Def Leppard – Mirror Ball: Live & More (2011, Mailboat Records)
1. “Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)”
4. “C’Mon C’Mon”
5. “Make Love Like A Man”
6. “Too Late For Love”
8. “Nine Lives”
9. “Love Bites”
10. “Rock On”
1. “Two Steps Behind”
2. “Bringin’ On The Heartbreak”
3. “Switch 625”
5. “Armageddon It”
7. “Pour Some Sugar On Me”
8. “Rock Of Ages”
9. “Let’s Get Rocked”
11. “Bad Actress”
13. “King Of The World”
14. “It’s All About Believin'”
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”
Joe Elliott – Lead Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Phil Collen – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Vivian Campbell – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Rick “Sav” Savage – Bass, Backing Vocals
Rick Allen – Drums, Backing Vocals
Produced by: Def Leppard & Ronan McHugh
Wal-Mart nabs yet another exclusive North American release from yet another band that has fallen into the classic rock category but this time it’s a live album (and more!). It’s a proven method for success these days as the album debuted at #16 on the Billboard charts in the U.S. with approximately 20,000 copies sold.
The live tracks were all recorded somewhere out there over the rainbow (it’s never specified exactly when and where in the liner notes) during the Sparkle Lounge tour that ran from 2008-2009. As someone who saw that tour and most recently caught them on tour in support of this album I can safely that Mirrorball is a good representation of what the band sounds like live. Obviously there is polish and trickery in the studio that cannot be replicated live (certainly true when it comes to a band like Def Leppard). As most “live” albums go, there is a little tinkering done not-so-live but this is still a faithful representation that plays out like a live greatest hits.
Which is basically what Def Leppard has been doing for a number of years now — a greatest hits set list, which is fine, but after awhile you wanna see them throwin some fan faves that they haven’t played in a number of years. The most recent album Def Leppard is playing live from in 2011 (other than “Undefeated” from this album) is 1993’s Retro Active! They’ve released 5 albums since then but all are being ignored… that’s a bone to pick for another time. Live versions of “Action” and “Bad Actress” are tacked on near the end of the album, supposedly they are “bonus” tracks. I guess maybe the Frontiers edition doesn’t have these songs?
Although I would’ve picked this album up regardless, the real bait for me was the three new studio tracks:
- “Undefeated” is a classic Leppard. The first few times I heard the leaked form on YouTube, I liked it but wasn’t really impressed (Joe’s voice seemed pretty weak). Since then, the song has grown on me in a big way. I’ve got it on my iPod for when I run and it’s a great choice to open the shows on the current tour. Sounds even better live. Classic Rock magazine said it was “as good as anything they’ve written in the last 30 years”. I wouldn’t go that far but it is a very strong number that is definitely as good as anything from the past 15 years or so.
- “Kings of the World” sounds like a track that didn’t make it onto Sparkle Lounge. Total Queen-worship here which the band doesn’t deny at all. Lyrically, it is very similar to Queen’s “Princes of the Universe” from A Kind of Magic. Slow song but good.
- “All About Believin'” wraps up the audio portion of Mirrorball and sounds like it could’ve come from Euphoria. Another good song.