This section looks at the 'Nine Lives' single release. The band's first ever duet featuring country star Tim McGraw.
"It was just a very natural and organic way of working."
Def Leppard released their Nine Lives single on this day in 2008 featuring country singer Tim McGraw.
The first single to be released from the 'Songs From The Sparkle Lounge' album.
It was also the first ever duet for the band featuring co-lead vocals by country singer Tim McGraw.
Tim's tour manager at the time was Rick Allen's older brother Robert (who is now Taylor Swift's main manager). He had attended a show in Nashville where he first suggested the collaboration to Phil.
Tim also appeared in the promo video which featured the band performing the song with him in his trademark cowboy hat. This was shot during the week of 25th February 2008 in Los Angeles. Some scenes were also used by the NBA for promo clips played before basketball games.
Tim performed PSSOM with the band onat the Hollywood Bowl which then led to him co-writing 'Nine Lives' with Joe and Phil.
In a first for the band the single was debuted on the XBOX 360/Guitar Hero III video game.
Perhaps due to its unique release format the single failed to reach the main singles charts in the UK or the USA.
Tim included the song on his 'Greatest Hits 3' album which was released in October 2008.
USA Today - 2008 News Quotes
Tim McGraw joins Def Leppard on Nine Lives, the first single from the band's Songs From the Sparkle Lounge album. Nine Lives came about after the country singer sang Pour Some Sugar on Me with the band at a 2006 Hollywood Bowl concert. They reconnected at a Nashville show. McGraw tour manager, Robert Allen, is Leppard drummer Rick Allen's brother.
Sparkle Lounge also breaks a 25-year pattern of using single-word album titles. The name refers to a backstage area on the 2006 tour for the members to write songs.
"The whole record's got a '70s feel," Leppard's Joe Elliott says. "By our standards, it's a very adventurous album. It's not OK Computer, but it's got moments that some of our fans are going to think have gone slightly left field. "Sparkle Lounge is out March 18, nine days before the band starts its tour with Styx and REO Speedwagon.
Phil Collen - August 2012 Interview Quote
"But as far as our collaborations, they happened very naturally. In the case of Tim McGraw, I played him something I had been working on, and within a minute and a half we had the nucleus of what became the song 'Nine Lives.' It was just a very natural and organic way of working."
Phil Collen - July 2008 Interview Quotes
"Tim said 'I'd love to work with you guys,' and I had that in the back of my head. I ran into him at one of our shows at the Hollywood Bowl and I sang him a bit of it. Before you knew it we had the basis of it, and then it was doing bits and pieces."
"It was a year before he'd done his vocal on it. It took a bit of time but it was pretty cool, it wasn't a hack song-writing thing, it was born out of fun and a bit of real inspiration really. It was the right reasons for doing it.".
Vivian Campbell - July 2008 Interview Quote
"Working with Tim was fantastic," says Campbell. "But I think he was more in our world than the other way around. Put it this way: nobody's ever going to mistake Def Leppard for a country band!".
Tim McGraw - May 2013 Interview Quotes
"Who doesn't love Def Leppard? I grew up listening to Def Leppard from Junior High, High School and PSSOM was always that party track for us in High School. I grew up in the country so I spent a lot of time in cotton fields late at night with tailgates down in our pick ups trucks with a bonfire. You know burning a big fire and having radios cranked up and I can't remember one single night when PSSOM wasn't turned up as loud as it could possibly go where the speakers were crackling."
"And to sort of bring it around full circle my tour manager for a lot of years who's a great friend of mine who now is one of Taylor Swift's managers. Robert Allen who's from Sheffield and his brother's Rick, the drummer in Def Leppard so I have a sort of relationship with those guys and then later on I got to write a song with those guys and perform a song with them on their album, called Nine Lives which was a big thrill for me."
Tim McGraw.com - 7th March 2008 News Quotes
FIRST SINGLE OFF DEF LEPPARD’S NEW STUDIO ALBUM TO BE FEATURED TRACK DURING ABC NBA GAME BROADCASTS
“Nine Lives” Featuring Tim McGraw to Run on All NBA Game Broadcasts on ABC through Rest of Season and Into Playoffs
Nashville, March 7, 2008 – Iconic rockers Def Leppard and Tim McGraw will add another notch to their belts of legendary rock anthems when “Nine Lives”—the highly anticipated first single off Def Leppard’s new studio album, Songs From The Sparkle Lounge (April 29, Bludgeon Riffola/Island/UMe)—becomes the featured track in a special opening segment recorded for NBA games airing on ABC. The open will be featured on game broadcasts on ABC through the rest of the season and on ABC and ESPN into the playoffs.
Exclusive new video footage was recently shot for the special opening segment with both artists in Los Angeles last week. The video will debut this Sunday, March 9th on ABC as the lead-in to the NBA game between the San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns at 3:30 p.m. ET.
“The relationship for NBA on ABC to feature the pairing of 2 iconic artist with Def Leppard and Tim McGraw is the perfect evolution of the music associated with NBA broadcast that has included Black Eyed Peas, Rob Thomas, Destiny’s Child and Tom Petty”. David Saltz, Executive Producer for Music at ABC
The foundation for the album’s collaboration with McGraw was laid at Def Leppard’s 2006 Hollywood Bowl show where McGraw joined the band on stage for an encore performance of “Pour Some Sugar on Me.” The artists stayed in touch following the performance, and when the band started writing the song “Nine Lives” they immediately thought of reaching out to McGraw to sing on it. Guitarist Phil Collen flew to Nashville to play it for McGraw, who loved it and recorded the song in Nashville shortly after.
The 11-track Songs From The Sparkle Lounge is Def Leppard’s first album of brand new material since 2002’s X and begins yet another remarkable new chapter in the band’s 30-year recording career. Recorded last year during month-long stints at lead singer Joe Elliott’s Dublin studio, the album’s title refers to a backstage area called “The Sparkle Lounge” on Def Leppard’s 2006 tour where the band would go to write songs.
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