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Def Leppard ‘Mirror Ball – Live & More’ (Album Review)

Monday, 04 July 2011 Written by Rob Sleigh
Def Leppard ‘Mirror Ball – Live & More’ (Album Review)

Fresh from their recent headlining performance at this year’s Download Festival, Sheffield rockers Def Leppard are back with their newest offering ‘Mirror Ball’. It may come as a surprise to many that, after more than 30 years, nine albums, countless world tours and hit singles, this is the band’s first-ever live album. Recorded at various dates following the 2008 release of their ninth album ‘Songs from the Sparkle Lounge’, ‘Mirror Ball’ features live versions of 21 tracks from Def Leppard’s 30-year back catalogue. Diehard Leppard fans will be pleased to hear that, not only are they getting a fantastic live double-album for their money, but also three brand-new studio tracks, ‘Undefeated’, ‘Kings of the World’ and ‘It’s All About Believing’. Newer additions to the Def Leppard fanbase, on the other hand, should find that this doubles as an ideal ‘best of’ compilation, encompassing the majority of the band’s biggest hits from the ‘80s and ‘90s, as well as a smaller selection of their more recent material.

ImageIf a proper rock album is all you were hoping for then look no further, ‘Mirror Ball’ seems to have it all – ‘Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)’, ‘Rocket’, ‘Rock On’, ‘Rock of Ages’ and ‘Let’s Get Rocked’. Enough rock for you? Good. Of the album’s 100 minutes of live recordings, very little of ‘Mirror Ball’ contains much in way of onstage banter, with the exception of the odd “How you doing?” or “Put your hands up in the air”. While this may not fully capture the genuine nature of a Def Leppard live show, it instead leaves the listener with a well-recorded and well-performed double-album of fairly spontaneous, if somewhat rehearsed, rock music. So, unless you utterly despise everything about Def Leppard and their occasionally cheesy blend of pop and metal, there is very little not to like about ‘Mirror Ball’.

With ‘80s rock classics like ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’, ‘Animal’ and ‘Love Bites’ all included here, there’s everything for both old school Def Leppard fans and anyone hoping to find out more after catching the band at Download. The old favourites all sound as good as ever, with a few additional solos thrown in for good measure. Whatever your opinion of Def Leppard, there’s no doing that they were once one of our greatest homegrown rock acts and ‘Mirror Ball’ is as good a summary of the band’s work as you could hope for.

Stereoboard Rating: 7/10

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