DataReleased October 2013
Genre Hard Rock
N of discs 3
Edition date October 2013
Label Frontiers Records
Catalog Number FR CDVD 620
Edition Details 2CD+DVD combo digipak
Written by Raymond van Haaren
It is 2013, the year where the Strip in Las vegas becomes glam again, just as in the 80's. Not only did Motley Crue a big tour over there but also UK rockers Def Leppard turned Vegas into a rock zone for a four night in a row show. Before we will talk about this massive show that recently was released on blu-ray DVD/CD and 2CD format, I would like to take you all the way back to the years 1984-1987.
It was 1984 when the Leppards come together in February in Dublin for a new album project. The band just ended a succesfull tour in support of their breakthrough album ‘Pyromania’. The plan was to make a slightly bigger album but they all knew that it was a difficult task. Before it would happen there was a big step to take. Some riffs were already laying down for use, and over the months the music came together.
Over the following few months they felt that their management would not always like them to do what they wanted to do, and so they decided to buy them out. This was one of the reasons why 'Hysteria' did bring a 5 million bill. It meant that the album had to sell very, very well just to break-even.
In February 1984 they received the news that Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange, who initially already joined in on the songwriting sessions, was not available due to exhaustion. It didn’t always come easy, this album was made with more big struggles underway. So did drummer Rick Allen got in a car crash on 31 December 1984, where he lost an arm. Despite the severity of the accident, Allen was committed to continuing his role as Def Leppard's drummer, and realised that he could use his legs to do some of the drumming work previously done with his arms. The other members of the band supported Allen's recovery and never sought a replacement. Allen was placed in a separate studio to practice his new drums. After a few months, Allen gathered the band together and performed the intro to the Led Zeppelin version of "When the Levee Breaks" to showcase his progress to the band. This is something I will always respect him for what a man and drummer he is!!
During this period, Mutt Lange returned as producer. One thing the band learned from him not to hold on to everything you wrote down, sometimes the best things came later on in the process and you have to let go something else to come near or next to perfection.
Def Leppard always tried to be different from the other bands in the 80s. The band didn’t rely on a solo guitarist and a rhythm guitar. Both guitarists played solo and rhythm parts. Other example is if you listen carefully to the verse of 'Gods of War', you hear the riff of 'Message In a Bottle' from the Police. So what they basically did was make little bits and pieces of different riffs and play it together what gives them the real Def Leppard sound.
After three years 'Hysteria' finally got released and immediately topped the UK Album Charts in its first week of release. However, US album sales were relatively slow (compared to 'Pyromania') until the release of the fourth single, "Pour Some Sugar on Me" (450.000 copys worldwide in the first few days of the release). The song hit Number 2, and 'Hysteria' finally reached the top of the U.S. Billboard 200 in July 1988.
So that was in a nutshell the story of their biggest album, and the band thought it was time to make an ode to this success with a four big nights in a row over the Vegas Strip. The show was captured on film, and recorded on a soundboard. And now all the fans, even the ones who weren’t able to be there can relive it on their TV's and stereos.
Disc 2 has some awesome loose tracks from other albums over the past few years, and this makes it a great set to buy as a big fan, I think they once again showed their fans they aren’t ready to quit yet, and still got it to rock the world with their talent. In words of Def Leppard: 'Rock of Ages'. It's better to burn out than to fade away...
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