Def Leppard has eye on legacy with live album and tour

Sun Mar 6, 2011 2:27pm EST
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By Phil Wahba

NEW YORK (Reuters) - British rockers Def Leppard are hitting the road this summer to support their first ever live album which aims to cement the band's reputation as one of rock's top touring acts 34 years into its career.

"It's the first time we've taken stock of what we've done and delivered the live album fans have been asking for, for years," lead singer Joe Elliott told Reuters.

Best known for 1980's smash hits like "Photograph" and "Pour Some Sugar On Me," Def Leppard chose the tracks for its new "Mirrorball" from among 45 shows on its 2008-09 tour to support recent studio album, "Songs from the Sparkle Lounge."

Def Leppard, whose upcoming tour begins June 7 in Belfast and includes at least 42 U.S. dates, said the record shows how much tighter they've become since joining the ranks of rock superstars in 1983 with the diamond certified "Pyromania."

"We couldn't sing back then," guitarist Phil Collen said.

The band is known for its obsessive perfectionism and long recording process in the studio -- it took 3 1-2 years to make 1987's "Hysteria." Yet, for "Mirrorball" the members decided to include songs that had some imperfections to keep a feeling of "live" authenticity.

While it is billed as a live album, "Mirrorball" slips in three new studio songs: "Undefeated," which Elliott called a "classic arena rock anthem," "It's All About Believin'" and "Kings of the World." The new album's release date has yet to be determined, but will be available before the tour starts.

CATALOG ON ITUNES?   Continued...

<p>Def Leppard lead singer Joe Elliott (L) and lead guitarist Phil Collen pose together in New York March 4, 2011. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid</p>