REVIEW: Def Leppard – The Def Leppard E.P. (1979)

Part 2 of a 4-part series on early Def Leppard singles!

DL

DEF LEPPARD – The Def Leppard E.P. (1979 Bludgeon Riffola)

I’ve been slowly, slowly working towards a complete Def Leppard collection.  This is one of the last items from the early years that I still needed — The Def Leppard E.P.  This is a 7″ single,  33 1/3 RPM however, and never have these recordings been released on a Def Leppard CD.  This first EP had Frank Noon on drums.  He was just a fill-in, and a month later Def Lep replaced him with a 15 year old Rick Allen.

I have been wanting this one since I was a young fella.  Def Leppard was a band I was obsessed with back in highschool.  They are in fact the band that really kicked off my collecting, as I described in one of the first Record Store Tales.  “Ride Into the Sun” was the B-side to the “Hysteria” single, and it has long been a personal favourite of mine.  What I found out later was that this B-side was actually a re-recording of one of the very earliest Def Leppard songs, pre-On Through the Night!

The self-produced 1979 version of “Ride Into the Sun” is a bit different, not as fast or heavy, and containing a different pre-chorus.  It’s still a great, fun Def Leppard song from their brief “NWOBHM” period.  “Getcha Rocks Off” is a Van Halen-style shuffle, a cool tune that really cooks, with hot solos and a couple smoking riffs.   This recording was briefly available on Lars Ulrich’s NWOBHM compilation album.  A heavier live (?) version of this song is available on the On Through the Night album.

Side B was taken up by a 7:50 epic track called “The Overture”.  This song too was re-recorded by Tom Allom for the debut album (that version is just called “Overture”).  Perhaps this song is as close as Def Leppard has ever been to a metal band.  It riffs solidly along with some primitive dual guitar hooks.  There are ample solos, pounding drums, and different sections and tempos.  It’s like Def Judas Maiden.  Or something.

The edition I bought is MSB001 of which 15,000 copies were made.  This edition unfortunately did not come with the picture sleeve.  The original cover was spoof of the His Master’s Voice logo, with a leopard instead of a dog.

I’m glad to finally have this Def Lep collectible.  It’s been a long time waiting.

4/5 stars

48 comments

    1. No it didn’t…somehow I accidentally published the wrong draft initially. I made a corrected draft but my changes didn’t save for whatever reason. I’ve since corrected the article. The one that was a different version on the Lars Ulrich comp was Sanctuary by Iron Maiden. I had my wires crossed at first.

      Sorry for the confusion! Article is corrected now.

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        1. Hmmm interesting! I suppose it depends on how much of a collector you consider yourself to be. Personally, I’m happy to have the physical editions of tracks the cheapest way possible (with sound quality a consideration too). I think that’s how you see it too, you want all the songs that are out there but you don’t necessarily have to have every physical release there is?

          I’d be unlikely to want the singles if I had the tracks on an album already. But a die-hard Leppard collector would probably want the original singles as collectibles. And in that case the price comes down to how rare the item is. Like your EP here. The original pressing is still priced really high despite this cheaper, later version being available. This re-pressing didn’t reduce the value of the original to a collector so a deluxe CD shouldn’t either.

          And you get all the vinyl reissues now too which still don’t seem to impact the prices of original prices for collectors. But it doesn’t interest me, I just want the songs!

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        2. Yeah, as you said, primarily I want the songs. In a physical format. But I don’t feel the need to own all the old Judas Priest singles, because I have all the B-sides on different CDs now.

          I do like single cover art though, and thankfully some of the other discs I have coming up in the next few weeks have some nice picture covers.

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        3. To me, it’s cut and dried. The originals are the only way to go. Re-releases are convenient because they collect everything in one place, and sometimes make hard-to-get things available to more people. But any collector who loves a band wouldn’t want to take that easy way out. They’d have the originals. Of course, THEN they would get the re-release as well, because they are collectors. But the originals are it.

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        4. For me, I am not even that serious a collector. For example I have the single edit of Rock N’ Roll All Nite as a bonus track on a CD, but I am not out to collect the single. Typically I’ll only do that if something crosses my path at a price too good to be true.

          I kinda like it when there’s old vinyl like this that is not out on a CD at all. It makes collecting a lot more fun. A CD is effortless and sounds better on my equipment, and also less fun :)

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        5. I’m just not that much of a collector either. To me collecting music and loving music are two completely separate things. It’s the albums I have that define my taste not which edition they are.

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        6. As long as I have the physical edition I will enjoy most, I am usually pretty happy. That involves the listening, and the visual enjoyment of the CD art or vinyl art.

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        7. Yes me too, If I’m buying an album I usually do a fair bit of research to see which version is the best for sound, value, bonus tracks etc… usually I end up with a CD reissue but sometimes the vinyl can be the best option too. It’s only very special albums that I usually have more than one version of.

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        8. Right now I’m reviewing an album for future publishing…a Deep Purple album for which I have two copies. Just because one looks cool, and one has bonus music. But I bought the one that looks cool, before they even released the version with the bonus music, you dig? :)

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        9. Did you used to watch Seinfeld? In one episode, Kramer wrote a coffee table book that unfolded into a coffee table.

          I kind of felt like Kiss did that with their Monster book.

          If I love the band (and album) enough I’ll go for the bait. But I have not bought any of the Floyds…or Megadeths…or Stones…

          I see that Alice Cooper is re-releasing his Old School box set in a standard edition.

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        10. It’s been out over here for a while. It’s missing the DVD though which is a bit shite… especially seeing as they included the audio disc of the interviews from the DVD?! That put me off it a bit.

          Maybe if it was a band I really loved but… I think these things are designed more as gifts than anything else. I really fancied The Who’s Quadrophenia one but then I start thinking of how much new music I could buy for £100 rather than spending it on a book and a couple of CDs of demos. It’s just not worth it for me.

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        11. I hope you know I plan on releasing an Evil Kirk box set complete with signed uniform. It will include all four takes of the iconic song, each on it’s own 45 RPM 12″ single, on 120 gram vinyl.

          As a bonus track, there will be a download code included so you can access the album version.

          The first 100 pre-orders will also receive a bonus DVD of me talking.

          This offer not valid in Kansas.

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        12. To take the conversation back a bit, the other reason I said what I did is my well-documented dislike of remastering. Anyway.

          I’d buy an Evil Kirk box set. And I’d tell everyone I knew you when…

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  1. It’d be nice if someone took this vinyl and digitally transfered the songs to computer. A lot of the versions that are already online aren’t very good or break up in some parts.

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      1. There’s a remastered version of it on YouTube but it’s a little shorter than the original and the other two aren’t available remastered. If there’s someway you could transfer them to computer near-flawlessly, you would be saint!

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        1. Excuse me once again, as I did a little research on the songs and stuff. Apparently, you can get the remastered “The Overture” on YouTube as I said previously and its shorter in length to the original. You can get “Getcha Rocks Off” in amazing quality online, since it was on another album entitled “New Wave of British Heavy Metal: ’79 Revisited.” The only song that seems difficult to find in great quality is “Ride Into the Sun.” I wouldn’t mind the original “The Overture” off the vinyl either.

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        2. That remaster on youtube is fan made, so I would disregard that one myself. I prefer the tracks un-tampered with when possible.

          This version of Ride sounds pretty good.

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  2. I have listened to that one actually, I was trying to fix them up today with no avail. It does sound really good, and the sound of vinyl pops and clicks is classic, but I’d prefer one that just didn’t have those, you know? I’m going to keep digging around on the web though. Maybe someday someone in the future could professionally remaster them or something. Thanks for the video though and I loved the review, Def Leppard is one of my favorite bands!

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    1. I have to think that a band like Def Lep are aware of the demands by die hard fans to have this stuff. I sure would like to hear a proper remaster! I bet DL are holding out for an eventual box set. They have to know money will be made, and they haven’t flooded the market with that kind of thing like other bands do. I bet you see something in the next few years.

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      1. Yea, or if they really wanted a quicker and possibly easier process, they could just remaster On Through the Night like they were going to do a few years ago and include the 3 EP tracks as bonus tracks. There would be money to be made here. Hopefully something will emerge in the years to come.

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        1. Yeah I’d go for that. I would buy the album for the third time for that. I’d be even happier if they added a bonus disc and remixed like Joe used to talk about!

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  3. Cool article…Yeah for Getcha Rocks the crowd does sound pumped in but still a great debut.
    Frank Noon as the drummer ,he was in Waysted for there debut album featuring Pete Way and a couple of x UFO’s actually it’s a great album except for the cover…..ha

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  4. Vices it’s called,good stuff on there on the debut,than they went for the big American push onSave Your Prayers…ie getting American singer..still the debut is pretty damn good…

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  5. I had Vices on vinyl back in the day but the guy I lent it to I never got it back….
    Shit,the other two Waysted albums I bought were on cassette….

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    1. Sometimes I think to myself, man I wish I never bought all those cassette! They’re probably now in a Thunder Bay landfill. I wish I bought vinyl when I was a kid. Ahh well.

      I don’t lend out my music for that exact reason Deke! I learned back in grade 11. I loaned out Van Halen to a kid and he lost the cover!

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  6. That’s when I lent out Vices like grade 11……just bought it thru ummm gasp iTunes a yr ago..hahaha…it was good to hear it..love Night Of The Wolf…..

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  7. Man, I used to have it and many many years ago I sold my record collection including tons of picture discs!!
    I still regret it 20 years later!!!

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