Celebrating the hard rock legacy of Def Leppard in the 1980s
It’s hard to argue with the staying power of Def Leppard. The band, which has been going strong since 1977, has been a fixture of SiriusXM channels like 80s on 8, Classic Rewind, Hair Nation, and Ozzy’s Boneyard, thanks to an incredible catalogue of songs with big choruses and even bigger harmonies. Earlier this year, the band’s singer Joe Elliott became a SiriusXM DJ, hosting a monthly show on Deep Tracks, Songs from the Vault.
This summer the band is also on the road with Journey, playing stadiums across North America in support of their brand new box set, The CD Collection Volume 1. It’s been a long time since I’ve been impressed with a box set, but the band and their record label, Universal/Mercury, have seriously gone out of their way to put together an essential compilation of the band’s most beloved work. Here’s what’s contained in the set:
- Remastered versions of
- On Through The Night (1980)
- High and Dry (1981)
- Pyromania (1983)
- Hysteria (1987)
- A two disc live album recorded in 1983
- A single disc collection of B-Sides and rarities
- A mini cd replica of the band’s 1979 debut EP
- Albums are stored in mini vinyl replicas
- A full-colour hardcover book featuring historical notes and recollections from Joe Elliott, Rick Allen (drums), Rick Savage (bass, vocals) and Phil Collen (guitars, vocals)
The sound on the remastered CDs is outstanding, shining especially bright on both Pyromania and Hysteria, which featured the culmination of the wall of hard rock sound producer Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange established with the band on their second album, High and Dry. It’s especially interesting to listen to Def Leppard at their earliest, before Joe Elliot had really found his voice. Their sound is much rawer on On Through the Night than their future work, and it feels as though you’re almost listening to an entirely different band.
The CD Collection, Volume 1 does an excellent job in tracing the history of Def Leppard. It’s clear that a lot of love and care has gone into this set, which is not always the case over the last couple of years when it comes to packaging albums together. The price is right for the package and the gorgeous box set will actually look good on the shelf of any fan or newcomer to the band looking to hear some of the greatest hard rock to come out of the ’80s. Though they had some lean years in the late ’90s and 2000s, the fact is Def Leppard is a classic rock band with music that’s etched into our collective pop-culture conscious. You can hear them on 80s on 8, Classic Rewind, Hair Nation, and Ozzy’s Boneyard, and you can celebrate their work with their new box set. However you listen, you’re guaranteed to