Def Leppard – “Mirror Ball”

Def Leppard
“Mirror Ball” 2CD / DVD
(Bludgeon Riffola / Mailboat Records)

The circle is complete. Like a lot’ve young headbangers back in the 80s, there was a place in my measly record collection for a young talented band from Sheff with the unusual name of Def Leppard. Impressing first with their “Getcha Rocks Off” EP (issued on the band’s own Bludgeon Riffola label) and then their full blown “On Through The Night” album it seemed that their place in melodic metal history was destined. However, fate took a cruel turn after accusations of them turning their backs on the British fans resulted in them getting canned off at Reading Rock 1980. And so the Leppard left for America and the rest became history, namely a band that has sold 65 million albums worldwide, won 2 Diamond Awards, conquered every US stadium and arguably were Britain’s first rock band to be truly embraced by the American public. And yet, they have always been proud to be British even when that was tested to its very limits such as with Rick Allen’s car accident and a still sceptical UK public. Over 30 years on and here I am once again staring at a Def Leppard album ironically on their Bludgeon Riffola label once again! Amazingly, it’s Leppard’s first ever live album so I’m glad its a double and comes with a bonus DVD with the usual live footage, music videos, behind the scenes footage and band interviews. The 2 CDs contain no less than 24 tracks – 21 of which are live and were recorded over the course of many of the band’s sold-out dates on their 2008 / 09 ‘Sparkle Lounge’ tour. Opening with the brazenly anthemic ‘Rock Rock (Till You Drop)’ onto the radio blitzing ‘Photograph’ to ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’ to ‘Rock Of Ages’ this is the best of the ‘new’ Leppard and the band are clearly in fine form. I would’ve dearly liked some vintage Leppard beyond the ‘Satellite’ teaser intro but instead the band give us 3 brand new studio tracks the best of which is the Queen like ‘Kings Of The World’ – nothing classic, but it did bring a smile to my face with lyrics like ‘…we were born to rule the earth, defenders of the universe..’. And the walls came tumblin’ down like they did back in the day.

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