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The Record Vault: Def Leppard – Vault: Def Leppard Greatest Hits (1980–1995)

If you had the albums you didn’t really need this unless you are a serious collector, which the majority of Def Leppard fans are. And if you had no albums from the band, then this is one to purchase as its focus is definitely on the big albums of “Pyromania”, “Hysteria” and “Adrenalize”.

“Vault: Def Leppard Greatest Hits (1980–1995)” was released on 23 October 1995.

Pour Some Sugar on Me (Historia Video Edit)

From the “Hysteria” album, written by Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange and Savage.

The song was treading water in and out of the Top 10 singles charts and 49 weeks after it was released it hit the Number 1 spot. The path to number 1 happened during the European tour. The Strip Clubs of Florida started playing it, then people started requesting it on radio and the song just blew up.

They were done with the album and working on the last song for the album, “Armageddon It”. During a break in the recording, Elliot picked up the acoustic guitar and played the three chords. Lange heard it and liked it. It’s “We Will Rock You” vibe is evident and the Chorus was done first. So they had the big hook and worked backwards from there.

The verses started to have this “Come Together” vocal feel. But they weren’t done, as both Lange and Elliot took small tape recorders and scatted phonetically into. 10 days later the song was completed. The fastest thing they had done for the album.

“Love is like a bomb” okay.

Photograph

From the “Pyromania” album and written by Clark, Elliott, Lange, Savage and Willis.

Collen played the lead break on his Ibanez Destroyer. It was a hybrid hard rock version of AC/DC meets Boston. It had that aggressiveness and the melody.

Love Bites

From the “Hysteria” album, written by Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange and Savage. The bulk of the song was courtesy of Mutt Lange. When he played it to the band on acoustic guitar in sounded like a Don Henley cut, as Lange’s voice is very similar.

But as the band kept working on it with Lange, it just kept getting bigger and bigger. The Chorus is huge and press play to hear the melodic guitars there.

Also when the song broke through, the band had to learn it while on tour to add it to its set list. And it was daunting due to the multi-layered harmonies.

Let’s Get Rocked

One of the earliest songs written for the “Adrenalize” album by Collen, Elliott, Lange and Savage. Like “Pour Some Sugar On Me”, the Chorus hook was written first and the rest followed after.

Its juvenile and fun and so departed from the “shoe starers” as the Grunge movement was known back then.

Two Steps Behind (Acoustic Version)

Written by Elliott and the song appeared as a B side on one of the “Adrenalize” singles, on the “Retro Active” album and on the “Last Action Hero” soundtrack which was a box office bomb for Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The idea for an acoustic song came together after Joe Elliot started jamming with Hothouse Flowers.

Michael Kamen got involved because he wanted to do strings on a Def Leppard cut. So the band sent him all the tracks that they were using on “Retro Active” and nothing really stood out to Kamen.

However one of his assistants heard the song and kept humming the vocal melody. When Kamen asked her what she was humming, she mentioned it’s one of the Def Leppard songs they sent through and Kamen had his “a-ha” moment and his involvement was sealed.

Animal

From the “Hysteria” album written by Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange and Savage.

And it was put together so unusually. Joe Elliot sang his vocals to a different backing track and once the vocals were done, Lange took away the music and left the drums and vocals and told Phil and Steve to come up with a new musical track.

Heaven Is

From the “Adrenalize” album and written by Clark, Collen, Elliot, Lange and Savage.

It can be interchanged with a Bryan Adams cut.

Rocket (Visualize video edit)

From the “Hysteria” album written by Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange and Savage.

It was actually Joe Elliot that came up the African drum loop.

When Love & Hate Collide

Written by Elliot and Savage. It was originally written for “Adrenalize” circa 1989, however it’s seen as the new song for this album. Elliot was going with a “Love Bites” part 2 vibe and they stopped recording the “Slang” album to get this song finished for the “Vault” album at the request of their label.

And the guys had to get re-acquainted with their past recording methods as their mindsets were on the future and the sounds/production of “Slang”.

The vocal melody also reminds of Peter Cetera and “Glory Of Love”.

Action

The love the band has for Sweet is evident on how well they covered this track for a B side, which also appeared on the “Retro Active” album.

It’s full of energy and you can hear the fun dripping from the speakers.

Make Love Like a Man

From “Adrenalize” and written by Clark, Collen, Elliott and Lange. It’s basically “Pour Some Sugar On Me” part 2.

Armageddon It

From “Hysteria” and written by Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange and Savage.

The guitar part was just power chords when the song was first demoed in 84, and then a few years later, Steve Clark started playing a T-Rex inspired riff over the power chord progressions, which inspired Joe Elliot vocally.

And that whole, “gimme all your loving” section was inspired by ZZ Top and the band were always going to change the words, so it didn’t have “gimme all your loving” but it sounded so good that Mutt Lange told em to leave it.

Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad?

From “Adrenalize” and written by Collen, Elliott and Lange. They had this and “When Love And Hate Collide” and decided to go with this for the album. The majority of the song was written by Collen and Lange with Elliot contributing lyrics.

Rock of Ages

From “Pyromania” and written by Clark, Elliott and Lange.

It was a Steve Clark riff and the original demo had a slower tempo.

Mutt Lange had the song musical structure mapped out. The verses came first but they still didn’t have a Chorus.

A hymn book in the Control Room left behind by a Choir group gave the song its title.

Hysteria

The title track and written by Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange and Savage.

But the main guitar part was from the fingers of Rick Savage. And Joe Elliot didn’t like it, because he thought it sounded too much like “Every Breath You Take” from The Police.

Bringin’ On the Heartbreak

From the “High ‘N’ Dry” album and written by Clark, Elliott and Willis. Still a live staple and one of their signature song. Check it out for the harmony guitars.

Initially it was a demo called “A Certain Heartache”. And when they started working with Mutt Lange, Lange had a tendency to rip songs apart and ask the guys to add new bits. But for this, it didn’t really happen as Lange approved.

5× Platinum in the U.S. Not bad for a Best off compilation. Ka-Ching.

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5 thoughts on “The Record Vault: Def Leppard – Vault: Def Leppard Greatest Hits (1980–1995)

  1. It is a nice GH package. I might have put in a few more older songs if I were in charge of track listing but I know the band were out to make a statement about who they were at the time so I get it.

  2. If you are a singles fan, this album is for you. A great collection of songs. I like the new one here as well as Lep can do a ballad. I still need this on vinyl. For some reason, I haven’t bought it yet. that will change.

  3. Was never big on these bands as they would release songs we already had yet would tease us with a new track or two. I drank the Kool aide more than a few times on this kid of trickery Pete. lol..
    With respect to Leppard my copy of this had a second disc recorded live on the 92 tour which was quite good. So Lepp gets a pass from me lol

  4. I’m glad I have this album because of “When Love and Hate Collide.” But, I kind of regret buying it there’s nothing from the debut album and only one track from ‘High ‘n’ Dry.’ But I guess it makes sense since those albums aren’t as big commercially as ‘Hysteria.’

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