Def Leppard - Diamond Star Halos (2022) - Album Review

By Paul Rigg

Let the Glam Party Begin!  

Def Leppard’s twelfth album, Diamond Star Halos (27 May 2022; UMC/Mercury), was two years in the making and draws on glam rock to put the party back into this post-pandemia period. In fact it is T Rex’s bizarre lyric “Well, you're built like a car, You've got a hub cap diamond star halo”, from Get It On, which gives the album its name.

Recorded in three different countries, this line-up – featuring founder-members vocalist Joe Elliott and bassist Rick Savage, together with drummer Rick Allen and guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell – has produced a celebration of 70’s pop and a guitar-fest that many have spent a long time waiting for.


The first two single releases Kick and Fire It Up signalled the glam vibe with the big riff and handclap opening of the former, and the anthemic stadium-friendly sound of the latter. Together with the driving rock number, Take What You Want, Leppard opens their latest offering with a triple-blow that presages something special for both die-hard fans and newcomers alike.

The country ballad This Guitar signals a change of pace with Alison Krauss – who has recently worked closely with
Robert Plant– singing harmonies on lines like: “It’s crazy I know, but this guitar saved my life.” She also appears on Lifeless, which has to be said is only really given spark by a stinging guitar solo – perhaps on Phil Collen’s Jackson - at around the three minute mark.


Other anthemic standout tracks include SOS Emergency, All We Need, Gimme A Kiss and Unbreakable, all of which can be imagined as singalong songs on future tours – if the band can find space for them. Further references to the 70s can be heard on cuts like Liquid Dust, the nod to Slade on U Rok Mi, and the Electric Light Orchestra on Goodbye for Good This Time.

Another big ballad is Angels (Can’t Help You Now), which features
Bowie’s ex-keyboardist Mike Garson, a soaring guitar solo and more Jeff Lynne-like swelling orchestration.


The closer, From Here To Eternity, starts with a bang as Elliott sings “can’t you see, there’s a hole where my heart used to be; set me free, from here to eternity.” It’s cinematic and epic in scope, and provides a hugely uplifting note to end on. 

At 15 tracks and topping 60 minutes Diamond Star Halos inevitably contains a few fillers, but the energy and exuberance of the majority of the songs puts the album as a whole up with Leppard’s best. The rest is up to us: Let the party begin!