This section looks at the 'Two Steps Behind' USA single release. A single taken from both the 'Last Action Hero' movie soundtrack and the upcoming 'Retro-Active' album.
"It sat around as a B Side for about a year."
Def Leppard released their classic Two Steps Behind single 27 years ago on this day in 1993 in the USA.
The first single to be released from the 'Retro-Active' album.
It was released on 24th August 1993 and became an unlikely hit reaching Number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The last time the band would have a major hit on Billboard's main singles chart.
It was initially included on the soundtrack to the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie 'Last Action Hero' which had been released on 18th June in the USA (at the same time as the movie).
This version had been adapted from the original 1992 UK B Side (on the MLLAM CD single) which was an all acoustic version. The first song Vivian worked on with the band after having joining in February 1992.
The new version featured added strings by composer Michael Kamen and had been given to the film company by the band when they requested a song to use.
The song had started out life in 1989 as an electric ballad (also included on 'Retro-Active') during the 'Adrenalize' album sessions with Phil Collen later suggesting they record it as an acoustic version.
It was one of three songs that were released as extra tracks on theCD single in June 1992 (along with 'Miss You In A Heartbeat' and 'Action') which would be adapted and used as the three singles from 'Retro-Active' in 1993/1994.
It was performed in public for the first time at a radio station in Madrid, Spain on 21st January 1993 and then made its full concert debut at theDon Valley stadium show in Sheffield.
Read more about this song below.
Rick Allen - 1994 Photos
Rick Allen pictured above in 1994 at his home in California with a custom made 'Last Action Hero' pinball machine.
The machine was given to Rick by the producers of the movie and customized with the left flipper operated by a foot pedal, much like the foot pedals on his drums.
Joe Elliott - September 1993 MTV Interview Quotes
"I wrote this song called Two Steps Behind in 1989 and I demoed it myself one weekend when we were having a break. The engineer for the Adrenalize album. The assistant engineer, a guy called Pete Woodroffe, who's actually engineering and mixing the Retro-Active album."
"He stayed for the weekend in Dublin and we went in and recorded this song with me playing all the instruments just to demo it. And I always thought it was a cool song but we'd kind of already decided what songs were going on the Adrenalize album by then. But I thought I'd do it anyway and it could always come in handy as a B Side."
"So anyway time passes. It sat on the shelf for the best part of two and a half years and we were running out of songs to do for B Sides. We knew we wanted B Sides. We didn't want to put tracks off the album out as B Sides. So we'd already done this acoustic session with some friends of ours called the Hothouse Flowers. And that kind of got us in this mood to do acoustic stuff."
"And I think it might have been Phil, when I suggested why don't we do Two Steps Behind as a B Side, he says why don't we do an acoustic version of it because we still had all the acoustic stuff in the studio. So I said OK you know we were so desperate for songs we were just doing anything we could do."
"So I said fine let's do the acoustic version of Two Steps and we worked it out, learnt it, sat down and recorded the whole thing in a couple of hours. Mixed it the next day and bang, there it was. And it came out as the fourth track on a CD single. For Make Love Like A Man I believe it was. But it was never released anywhere else in the world. It only came out in England."
"So it was basically a virgin song to everywhere else in the world. And then it got picked up for the Last Action Hero soundtrack. And when we started piecing this album (Retro-Active) together we just thought it would be really cool idea now we've got the acoustic version to have the absolute opposite to that and dig out the electric one again."
Crossroads 2008 - Joe Elliott Quote
"This is a song that was written about 1989 and sat on a shelf going rusty until one day Phil suggested that we take this song, which was originally done as like a big electric ballad like Love Bites or Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad. And he said let's just do it as an acoustic song. And we did it in about three hours and it sat around as a B Side for about a year."
"And then some guys in Hollywood said they needed a song for a movie called Last Action Hero. And they heard the song and they said we'd like this one please. So long story short they took it and they gave us a nice little hit out of a song that we had no idea was ever gonna be as popular as it's become. This is a little thing for ya called Two Steps Behind."
June 2005 - Band Members Quotes
"It had been a demo in electric form. Phil suggested we record it acoustically as a b-side. Michael Kamen put a string arrangement on it. And nine months later it appeared in Last Action Hero. It became a number one hit in several countries."
"I’m not a great lover of ballads. Slow songs are easier to write. But I don’t really like playing them live. Originally it was an electric song. But it was refreshing to do it acoustically and to record it in pretty much a single take."
"Probably the first song I worked on after joining. One night over at Joe’s studio. The playing is really, really loose. The backing vocals are also well ropey - not at all what you’d expect from a band like Leppard. But in a way that was it’s charm. I like it because it’s acoustic. I think it was the first time the band had done anything like that."
Vault Greatest Hits Album Quotes - October 1995
"Recorded live in one night. A B Side, then a hit, lovely!."
"Pete (Woodroffe), our co-producer, promised to quit if it became a hit. We're still waiting, Pete."
Make Love Like A Man - June 1992 Single Quote
"'Two Steps Behind' is an Elliott composition performed totally acoustically - bass, 2 guitars and voice. Our first recorded acoustic performance!"
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