Last month, Def Leppard released its 12th studio album, Diamond Star Halos, which debuted at #10 on the Billboard 200.
Not surprisingly, the 15-track collection is packed with revved-up rock anthems and tunes influenced by 70 glam rock. However, the group takes bit of a sonic detour on two tracks — “This Guitar” and “Lifeless” — melodic ballads that feature frontman Joe Elliott teaming up with Robert Plant‘s favorite duet partner, acclaimed country/bluegrass artist Alison Krauss.
Bassist Rick “Sav” Savage tells ABC Audio that the band decided to ask Krauss to contribute to the songs because they thought her voice would be perfect for the tunes, while also knowing that she was a longtime fan of the group.
“Well, she’s just got the voice of an angel,” Sav notes. “And we’ve known her for years and years and years. She actually interviewed Joe back in ’96 for Q magazine in England…So it was like, ‘Let’s just ask her,’ you know, guessing that she’d just say yes…And obviously, she was delighted to be involved.”
Elliott, meanwhile, tells ABC Audio that when the band sent Krauss the two songs, they initially intended have her just choose her favorite to sing on, but things worked out differently.
“[S]he says, ‘I can’t pick. I don’t know which one I want to do,'” Joe recalls. “So we just said, ‘Well, you want to do ’em both?’ And she was like, ‘Really? I would love to.'”
Elliot adds that he was impressed with how creative Krauss got with her vocal parts.
“[S]he comes back with not just the harmony vocal, but all these little counter melody arrangements of herself doing three-part harmonies,” Joe enthuses. “It’s like, what great work, you know?…[She] just colored it up really well.”
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