Def Leppard ‘Early Years’ Box Set Arrives: Listen

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The collection’s cover artwork is intended to look worn

Legendary British classic rock icons and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame® inductees Def Leppard have released a box set, The Early Years 79-81, representing the band’s first two albums, On Through the Night (1980) and High ‘N’ Dry (1981), with B-sides, rarities, live recordings and more, via UMe/Virgin.

In the Jan. 29 announcement, the band’s lead singer, 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.”

Order The Early Years 79-81 box set in the U.S. here and the U.K. here.

The 5-CD deluxe set consists of the original albums remastered, B-sides, rarities and re-mix versions, Radio One sessions, Live from Reading and the first ever appearance of the unreleased (and newly mixed) show from Oxford. (See the track listing and listen to several of them below.)

The box set was executive produced by Elliott and mastered by the band’s long serving sound engineer Ronan McHugh.

An early and sought-after Nick Tauber-produced version of “Rock Brigade,” was released in advance of the collection. The song was originally intended as a single but was never released.

The band’s debut album, On Through the Night was released in 1980 and reached #15 in the U.K. and #51 in the U.S. It featured many of the band’s live favorites, including some updated versions of early singles, and was ultimately certified platinum in 1989. 1981’s High ‘N’ Dry charted at #26 in the U.K. and #38 in the U.S.

The Early Years 79-81 box set includes a history of the band’s first two albums, written by writer Paul Elliott, featuring personal insights from the band on the making and releasing of these early records, as well as rare pictures of the band and photos of memorabilia from the era.

Both albums have been remastered and are also available as a 1-CD version, single LP, and on limited-edition colored vinyl.

2020 will see Def Leppard tour the U.S. with Mötley Crüe (with support from Poison and Joan Jett) – one of the most anticipated tours of the year. Tickets are available here and here.

Def Leppard The Early Years 79-81 Discs 3-5 Track Listing


When the Walls Came Tumbling Down
It Could Be You
Rock Brigade
Medicine Man
Answer to the Master
When the Rain Falls
Sorrow Is a Woman
Good Morning Freedom
Don’t Matter to Me
Lady Strange
GetchaRocks Off
Hello America
Ride into the Sun


Ride into the Sun – The Def Leppard EP
Getcha Rocks Off – The Def Leppard EP
The Overture – The Def Leppard EP
Wasted -Single
Hello America – Single
Rock Brigade – Unreleased Nick Tauber produced version
Glad I’m Alive – Unreleased Nick Tauber produced version
Good Morning Freedom – Single
Let It Go – Single Edit
Switch 625 – Single Edit
Bringin’ On the Heartbreak – Single Edit
Me and My Wine – Original Version
Bringin’ On the Heartbreak – Remix
Me and My Wine – Remix


Glad I’m Alive (Andy Peebles Session – 07/06/1979)
Sorrow Is A Woman (Andy Peebles Session – 07/06/1979)
Wasted (Andy Peebles Session – 07/06/1979)
Answer to the Master (Andy Peebles Session – 07/06/1979)
Satellite (Friday Rock Show Session – 03/10/1979)
Rock Brigade (Friday Rock Show Session – 03/10/1979)
Wasted (Friday Rock Show Session – 03/10/1979)
Good Morning Freedom (Friday Rock Show Session – 03/10/1979)
Satellite / When the Walls Came Tumbling Down (Live at the Reading Festival – 24/08/1980)
Medicine Man (Live at the Reading Festival – 24/08/1980)
The Overture (Live at the Reading Festival – 24/08/1980)
Lady Strange (Live at the Reading Festival – 24/08/1980)
Getcha Rocks Off (Live at the Reading Festival – 24/08/1980)

Related: Our recap of Def Leppard’s 2019 Rock Hall induction

Best Classic Bands Staff

1 Comment so far

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  1. Ratbone
    #1 Ratbone 30 January, 2020, 00:42

    The first two albums are the only ones I bought when they came out. After that they became a girls teeny bopper band.

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