Vault

DVD REVIEW: Def Leppard – Video Archive (1995)

Part Eighteen of the Def Leppard Review Series

DEF LEPPARD – Video Archive (1995, 2001 Mercury DVD)

Only two years since their last home video, Def Leppard went back in for round three.  There were not many new video clips waiting to be released, just the four from Retro-Active and Vault, plus an alternate version.  Mostly, this Video Archive focused on live material.

Def Leppard’s big hometown gig in Sheffield was something they were very proud of, and so it appears here and on the previous album’s Vault double disc edition  Well, some of it anyway.  Nine songs were on Vault; you can watch eight of those on video here.  (The ninth, “Photograph” is available on Visualize.)  The whole show has never been released (22 songs total) but this small handful can be had.  The hometown gig had 40,000 people going nuts for Leppard, something Joe mentions in the opening interview.

No shirts for Phil right from the first song, “Let’s Get Rocked”.  The editing in this concert relies on minimal gimmicks, but the choppy slo-mo bits probably were not necessary.  It also seems like the songs aren’t in order, because at the outdoor gig it gets dark and then light again.

On CD, “Armageddon It” comes second.  Here, it’s “Foolin'”.  I like when the camera switches to Phil when Joe sings “take your fill”.  Take your “Phil”?  Solid version of “Foolin'” and nice to see it with Vivian picking away for the first time on video.  “Rocket” features a cool light show, but what’s cool here is seeing Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell taking turns soloing.  Getting the chance to appreciate the differences between the two.  It’s definitely fun seeing Viv do the ol’ two-handed tapping like it was the 80s again.  Then Joe goes into “Whole Lotta Love”, before “Rocket” resumes its course.

The acoustic B-side “Two Steps Behind” is introduced as being from their next album Retro-Active.  The crowd already knows it.  The atmosphere goes from campfire singalong to party mode in seconds flat as “Armageddon It” begins.  Vivian does an admirable job of Steve Clark’s original solo – and then Joe Elliott jumps down to crowd level!

The familiar drum beat to “Pour Some Sugar On Me” is greated with the appropriate “hey! hey! heys!” necessary to start the song.  Viv is really having fun on this one, running and sliding across the stage.  “Rock of Ages” is a natural song to follow it with.  Rick “Sav” Savage doubles on bass and keys.  Some good shots here of Rick Allen doing his thing on his specialised drum kit.  Finally, “Love Bites” closes this portion of the program dramatically.  Fantastically fitting solo work by Viv, and Sav on keys one more time.

The next section of the DVD focuses on the music videos released since “Visualize”, beginning with their latest hit “When Love & Hate Collide”.  It’s here in two forms, but the straight performance is better than the “Epic 8 minute version”, which is bogged down by boring story and dialogue.  The simple, stripped version of the video suits the 90s even though it doesn’t really fit the string-adorned track.  “Two Steps Behind” was a cool grainy clip, featuring a string section this time!  The backwards-walking footage is fascinating and trippy.  Next is the rarely seen “Action” filmed on tour.  Joe’s sportin’ a goatee this time.  Toto, I don’t think we’re in the 80s anymore!  Also rarely seen, “Miss You In A Heartbeat”.  It’s the version with piano & band, and Joe’s tinklin’ the ivories, goatee still intact.  It’s like Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, as each band member is playing in beautiful mansion settings.

The highlight of the video is the final section:  Def Leppard unplugged at the Wapantake Club back in Sheffield, 1995.  In the interview footage, Phil says that he enjoys the acoustic setting because it proves that Def Leppard’s famous backing vocals are indeed live.  Meanwhile, Rick Allen appreciates the challenge of using an acoustic drum kit again.  But what’s really special is that the last time Def Leppard played the Wapantake, it was 1978.  Their triumphant return in 1995 is really cool and really should be released in CD form.  Fortunately it was filmed!

Once again, it’s “Two Steps Behind” but without a screaming crowd.  It’s just Def Leppard in a very packed but respectfully quiet room.  “Armageddon It” is bouncy, and the audience responds.  This take is one of the best versions of “Armageddon It” out there; just fun and perfectly performed in the right setting.  Then the new song:  “When Love & Hate Collide” was made available in live form right here mere weeks after its single release.  The acoustic setting works, but novelty aside, Def Leppard have better ballads.  “Animal” and “Sugar” bring the party atmosphere back to the Wapantake.  “Animal” works great acoustically, and “Sugar” takes on a different form.  Phil makes a good point about the backing vocals.  It’s great to hear them live and bare like this because they’re stellar!

Even though Joe said that was the last song, he lied because for the first time, and “for a laugh”, it’s “Ziggy Stardust”!  Joe says it’s the first time they ever played it live as a band in front of a crowd, so that’s special.  It’s also a brilliant version which doesn’t hurt.  Leppard nailed it with pure love.

But wait, there’s more!  The closing interviews discuss the new album Slang:  “Up to date”, “stuck in the 90s”, “different direction”, “complete different turn”, “experimental” are a selection of words used…but then there’s a preview.  Live at the Wapantake, and only for a few seconds, is the new song “All I Want Is Everything”.  One chorus and that’s all we get, though the folks at the gig that night heard the whole song.  The viewing audience at home only got a taste.  Not enough to judge by.  Not enough to get a feeling of what Def Leppard meant when they used words like “experimental”.

We’d find out soon enough.

The end credit music is an instrumental version of “When Love & Hate Collide” with only piano and strings and no band. Now that would be something cool to include in a future box set.

4/5 stars

 

Previous:  

  1. The Early Years Disc One – On Through the Night 
  2. The Early Years Disc Two – High N’ Dry
  3. The Early Years Disc Three – When The Walls Came Tumbling Down: Live at the New Theater Oxford – 1980
  4. The Early Years Disc Four – Too Many Jitterbugs – EP, singles & unreleased
  5. The Early Years Disc 5 – Raw – Early BBC Recordings 
  6. The Early Years 79-81 (Summary)
  7. Pyromania
  8. Pyromania Live – L.A. Forum, 11 September 1983
  9. Hysteria
  10. Soundtrack From the Video Historia – Record Store Tales
  11. In The Round In Your Face DVD
  12. “Let’s Get Rocked” – The Wait for Adrenalize – Record Store Tales
  13. Adrenalize
  14. Live at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert
  15. Retro-Active
  16. Visualize
  17. Vault

Next:

19. “Slang” (UK single)

REVIEW: Def Leppard – Vault / Limited Edition Live CD (1995 2 CD edition)

Part Seventeen of the Def Leppard Review Series

DEF LEPPARD – Vault: Def Leppard’s Greatest Hits / Limited Edition Live CD (1995 Mercury 2 CD edition)

Truth:  Vault was a paint-by-numbers compilation that could have been assembled with an algorithm.

Leppard had been largely ignoring their first two albums live in concert.  Predictably the only pre-Pyromania track on Vault, their first greatest hits, was “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak”.  The disc contains all the key singles from, essentially, three studio albums and the Retro-Active B-sides compilation.  According to the liner notes, it was released in order to “clear the decks” before their underrated re-invention to come on Slang.

As such, Vault debuted the last song written during the Steve Clark era that they still wanted to release:  “When Love & Hate Collide”.  Now including his replacement Vivian Campbell, it indicated Leppard were indeed going in a new direction.  As opposed to the smokin’ power-ballady demo, this version is more modern with strings and an organic approach.  Not one of Leppard’s most uniqiue ballads in the grand scheme of their discography, it was still a hit nonetheless.  The strings were arranged by, of course, Michael Kamen, who previously did the same on “Two Steps Behind”.  He has that saccharine touch that powered bands into the top 40, and that’s what you get with “When Love & Hate Collide”.  Love it or hate it.  It became a hit single in its own right.

The common two-track single was easy enough to find, but fans were best advised to locate the four track release.  It contained the demo version of the ballad, featuring the last recorded Steve Clark guitar solo.  (This version will be discussed in greater detail when we get to the appropriate disc in the CD Collection Vol 2 box set.)      

Another cool inclusion on Vault was a CD release of the long-sought “Pour Some Sugar On Me” video mix.  It is probably more well known than the album version due the massive exposure it got over the summer of ’88.  A thoughtful inclusion.  (This remix is also on the CD single for “When Love and Hate Collide”, which preceded Vault.  Also included on “When Love and Hate Collide” is the “Nuclear Mix” of “Armageddon It”.  You can find both of these remixes on the Hysteria deluxe and super deluxe editions.)

Otherwise, you get what you get.  The biggest hits but not the best hits.  Take out “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad” and replace it with “Stand Up (Kick Love Into Motion)”!  Ditch “Two Steps Behind” and gimme “Too Late For Love”!  (Incidentally, different countries got different tracklists so your experience may vary.)

Vault is still valuable for the cool liner notes by Peter Mensch, and comments on every track by the band members.  The booklet revealed the title of the next album for the first time:  Slang!  An odd title that surprised fans by its left-field simplicity.

It’s also valuable if you can get your hands on the double disc Vault including the Limited Edition Live CD.  Yep…that’s the title, and it’s from a hometown Sheffield gig recorded by the BBC in 1993.  Leppard were running like a finely oiled machine in ’93 and the songs were performed with consistency.  The nine tracks (of 22 total played that night) are all hits, which means they’re all also on disc one!

“Let’s Get Rocked” is a reliable opener, and “Armageddon It” follows it ably.  It’s Leppard live doing what they do best, and the songs are performed as immaculately as you’d expect.  “Armageddon It” has an extended intro so the audience can clap along.  Later in the set, it’s the full nine minutes of “Rocket” with long instrumental break.  It seems like a tough song to play live, and the vocals prove this is really live.  No messin’ around.  Good versions, one and all!  At the time of release, there were no Def Leppard live albums, period.  A handful of B-sides notwithstanding, this was the first.  It has since been supplanted by superior live CDs like In The Round – In Your Face in the Hysteria box set.

Vault was a big deal in 1995, but Leppard have since released Best of Def Leppard (2 CD UK), Rock Of Ages (2 CD US) and the recent Story So Far.  These double disc compilations have all the stuff on Vault‘s first disc and plenty more — but we’ll get there in due time.  Only the Limited Edition Live CD is exclusive today but since you can buy so many Leppard live albums now, it’s only for collectors.

3/5 stars

Previous:  

  1. The Early Years Disc One – On Through the Night 
  2. The Early Years Disc Two – High N’ Dry
  3. The Early Years Disc Three – When The Walls Came Tumbling Down: Live at the New Theater Oxford – 1980
  4. The Early Years Disc Four – Too Many Jitterbugs – EP, singles & unreleased
  5. The Early Years Disc 5 – Raw – Early BBC Recordings 
  6. The Early Years 79-81 (Summary)
  7. Pyromania
  8. Pyromania Live – L.A. Forum, 11 September 1983
  9. Hysteria
  10. Soundtrack From the Video Historia – Record Store Tales
  11. In The Round In Your Face DVD
  12. “Let’s Get Rocked” – The Wait for Adrenalize – Record Store Tales
  13. Adrenalize
  14. Live at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert
  15. Retro-Active
  16. Visualize

Next:

18. Video Archive

 

 

WTF Search Terms: Lars Ulrich Trout (Thunder Bay) edition

WTF SEARCH TERMS XL: Lars Ulrich Trout (Thunder Bay) edition

It’s that time again…the 40th time in fact!  It’s those “WTF” search terms that somehow brought people to this site.  Let’s skip the chatter and get to the weird.

  • lars ulrich trout warrant thunder bay ontario

I had to ask Thunder Bay’s hardest rocker, Deke Dekerson, if he could possible explain this one.  He had no idea.  Warrant did open for Metallica in 1990, and our own Uncle Meat has written about it.  There were no dates in Thunder Bay, and I don’t want to know what Lars was doing with a trout.

  • gene simmons vault is stupid

Well, I don’t know about that!  He’s having no problem selling it.  The only thing “stupid” about Vault is that there is no pricing affordable to regular people.

This is a great question!

  • ten game0f galishow

Nooo idea.

  • styx equinox bakelit lemez

You lost me.

  • give me any diolock

I’m not giving you squat!  I think this guy was looking for Lock up the Wolves by Dio?  He could also have been searching for “dicklock“.

  • coverdale page 4cd tour edition box set

Definitely in the “wishful thinking” category.  There wasn’t really such thing as “tour editions” back in 1993, and sadly all you can get to this day is the standard single CD of Coverdale-Page.

  • the swedish penis enlargement pump and me (this definitely is my thing, baby)” by austin d. powers

I admire the amount of effort this person went to, to be as specific as possible.

  • liam payne chenine lozano midnight memories def leppard copyright infringement

I tuned out after reading “Liam Payne”.  The fuck does he have to do with Def Leppard?  I don’t care enough to look.

  • how to work in a record store

You came to the right place, friend!  The one and only and original Record Store Tales can be found right here!

 

 

REVIEW: Def Leppard – “All I Want Is Everything” (2 part CD single)

Part 3 in my series of Def Leppard Slang reviews!  

Part 1:  “Slang”

Part 2:  “Work It Out”

DEF LEPPARD – “All I Want Is Everything” (1996 two part Mercury CD single)

“All I Want Is Everything” was the first song from Slang that we got to hear.  Def Leppard first revealed a live unplugged snippet on their Video Archive VHS.  I was still surprised when I heard the whole studio version: It is a lot darker than I expected.  I love it, don’t get me wrong.  I love its sparse, organic sound.  I think the chorus and verses are fantastic, but even better is the bridge.

A lot of my customers were turned off my Slang and songs like “All I Want Is Everything”.  While I could argue that this song is every bit as good as “Hysteria” or “Stand Up (Kick Love Into Motion)”, it is obviously a lot darker.  But it was also 1996.  In 1996, bands like Def Leppard moved with the times.  Bon Jovi made similar adjustments.   This is no singalong hit, but it is quality songwriting and production.

Next up on disc 1 of this single is “When Saturday Comes” performed by Joe, Phil and Sav.  This is apparently for a movie also called When Saturday Comes.  This song would be more satisfying to those wishing for an older school vibe; indeed it is a dead ringer for Van Hagar.  It is anthemic with some shredding from Phil.  It wouldn’t make my own personal Def Leppard mix tape, but I thank them anyway for including the song so I wouldn’t have to hunt down an obscure soundtrack.  “Jimmy’s Theme” performed by the same trio is an instrumental from the same soundtrack.  Out of context from a film I’ve never seen, it doesn’t do much for me.  It’s a nice slow blues with Phil playing some elegant melodies.  But it’s just “nice”, I don’t regularly come back to this one.  The CD ends with an edit version of “All I Want Is Everything” (whoop de do).

Disc 2, for whatever reason, also includes the same two versions of “All I Want Is Everything”.  Why not just put the album version on disc 1, and the edit version on disc 2?  Small gripe I guess but it got tedious when I had both discs in the changer and was too lazy to skip.

Also on disc 2 are a couple tracks from the Jeffology tribute record.  Phil Collen does “‘Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers”.   Personally I don’t think anybody can touch Jeff Beck on this one.  In fact Beck is so awesome on this, especially live, that I don’t really see the point of listening to a cover version.  Sorry Phil, that is nothing against your playing, which is really really great, especially when you start cookin’ around the 4 minute mark.  I just think nobody’s even in Beck’s league on this one, and I think that’s a fair assessment.

Vivian Campbell does “Led Boots” from Wired.  I love the original “Led Boots”.  It’s just funky, chunky and fucked up.  I think Vivian’s style is more suited to Beck than Phil’s is.  This is an enjoyable listen, Vivian gets to shred a bit.  It’s definitely less fucked up sounding than the original, but Vivian is just a pleasure to listen to, he is clearly enjoying himself.

The “Work It Out” single previous to this contained post cards of the first four Def Leppard albums.  CD 2 of “All I Want Is Everything” has the final four:  Adrenalize, Retro-Active, Vault, and Slang.

3/5 stars