Def Leppard – The Collection, Volume One – Album Review

Def Leppard is on a mission to release Four Box Sets each collection a specific period in the band.  On June 1st, they started with Volume One…of course.  They aren’t Chickenfoot and aren’t going to skip around with title numbers.  Volume One covers the early years of the band capturing the first 4 albums of release.  The set also includes 2 bonus albums, a book and a 7″ Single.  Now, I have the first four albums on vinyl and CD so that was not what I was after.  I wanted the bonus material.  Don’t get me wrong, it is nice having new remastered, 180 gram vinyl for all of the albums.  I am not complaining.  But this set is for serious fans because it isn’t cheap!!

The article is not really a full review as it would take pages and pages of writing to fully review each album in the set.  It is really a picture chronicle of the set because really there is no reason you shouldn’t own it if you are a fan.  You can get it in CD or Vinyl. I chose vinyl.  What you get is another fantastic package from the band and if this is an indication of what is to come for Volumes Two – Four, I better start saving now.

Why don’t we start with a picture of everything you get…

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As you can see, they don’t skimp on material.  The box it comes in is great quality and looks like will hold up well and just look at the cover.  I love the intertwining of all the album covers into one new image.  Just stellar.

The first album up is the debut studio release of ‘On Through The Night’. I have to admit that my current copy is beat to hell, so this is a nice replacement.  What is even nicer is that the album jacket is a gatefold cover.  Like I said, I am not reviewing the album, but it is a fantastic debut.  Rough, raw and the band sounds so young and inexperienced…man how times have changed.  Take a look at the release…

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Next up just might be my favorite release from the band, ‘High ‘N Dry’.  It is the last with guitarist Pete Willis and the first with legendary producer, Mutt Lange.  It is the most pure rock record they ever made and is just bangs it out from beginning to end.  They still play “Bringing On the Heart Break” and “Switch 625” at almost every show.

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This time the album sleeve even had pictures…

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Now comes studio album number three. The album that really broke the band and started the trajectory to massive Rock Stardom.  The album was the classic, ‘Pyromania’.  The album that brought “Photograph”, “Rock of Ages” and “Foolin'” to only name a few.  As there are many more solid songs on the album…wait…there isn’t a bad song on the album who am I kidding.

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The album sleeve was just solid red cover and not worth posting…so here are the vinyls…

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And now you get the most loved album of the band, ‘Hysteria’.  There is no denying the awesomeness of this album.  The final with Mutt Lange as producer and the final for the amazing, Steve Clark.  It was also the first album after Rick Allen lost his arm in a tragic car accident. He became the best one-arm drummer in the world!!  What is there to say that hasn’t already been said.  You get “Pour Some Sugar On Me”, “Women”, “Rocket”, “Animal”, “Armegeddon It”, “Love Bites” and “Hysteria”.  That was seven singles off one album.  How many bands can do that?  Not many.

This time, the vinyl is a double release and the album jacket is gatefold and it is spectacular.  Here is what you get with this one…

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And the album sleeves, yep…those are covered with stuff as well…

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And now, the reason I wanted this set to begin with.  As a bonus with the collection, you get the Live album ‘Live at the L.A. Forum 1983’.  Now any fan already has this in some form or another, but I didn’t have it on vinyl, so naturally I had to have it.  It is double vinyl release and has some classic early Lep songs live that they don’t generally play anymore.  Plus, it has the song “Travelin’ Band’ with Brian May from Queen as guest guitarist on the song.  The shows sounds great and the band is killin’ it.  Another great Lep Live album to have in the collection.  What would have been nicer though…a live album featuring Pete Willis.  That would have been a true bonus!!!

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Another bonus album was a collection of Rare releases called ‘Rarities – Volume One’.  Some were single versions of album songs and some were B-Sides of single releases.  I have everyone of these, but again, not on vinyl.  A double set of this would have been better as they have so many other songs.  Maybe they are saving for future releases.

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I did like the album sleeve that showed the vinyl imprint circle. That was a nice touch…

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And that is not all.  You also get a hardbound book filled with pictures and stories about the albums and the band.  The book is the size of an album and chop full of goodness.

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The book also held a nice little surprise (okay, it wasn’t a surprise as I knew it was included, it was only a surprise on finding it in the book and not separated out.  The band re-released their first E.P. as a 7″ Single.  Now, last year the released it as a 12″ Single for Record Store Day and yes, I have that as well.  Did you expect me to not have that one…silly reader!!  Oh yeah, I saved the sticker on the wrapping of the box set and I am storing it in the book.

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Where is Rick Allen??? Oh yeah, Frank Noon was the first drummer (I already knew that, but threw that out there for you)

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And there you have it.  Volume One of a Four Volume Set.  I can’t wait for the next release.  As far as this one goes, it is sweet and it has it all.  If you want to go back and start your collection over, this is a great start.  Yes, they could have had a few more rare things than they did, but I am sucker for the band and I will take it any way.  Def Leppard does do packages well and this is no different.  It really is a sweet set and for me, entirely worth every penny I spent.  If you got one, let me know what you think.  If you haven’t, that is okay, but you do need to remedy that.  Thanks for hanging around for so long with all these pictures. I wanted to detail out what you get so I hope you thought it was worth the time.  And here is one more…

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23 thoughts on “Def Leppard – The Collection, Volume One – Album Review

  1. If anyone is wondering, the CD is pretty much identical… but smaller! CDs are all vinyl replica covers. The main difference is the EP is just a wee 3″ tucked away in the book sleeve. But it’s just the CD with the red label, doesn’t have a sleeve. (I don’t mind that cause I’ve got it on vinyl anyway) Great set!

    The early single versions… Wasted, Hello and Good Morning Freedom. Have those been on CD before?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. WOWZER’s DUDE! This is one real slick looking set!
    HMO has graciously like Mikey in the past helped me out with some of the tracks that I’m missing from Leppard!
    The E.P is beyond fantastic. Who the hell ever knew that Stage could play Bass???!
    This vinyl set looks awesome. I’m sure at some point they will individually releases the first three on vinyl at which time I will get…Hysteria the 30th Anniversary Vinyl edition I purchased in Montreal last year…
    Great review and thanks for showing the pics of the albums and sleeves…
    Wicked stuff

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is pretty brilliant… a perfect example of making cash while giving the fans something worthwhile. Beyond worthwhile, I guess. Pricey, though… but still, it’s a nice set with loads of lovely items. Here’s hoping none of my favourite bands release something like this!!

    Like

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