Clark's passing came during the recording of Adrenalize, the remaining group finished the album as a quartet. Produced by Mike Shipley with some involvement from Mutt Lange, Def Leppard peeled back the experimental excesses of Hysteria while retaining that album's focus on melody over guitar roar. My favorite Def Leppard video Let's Get Rocked was the lead single and best remembered track from Adrenalize, even recently being used in TV ads. Make Love Like a Man got flak for being dumb which did not stop me from getting hooked on that tune too (more cowbell please!). The power ballad Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad (look at the length of that song title, guess they did learn something from Steinman) was effective. More gems were found with the B-52's influenced Personal Property or the AOR heaven of, uh, Heaven Is. Though there were some weak moments as well, Tonight sounded like what it was, "Love Bites" jr. And the remake of Tear it Down couldn't compare to the rough n ready B side.
Adrenalize gets a little mercy due to the circumstances it was made in, though it doesn't really need it. It's able to stand on its own merits as a good album with some really worthy tracks. Thanks to their career momentum they were able to initially withstand the onslaught of Grunge and still hit Triple Platinum. A well deserved victory lap for one of the best selling bands of the 80's.
Vivian Campbell (Dio, Whitesnake) joined the band in 1992 for the Adrenalize tour starting the second half of the group's career. To close part one, here's a nice online tribute to Steve Clark from You Tube!
Steve Clark tribute to "Switch 625"