Def Leppard - The Story So Far

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Despite still being very much active both in the studio and on stage, Def Leppard have recently been guilty of plumbing the depths of their back catalogue a little too much. Deluxe edition re-releases of old albums were followed by a big push of all of their material on digital platforms, and now a career fourth greatest hits compilation alongside a boxed set of single reproductions. There are some songs which have therefore been re-published in one form or another as many as five times in the last three years, really stretching the goodwill of even the most dedicated fans, and far surpassing the excuse that it re-introduces their music to the younger generation (who could very easily have bought the existing releases, which are not out of print). The market for this new hits collection is perhaps somewhat limited, then. And as ever with releases like this, it's very hard to get all the track selections right. As an overall approach, The Story So Far goes the same way as the previous one, Rock of Ages, released in 2005, which is to say the first disc is all the obvious hits (basically just a reprint of Vault from 1995), and the second is rarer or newer songs. What this leads to in most listeners' eyes is a far superior first disc. However, the second disc in Rock of Ages was far better received than the second disc here will be, because it was predominantly made up of the non-single fan favourites from the first three albums, plus the obvious songs from later albums. On The Story So Far there are barely any old songs at all, with a much greater emphasis placed on more recent material. While the best songs have been chosen from 2015's self-titled album, a lot of the rest is significantly weaker than the missing older tracks, particularly the implausibly absent Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop), Women, Wasted, or even 1999's Paper Sun. Most fans (prospective or current) interested in this release are likely to find the same imbalance, the disc 1s everywhere will get significantly more plays than disc 2s.

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2018, Albums, Compilation Albums, Hard/Heavy Rock, Quickplay Reviews,

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