Def Leppard pours "Mirrorball" of sugar on fans

Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:37am EDT
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By Shadia Ismail

TORONTO (Reuters) - It may be difficult to believe that after three decades of rocking hard -- 65 million albums sold and hundreds of packed concerts -- Def Leppard hadn't released a standalone live album until this year.

As the bandmembers put it, "Mirrorball: Live and More" came together without much advance planning, and owes its existence, at least partly, to them leaving their old record label which, the group thinks, may unleash a new burst of creativity.

The three disc collection features live recordings of some of Def Leppard's greatest hits such as "Pour Some Sugar on Me," "Rock of Ages," and "Photograph." It has three new tracks, including anthem "Kings of the World", and a behind-the-scenes DVD. But a live album was never atop the band's to do list.

"The band's focus has always been on writing and recording new songs," guitarist Vivian Campbell told Reuters. "It just never seemed appropriate for us to do a live record. It wasn't something that we sat down and thought, 'We are going to put out a live album in 2011.' It just sort of happened."

Instead of playing one concert and recording it, or taping a series of shows and picking the best one for the album, Campbell and his bandmates -- singer Joe Elliott, lead guitarist Phil Collen, bassist Rick Savage, and drummer Rick Allen -- picked the songs singularly from separate performances so the fans got the best of the best.

"In a way it was sort of like cheating...but it made it more relaxed for us because we never once thought that we were recording," said Campbell.


"Mirrorball" is Def Leppard's initial release as an independent act after finding themselves without a major label for the first time after 30 years with Universal Records.   Continued...