DEF LEPPARD – CD Box Set Volume One [7-CD Remastered Ltd. Edition] (2018)

DEF LEPPARD - CD Box Set Volume One [7-CD Remastered Ltd. Edition] (2018) full

Universal Music released this first DEF LEPPARD albums Box Set available on CD and vinyl. It’s the first of four planned volumes which will cover the band’s complete recorded output. “CD Collection Volume One” contains the band’s Eighties output: their first four albums, the killer concert Live at the LA Forum 1983, and a disc of rarities.
Additionally, set include a recreation of the band’s first EP ‘The Def Leppard EP’ which contains three songs recorded in 1978. This EP was issued in January 1979, 15 months before debut album On Through The Night was released.

The audio was re-mastered by Ronan McHugh and Joe Elliott at Joe’s Garage. The set is presented in a brand new sleeve, complete with a hardback book, a replica of the band’s self-titled 1979 EP and written introductions by singer Joe Elliott – who curated the collection – guitarist Phil Collen, bassist Rick Savage and drummer Rick Allen.

This boxed set volume one is built around ’80s Def Leppard albums, so covers the period from the band’s formation up to 1987. With just seven studio albums since then and three more volumes to come, it may appear they’ve shot their bolt a little early by including Hysteria, but it enables them to include anything recorded before the death of Steve Clark.

Audiophiles will be pleased to hear that their fancy cardboard container includes the Ronan McHugh remasters of the albums, plus the original EP (in a reproduction picture sleeve seven-inch in the vinyl box, or a three-song disc with the CD version), the Live At The LA Forum album (the full set from the Pyromania tour, previously available as the bonus CD with the 2009 reissue of Pyromania), and Rarities Vol. 1.

Disc 5 ‘Live At The LA Forum’ captures the band (average age 22 and a bit) sounding high on life. Beginning with a super-fast version of Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop), the first of six from Pyromania, it hurtles through the best of the first two albums and ends with Brian May joining them on stage for Creedence’s Travelin’ Band.
This is one of greatest live recording from the ’80s. A wish-you-were-there gem.

“The Rarities” disc 6 was compiled by Joe Elliott, but it’s fair to say he didn’t spend weeks on his hands and knees in some dusty vault searching tape boxes for things nobody’s heard before.
Its 10 tracks come in a “newly commissioned sleeve” that is arguably the most collectable part, and they include first-time-on-CD for the A-side mixes of the ‘Wasted’ and ‘Hello America’ singles and the latter’s B-side ‘Good Morning Freedom’.
Among those previously released as bonus tracks on earlier CD remasters are the remixes of ‘Bringin’ On The Heartbreak’ and its flip-side ‘Me And My Wine’.

You also get ‘Tear It Down’ (the original, not the re-recorded version on Adrenalize) which is an absolute cracker. Sobering to think how hot the band’s streak was that they were happy to relegate this to a B-side for Hysteria’s Women.
Having this one in pristine sound, on an official CD, worth the purchase of the Box.

Similarly ‘I Wanna Be Your Hero’ (a track on the Hysteria CD single) and ‘Ring Of Fire’ (Armageddon It’s B-side, and more recently on Retro Active). All four of these produced by the band themselves, while Mutt Lange concentrated on those he deemed good enough for Hysteria.
It ends with the tongue-in-cheek cover of Englebert Humperdink’s 1966 chart topper ‘Release Me’ (officially credited to Stumpus Maximus And The Good Ol’ Boys), featuring vocals by Steve Clark’s guitar tech (and subsequent Leppard tour manager) Malvin Mortimer. He starts off by imagining he’s doing a passable impersonation of fellow Welshman Tom Jones’s version but, through a series of cruel key changes, ends in danger of hurting himself. Ridiculously, it now sounds funnier than it ever did back in the day.

DEF LEPPARD - CD Box Set Volume One [7-CD Remastered Ltd. Edition] (2018) full

If you are guessing if this ‘Box’ package was necessary, I think yes.
For longtime Def Leppard fans, “CD Box Set Volume One” is a must have. For melodic rock aficionados in general, disc 6 Rarities and 7 (the first EP) are collectibles and must haves too.
But then there is a bigger picture. There are plenty of fans simply not old enough to have bought everything since the first time Geoff Barton flagged up Leppard in Sounds.

Moreover, in a career based on quality above quantity, why should they do what Jimmy Page has done with the Led Zeppelin deluxe bonus editions and dilute the strength of the back catalog with a collection of half-finished tracks and mixes earlier deemed sub-standard? One listen to everything here will prove Def Leppard had absolutely no need to rewrite their early history.
God bless their Union Jack shorts.
A Must Have


CD 1 – On Through The Night (1980)
1 Rock Brigade
2 Hello America
3 Sorrow Is A Woman
4 It Could Be You
5 Satellite
6 When The Walls Came Tumbling Down
7 Wasted
8 Rocks Off
9 It Don’t Matter
10 Answer To The Master
11 Overture

CD 2 – High ‘n’ Dry (1981)
1 Let It Go
2 Another Hit And Run
3 High ‘N’ Dry (Saturday Night)
4 Bringin’ On The Heartbreak
5 Switch 625
6 You Got Me Runnin’
7 Lady Strange
8 On Through The Night
9 Mirror Mirror (Look Into My Eyes)
10 No No No

CD 3 – Pyromania (1983)
1 Rock Rock (Till You Drop)
2 Photograph
3 Stagefright
4 Too Late For Love
5 Die Hard The Hunter
6 Foolin’
7 Rock Of Ages
8 Comin’ Under Fire
9 Action Not Words
10 Billy’s Got A Gun

CD4 – Hysteria (1987)
1 Women
2 Rocket
3 Animal
4 Love Bites
5 Pour Some Sugar On Me
6 Armageddon It
7 Gods Of War
8 Don’t Shoot Shot Gun
9 Run Riot
10 Hysteria
11 Excitable
12 Love And Affection

CD5 – Live at the LA Forum 1983 [full]
1 Rock Rock (Till You Drop)
2 Rock Brigade
3 High ‘N’ Dry (Saturday Night)
4 Another Hit And Run
5 Billy’s Got A Gun
6 Mirror Mirror (Look Into My Eyes)
7 Foolin’
8 Photograph
9 Rock Of Ages
10 Bringin’ On The Heartbreak
11 Switch 625
12 Let It Go
13 Wasted
14 Stagefright
15 Travellin’ Band

CD 6 – Rarities Volume 1
1 Wasted (Single Version)
2 Hello America (Single Version)
3 Good Morning Freedom
4 Bringin ‘On The Heartbreak (Remix)
5 Me And My Wine (Remix)
6 Tear It Down (original recording version)
7 I Want to Be Your Hero
8 Ride Into The Sun (Re-Recording)
9 Ring Of Fire
10 Release Me

CD 7 – The Def Leppard EP
1 Ride Into The Sun (Single Version)
2 Getcha Rocks Off (Single Version)
3 The Overture (Single Version)

Joe Elliott – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Rick Savage – Bass Guitar, Keyboards
Phil Collen – Guitars
Steve Clark – Guitars
Pete Willis – Guitars
Rick Allen – Drums


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