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Def Leppard Work It Out with Expanded Edition of “Slang”

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Def Leppard SlangDef Leppard went in a bold new direction for the release of their sixth album Slang in 1996. Now, nearly 20 years later, they’re dusting it off as a long-promised deluxe edition.

Slang came at the end of a very successful period for the British rockers. Over the past decade, the band and producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange created a host of arena-shaking, MTV-ready pop/rock albums, including Pyromania (1983), Hysteria (1987) and Adrenalize (1992) (the latter produced by the band and Mike Shipley and executive produced by Lange). Thirteen Top 10 singles were taken from those albums in the U.S., and many were released on the band’s multiplatinum compilation Vault: Def Leppard Greatest Hits, in 1995.

After a period of personal trials, including divorce, death and illness, the members of the band – vocalist Joe Elliott, guitarists Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell (who’d joined the band after the death of Steve Clark, who succumbed to substance abuse early in the recording of Adrenalize), bassist Rick Savage and drummer Rick Allen – convened in Spain without Lange to record a much more organic, introspective album than its predecessors. (Part of the key to this new formula was a new, acoustic drum kit taken up by Rick Allen, whose iconic drum effects crystallized the band’s early sound.)

The result? An album that, unfortunately, was the beginning of the end of Def Leppard’s commercial hot streak. It was their first album not to go platinum in the U.S., missed the Billboard Top 10 and had few hit singles in any territory (the title track was the highest-charting from the album, managing only No. 17 in the U.K.; in America, none of the songs charted on the Hot 100, though “Work It Out” was a Top 10 Mainstream Rock single). But the band remains partial to the album, issuing outtakes from the Slang sessions as B-sides to the band’s next album, Euphoria, in 1999.

And, as this new reissue on the band’s own Bludgeon Riffola label indicates, there was much experimentation during the album sessions. This two-disc set includes the original album, five previously-released bonus tracks and a disc of 14 unreleased demos, alternate mixes and outtakes.

Slang: Deluxe Edition will be available on three different formats: a double-disc CD edition, a 180-gram double-vinyl set featuring the original album and seven of the 19 bonus tracks included on the CD and a digital edition which will feature “its own set of exclusive songs” (as yet undetermined). A digital Slang Video Collection will feature the original promo videos for “Slang,” “Work It Out” and “All I Ever Wanted.” Everything is available February 11; full bonus track specs and Amazon links are after the jump!

Slang: Deluxe Edition (Bludgeon Riffola, 2014)

Amazon U.S.: 2CD / 2LP
Amazon U.K.: 2CD / 2LP

Disc 1: Original LP (released as Mercury 314 532 486-2, 1996) and B-sides *

  1. Truth?
  2. Turn to Dust
  3. Slang
  4. All I Want is Everything
  5. Work It Out
  6. Breathe a Sigh
  7. Deliver Me
  8. Gift of Flesh
  9. Blood Runs Cold
  10. Where Does Love Go When It Dies
  11. Pearl of Euphoria
  12. Move with Me Slowly (Japanese bonus track – Mercury PHCR-1440, 1996)
  13. Truth? (Original Version) (from “Work It Out” CD single – Mercury 578 271-2 (U.K.), 1996)
  14. Burnout (from “Goodbye” CD single – Mercury 562 289-2 (U.K.), 1999)
  15. Worlds Collide (from “Promises” CD single – Mercury 562 137-2 (U.K.), 1999)
  16. Can’t Keep Away from the Flame (from “Slang” CD single – Mercury 852 967-2 (U.K.), 1996)

Disc 2: Bonus material (previously unreleased)

  1. Turn to Dust (1st Draft)
  2. Raise Your Love
  3. All I Want Is Everything (1st Draft)
  4. Work It Out (1st Draft)
  5. Breathe a Sigh (Rough Mix)
  6. Deliver Me (Rough Mix)
  7. Black Train *
  8. Blood Runs Cold (Rough Mix)
  9. Where Does Love Go When It Dies (1st Draft)
  10. Pearl of Euphoria (Rough Mix)
  11. All on Your Touch (2012 Revisit) *
  12. Anger Me (Deliver Me – 1st Draft)
  13. Move On Up (Viv Demo)
  14. Gift of Flesh (Phil Vocal)

* will be included on 180-gram double vinyl edition

Written by Mike Duquette

January 23, 2014 at 12:50

Posted in Def Leppard, News, Reissues

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