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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Great for casual listeners, not so much for the die-hards...
, July 7, 2004
Vault is Def Leppard's first greatest hits/best of collection. It was released in 1995, and covers the time period of 1981-1995.
In the late seventies and early eighties, Def Leppard was one of the top bands in the NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal.) As the decade progressed, the band shifted toward a sort of pop-metal sound, but managed to keep their audience. As the band entered the nineties, they began to change their sound once again. At the record company's recommendation, the group released a greatest hits package. So, how exactly is this greatest hits collection the band released? If you want to see, keep reading.
Album: On Through The Night (1980)
Tracks featured here: None
Comments: There are NO tracks from On Through The Night - which is unforgivable. Although this album is drastically different from the band's later works, it is my favorite album they released. This means the cover lies - as it distinctly says that the set covers 1980. The omissions of masterpieces like Sorrow Is A Woman and the Overture is the ultimate sin! But what's really unforgivable is the lack of Hello America, a fairly popular song from the album, and the lack of Wasted, the band's first true single. Why?
Album: High 'N' Dry (1981)
Tracks featured here: Bringin' On The Heartbreak (EDIT)
Comments: The lone song from this album featured here is one of the band's finest compositions, but this is an edited version that fades out early and doesn't go into the Switch 625 instrumental. I'm also deeply disappointed that this was the ONLY track they chose from this album. Where are Lady Strange, Let It Go, and the title track? One of the things I hate most about this set is the lack of emphasis on the first two albums, and you can already see why.
Album: Pyromania (1983)
Tracks featured here: Rock Of Ages, Photograph, Foolin,
Comments: As I suspected, the big hits from this album were put on the album. Too bad they forgot one - Too Late For Love. Also, they didn't bother to put any of this album's underrated masterpieces on here, including Comin' Under Fire, Die Hard The Hunter, and Billy's Got A Gun. For shame.
Album: Hysteria (1987)
Tracks featured here: Rocket (EDIT), Animal, Armageddon It, Hysteria, Love Bites, Pour Some Sugar On Me (EDIT)
Comments: The band really went overboard with the Hysteria material - THIS IS HALF OF THE ENTIRE HYSTERIA ALBUM! And yet, the band managed to forget Women, the other of the seven hit singles. And like with the previous album, the band didn't do any underrated masterpieces. Where's Gods Of War, my favorite song from the album? Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that Rocket is an edited version! Pour Some Sugar On Me is an edited version as well, but it's the VIDEO edit, which is actually a longer and better version of the song, so its being edited is a GOOD thing. Hysteria is a good album, but this many songs is overkill.
Album: Adrenalize (1992)
Tracks featured here: Let's Get Rocked, Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad
Comments: Adrenalize was never too popular, so I'm not surprised to see its limited emphasis here. Let's Get Rocked was an excellent song choice, but I could care less for the other selection. Heaven Is and Make Love Like A Man (BOTH of which are on the UK edition of Vault) would have been better choices.
Album: Retro Active (1993)
Tracks featured here: Two Steps Behind (Acoustic Version), Miss You In A Heartbeat (Acoustic Version)
Comments: These are two pretty good acoustic songs, BUT THE ELECTRIC VERSIONS ARE WAY BETTER. Likewise, how could they omit the cover of Sweet's Action? The omissions of Desert Song and I Wanna Be Your Hero are also disappointing. Oh, well.
Album: [Other, non-album tracks]
Tracks featured here: When Love And Hate Collide
Comments: The band includes a new composition on this set. Sadly though, this new recording is really nothing special. Still, it' good to have it here as an extra feature.
Overall, my final views of this compilation are quite simple - it falls flat in many areas. I strongly recommend that the Pyromania and Hysteria albums be your first Def Leppard purchase. However, if you're a casual fan and NOTHING MORE (and you never plan to be), Vault makes for a pretty good listening experience. Just don't expect the compilation to give you the whole story - it doesn't.