Welcome to the first installment of Compilation Imagination, where I put together a “greatest hits”/”best of” fantasy compilation track list for a specific artist or group.
Def Leppard seems to be one of the few major bands left that hasn’t completely run the “greatest hits” idea into the ground. Their first greatest hits compilation (we won’t count RetroActive), Vault: Def Leppard Greatest Hits (1980-1995) was released in 1995 and it wasn’t until 2004 when another hits compilation came around. This time it was a double-disc UK-exclusive simply titled Best of Def Leppard. Seven months later in 2005, the North American market got its own double-disc compilation titled Rock of Ages: The Definitive Collection. Obviously, all three of these collection focused on the band’s entire career up to those points.
However, if you didn’t have the likes of High ‘n’ Dry, Pyromania, and Hysteria to fall back on… if you picked up where Vault left off, what would Def Leppard compilation album look like? Well, I think it would look something like this:
Def Leppard – Vault, Volume 2: 1996 – 2015
2017, Mercury Records/Bludgeon Riffola
- Let’s Go [from Def Leppard]
- C’mon C’mon [from Songs from the Sparkle Lounge]
- Promises [from Euphoria]
- 20th Century Boy [from Yeah!]
- Undefeated [from Mirrorball: Live & More]
- Slang [from Slang]
- Goodbye [from Euphoria]
- Nine Lives [from Songs from the Sparkle Lounge]
- Work It Out [from Slang]
- Paper Sun [from Euphoria]
- Go [from Songs from the Sparkle Lounge]
- Now [from X]
- Hanging on the Telephone [from Yeah!]
- Dangerous [from Def Leppard]
- Kings of the World [from Mirrorball: Live & More]
Although the second half of the band’s career has been spotty, they’ve still been able to deliver classic songs on nearly every album they’ve released since 1996. I’m still not all that familiar with Slang (in fact, I’ve yet to review it on this blog), but the inclusion of the title track and the excellent “Work It Out” seemed mandatory. The rest of this compilation is generally Def Leppard sounding like Def Leppard, plus two of the finest track from their Yeah! album of cover songs. X is only represented by one song because, well… the near-entirety of X is basically a middle-age Def Leppard trying to sound like a boy band.
If Def Leppard really was to ever release an official Vault, Volume 2, I think they’d have more than enough quality material to focus on without having to consider revisiting any works from the first half of their career.