Def Leppard
Viva! Hysteria!

1. Women
2. Rocket
3. Animal
4. Love Bites
5. Pour Some Sugar on Me
6. Armageddon It
7. Gods of War
8. Don't Shoot Shotgun
9. Run Riot
10. Hysteria
11. Excitable
12. Love and Affection
13. Rock of Ages
14. Photograph
Ded Flatbird - night 1
1. Good Morning Freedom
2. Wasted
3. Stagefright
4. Mirror Mirror (Look Into My Eyes)
5. Action
6. Rock Brigade
7. Undefeated
8. Promises
Ded Flatbird - night 2
9. On Through The Night
10. Slang
11. Let It Go
12. Another Hit And Run
13. High 'n' Dry (Saturday Night)
14. Bringin' On The Heartbreak
15. Switch 625.
DVD bonus content:
1. Acoustic medley (Where does love go when it dies/Now/When Love & Hate Collide/Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad/Two Steps Behind)
2. Photo montage

Rick Savage (bass, backing vocals)
Joe Elliott (lead vocals)
Rick Allen (drums, percussion)
Phil Collen (guitar, backing vocals)
Vivian Campbell (guitar, backing vocals)

On Through the Night (1980)
High 'n' Dry (1981)
Pyromania (1983)
Hysteria (1987)
Adrenalize (1992)
Retro Active (1993)
Vault (1995)
Slang (1996)
Euphoria (1999)
X (2002)
Songs from the Sparkle Lounge (2008)
Mirrorball - Live & More (Live 2011)



Released 2013-10-19
Reviewed 2013-10-18


So, here we go again. A live album from Def Leppard. It feels somehow ... wrong. After having spent 30 years as a band without a single live album, Def Leppard ended up on Italian Frontiers Records a couple of years ago and immediately we saw their first live album. Two years later, it's a painful deja-vu that hits us. Without a studio album in between, this Def Leppards second live album in a row and just like all the other dinosaurs that has ended up on Frontiers Records, we can conclude that Def Leppard has sold their soul to the "quantity is more important than quality" -devil called Serafino Perugino - the creator of Frontiers Records.

Many bands have gone the same way as Def Leppard once they've signed with Frontiers. Compilations, live albums and re-releases seems to be the most common albums to release by the established acts once they've switched to Frontier and it's a bit sad to see another live release by Def Leppard instead of a new studio album. But once the instant disappointment has cooled down a bit I don't think 'Viva! Hysteria!' is a bad album - it's a very good one, but it's still sad that it should be like this every time a big band signs with Frontiers. Anyhow, lets get to the point ...

The title kind of says it all, 'Viva! Hysteria!' is a live version of the classic album 'Hysteria' from 1987, but there are also 17 tracks that doesn't come from 'Hysteria'. This means 29 songs and almost 2 1/2 hours of Def Leppard live on 'Viva! Hysteria!'. The album has been divided in to a 'Hysteria' part on disc one plus two songs (which they did as an encore at the gig they recorded) followed by fifteen songs from other albums on the second. If you choose the DVD release it's divided the same way, but then you don't need to change the discs of course. Those of you who already have 'Mirror Ball - Live & More' from 2011 may think that you get lots of duplicates when it comes another live album like this close to the last one because - let's be honest - how much will their set-list change in this time? But the fact is that 17 songs on this album wasn't on 'Mirrorball' and of the 12 that were we get to hear one live for the first time as it was one of the three new studio recorded songs that were included on 'Mirrorball'.

The reason why we don't get more duplicates is because the on the second disc loaded with songs that are a bit more unusual for this band. Somewhat older material and B-sides as well as the occasional big hit they missed the 'Mirrorball'. This raises, of course, the value of 'Viva! Hysteria!' considerably since we now have 39 different live tracks on two different live albums despite it's 53 songs on them. The playing time is another thing worth commenting, it was two hours on the last one, this time its another twenty-three minutes and also five more tracks. However, many of the band's big hits isn't 'on 'Viva! Hysteria!' so you might think the album lacks quality but that's not the case. This band has material enough to go around with and the songs are mostly good despite the missing pieces. Three tracks comes from the band's first album, seven from 'High' N 'Dry', three from 'Pyromania', whilst 'Retro Active', 'Slang' and 'Euphoria' each have a song. And of course the complete 'Hysteria' album and a new song from the last live album.

Okay, surprises: Wasted - what a live song! I didn't remember it was this good. Good Morning Freedom, a B track on the Hello America-single (which came out of 'On Through The Night') - where did this come from? Seven songs from 'High' N 'Dry' - that's more than half of that album! One of the eleven live songs on both this and last live album is a cover (Sweets Action that Def Leppard made bigger than the original).

What's missing then? Of course one can argue that many of the eleven live tracks that was on 'Mirrorball' but not this one is missing, but I don't think so because we got those tracks then, we don't need them again! Don't need them… don't need… don't nee… It doesn't matter that eleven of this band's classic hits are missing, after all 17 of these 29 songs are also singles (seven of them from the main album 'Hysteria') but if it shows then it's on the second disc where nearly half of the tracks wasn't singles. The second disc is slightly shorter than the first but still feels a bit harder to play through but to be honest there might be a reason why I think so. One reason might be that most of the time I listened to the second disc after playing the first so I had already heard nearly 75 minutes of Def Leppard when I came to that. However, I also believe it's because most of the songs that doesn't appeal me are there. With that said, I wouldn't say there are any songs that stands out as particularly bad. The entire album is consistently uplifting with songs you recognize or can nod along with, even if you aren't too familiar with Def Leppard (let's be honest - this band is one of the biggest bands of all time but the success remained very much to the United States and even though they have both album and single hits in the rest of the world they had in comparison pretty small success in Europe).

So, what have we come up with by now? Well, a hell of a lot of numbers and statistics but not very much about how it really sounds ... so how does it sound? Overall I'd say 'Viva! Hysteria!' is a better album than 'Mirrorball' even though some punch is missing when they haven't included Let's Get Rocked When Love & Hate Collide , Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad and a few others, but many of these are included as a DVD bonus in acoustic version. On the other hand, we do have Pour Some Sugar On Me, Animal, Armageddon It and Love Bites on this album and they are, after all, four of the biggest singles that the band has done. And the best ! I also think that the low-level is very high, even though it's a live album. I've actually listened to it several times without the slightest sense of urging for the stop button. And this is odd when it comes to me and a live album. Personally I think that one of the band's best-of albumsprobably are better for those who just want to listen to it since the original versions are better, when everything comes around, despite the fact that these live versions are really good. For those who are prepared to look on the other hand, I think this is the better and it's as good as a live document can be. I say this without even seeing it (I've just received the CD version but that are on the other hand very good).

The production side is very good without getting extreme with it. Song-wise it's even better and even though there isn't anything new at all of this album I don't think it's as bad as I felt from the beginning when it turned out that Def Leppard would release another live album and not a studio album. As the matter of fact, this is precisely the kind of live album I always say I want - one when they document something special (in this case when they played the enitre 'Hysteria' in one set live and also when they performed as their own cover band "Ded Flatbird"). Together with 'Mirrorball', 'Viva! Hysteria!' is a great documents of Def Leppard live. But please, Def Leppard, you got away with it barely this time. No more live albums for a while now! This is definitely good enough for you to be able to keep away from that for a while.



Label: Frontiers Records
Three similar bands: Kiss/ Guns 'N' Roses/Bon Jovi
Rating: HHHHHHH (5/7)
Review: Caj Källmalm

läs på svenska