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DEF LEPPARD - ROCK OF AGES: THE DEFINITIVE COLLECTION (BEST OF) - UNIVERSAL
Record Rating: *****

Def Leppard - Rock Of Ages: The Definitive Collection (Best Of) - Universal Def Leppard is less of a band and more of a religion to their millions of fans. Theyíve been together for decades and their music has gauged the mood of the times accurately. Almost twenty years after being the biggest rock act in the world, the funky hairdos may be gone, and some of the hair with it, but the essence of Def Leppard is still intact.

The bandís last greatest hits package was over ten years ago ~ 1995ís Vault. It had fifteen of their biggest hits, but a lot of fans felt that we were being short-changed. For the most part, that compilation ignored their early years, skipping important songs from albums such as On Through the Night and High N' Dry. A lot of fan favourites that were concert pullers (but not big hits) were excluded as well. Finally, with this release, someone at their music label has gotten it right.

Rock of Ages: The Definitive Collection (as itís rightly called) has a cool thirty-five track listing spread across two CDs. The first disc is the previous compilation Vault with just two songs added, and includes their biggest hits like Pour Some Sugar on Me, Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad, Let's Get Rocked and Two Steps Behind among others. It also includes their biggest ballad ever ~ the hit When Love And Hate Collide which was recorded specially for Vault back then. The two additional songs to the Vault track listing are Heaven Is from Adrenalize and the multi-layered Switch 625 from the earlier High N' Dry release.

Fans that have followed the group from the very beginning will appreciate this compilation the most ~ for the second disc leans a lot on the High N' Dry and Pyromania years. Key tracks like Rock Rock (Till You Drop) and Let It Go will remind you why this band became as big as they did. The singles that were released after Vault show up here as well; and even a new song for good measure ~ No Matter What ~ making this the most comprehensive overview of Def Leppard period!

In this new compilation, you get all of the bandís number one hits, rare singles, fan favourites and a preview of what's to come. The only downfall with this compilation is that it would have been nice to everything in original release order; since the bandís musical styles evolved over the years, from being a hard rock act to one making soft rock. If youíve not heard Def Leppard before, shoot yourself first and then get back to us. This is the ultimate junkies fix.

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