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Def Leppard - 'Mirrorball - Live and More' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/1f/a2/fc/1340_Picture4_1307720146.png Hot

Added by James Gaden     June 10, 2011    
 
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Live album with three new studio tracks from the Sheffield legends.

t’s always seemed odd that a band of such major standing and with a good live reputation like Def Leppard had never released a live album, despite there being a few videos/DVDs available. Featuring just about all of their big hits, ‘Mirrorball – Live And More’ puts that right and manages to dispel the rumour that the live double album is a thing of the past.

With a crystal clear and powerful sound, augmented by a crowd that sounds like they’ve come straight from Cheap Trick’s ‘Live At Budokan’ album (even though they’re quiet during the songs), the album has been recorded at several different venues on different tours but has been skilfully put together to sound like it was all the same show. Of the twenty-one live tracks well over half were huge hits for the band and almost all are played faithfully with little or no messing about with the arrangement. The likes of ‘Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)’, ‘Rocket’, ‘Animal’, ‘Hysteria’, ‘Armageddon It’ etc. are played with a lot of energy and great care has to taken to avoid them sounding sterile, but elsewhere the band have mixed things up a little. ‘Two Steps Behind’ and ‘Bringin’ On The Heartbreak’ are played acoustically and ‘Switch 625’ has a short Rick Allen drum solo, whilst the first disc ends curiously with their cover of the David Essex hit ‘Rock On’ and the live portion of the second with The Sweet’s ‘Action’ and ‘Bad Actress’, an OK song but certainly not a set closer, even if it is a virtual set. It’s only when you sit down and listen to this that you realise just how good Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell are, even though the latter is only showing a fraction of what he can do. Joe Elliott sounds good here too and each song has a certain something that just makes you smile with the familiarity of it all.

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As you’ve no doubt heard by now, the band wanted us to hear some of the stuff they’ve been writing for the new album. The three new tracks tagged on the end are completely different from each other, but each has a lot going for it, particularly the excellent ‘Undefeated’ with its big beat, insistent riff, catchy chorus and simply gorgeous bridge. ‘Kings Of The World’ is an early Queen type song that pays homage to Bohemian Rhapsody with its similar piano motif and sense of dynamics, and ‘It’s All About Believing’ is just a great pop-rock song with infectious vocal melodies and well-crafted guitar parts. As if that isn’t enough, you also get a fifty minute DVD with some live performances and backstage footage, although it wasn’t in the promo package so I can’t tell you if it’s any good, but on the evidence of the rest of this release, it probably is.

Phil Ashcroft

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