“Rock Of Ages: The Definitive Collection” by Def Leppard

Artist: Def Leppard
Title: “Rock Of Ages: The Definitive Collection”
Label: Universal Music
Release Date: 5/2005
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 8.5

In reviewing the 25 year history of Def Leppard it was quite the treat to listen to this Anthology piece. Entitled “Rock Of Ages” after one of their biggest hits this 2 CD set contains 35 tracks from their long and prosperous musical career. In an instant I felt that you cannot go wrong with a CD that gives you this much music for the dollar. Especially when many bands place these items on the shelf and load them with new songs or the selection of real hits is limited. I feel that the fans that have followed the group from the very beginning will enjoy this the most for there is a large amount of emphasis placed on the bands first three releases. Most prominently figured and almost an expectation is the album “Pyromania”. The record broke ground for Hard Rock music and back in 1983 it achieved a chart position of #2. This is impressive since we were just coming off the Disco craze and Rock music was again taking hold based on that new thing we were calling “MTV”. Seven tunes from this album are present but there are also many of the staple tracks from “High & Dry” and “Hysteria”. It seemed you could not turn on this music video channel (as it really did play videos once) and not see Def Leppard in every half hour of broadcast.

Included is a full-color booklet which is loaded with photos from over time but also each track has a commentary from the band on what was on their mind at the time. I really liked the addition of this, as it gives you a clearer look into the workings of this great band. There is also many tracks from the later albums but by that time I had moved on from Leppard and left it to newer fans, I stuck with the first 4 CD’s (which were vinyl albums at the time) as their newer music delved too much on the commercial for me. However, it did not stop the band as legions of supporters still came out in droves to see them. There is also a new track from the forthcoming “Covers” CD, which while good, should have been left for another classic piece perhaps from “On Through The Night” like “Hello America”.

The lineup has remained Joe Elliott, Phil Collen, Rick Savage, Vivian Campbell and Rick Allen for many years now and it seems as though there is no sign of letting up yet. Two new releases are planned and a US Tour with Bryan Adams is in the works. I think there is something for everyone on the CD, and especially those who want to return to a time of no downloaded music, or personal computers, simple dividing lines of the musical genres and no American Idol to watch. Reality TV was the news and the 80’s were getting set to be taken over by Metal and Hard Rock. It was an interesting time and this CD helped me recall a lot of that. Thanks guys.

Track Listing:
1. Pour Some Sugar On Me
2. Photograph
3. Love Bites
4. Let’s Get Rocked
5. Two Steps Behind – acoustic
6. Animal
7. Heaven Is
8. Foolin’
9. Rocket
10. When Love & Hate Collide
11. Armageddon It
12. Have You ever Needed Someone So Bad
13. Rock Of Ages
14. Hysteria
15. Miss You In A Heartbeat
16. Bringin’ On The Heartbreak
17. Switch 625
18. Rock Rock (Till You Drop)
19. Let It Go
20. High ‘N Dry (Saturday Night)
21. Too Late For Love
22. No Matter What
23. Promises
24. Mirror, Mirror (Look Into My Eyes)
25. Women
26. Another Hit And Run
27. Slang
28. Stand Up (Kick Love Into Motion)
29. Rock Brigade
30. Now
31. Paper Sun
32. Work It Out
33. Die Hard The Hunter
34. Wasted
35. Billy’s Got A Gun

Official Web site: www.DefLeppard.com

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