NEW YORK (Billboard) - Def Leppard, the pop metal band that debuted in 1980 and which has sold more than 65 million albums worldwide, will release deluxe editions of two of its classic albums -- 1983’s “Pyromania” and 1992’s “Adrenalize” -- on June 23.
Both double-disc sets will arrive via Bludgeon Riffola/Island/UMe and feature previously unreleased material including B sides, demo versions and live recordings.
”‘Adrenalize’ was No. 1 the week of the L.A. riots,“ Leppard guitarist Phil Collen recalled in an interview with Billboard.com. ”I know it was the ‘90s, but it really was the end of the ‘80s. You had this whole new genre -- Nirvana and the grunge thing -- which I loved when it really shook everything up. But we got lumped into the ‘80s hair metal bands.
“When ‘Pyromania’ came out it was the complete opposite,” Collen said. “MTV embraced it. Everyone else embraced it. They liked the fact that this young rock band, instead of looking like Black Sabbath, we looked more like Duran Duran. It really, really crossed over.”
The band, now an arena rock institution, is set to embark on a 40-city summer tour with Poison and Cheap Trick starting on June 23 in Camden, New Jersey.
Before the tour, Def Leppard will make a live television appearance June 16 on the “CMT Music Awards.” The band made the first-ballot nominations in three CMT categories. Final nominations will be announced May 19.
Def Leppard’s most recent album, 2008’s “Songs From the Sparkle Lounge,” debuted on the Billboard 200 at No. 5, the group’s highest chart spot since 1992, when “Adrenalize” hit the top of the charts in the U.S. and U.K. right out of the box.
“Pyromania,” the band’s third album, sold more than 10 million copies in the United States and spawned four Top 10 singles, including “Photograph,” “Rock of Ages,” “Too Late for Love (Song)” and “Foolin’.” The deluxe edition includes a remastered version of the original album and a previously unreleased live recording of the band’s 1983 appearance at the Los Angeles Forum.
“We can sing now,” Collen joked of the differences between the Def Leppard of 1983 and the band on its current tour. “It was great for what it was ... a young band having its first stab at success. ‘Photograph’ is about twice as fast as we do it now. The interesting thing is we just got so much better as a band. There’s an enthusiasm that you can definitely hear, but we still have the fire now.”
1992’s “Adrenalize” sold more than 7 million copies worldwide and featured numerous hit songs including “Tonight,” “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad,” “Make Love Like a Man,” “Lets Get Rocked” and “Stand Up (Kick Love Into Motion).” In addition to a remastered version of the original album, the deluxe edition includes a bonus disc of B sides, demos, live recordings, and remixes of two of the band’s biggest hits, “Hysteria” and “Pour Some Sugar on Me.”
Both deluxe packages include extensive liner notes written by Rolling Stone’s David Fricke, rare photographs and pictures of memorabilia from the period, and comprehensive sleeve notes chronicling the story behind each album.
“We get to meet such an amazing cross-section of people,” Collen said of how the massive success of Def Leppard has changed his life. “We get to travel. There’s nothing better than traveling and meeting people to become an experienced human being. You pick up stuff -- not just music -- socially, politically, experientially. You experience incredible things if you’re fortunate to actually get out there. I would never have done that otherwise. It’s made me a totally different person.”
Editing by Sheri Linden at Reuters