Vault: Greatest Hits 1980-1995

Def Leppard

Mercury Records, 1995

REVIEW BY: Alfredo Narvaez


Admit it. There was a point in your life where you liked Def Leppard. Somehow they made sense, some way they got you to listen, to buy and to like. And you loved it. I'll confess to it. But then again, it was the '80s.

Well, for those of us that are not afraid to admit it--or are and somehow will steal a copy from your music store--there is Vault. A greatest hits compilation from a band that dominated the pretty-boy, long-hair, glam-rock era of the 80s (where Bon Jovi, Poison, Winger and others made their home). They weren't evil like Iron Maiden or Metallica--they were nice. They were the kind of band you took your girlfriend out to see (hoping that the ballads gave you an edge later that night) and weren't ashamed if your best friends caught you listening to them.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Like most stuff from the 80s--barring some few examples--there was great stuff and then there was bad stuff. This is equally represented here in Vault. For one, there are too many ballads in here. I don't mind "Bringin' On The Heartbreak," "Love Bites," "Hysteria," "Photograph" and "Two Steps Behind"--I really don't. But why add "Miss You In A Heartbeat" and "Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad?" (Excuse me, writer's cramp from all the long titles). Hell, the only new song is a ballad--"When Love And Hate Collide" and it sounds exactly like the last two. Add "Foolin'"--which I have always thought had the worst kind of chorus ever--and that's half of the album. Ouch. Pass the Pepto--too many sweets.

As for the rockers, I have fewer complaints. I never understood what the point of "Rocket" was. Were they trying to make a rock song or just a song where they could fit as many musical references as possible? "Armaggeddon It" still sounds okay if a bit outdated.

Now, don't think I hate this album. "Pour Some Sugar On Me" still sounds vibrant and, as Conan O'Brien has shown, as long as there is a strip bar out there, this song will live on. "Let's Get Rocked" does rock in a mindless, hormonally-filled, teenage sort of way--meaning they did everything right, because you're not supposed to care what it says, just how loud it says it. "Rock Of Ages" is still good--but you will get flashbacks. "Animal" sounds good until the very last part and then it sounds even better.

Here's hoping he day will come when rock bands are allowed to have fun. When that day comes, I'll hope they do so with something like "Pour Some Sugar..." If nothing else, to get Marilyn Manson and Fiona Apple to strip to it.


Rating: B-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1998 Alfredo Narvaez and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Mercury Records, and is used for informational purposes only.