deflep_pyromaniasleeveDef Leppard – Pyromania Deluxe Edition (Mercury)

Remixed and revamped, the already pumping Pyromania is finally given the deluxe edition treatment 26 years after it helped transform the Lepps from NWOBHM stars into global greats. But the best thing about this package isn’t a CD boasting tweaked classics including Photograph, Too Late For Love and Foolin’ – it’s the bonus disc featuring the band’s full set from the Los Angeles Forum in 1983.

Leppard are one of the few great rock bands remaining yet to release a live album and, while the likes of Thin Lizzy, AC/DC, Maiden and the rest count concert records among the jewels in their bulging back catalogues, the Sheffield crew have always chosen not to showcase their best work live.

Of course there have been a plethora of tracks featured on B-sides and there’s plenty of live footage available on DVD. But this is the first example of a real live Leppard record and the fact that it’s archive material doesn’t matter one jot. In fact listening to the likes of Wasted and High N Dry with Clark and Collen jousting for axe surpemacy is a sheer joy.

No doubt the set’s been touched up and the sound is pretty crisp. But considering this is a band which went on to forge its reputation on stunning arena shows and slick live performances there’s a refreshingly raw feel to a gig which rocks from start to finish. Bringing Brian May into the fray for the final number is the icing on the hair metal cake but this 15-track set proves why the Lepps inspired so many US clones in the five years which followed.

If you love Joe and co. then you’ll already know Pyromania word for word. But a thrilling live set and some memory jogging photography is the real reason for investing in this sparkling reissue.

rushonrock rated: 9/10 Lepp’s First Step To Stardom

deflep_adrenalizesleeve

Def Leppard – Adrenalize Deluxe Edition (Mercury)

The third of Leppard’s ‘Big Three’, this fantastic resume of the hair metal years has sold in excess of 7m units worldwide and debuted at number one on both sides of the Atlantic. Two number one singles in the US – Let’s Get Rocked and Stand Up (Kick Love Into Motion) – meant the Steel City’s finest were able to resist the challenge of grunge longer than most but this polished album proved to be the final big seller for a band at the peak of their commercial powers.

On the Deluxe Edition the Mike Shipley/Leppard produced tracks barely differ from the original release such was the quality of that 1992 effort. But if your love affair with Leppard tailed off after Hysteria then imagine Adrenalize as that classic album’s companion piece and add it to your collection now. Tracks like Tonight and Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad are blueprints for FM friendly hair metal ballads and still cause hairs to stand on end today.

Once again the bonus disc is a treasure trove for true fans with four tracks from the 1992 In The Clubs In Your Face session and a cracking version of Little Wing – with the Hothouse Flowers – the obvious highlights. Die-hards will already have access to the collated B-sides from the original record’s single releases but the live version of Women is a fantastic way to wrap up another winning two-disc package. If this is the lost Leppard classic you still don’t own then do yourself a favour – right that wrong and join 7m-plus truly satisfied customers.

rushonrock rated: 8/10 ‘Lize, Damn ‘Lize