The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world




FEBRUARY 10 2014



It’s interesting when a band disassociates itself with the sound and bands that they sat so comfortably with in decades gone by and then pleads that they were ‘misunderstood’ when they come to re-release one of their less successful albums. This year Def Leppard gives ‘Slang’ a new lease of life after the largely successful ‘Viva Hysteria’ from last year.


I must admit after largely dismissing the album when first released back in 1996: an album which took a large step away from their trademark sound this re-release with all the bells and whistles (incidentally the first proper release to feature Campbell – the man who made the opening assertions) hasn’t grown on me.


The cynical might say that this album is only being re-released as the masters now reside with Def Leppard and hence it makes sense commercially to flog it again. Fans will of course love it and with all the inclusions it certainly is a hefty work.


The problem is of course for Def Leppard casuals is that it saw the band chasing a scene that had largely passed by the time ‘Slang’ was originally released and like many of the 80’s rockers that took a chance on a radically different sound it didn’t really ring true.


With the first 12 tracks comprising the original, there are a further 10 tracks added here: a motley assortment of drafts, alternate versions and songs that didn’t make the final cut. Heavy hitting opening track ‘Truth’ gets an ‘original version’ added, and while it’s a rougher -edged far less produced version and sounds to our ears far better than the album original it’s still not that great a song. ‘Burnout’ that was originally released as a ‘Euphoria’ B-Side fares better and is far closer to the Def Leppard sound most will be familiar with.


‘Worlds Collide’ and ‘Can’t Keep Away From the Flame’ are both previously available and ‘Raise Your Love’ is an interesting alternate take of the song ‘Slang’ itself, again rougher and more interesting. The rest of the album throws together a few 1st drafts and ‘rough mixes’ that leave you wondering ‘what if’ – essentially they are dirtier versions of the finished tracks and largely more satisfying than the versions that appeared on the original release.


At the end of the day it all comes down to which sound you prefer and for us it’s the rougher-edged mixes that fare better , making this release at least ‘interesting’ and as we said probably essential for fans and completists.



by Mark Diggins