Def Leppard Gather Demos and Unreleased Tracks for ‘Slang’ Reissue
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Def Leppard have been talking for years about putting together an expanded reissue of their 1996 ‘Slang’ album, but it wasn’t just idle chatter: On Feb. 11, the band will bring the record back to stores with an added disc of demos and unreleased tracks.
Recorded in the wake of the group’s stratospheric success with its ‘Pyromania’ (1984), ‘Hysteria’ (1987) and ‘Adrenalize’ (1992) albums, ‘Slang’ found Def Leppard taking a surprising turn away from their trademark heavily layered sound and adapting a more organic approach, with exotic-sounding instruments like the sarangi and dhol scattered among the usual guitars, keyboards, drums and bass. While it was certainly an admirable departure in theory — and the band would probably have been criticized if it had tried to copy those earlier records anyway — ‘Slang’ was a marked commercial comedown, selling less than a million copies and breaking the group’s string of multi-platinum efforts.
While the record was widely dismissed as a misguided attempt to chase changing trends at rock radio, ‘Slang’ was just as influenced by the absence of producer Mutt Lange, who’d helmed the band’s previous records and pushed them toward recording more uptempo, arena-ready anthems. With Pete Woodroffe co-producing alongside the band, Def Leppard were free to indulge their more introspective impulses, and although the sessions didn’t produce anything as radio-friendly as ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me,’ the album did spin off a handful of European hits, with the second single, ‘Work It Out,’ breaking the Top 10 of Billboard’s U.S. Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
The expanded ‘Slang,’ which will be available in CD, digital, and vinyl formats, tacks on 19 additional tracks, many of which have never been officially released. The album is already available for pre-order via online music retailers.
‘Slang’ Deluxe Edition Track Listing
‘Turn to Dust’
‘All I Want Is Everything’
‘Work It Out’
‘Breathe a Sigh’
‘Gift of Flesh’
‘Blood Runs Cold’
‘Where Does Love Go When It Dies’
‘Pearl of Euphoria’
‘Move with Me Slowly’
‘Truth?’ (Original Version)
‘Can’t Keep Away from the Flame’
‘Turn to Dust’ (1st Draft)
‘Raise Your Love’
‘All I Want Is Everything’ (1st Draft)
‘Work It Out’ (1st Draft)
‘Breathe a Sigh’ (Rough Mix)
‘Deliver Me’ (Rough Mix)
‘Blood Runs Cold’ (Rough Mix)
‘Where Does Love Go When It Dies’ (1st Draft)
‘Pearl of Euphoria’ (Rough Mix)
‘All on Your Touch’ (2012 Revisit)
‘Anger Me’ (Deliver Me -1st Draft)
‘Move on Up’ (Viv Demo)
‘Gift of Flesh’ (Phil Vocal)