Def Leppard have announced a career-spanning box set series, with the first of four packages to be launched on June 1. Volume One contains the British band’s first four studio albums — On Through the Night (1980), High ’n’ Dry(1981), Pyromania (1983) and Hysteria (1987) — to be presented in eight-LP and seven-CD editions.
Also included are early recordings, B-sides and the concert album Live at the LA Forum 1983, which was previously available only in a deluxe version of Pyromania.
The set is presented in a brand new sleeve, complete with a hardback book, a replica of the band’s self-titled 1979 EP and written introductions by singer Joe Elliott – who curated the collection – guitarist Phil Collen, bassist Rick Savage and drummer Rick Allen.
“Volume One is an extraordinary early chronicle of a band whose global impact only continues to grow,” says a press release announcing the series. “Def Leppard have a cumulative sales tally of over 100 million albums worldwide, not to mention putting on consistently sold-out world tours. Def Leppard recently authorized their entire recorded catalog for access on streaming and download platforms, a move that resulted in a nearly 400 percent surge in catalog sales on the first day alone, as well as appearances in the iTunes Top 10 charts in over 30 countries worldwide.”
Looking back on the first box set, which contains everything the band recorded in the ‘80s, Elliott said, “The way we did our harmonies was based on the multitracking abilities of a band like Queen, but we took what they did to the next level. Queen maybe tripled or quadrupled their backing vocals – but we did it like 20 times! We wanted it to sound like the quality of Queen but have the size of Slade. The way we did it gave us a unique sound. And that’s the whole point of an album, really – capturing a band’s unique dynamics.”
“The American bands had beautiful vocals, with all those wonderful harmonies,” Collen added. “But we added a bit of a punk ethos in there with ours, where it became a bit more charming and anthemic with screaming and shouting. And that was a very British thing, I think, that made us different from a lot of the American bands.”
Def Leppard’s Volume One is now available for pre-order on vinyl and CD; details on the next three sets will be revealed later. The band tours the U.S. with Journey this summer.