This box set represents the band’s first two albums: On Through the Night (1980) and High N Dry (1981) and has been prepared in conjunction with singer Joe Elliott who has acted as executive producer on the set. The mastering has been done by the band’s long serving sound engineer Ronan McHugh. It consists of the original albums, various B-sides and re-mix versions, Radio One sessions, Live from Reading and the first ever appearance of an unreleased and newly mixed show from Oxford in 1980.
Def Leppard emerged in 1979 with their own self financed and released EP and with the help of airplay from legenardary DJ John Peel, the band’s commercial heavy rock sound lead them to a deal with Phonogram and ‘On Through The Night’, the band’s debut album, was released in 1980 and immediately put the rock world on notice. The band were destined for big things with the album charting at No. 15 in the UK and No. 51 in the US. Produced by Tom Allom (Judas Priest, Black Sabbath), it featured many of the band’s live favourites and some updated versions of early singles. The album achieved platinum status in 1989.
‘High ‘N’ Dry’, the first of Def Leppard’s albums to be produced by Robert ‘Mutt’ Lange (then AC/DC’s producer), was released in 1981. It reached No. 26 in the UK charts and No. 38 in the US, further cementing the bands status. The Early Years 79-81 box set includes a history of the band’s first two albums written by Mojo and Classic Rock writer Paul Elliott (no relation) featuring personal insights from the band on the making and releasing of those early records as well as rare photos and memorabilia.
Lead singer, Joe Elliott says, “Well the fans asked, and we listened! Really excited to have our early years reworked with a load of rare material including the newly unearthed Live at the Oxford New Theatre, recorded on the 1980 UK tour …. It’s been a trip putting this box set together!”
CD1 (On Through The Night): Rock Brigade / Hello America / Sorrow Is A Woman / It Could Be You / Satellite / When the Walls Came Tumbling Down / Wasted / Rocks Off / It Don’t Matter / Answer to The Master / Overture
CD2 (High N’ Dry): Let It Go / Another Hit and Run / High N Dry (Saturday Night) / Bringin’ On the Heartache / Switch 625 / You Got Me Runnin’ / Lady Strange / On Through the Night / Mirror Mirror (Look into My Eyes) / No No No
CD3 (When The Walls Came Tumbling Down – Live In Oxford 26/04/1980): When the Walls Came Tumbling Down / It Could Be You / Rock Brigade / Satellite / Medicine Man / Answer to the Master / When the Rain Falls / Sorrow Is a Woman / Good Morning Freedom / Don’t Matter to Me / Overture / Lady Strange / Getcha Rocks Off / Hello America / Wasted / Ride into The Sun
CD 4 (Too Many Jitterbugs – B-Sides And Rarities): Ride into The Sun / Getcha Rocks Off / The Overture / Wasted / Hello America / Rock Brigade / Glad I’m Alive / Good Morning Freedom / Let It Go / Switch 625 / Bringin’ On the Heartbreak / Me and My Wine / Bringin’ On the Heartbreak (remix) / Me and My Wine (remix)
CD5 (Raw – Early BBC Recordings): Glad I’m Alive (07/06/1979) / Sorrow Is A Woman (07/06/1979) / Wasted (07/06/1979) / Answer to The Master (07/06/1979) / Satellite (03/10/1979) / Rock Brigade (03/10/1979) / Wasted (03/10/1979) / Good Morning Freedom (03/10/1979) / Satellite (03/10/79) / When the Walls Came Tumbling Down / Medicine Man / The Overture / Lady Strange / Getcha Rocks Off’ (Live at the Reading Festival – 24/08/1980)