Music/Popular Culture

Tournament of Rock IV: REO Speedwagon vs. Def Leppard

In our first Sweet 16 matchup, Aerosmith laid a beatdown on Bad Company. Probably no surprise in that. Congrats to BadCo for making it this far, and we send them off with a copy of our home edition and a year’s supply of Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco treat!

Up next, a match we expect to be a little closer: #4 seed REO Speedwagon vs. #13 Def Leppard.

fikshun: Regardless of your criteria, Def Leppard out-whored, out-slummed, and out-rocked the Spudwagon. Hand me the coffin nails.

Me: Usually fan videos on YouTube are amateurish and cheesy, but in this case I think I found one that just about perfectly captures the essence of REO’s “I Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore.” Which, by the way, was the archetypal ’80s power ballad, wasn’t it?

Bonesparkle: Admit it. You like this song.

Me: Do not. Shut up.

Bonesparkle: Are…are you crying?

Me: No. Go away.

Bonesparkle: You are! You’re crying!

Me: Leave me alone! [sniff]

Me: And now, the Leppard with their own monster power ballad. They’re right, you know. Love really does bite.

Bonesparkle: Done properly, anyway.

Here’s the up-to-date bracket.

Click to vote.

3 replies »

  1. Tough call.
    Both essentially had one huge album with many big hits (Hi-Infidelity vs. Hysteria).
    Both had a few okay albums with one or two excellent songs here and there (Tune a Piano,,,,vs. Pyromania. Plus a bunch of other non-consequential albums from each).
    Both crashed in popularity fairly quickly after putting out pretty lousy follow-up albums after their most popular ones (Good Trouble vs. Adrenalize. Wow, just thinking about what a let down those both were makes me sad.).
    As far as the larger influence goes, neither are remotely in the same league as the titans of rock but, relative to each other would probably give the nod to Def Leppard.
    So, for me it comes down to which I personally like better. I like a lot of each of their songs and probably have slightly fonder memories of REO, given I was a bit younger and just starting to really get into rock at the time.
    That said, my vote goes to…Def Leppard.
    They simply rocked harder, were just plain cooler and the party/groupie scene associated with their band at their peak is way higher.
    Lastly, and someone correct me if I’m wrong but, “Pour Some Sugar On Me” has got to be the top stripper song of all-time.