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def leppard / Oxford 1980 Live Album Recording

on this day - 26th April 1980

On this day in Def Leppard history an 'On Through The Night' tour show in Oxford, England was recorded.
The only live recording featuring original guitarists Steve Clark and Pete Willis.

Def Leppard 1980.

"When you hear it it's spectacular."

Def Leppard 1980.

This section looks the 'On Through The Night' tour live album recording in Oxford, England. Eventually released in March 2020 as part of The Early Years 79-81 box set.

"It was the beginning of a great journey. You hear the energy. It's insane."

Def Leppard played an On Through The Night UK tour show in Oxford, England on this day in 1980 which was recorded.

The show took place at the 1,800 capacity New Theatre in Oxford, England on 26th April 1980.

This was the 19th show of the band's 21 date debut UK headline tour of major theatre venues.

The tour promoted the first studio album which had been released on 14th March 1980 in the UK.

A the time of this show the album was still inside the Top 40 at Number 40 in its sixth week on the charts.

This show was recorded for use on an intended Live EP which was ultimately scrapped by the band's co-managers at the time.

The recording of this show was mentioned in the 1987 'Animal Instinct' biography but was never released or properly mixed until 2018.

It has now been released in March 2020 as the live album 'When The Walls Came Tumbling Down' as part of The Early Years 79-81 box set.

The first ever live recording to feature original guitarists Steve Clark and Pete Willis.

A previous live recordings included either Steve and Phil or Phil and Vivian only.

Joe first mentioned the release of the show in January 2018 during the press for the Def Leppard x Journey tour.

Then in September of 2019 he confirmed it would be released in early 2020 to mark 40 years since the debut album release.

The tour had seen the band play all over the UK with just two more shows left to play after Oxford.

After a three week break they would go on to play their first ever American tour supporting the likes of Pat Travers, Ted Nugent, AC/DC, Scorpions and Judas Priest.

In the extended 16 song setlist the three new songs were included along with an extra encore.

The early version of 'Lady Strange' - which was released on the High 'n' Dry album.

'Medicine Man', an early version of 'Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)' with its opening section re-used along with the main guitar riff.

And 'When The Rain Falls' which later became 'Let It Go' under the guidance of Mutt Lange.

The band would return to the UK in August for the Reading Festival show and then a short club tour in December 1980 to road test new songs being written for the 'High 'n' Dry' album.

Def Leppard 1980.

Def Leppard 1980.

BUILD Series - Joe Elliott January 2018 Interview Quote

Old Music/Archive Songs?

"I'm sure there's more than we've discovered but we did discover a few little bits and bobs. There's a lot of things that aren't up yet that will come out. We've found a live recording in Oxford at the New Theatre on the British tour. The On through The Night tour. Which we'd totally forgotten about. So we're having it all transferred from. the tapes's all flaky."

"So we're having it transferred to digital so we can get it mixed and see what it sounds like. I think it'll be good to put out kinds of a live recording that's got Pete Willis and Steve Clark on it because it's just an era that's not been really covered much other than on two records. So that'll be interesting for the fans I suppose."

Def Leppard 1980.

Animal Instinct 1987 Biography Quotes

1980 UK Tour/Rick Allen

One of the shows, a the New Theatre in Oxford, was recorded for a live EP.

Its release, however, was scrapped by Peter Mensch an dCliff Burnstein.

Much to the annoyance of Phonogram's David Bates.

UK Tour 1980 Fan Photos

Live photos from this tour leg.

Def Leppard 1980.

SiriusXM/Trunk Nation - Joe Elliott 25th September 2019 Interview Quotes

40th Anniversaries Of OTTN/HIGH 'N' DRY

"You can't see my eyebrows on the radio. Well, thinking about it. We've thought about it you see you've gotta plan these things ahead. We've thought about this about a year and a half ago. 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...as a companion piece to On Through The Night there is a brand new just mixed live performance from the Oxford Theatre in 1980 from that tour. Which has never been heard. And it is what it is. It's warts and all. It is what it is. It's us live in 1980. You can't really, you know, we were discussing off mic weren't we about lip synching 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 on stage. And Rick, the two armed Rick Allen with Sav was some rhythm section to considering he was 16 years old and Sav was 17 I think, maybe 18. And Pete and Steve were 17 and 18 years old. It was some band. You know and when you hear it it's spectacular."

"The album was about 42 minutes so when you're on stage it's about 45. So given an intro tape and a bit of talking in between that was pretty much it. We didn't even necessarily play all the album on stage. We played most of it I think."

Far Out! Podcast/Frank Hannon - Joe Elliott Interview Quotes

Rocks Off Played Live Again?/Early Years Box Set

"Yes and no. No by the current line up 0f the band. I can't ever see us playing it live, because you know. It's OK to jettison parts of your career. Especially when the two guitar players that played on Rocks Off are no longer in the band. But there is a box set coming out early next year called The Early Years and it's the first two albums and a live recording of the band from April 1980 at the Oxford New Theatre in the UK."

"Where Rocks Off is played live in front of a very enthusiastic audience. We recorded it back in the day you know. Got The Rolling Stones mobile in. And then the tapes sat around for 30 odd years you know. 39 to be quite honest. So much so that we had to bake them to make sure that they were safe to play. And then we transferred them into Pro Tools to make sure that they were totally safe."

"And then we mixed it and we were surprised how good it is for a bunch if kids. Rick was 15 or 16 years old. Sav was 17. I mean what a rhythm section they were you know. And Pete and Steve together. There was a great band in the making on that record, you know, on that live performance."

"We were, it was the beginning of a great journey. You hear the energy. It's insane. The timings all over the palce. I'm not singing as well as I could like later on in life. As I've said many times you peer through the uncertainty of my voice and you can hear a great band behind me."

"But it was a great starting block you know. It really was. it was the bottom part of the rocket that you need to get you up into orbit. And the live recordings of those songs. it's mostly, it's mostly the first album. Most of the first album and a couple of songs that would end up on High 'n' Dry vut in a different format. There was a song called When The Rain Falls which became Let It Go. There's an embryonic version of Lady Strange which is not a great deal different. I think there's three songs which ended up on High 'n' Dry. Two f them with different titles you know."

"Oh no there's a song called Medicine Man. The song called Medicine Man which actually turned into Rock Till You Drop two years later, three years later. You know so it's a very interesting little time capsule. And that's coming out in about three months time. So yes you get to hear that live version but I don't think see us playing it."

"It;s just called The Early Years. It's the early years. It's, you know, '79 to '81. It's got the EP, it's got the first album, couple of B-Sides, High 'n' Dry, with the remixes 'cause there were no bonus with High 'n' Dry but we did do remixes in '84 and I think they're on it. But the important thing to a fan I would imagine is this never heard before live recording from 1980."

Def Leppard 1980.

Def Leppard The Early Years 79-81 - News Quotes

‘The Early Years 79-81’ boxset represents the band’s first two albums, ‘On Through The Night’ (1980) and ‘High ‘N’ Dry’ (1981), and has been prepared in conjunction with singer Joe Elliott who has acted as executive producer on the set. The mastering has been done by the band’s long serving sound engineer Ronan McHugh.

This deluxe set comes with 5-CDs consisting of the original album remastered, B-sides, rarities and re-mix versions, Radio One sessions, Live from Reading and the first ever appearance of an unreleased and newly mixed show from Oxford in 1980. These remasters have been highly anticipated, and much requested, by Def Leppard fans globally.

Joe Elliott says, “Well the fans asked, and we listened! 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 UK tour …. It’s been a trip putting this boxset together and I hope you all enjoy listening to it as much as we did working on it! ”

Def Leppard Press Biography April 1980

Def Leppard Biography

Def Leppard are:
Joe Elliott - Vocals.
Pete Willis - Guitar.
Steve Clark - Guitar
Rick Savage - Bass.
Rick Allen - Drums.

Andy Peebles (Radio 1 DJ) - "It was interesting to hear a rock band whose material managed to sound fresh within the confines of heavy rock."

Geoff Barton (Sounds) - "High powered heavy rock played to a degree of tightness usually achieved after a half-dozen gruelling American tours".

Def Leppard is a five piece heavy rock band from Sheffield and have already gained much interest and support around the UK from their first maxi single which was self-financed and distributed.

They are a new and young outfit but despite their tender years, have shown themselves capable of a competent degree of musicianship.

The average age of the band is 18 and most of the boys have been playing since they were kids. Rick Allen (drummer) has been trained by Kenny Slade (Joe Cocker's drummer in the Grease Band) since the age of 10.

Pete Willis started playing bass at six years of age and Steve has been classically trained since 16.

They write collectively, though Joe Elliott is responsible for the lyrics. Their individual musical influences safe-guard the end product from repetition, but they do admire other bands such as Rush, UFO, Styx and Thin Lizzy.

Def Leppard were voted in Melody Maker's Christmas Poll as No. 4 "Brightest Hope For The 80's", and New Musical Express' poll at No. 6 under "Best Act" category.

Def Leppard look set to head up the new wave of British Heavy Metal.

In the UK, Def Leppard's first maxi single was 'Getcha Rocks Off' / 'Ride Into The Sun', B/W 'The Overture'.

They followed this with their 'Wasted' single, a British tour as support to AC/DC and a spell in the studio recording their debut album with producer Tom Allom.

Their rip roaring rocking album is now released and is entitled 'On Through The Night'.

Def Leppard 1980.

Def Leppard 1980. Def Leppard 1990

Animal Instinct 1987 Biography Quotes

1980 UK Tour

Following On Through The Night's UK release on March 14, Leppard embarked on their most ambitious trek yet, a headline tour of major British rock theaters.

Including some venues like Glasgow and Manchester Apollos where they had previously opened for Sammy Hagar and AC/DC.

An ostentatious pomp-rock band called Magnum got the official support slot, but the Leppards demonstrated their their support for the new heavy metal scene from whence they'd sprung by adding a young local band to the bill at every stop.

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