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Def Leppard - Pyromania/Adrenalize (Deluxe Editions)

Def Leppard, Adrenalize

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

GIVEN the revival of all things ’80s inspired, it’s little wonder that everyone is getting in on the act. Hence, one of that decade’s biggest rock act, Def Leppard, release deluxe editions of the classic albums Pyromania and Adrenalize on June 8, just ahead of the band’s headline appearances at Dublin’s O2 Arena on Friday (June 12) and their headline slot at the UK’s Download festival on Sunday, June 14.

Having sold over 65 million albums worldwide since their debut release in 1980 and proved themselves one of rock music’s hardest working and consistently powerful live bands (playing to over 50 million fans in the last 15 years alone), the deluxe expanded editions both feature bonus CDs of live material.

Def Leppard remain one of only five rock groups who can claim two separate original 10 million plus selling albums in the US – Pyromania being one of them – although that’s little surprise given just how big ’80s rock bands continue to be over there. The others (for the record) are The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Van Halen.

Both Deluxe Editions also feature deluxe digipak gatefold packaging with expanded booklets containing rare and previously unseen photographs, comprehensive sleeve-notes telling the story behind each album and include images of rare single covers and memorabilia from the period. Liner notes come from Rolling Stone’s David Fricke.

Pyromania, Def Leppard’s third album originally released in 1983, was the album that took the band to the global stage. Produced by Robert “Mutt” Lange, the album sold over 10 million copies in the USA alone and spawned the huge singles Photograph, Rock Of Ages and Foolin’.

The Deluxe Expanded Edition features a remastered version of the original album and a bonus disc of a previously unreleased 15 track show from the LA Forum in 1983.

Adrenalize, Def Leppard’s fifth studio album from 1992, followed the enormous Hysteria (released in 1987) and cemented the band as the dominant arena rock band.

The album was recorded following the tragic death of guitarist Steve Clark – with Phil Collen recording all guitar parts – and dedicated to his memory. It featured huge singles such as Let’s Get Rocked and Make Love Like A Man and debuted at No 1 in both the UK and USA (going on to sell over 7 million copies worldwide).

The album was produced by Def Leppard and Mike Shipley with Robert “Mutt” Lange as executive producer. The Deluxe Expanded Edition features a remastered version of the original album with a bonus disc of rare, live, acoustic and demo versions.

Of these, the acoustic version of Two Steps Behind is a particular must for fans and non-fans alike (it’s a damn fine song, especially in stripped down form), as is Tonight, while Little Wing, their collaboration with Hothouse Flowers certainly boasts curiosity value that combines classic rock values, piano and acoustic tendencies to engaging effect.

That said, the Def Leppard sound is one that’s reserved for rock purists and ’80s loving nostalgists only. Adam Sandler fans may also apply. But there is also a nagging sense that their songs haven’t aged that well and do really sound kind of the same, particularly when they unleash their inner rock child. Approach advisedly.

Download picks: Let’s Get Rocked, Two Steps Behind (acoustic), Little Wing (with Hothouse Flowers), Rock Rock (Til You Drop), Rock of Ages

Def Leppard, Pyromania

Track listing (Pyromania)

  1. Rock! Rock!! (Til 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

Disc two (Live from LA Forum 1983)

  1. Rock! Rock!! (Til 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

Adrenalize – Disc one

  1. Let’s Get Rocked
  2. Heaven Is
  3. Make Love Like A Man
  4. Tonight
  5. White Lightning
  6. Stand Up (Kick Love Into Motion)
  7. Personal Property
  8. Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad
  9. I Wanna Touch U
  10. Tear It Down

Disc two

  1. Hysteria – In The Clubs In Your Face – Bonn 29/05/92
  2. Photograph – In The Clubs In Your Face
  3. Pour Some Sugar On Me – In The Clubs In Your Face
  4. Let’s Get Rocked – In The Clubs In Your Face
  5. You Can’t Always Get What You Want – B-Side
  6. Little Wing feat. Hothouse Flowers – B-Side
  7. Tonight (Version 2-Demo Version) – B-Side
  8. Now I’m Here (Live) – B-Side
  9. Two Steps Behind (Acoustic) B-Side
  10. Tonight (Acoustic) – B-Side
  11. Too Late For Love (Live) – B-Side
  12. Women (Live) – B-Side