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Def Leppard Collect Unreleased Earliest Recordings for New Box Set

Hear early, previously unreleased version of ‘Rock Brigade’

Def Leppard have compiled a thorough accounting of their earliest days — when they burst out of their native Sheffield, England, as part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal — for a new box set.

The Early Years 79-81 collects remastered versions of their first two LPs, On Through the Night and High ‘n’ Dry, along with live recordings, outtakes, and recordings for the BBC. The five-disc set, which frontman Joe Elliott executive-produced, will come out March 20th.

“Well, the fans asked, and we listened,” Elliott said in a statement. “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 U.K. tour. It’s been a trip putting this box set together and I hope you all enjoy listening to it as much as we did working on it!”

The group heralded the box set with an early version of “Rock Brigade,” the track that kicked off On Through the Night. The original is a little crisper than the version here, which was produced by Nick Tauber, who had previously worked with Thin Lizzy and Slaughter and the Dogs. Perhaps because Tauber had worked on it, it has a loose, Thin Lizzy vibe. The band had intended to release this version as a single but it never made it out the door.

Each of the studio albums will also be released as remastered single-CD editions and vinyl editions on either black or limited-edition colored LPs.

Earlier this year, Elliott told Rolling Stone that he had enjoyed revisiting some of the group’s oldest material on the band’s recent Las Vegas residency. Despite this, he said he wasn’t sure if the more obscure music would fly on the band’s upcoming stadium tour with Mötley Crüe, Poison, and Joan Jett.

“When you’re on the one stage [in Vegas] 12 times, you can pull out [the 1980 B-side] ‘Good Morning Freedom,’ or you can pull out really strange, obscure songs,” he said. “But when you’re playing for 90 minutes, as opposed to two hours, you have to cut away some of the fat.… It shouldn’t be just a straightforward ‘greatest hits tour,’ but we are gonna play the hits. You don’t get out of the building alive if you don’t play ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’ and ‘Photograph’ and stuff like that. But there is a little bit of room for movement in the middle that will set it apart from your average gig.”

The Early Years 79-81 Track List

Disc One: On Through the Night — Remastered

1. “Rock Brigade”
2. “Hello America”
3. “Sorrow Is a Woman”
4. “It Could Be You”
5. “Satellite”
6. “When the Walls Came Tumbling Down”
7. “Wasted”
8. “Rocks Off”
9. “It Don’t Matter”
10. “Answer to the Master”
11. “Overture”

Disc Two: High ‘n’ Dry — Remastered

1. “Let It Go”
2. “Another Hit and Run”
3. “High ‘n’ Dry (Saturday Night)”
4. “Bringin’ on the Heartache”
5. “Switch 625”
6. “You Got Me Runnin’ “
7. “Lady Strange”
8. “On Through the Night”
9. “Mirror Mirror (Look Into My Eyes)”
10. “No No No”

Disc Three: When the Walls Came Tumbling Down — Live in Oxford 26/04/1980

1. “When the Walls Came Tumbling Down”
2. “It Could Be You”
3. “Rock Brigade”
4. “Satellite”
5. “Medicine Man”
6. “Answer to the Master”
7. “When the Rain Falls”
8. “Sorrow Is a Woman”
9. “Good Morning Freedom”
10. “Don’t Matter to Me”
11. “Overture”
12. “Lady Strange”
13. “Getcha Rocks Off”
14. “Hello America”
15. “Wasted”
16. “Ride Into the Sun”

Disc Four: Too Many Jitterbugs — B-Sides and Rarities

1. “Ride Into the Sun” (The Def Leppard EP)
2. “Getcha Rocks Off” (The Def Leppard EP)
3. “The Overture” (The Def Leppard EP)
4. “Wasted” (Single)
5. “Hello America” (Single)
6. “Rock Brigade” (Unreleased Nick Tauber-produced version)
7. “Glad I’m Alive” (Unreleased Nick Tauber-produced version)
8. “Good Morning Freedom” (Single)
9. “Let It Go” (Single Edit)
10. “Switch 625” (Single Edit)
11. “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak” (Single Edit)
12. “Me and My Wine” (Original Version)
13. “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak” (Remix)
14. “Me and My Wine” (Remix)

Disc Five: Raw — Early BBC Recordings

1. “Glad I’m Alive” (Andy Peebles Session — 06/07/1979)
2. “Sorrow Is a Woman” (Andy Peebles Session — 06/07/1979)
3. “Wasted” (Andy Peebles Session — 06/07/1979)
4. “Answer to the Master” (Andy Peebles Session — 06/07/1979)
5. “Satellite” (Friday Rock Show Session — 10/03/1979)
6. “Rock Brigade” (Friday Rock Show Session — 10/03/1979)
7. “Wasted” (Friday Rock Show Session — 10/03/1979)
8. “Good Morning Freedom” (Friday Rock Show Session — 10/03/1979)
9. “Satellite”/”When the Walls Came Tumbling Down” (Live at the Reading Festival — 08/24/1980)
10. “Medicine Man” (Live at the Reading Festival — 08/24/1980)
11. “The Overture” (Live at the Reading Festival — 08/24/1980)
12. “Lady Strange” (Live at the Reading Festival — 08/24/1980)
13. “Getcha Rocks Off” (Live at the Reading Festival — 08/24/1980)