High 'n' Dry (Saturday Night)

Album: High 'n' Dry (1981)

Songfacts®:

  • This rocker was the title track to Def Leppard's second album. Written by lead singer Joe Elliott, bass player Rick Savage and guitarist Steve Clark, the song is about getting drunk and rowdy on a Saturday night. It's very AC/DC in subject matter, but unlike that group, Def Leppard balanced out their rock/drinking/party songs with ballads, notably the High 'n' Dry hit "Bringin' On the Heartbreak."

    Def Leppard did suffer mayhem-related tragedy: drummer Rick Allen got in a car accident in 1984 that cost him an arm, and guitarist Steve Clark died in 1991 from an overdose of drugs and alcohol.
  • The expression "high and dry" means to be left helpless - it comes from ships that get stranded when the water recedes. Def Leppard puts a different meaning on the phrase, using "high" to mean blotto drunk. "Dry" generally means the opposite when it comes to alcohol, but here it's transmogrified into something else.
  • The album was produced by Mutt Lange, who had recently helmed AC/DC's Back In Black.
  • This song made the notorious "Filthy 15" list issued by the Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) of songs they deemed horribly offensive. This song was cited for "drug and alcohol use" thanks to it's shameless depiction of a reckless evening. The PMRC formed in 1985; as a result of their efforts, albums with objectionable lyrics were affixed with stickers to warn parents. By the time this happened, Def Leppard had issued their wildly successful Pyromania album, which with tracks like "Photograph" and "Too Late for Love," was unlikely to offend anyone.

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