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Record Rating: *****

Def Leppard – Best Of - Universal This is getting to be one hell of a month for new releases. Another 5 star CD and I just reviewed three more before this one! Anyone who was growing up in the early 1980’s and mid 1990’s will testify, that Def Leppard were literally everywhere. When you add up their chart successes, the awards, the album and singles sales, the stadiums they filled, the ground-breaking videos they made, and the influence they’ve had on generations of musicians, theirs’ is a story that only a handful of eighties bands like Guns N’ Roses, Bon Jovi and U2 can tell.

Essentially, Def Leppard's legacy rests on three albums, 1983's Pyromania, 1987's Hysteria and 1992’s Adrenalize. On all those records, the group created a sleek, shiny brand of rock and roll powered by huge, catchy melodies and guitar hooks. This new Best Of album is loaded with all of the feel good songs and great ballads from those releases, as well as selections from the outtakes collection Retro Active. With the help of the unofficial sixth Def Leppard, long-time producer Robert "Mutt" Lange (the man who discovered Shania Twain and married her) every single one of the band's major hits can be found here from Pour Some Sugar On Me, Let’s Get Rocked, Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad, Love Bites and even Two Steps Behind. The really good news, the band's underrated nineties gem When Love And Hate Collide from a previous greatest hits effort (Vault) was also included. That makes this a really rocking good release. The bad news, with just seventeen tracks on this CD, It's not a complete collection. Long times Def Leppard heads will be disappointed at how many classics this one left out, such as On Through The Night, Sorrow Is A Woman, Too Late For Love, Women and Tear It Down for starters. That's almost another full disc of material which would please all sorts of fans. It would have been a smart thing to have made this a two CD set instead.

Still I’m not complaining that much. This album is loaded up with Def Leppard’s really feel good songs and their best ballads, and all in one place. And those catchy riffs remain a big influence to many rock artists today. If you’ve never really been a fan of theirs, now’s the time to become one…for this is where it all began. Five stars all the way.

Read our other reviews:

Bee Gees - Number Ones       Kylie Minogue - Ultimate Kylie       Robbie Williams - Greatest Hits       Blue - Best Of      


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