A mere 18 months after Adrenalise, a new Def Leppard album has hit the racks. I use the term 'new' lightly. It's title Retro Active pertains directly to the contents. All the cuts are tunes that the band have had lying dormant, rare b-sides or, as in the case of Two Steps Behind, a track used for a sound track.
Upon the release of Adrenalise, I spoke to vocalist Joe Elliot, who during the course of our conversation stated that there was an intention to compile a selection of rarities and live material to release along the same lines as Aerosmith's Pandora's Box. Why then have the band scaled down this idea to just a single album?
"We felt that this is an ideal time to close the chapter on the Steve Clark era, and by doing that it gives everyone more of an equal start when we come to making the next record especially now that Vivian is involved," states drummer Rick Allen.
One track on their last album Tear It Down, was included after the band dredged it up from the past to play at the MTV Awards. The track subsequently became a huge radio hit in the States. So was this success an inspiration for the full album?
"We've wanted to put out this record for a while but have never really had the opportunity," says Allen. "The thing that started it off was being asked to contribute to The Last Action Hero soundtrack, which bagan the thinking that we could finish a whole album out on the road, which is a first for us. In between bouts of the tour each of us would go off and work on our pieces for the record."