In 25 words or less: Def Leppard still remain a major force to be reckoned with and this mix of live and new songs affirms just that!
Whilst there has been that classic Def Leppard video, now DVD release In The Round, In Your Face, suprisingly maybe to some, Mirror Ball now sees the Lep’s release their first ever live album. Recorded across the world over the course of the bands 2008/09 Sparkle Lounge tour, 21 live tracks are presented over 2 CD’s, along with 3 new studio tracks and a 50 minute DVD with a small selection of live performances, some backstage footage and a couple of music videos.
States the bands singer Joe Elliott in the official press release “to be able to say at last, we have a live album out and it be a three disc package which includes a DVD makes me very happy, it’s the soundtrack of OUR lives…!”, and no doubt Joe, for the majority of Def Leppard fans, it also represents the soundtrack to their lives too. And with those two comments there, I guess they largely represent where the major interest in this release will lie…with Def Leppard fans. With a pretty authentic sounding live production throughout this release and an energetic performance, the sheer fact that cannot be overcome is that a CD of live Def Leppard performances, doesn’t do justice to the visual aspect that also contributes to the complete Def Leppard concert experience.
As far as the setlist goes, well with over 30 years of material to choose from, you certainly will never please everyone! For the most part, all the classics make an apperance from the band’s breakthrough albums, Pyromania and Hysteria. It’s great to see the instrumental Steve Clark track Switch 625 featured and also one of my personal favourites in Two Steps Behind and Bringin’ On The Heartbreak. The inclusion of the cover songs Action and Rock On may be questioned by some, but hey, they are off an official Def Leppard release afterall!
OK, so what some of you might have been waiting for…..what’s the verdict on the 3 new tracks? Well Undefeated is a monster Def Leppard rocker that represents all elements of Def Leppard. In parts it reminds me a little of the Slang era with it’s middle eastern guitars and jungle beats…as someone who loved the Slang release, that’s a good thing! The chorus is all big and bombastic and will go down a treat live, on the bands current tour. Any Def Leppard fan would be well aware of the influence of 70’s glam rock on the band and Kings Of The World sees the band paying tribute to one of the best from that era, Queen. Put simply, this grandiose track sounds exactly like you would expect if you imagined a musical merging of Queen and Def Leppard. The breezy melodic rocker It’s All About Believing is an undeniably modern Def Leppard sounding track that completes a rather promising insight into what fans can expect from the next Def Leppard album.
With over 65 million records sold, and the landmark album Hysteria being one of the few albums in history to sell over 10 million, Def Leppard still remain a major force to be reckoned with, particularly when it comes to dominating stadiums worldwide. Mirror Ball affirms this standing, but please do yourself a favour and go and see the real thing when Def Leppard soon come to a town near you.
Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)
Make Love Like a Man
Too Late for Love
Two Steps Behind
Bringin’ On the Heartbreak
Pour Some Sugar on Me
Rock Of Ages
Let’s Get Rocked
Kings of the World*
It’s All About Believin’*
* New studio tracks
Including live performances of: Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop); Armageddon It; Pour Some Sugar On Me; Hysteria. Music videos: Nine Lives; C’Mon C’Mon.
Musical Style: Stadium Rock
Released: 28 June 2011
Label: Frontiers Records / Riot! Entertainment
Check it out if you like: Def Leppard