[Album review] “Mirrorball” – Def Leppard

Album Title: Mirrorball: Live & More

Artist: Def Leppard

Year: 2011

Running Time: 1h 59m 17s

Track listing: [Disc 1] 1 Rock Rock Til 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’

Hard to believe that the Sheffield rockers have managed to make it over 30 years without releasing a live album.  But here it is, a two-disc collection of their greatest hits along with three new studio tracks (and a bonus live DVD featuring four live performances and two music videos) to give those completists a reason to buy.

The recordings are taken from various shows on their 2008/9 “Songs from the Sparkle Lounge Tour”.  This means that we get three tracks from that album, two of which are rather good (“Nine Lives’ and “C’mon C’mon”) with the only throwaway live recording on the entire record being the awful “Bad Actress”.

But the band don’t ignore their early days.  Five classics are included from 1983’s diamond-selling album “Pyromania” and – possibly the stand-out performance on the entire album – “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak” from 1981’s “High N’ Dry”.

Their world-domination period is almost without omission.  “Rocket” and “Animal” are out of the starting blocks early-on, both sounding as energised as they did almost a quarter of a century ago, with “Love Bites” and “Hysteria” providing some respite before the frenzied guitar licks of “Armageddon It” and “Pour Some Sugar On Me”.  Their nineties hits “Let’s Get Rocked” and “Makin’ Love Like a Man” – overshadowed at the time by grunge’s emergence – are concert mainstays, and both are great fun.

Considering that you’re getting 21 live tracks for $12 (exclusively at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club right now) the three new studio tracks can be considered a bonus.  And it’s probably a good thing.  While US radio chart #1 “Undefeated” is a nailed on late-era Def Lep rocker, “Kings of the World” and “It’s All About Believin'” are forgettable pop songs.

But whatever way you look at it this long-overdue live album is a must-buy for even the most casual fan.

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