I don't know exactly who started the trend, but this whole 'play the entire classic album' thing has really caught on. I think it's cool. Who wouldn't want to see Metallica play all of 'Master Of Puppets' or 'Metallica'? Or Morbid Angel the entire 'Covenant' opus? Or, indeed, one of the planet's biggest
hard rock bands, Def Leppard, do their 1987 effort 'Hysteria' from one end to the other, and then top it with a bunch of their other seminal work?
Well, the good news for Def Leppard fans is that that's exactly what happened when the tape and cameras were rolling in Las Vegas earlier this year. The package is out now as a double CD and DVD/Blu Ray. I can't tell what the DVD is like, but the soundtrack certainly works for me. For a guy like me who never managed to see Def Leppard live, this is an alright substitute until I finally succeed in crossing ways with these giants of 80s
I mean, I don't know if that ever were the case, but Joe Elliot can't really hit all notes perfectly as it was the case on the album. It doesn't really matter to me, honestly. With a band like Def Leppard, or more specifically an album like 'Hysteria', it's just as much about the memories as it is about the perfect pitch. This is about an album which didn't contain any fillers (unlike most of the other Def Leppard albums - especially everything after 'Hysteria'), this about a work of music which was accepted by a lot of people around me and my friends when we were otherwise alone with the music we liked, it was something which opened the eyes of others to the world we were in - something Metallica would do even more three or four years later with the black album. Along with D.A.D., Guns'n'Roses, Joan Jett and Deep Purple, Pour Some Sugar On Me was one of the few harder songs we could convince the local DJ's to play at the small disco in the small town we lived in. That's how the local rednecks got introduced to live headbanging! Oh, those were the days!
The two dics offer more than 'just' the 'Hysteria' material, of course. I would've have been happy with just the first disc, but it's actually not such a bad thing to be reminded that Def Leppard also have made other listenworthy tunes throughout their 35-year career, even if e.g. the title track from the 'Slang' album is merely an appendix. It matters not; I kind of envy those you had the opportunity to be there in Las Vegas and experience the full load of 'Hysteria' anno 2013. Nice one.