Def Leppard – Mirrorball: Live & More (2011)

Def Leppard – Mirror Ball: Live & More (2011, Mailboat Records)

Disc 1

  1. Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)
  2. Rocket
  3. Animal
  4. C’Mon C’Mon
  5. Make Love Like A Man
  6. Too Late For Love
  7. Foolin’
  8. Nine Lives
  9. Love Bites
  10. Rock On

Disc 2

  1. Two Steps Behind
  2. Bringin’ On The Heartbreak
  3. Switch 625
  4. Hysteria
  5. Armageddon It
  6. Photograph
  7. Pour Some Sugar On Me
  8. Rock Of Ages
  9. Let’s Get Rocked
  10. Action *
  11. Bad Actress *
  12. Undefeated **
  13. Kings Of The World **
  14. It’s All About Believin’ **

* bonus live track
** new studio track

Disc 3 – DVD

– Behind the Scenes on the Sparkle Lounge Tour 2008-2009
– Live Performances: Rock! Rock! (‘Til You Drop), Armageddon It, Pour Some Sugar On Me, Hysteria
– Music Videos: Nine Lives, C’Mon C’Mon

Band Lineup:
Joe Elliott – Lead Vocals & Acoustic Guitar
Phil Collen – Guitars & Backing Vocals
Vivian Campbell – Guitars & Backing Vocals
Rick Savage – Bass & Backing Vocals
Rick Allen – Drums & Backing Vocals

Producers: Def Leppard & Ronan McHugh

Country: United Kingdom

Total Time (CD) = 2 hours
Total Time (DVD) = approx. 45 mins

Def Leppard

It’s hard to believe that Def Leppard has never released an official live album until now with MIRRORBALL, a full 31 years since the band’s 1980 debut ON THROUGH THE NIGHT. You would have figured that the band would have put out a live set between studio albums somewhere in their ’80s heyday or at least in the late ’90s/early 2000s because they have been a touring juggernaut since the band first burst on the NWOBHM scene. I’ve been lucky enough to catch the band a couple of times back in the ’80s and on various tours since the 1999 tour for EUPHORIA but the concert I saw in 2006 on the YEAH! Tour, the concert I saw in 2007 promoting YEAH! , and the show in 2009 for SONGS FROM THE SPARKLE LOUNGE (2008), are all represented on this live collection. If you take a look inside the nice booklet that is inside the old school multi-CD jewel case, you’ll notice that no specific cities or dates for the recordings are list, just the quote: “Recorded at various points around the world, in the not too distant past.” While I would have liked to know the specific tour dates, it’s a small ommission that can be overlooked because of the quality of the live album.

The Leps have followed the business model that Journey, KISS, Foreigner and AC/DC have forged by releasing MIRRORBALL exclusively in the U.S. through retail giant Wal-Mart…..that means a low price and more than a few extras. First, the actual set is 19 songs long on the CDs with two bonus live tracks added in with ‘Action’ and ‘Bad Actress’. In the last three times I’ve seen Def Leppard live since 2006 they’ve played 15, 16 and 17 songs respectively and the live show on this album is a perfect representation of what’s been played on the last few tours. I missed this summer’s tour for MIRRORBALL but the 16 song set they played at the Comcast Center in Massachusetts is pretty much the greatest hits pack you have here along with the David Essex cover ‘Rock On’ and opening with the new song ‘Undefeated’. Back to this album though…..it’s good to hear ‘C’Mon C’Mon’, ‘Nine Lives’ and ‘Bad Actress’ live as I was only given ‘Nine Lives’ in concert the times I’ve seen the band live. The rest is a hits collection culled mainly from the three blockbusters PYROMANIA (1983), HYSTERIA (1987) and ADRENALIZE (1992) with a couple tracks from HIGH ‘N DRY (1981) thrown in with the instrumental ‘Switch 625′ coming right after the obligatory power ballad ‘Bringin’ On The Heartbreak’. Would be nice to get another cut from HIGH “N DRY or maybe from the first record but I’m not complaining because Def Leppard has had huge success and there’s just so many songs you can fit into a concert. Personally, I would have cut out ‘Rock On’ and the bonus live track ‘Action’ (a cover orginally done by The Sweet) for a couple more Lep originals but that’s just me. As far as the sound goes, it’s perfect but did you expect anything less from Def Leppard? These guys have sounded great in concert everytime I’ve seen them since the ’80s and their studio album always have top quality production so MIRRORBALL has the same BIG sound that’s crystal clear. Vivian Campbell and Phil Collen are a seasoned guitar tandem and are as good as the classic team of Collen and Steve Clark and Rick Savage always keeps the rhythm in line on bass while Rick Allen continues to impress on drums. The wild card has always been Joe Elliot’s voice and he’s had some concerts I’ve witnessed where he wasn’t that great and some that he sounded like he was still in his 20s. On MIRRORBALL, Joe sounds pretty good although you can tell that age has become a factor and he doesn’t reach the high notes he used to, a surprisingly good vocal performance though.

There are three new studio songs added to this package which I always think is a good idea for the longtime fans but there has to be quality. The current tour opener is ‘Undefeated’ and it’s a heavy guitar track with a great drum intro that reminds me a little of the opening to Bon Jovi’s ‘Lay Your Hands On Me’. The song sounds like your current day Def Leppard song that could easily have fit on SPARKLE LOUNGE with it’s heavy sound and big harmonies, the only difference is that Joe’s voice sounds a little raspier and deeper. Like I said before, Joe Elliot is not 20 years old anymore and he knows what he’s able to accomplish as he gets older. Not a bad vocal though just slightly different and a little lower register than the usual. Good track though and the best one to play on the current tour. ‘Kings Of The World’ is Def Leps ode to Queen with it’s bombast, piano, harmonies and Brian May guitar tone. Rick Savage wrote this song and he had to be going through his Queen records but, then again, the band has always cited Queen as an influence and they are friends. ‘Kings Of The World’ is good but it’s not really what you would expect from Def Leppard. ‘It’s All About Believin’ sounds like a track from the EUPHORIA sessions, very upbeat and HYSTERIA sounding and it actually has some parts that sound like ‘Animal’. Of the three, I’d rate this as my favorite because this is the Lep sound and I was a huge EUPHORIA fan, I wouldn’t mind hearing this live either.

As far as the bonus DVD goes, it’s a nice extra but really only a one time view for me. Some of the footage I’ve seen before and some I haven’t, the backstage footage is always fun to see. It’s nice to get the ‘Nine Lives’ and ‘C’Mon C’Mon’ videos and I enjoyed the live songs but I would have enjoyed more full live performances instead of just four. If you compare this package to KISS’ or Foreigner’s the difference is full concerts on those bands’ Wal-Mart releases, same thing with Whitesnake’s LIVE AT DONNINGTON 1990 on Frontiers Records (a double disc live with DVD). It’s a small criticism because I have hope that the band will release an official live DVD but they really didn’t have to add this in to the live album so it’s a good bonus to have.

Bottom Line:
A solid live set from Def Leppard full of hits and sounding great, a lot better than I expected. The production is great and the band sounds as tight as they were when I saw them in concert over the last few years. The surprise is how well Joe Elliot sounds, I expected that he’d sound a little rougher on a live recording but he sounds pretty good, maybe a little studio overdub? Hopefully not, I hate knowing a live album is studio enhanced but I can say that Joe sounds much like he did over the last few tours. Adding three new original songs is always a good deal and they are all good, the DVD is run of the mill for me but a cool bonus nonetheless. For the $10 price, this is a nice album to pick up.

Best Songs:
The live songs are all great sounding but I have to pick ‘Animal’, ‘Foolin’, ‘Make Love Like A Man’ and ‘Nine Lives’ as my favorites. Of the three new tracks, I’d rate ‘It’s All About Believin’ as my favorite, ‘Undefeated’ second and the Queen tribute,’Kings Of The World’, last.

Press Release: UFO – The Chrysalis Years (1973-1979) box set to be released 9/13/11 on Capitol/EMI

From Capitol/EMI Records:

UFO – THE CHRYSALIS YEARS (1973-1979) TO BE RELEASED SEPTEMBER 13, 2011 BY CAPITOL/ EMI

5CD and Digital Collection Includes Five Studio Albums, Plus a Previously Unreleased Concert Recording, BBC Radio Sessions, Singles, B-sides, and Rare Remixes

On September 13, Capitol/EMI will release an expansive 5CD and digital collection spanning UFO’s Chrysalis Records tenure.  Across 81 tracks, UFO’s The Chrysalis Years (1973-1979) collects all of the songs the band recorded for Chrysalis during the 1970s.

UFO’s musical odyssey started in 1969, when singer Phil Mogg was joined by drummer Andy Parker and bassist Pete Way. This trio would become the backbone of the band for the next 13 years, and mainstays for much of UFO’s forty-plus year career.

The Chrysalis Years (1973-1979) chronologically charts UFO’s career, from the obscure 1973 German singleGive Her The Gun” to 1979’s hit single version of “Doctor Doctor,” backed with its live B-side, “On With The Action” (available on CD for the first time). Collecting all five studio albums to feature wunderkind guitar virtuoso Michael Schenker, who was only 18 when he originally joined the band for 1974’s Phenomenon, this anthology also includes, in their entirety, Force It (1975), No Heavy Petting (1976), Lights Out (1977) and Obsession (1978).  In addition to BBC Radio sessions recorded for Bob Harris and John Peel, single edits and rare remixes, this collection boasts a previously unreleased 45-minute concert recording from UFO’s first U.S. tour.

Recorded in 1974 at Atlanta’s Electric Ballroom, the multi-tracks for this concert were recently discovered in the Chrysalis vaults, and have been given a brand new mix at Abbey Road Studios. Featuring rare live outings of “Give Her The Gun,” the pre-Chrysalis song “Prince Kujuku,” and most interestingly, UFO’s eight-minute interpretation of John Lennon’s “Cold Turkey,” this gig offers unique insight into the early days of this important and influential British rock institution. Completed by the U.K. Top 10 breakthrough double live album, Strangers In the Night, recorded on Michael Schenker’s “farewell” tour, the package also includes liner notes based on a recent interview with UFO vocalist, Phil Mogg.

 UFO: The Chrysalis Years (1973-1979)

DISC ONE

1. Give Her The Gun (Single A-Side)
2. Sweet Little Thing (Single B-Side)

Phenomenon 
3. Oh My
4. Crystal Light
5. Doctor Doctor
6. Space Child
7. Rock Bottom
8. Too Young To Know
9. Time On My Hands
10. Built For Comfort
11. Lipstick Traces
12. Queen Of The Deep
Bonus Track
13. Doctor Doctor (Single Edit)*

Bob Harris session (28th October 1974)
14. Rock Bottom
15. Time On My Hands
16. Give Her The Gun

DISC TWO

Electric Ballroom, Atlanta, GA 5th November 1974** 
(Previously Unreleased)
1. Oh My
2. Doctor Doctor
3. Built For Comfort
4. Give Her The Gun
5. Cold Turkey
6. Space Child
7. Rock Bottom
8. Prince Kujuku

Force It (Side One)
9. Let It Roll
10. Shoot Shoot
11. High Flyer (4:09)
12. Love Lost Love (3:22)
13. Out In The Street

DISC THREE

Force It (Side Two)
1. Mother Mary
2. Too Much Of Nothing
3. Dance Your Life Away
4. This Kid’s (Including ‘Between The Walls’)

No Heavy Petting
5. Natural Thing
6. I’m A Loser
7. Can You Roll Her
8. Belladonna
9. Reasons Love
10. Highway Lady
11. On With The Action
12. A Fool In Love
13. Martian Landscape

Lights Out (Side One)
14. Too Hot To Handle
15. Just Another Suicide
16. Try Me
17. Lights Out

DISC FOUR

Lights Out (Side Two)
1. Gettin’ Ready
2. Alone Again Or
3. Electric Phase
4. Love To Love
Lights Out Bonus Track
5. Try Me (Single Remix)*

John Peel session (27th June 1977)
6. Too Hot To Handle
7. Lights Out
8. Try Me

Obsession
9. Only You Can Rock Me
10. Pack It Up (And Go)
11. Arbory Hill
12. Ain’t No Baby
13. Lookin’ Out For No 1
14. Hot ‘N’ Ready
15. Cherry
16. You Don’t Fool Me
17. Lookin’ Out For No 1 (Reprise)
18. One More For The Rodeo
19. Born To Lose
Bonus Track
20. Only You Can Rock Me (Single Version)*

DISC FIVE

Strangers In The Night
1. Natural Thing
2. Out In The Street
3. Only You Can Rock Me
4. Doctor Doctor
5. Mother Mary
6. This Kid’s
7. Love To Love
8. Lights Out
9. Rock Bottom
10. Too Hot To Handle
11. I’m A Loser
12. Let It Roll
13. Shoot Shoot
Strangers In The Night Bonus Tracks
14. Doctor Doctor (Live Single Edit)
15. On With The Action (Live Single B-Side)*

*Available on CD for the first time
**Previously unreleased