. The single revolves around a classic DEF LEPPARD stomp fueled by a robust stadium-size beat, thick riffing, and a signature chant, "Rock with me, just like 73!" Meanwhile, a knockout gang vocal gives way to a signature fret-scorching solo from Morello. The instantly recognizable whammy bar wheezes as he shreds at lightspeed into one last head-nodding hook.

Of the collaboration, Elliott previously shared: "It encapsulates a time that burned deep into our DNA. We wanted to celebrate that very important and glorious time."

Morello said: "I had a blast rocking a solo on 'Just Like 73'. I played 'Rock Of Ages' in my college cover band almost 40 years ago and here DEF LEPPARD are still killing it in stadiums with a brand new tune that's one of their best."

DEF LEPPARD teased "Just Like 73" on social media earlier this month, sharing an image with two different phone numbers for U.S. and U.K. fans to call.

"Light up the fuel. Just Like 73. Hotline Now Open," the band wrote in an accompanying caption.

Fans who called the phone numbers were able to hear Elliott singing lyrics from the song, which marks the band's first new original music since 2022's "Diamond Star Halos" album.

DEF LEPPARD's 23-city trek with JOURNEY is scheduled to begin on July 6 in St. Louis, Missouri and continue through September 8 in Denver, Colorado. Along the way, the two Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductees will bring their show to stadiums in major cities like Chicago, Nashville, Boston, Toronto, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and more. CHEAP TRICK will play two shows at the beginning of the tour and two concerts at the end of the trek, while STEVE MILLER BAND will join the bill for the majority of shows and HEART will appear on three dates.

Elliott previously shared that DEF LEPPARD's set on the 2024 tour will celebrate specific parts of the rockers' history. "We may even have a surprise or two up our sleeves," he said in a statement.

JOURNEY recently completed a number of dates as part of its 50th-anniversary "Freedom" tour.

The DEF LEPPARD/JOURNEY tour is being promoted by AEG Entertainment.

Both bands are offering VIP packages through their respective web sites.

DEF LEPPARD's VIP experiences include a premium seat, personal photo with the band, exclusive merchandise and more.

DEF LEPPARD's 12th studio album, "Diamond Star Halos", came out in 2022. A year later, the band followed it up with "Drastic Symphonies", a collection of reimagining of some of DEF LEPPARD's greatest hits with London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Abbey Road. The album spent 15 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Current Classical chart.

DEF LEPPARD's 2022 stadium tour across North America with MÖTLEY CRÜE reportedly sold more than 1.3 million tickets.

Photo credit: Ross Halfin

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