DEF LEPPARD To Release Live Album Recorded at Oxford Theatre In 1980
DEF LEPPARD is planning to issue a recording of an 1980 concert as part of a new "celebratory release." The effort will be the group's first live album to feature guitarist Pete Willis, who was replaced by Phil Collen in 1982.
Singer Joe Elliott told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation" show that the new live disc has been in the works for quite some time. "We thought about this about a year and a half ago," he said. "And there's gonna be a celebratory release. I don't know how much of this I can say right now. I might be breaking protocol. But I will say this much: there's a companion piece to 'On Through The Night', there's a brand-new, just-mixed live performance from the Oxford Theatre from 1980, which has never been heard ever."
According to Joe, the recording will be a true representation of the show, with no studio trickery added after the fact. "It's warts and all," he said. "It is what it is. It's us live in 1980. We were discussing off-mic about lip-syncing or overdubbing ... You can't expect a 59-year-old me to go in and clean up a 20-year-old vocal. You know what I mean? So, it is what it is. But I tell you this much: the band… As I said in the liner notes, when you peer through the curtain of uncertainty that my voice was back in those days, there is a fantastic band onstage. And the two-armed Rick Allen with Sav [bassist Rick Savage] was some rhythm section to come, considering he was 16 years old and Sav was 17, I think — maybe 18. And Pete and Steve[Clark] were 17 and 18 years old. It was some band."
According to Setlist, DEF LEPPARD's April 26, 1980 concert at the New Theatre Oxford (then called the Apollo) featured a 15-song setlist which included all 11 of "On Through The Night"'s tracks, plus two songs that appeared on the 1981 follow-up "High 'N' Dry" ("Lady Strange"and "Let It Go"), "Good Morning Freedom" (the B-side to "Hello America") and "Medicine Man", which eventually morphed into "Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)" and appeared on 1983's "Pyromania" album.
This past spring, Phil Collen said that DEF LEPPARD had a "bunch of songs" in the works for its 12th studio album, which the band began working on last year.