Broke 'N' Brokenhearted

Album: Def Leppard (2015)

Songfacts®:

  • Def Leppard was bringin' on the heartbreak back in 1981, but this track from their 2015 self-titled album find them both broke and brokenhearted. Written by lead singer Joe Elliott and guitarist Phil Collen, it's a rocker that takes aim at a soulless character who has done him wrong.

    It's been a while since any member of the band has been either broke or brokenhearted, but the song is a great excuse for Collen to shred and for Elliott to flex his wordplay.
  • In our interview with Phil Collen, he said that this song came together in just 10 minutes. "We were sitting, breaking all this stuff down from after the first session, and Joe said, 'Oh, I've got this other idea.' He sat down with a Telecaster and played me a verse and I said, 'I've got a chorus that fits exactly with that.' I played him that and we literally said, 'Ronan [McHugh, producer], put the stuff back up. We need to do a demo.' So we got a demo together, took about a half an hour. We had most of the song written and when we came back for the next session in May, it was pretty much done. It was amazing. That was one of the songs where we sat around in a room and kind of played it as a live band."
  • Def Leppard hadn't recorded an LP for eight years, and had just planned on releasing a couple of songs, before realizing they had an album's worth of material. The resulting self-titled record managed to reach #5 on the Billboard 200. Phil Collen recalled to Artist Direct:

    "We were actually going to do a single or an EP, and we sat around playing songs, and then it wasn't long before someone else would say, 'I've got this song,' and we'd get excited about it.

    Me and Joe actually wrote a song in ten minutes, which was faster than any song we've ever written, 'Broke 'N' Brokenhearted', and we just got so excited about it, so what was going to be a single ended up being an album very quickly. We had 12 great ideas for songs and it was like, 'Wow, we have to do this!' for all the right reasons. It wasn't like a business agenda, it was an artistic one. That's really the first time we've done that."

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