Watch Def Leppard’s Phil Collen unleash fusion fury in a shred-heavy rendition of Quadrant 4

Phil Collen of Def Leppard
(Image credit: Def Leppard)

When discussing the lead greats of the guitar world, Def Leppard's Phil Collen really deserves a seat at the table. Not only has he demonstrated his elite chops over the course of 11 studio albums spanning three decades, he also made a show-stopping appearance at Joe Satriani’s shred-heavy G3 in 2018.

Now, the seasoned six-string slinger has returned with a new mind-bending playthrough of the 1973 jazz-rock-fusion classic Quadrant 4 – a high-octane rendition that demonstrates how Collen has no problem keeping up with his contemporaries.

Armed with, quite literally, nothing but a Jackson electric guitar, Collen puts on a fierce six-string display that showcases how his formidable-as-ever soloing skills have aged like a fine wine. 

In the almost-four-minute video, the Def Leppard legend deploys every trick in the book, listing off lightning-fast lead licks and blink-and-you’ll-miss-them fretboard-spanning lines.

After a minute of elite non-stop scale runs accompanied only by the drums of Forrest Robinson, Collen ups the ante and ushers in the latter half of the track with a high-gain A chord, which in turn introduces the bass guitar and gets the ball rolling on another whistle-stop tour of his seriously impressive shred skills.

“I recruited drummer Forrest Robinson and bass player Craig Martini to accompany me on this track,” commented Collen. “We did a shred guitar, hard-rock update of the 1973 jazz rock fusion classic Quadrant 4.

“I’ve always loved the version from Billy Cobham’s Spectrum album that featured Tommy Bolin on guitar. We (Delta Deep) opened up our set with this song every night on Joe Satriani’s G3 tour in 2018, and it was always a breakneck blast.

“I also wanted to let everyone know about some of the stuff I’ve been doing during Covid,” Collen continued, before teasing, “This is just one of the amazing compositions I’ve recorded. More to come…”

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.