“Even in demo form, Joe said, ‘I’ve got an idea to use the rhythm from this African Burundi tribe.’ There was a song in the ‘70s called Burundi Black, and I remembered it, and so the idea was to use that feel and turn it into a real rock anthem. It was a little weird and quirky, but it really came together.
“I feel that Rocket is the absolute pinnacle of Def Leppard. It sums us up in a nutshell: massive drums, massive guitars, big choruses, and lyrically, it’s what the Yeah! album was. So you’ve got all of our influences and elements right there.
“I used the Strat on all the jangle parts and the rhythms. We had a lot of fun making that Star Wars bit in the middle – you know, ‘Countdown commencing’ and all that. It was an absolute blast. It's Star Wars for the ears. [laughs] And again, what was great was to not be restricted by your genre. We knew what we were doing was different and it sounded great.
“We had started taking weekends off, and I remember Nigel Green, the engineer, sitting in the studio with an AMS delay machine, and he was delaying all the stuff by hand. ‘Ahh-ahh-ahhh…’ Now you can do that so easily, but he had to do it the hard way – physically.”