This section looks at the 'Best Of Def Leppard' album release. The second greatest hits album collection released by the band over two discs alongside an accompanying DVD. It featured a preview of the 'YEAH!' album with a cover of The Kinks song 'Waterloo Sunset'.
"Hopefully it'll cement our place in history."
Def Leppard released the Best Of Def Leppard/Best Of The Videos 2CD/DVD set on this day in 2004 in the UK.
The second greatest hits album release from the band which was released in UK, parts of Europe and later in Japan and elsewhere (excluding North America).
It was seen as the replacement for thealbum which had been issued 11 years before in October 1995.
It would become their first Top Ten UK album since 'Slang' in 1996 reaching Number 6 and selling over 120,000 copies in one week.
The album and accompanying DVD were initially announced in August 2004 with the title 'Super Vault' for this reason. Following six months of news about the covers album which had a proposed September release date but eventually came out asin May 2006.
This was then changed to 'Best Of Def Leppard' for the UK and 'Super Vault' for the US/CAN (with a 26th October release date).
The US release was then cancelled and eventually issued there asin May 2005 and 'Rock Of Ages The DVD Collection' in November 2005.
Vivian later revealed the issue was over the American label's request for a new all original song as the lead single ('Long Long Way To Go' from 2002). In the end 'No Matter What' was issued as a single/promo video on the 2005 release.
34 audio tracks were issued over two CDs. The single disc version, and CD1 of the Limited Edition 2CD set, featured an updated Vault album with 'Long Long Way To Go' (the intended US single) added in as track 11 making it a 17 track disc.
CD2 featured songs fans had requested online and including album tracks and singles from 'Slang', 'Euphoria' and 'X/Ten' as well as from the first five albums. The inner sleeve featured in depth comments on all 34 tracks by various band members.
This disc featured a bonus 'new' cover version of The Kinks' classic 'Waterloo Sunset' which Phil revealed was chosen from one of three songs of their songs which they'd tried out during the 2004 covers album sessions in Dublin.
Only one promo event took place to promote this release. A ZDF TV show in Germany in late November called '50 Years Of Rock! Love Songs' featuring a live acoustic performance of 'Two Steps Behind'. The only full band performance of 2004. The show was described byin September 2016 as being "crappy".
Best Of The Videos - DVD
The 'Best Of The Videos' DVD was released on the same day and remains the band's most complete collection of promo videos.
In all 29 videos were included in the main tracklist plus three alternate versions hidden as bonus 'Easter Eggs' - 'Armageddon It', 'When Love & Hate Collide'. and 'Slang' They are accessible when the main video for each song plays and hitting enter when the letter D appears on screen.
The videos covered the years 1983 to 2003 but did not feature the three High 'n' Dry clips from 1981. The other omission being the UK censored version of 'Photograph'.
Both the Limited Edition 2CD album and this DVD were packaged inside cardboard slipcases.
A month long UK TV ad campaign helped make the album a success and to give them the highest chart entry since 1996. The 30 second ad featured clips of five promo videos/1 audio track.
Best Of Def Leppard - UK Press Biography
On October 25th 2004, one of the biggest British bands in the world, the multi platinum Def Leppard, will be releasing a "Best Of..." album and a "Best Of....." DVD.
The CD will come in two formats - a single CD, plus a limited edition double CD featuring one new track - a cover of the Kinks' "Waterloo Sunset".
Def Leppard's 1983 album "Pyromania" has just been certified Diamond in the US - this is given by the RIAA to albums that have sold over 10 million copies in the US ALONE! 1987's "Hysteria" was awarded the Diamond award last year for sales of over 12 million in the US.
Best Of Def Leppard - UK Promo CD Sticker Quote
"The multi-platinum Def Leppard are releasing a "Best Of" album containing 17 of the bands biggest hits including "Animal", "Pour Some Sugar On Me" and "When Love & Hate Collide". The band will also be simultaneously releasing a "Best Of" DVD, which will feature all the promotional videos, made by the band since 1983 plus a number of hidden bonus tracks."
Vivian Campbell - November 2004 Interview Quote - (On U.S. Best Of release changes)
"They've heard a few songs from the covers record. I'm not sure how many. But 'Waterloo Sunset' was probably the most single-potential and they obviously don't feel that it is — I don't know why. Maybe it's the song or our version of it. But of the covers record, we cut 14 tracks, of which 'Waterloo Sunset' is one. And 'Waterloo Sunset' is far and away the most Def Leppard-sounding of all 14 songs. I mean, if you didn't know it was a cover, you'd swear it was a Def Leppard song. It just sounds so Leppard; it's got a lot of Leppard cues to it."
Vivian Campbell - October 2004 Quote - (On U.S. Best Of release changes)
"It had to do with a change of mind with what was supposed to be the single. They wanted an unreleased track to be the single for the record. It was going to be the song 'Long Long Way To Go', which was a ballad from the X album that actually never got released in North America. But there seems to have been a change of heart. So where it's at right now is that I don't think there's an American release scheduled until we come up with a new song that is potentially a single for it. You know, fortunately, I have such a song, but I haven't played it to the rest of the guys yet (laughs), so I don't know if they'll like it."
Rick Savage - Interview Quotes - (On The Covers Album delays)
"It is something we always wanted to do and had not really had the time. The record company started to get enthusiastic and it looked like they would want to put it out. Since then there have been a few changes of personnel."
"And we don't really want to give it away. But if Waterloo Sunset gets well received on the hits album it gives us a bit more leverage to put out the whole record."
"It was a vague plan and as things stand it is all up in the air. We are due to have a meeting with the record company. If they don't want to release it I have no hard feelings."
Joe Elliott - October 2004 Interview Quotes
"Hopefully it’ll cement our place in history - which it should, because we’re a great band and these are great songs."
"Hopefully this will enable us to put this covers record out early next year. That way, then we’ll have some momentum rather than having to wait the usual four years between albums."
(US Record company changes) - "We weren’t his thing, he was a rap guy. His way of thinking was, why do I need Def Leppard when I’ve got Bon Jovi? because they can’t tell us apart. That’s when you realise you’ve got problems. But this new guy is desperate to make us a success again. he’s convinced that ‘Long Long Way To Go’ should have been an enormous hit and wants to put it out again."
Phil Collen - November 2004 Interview Quotes
"We tried three Kinks songs – You Really Got Me, All Day and All of the Night and Waterloo Sunset - and we really liked Waterloo Sunset. I think it’s because we grew up listening to The Kinks and Waterloo Sunset. It is a personal favourite of mine. And when we tried playing it, it sounded great. Of course, this version of Waterloo Sunset is going to sound more like us than The Kinks."
"It's a covers album, and we have done the album but I'm not sure if it’s going to be released or not. We covered songs from the 1970s and the only song from the 1960s that we did was Waterloo Sunset. We covered songs from David Bowie, T-Rex, Led Zeppelin ... all the 1970s stuff."
Phil Collen - Interview Quotes
"The Best Of was the label's idea. The reason being that Vault sells fantastic even now - it just went triple or quadruple platinum, actually - and every Christmas throughout the world it sells like crazy. The thing is, Vault doesn't have that classic vibe, those classic songs, so I think that's why they wanted to release another one."
"The track list of the Best Of is actually based on requests, downloads and stuff like that, so it's made up of the stuff people really want to hear. Personally, I wouldn't have put 'Billy's Got A Gun' on there - I would have put 'White Lightning' or 'Gods Of War' on instead - but whoever they are, there you go."
Waterloo Sunset (New Song)
Joe Elliott - "A teaser for an album of our favourite cover versions that we recorded. It's our equivalent of Bowie's 'Pin-Ups' And it's jolly good. Most of it's contents are from around 1973. So for us to go back to 1967 says how special we think this song is."
Phil Collen - "It was my suggestion to try 'Waterloo Sunset'. I've always loved it. And it has some personal significance between my wife and I. That's not why we chose it. It' just a great song. That we used to play on the tour bus and sometimes in soundchecks."
Vivian Campbell - "I'm really proud of our version. It's so like Def Leppard. You'd almost think we wrote it."
Ross Halfin - August 2004
"Speak to Phil Collen, haven't spoken to him in a year, he tells me there's a Def Leppard Greatest Hits cd coming out for Christmas (again) and a rock version of Vault. He thinks the record company are flogging a dead horse and he's had nothing to do with it. He's in London for a couple of weeks. Told him Joe had played me the covers album they'd done....Phil seemed very disheartened by it all....I must say they've done a great version of Rock On by David Essex (won't tell you the rest as it'll spoil it)."
Note - This was the first mention of the band having covered 'Rock On' which was then played live in 2005.
Ross Halfin - October 2004
"Got the new Def Leppard cd....Shitty layout - bad scans and you need a microscope to read the text and credits. Only good thing is a nice picture of Steve Clark by me....Well, I like it...."
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