Def Leppard digs into its catalog again today (February 11) for a deluxe edition of its 1996 album Slang.
The two CD set round out the original 11 songs with demos, outtakes and alternate versions, the vast majority of which have been unreleased.
Slang, of course, was a commercial disappointment following the multi-platinum salvo of Pyromania, Hysteria and Adrenalize and also marked a shift in the group's sound to a more stripped-down, direct approach.
But guitarist Phil Collen tells us that it's a record the group is still proud of:
"I love it. I loved it when we done it. I thought it was an essential album for Def Leppard. It was experimental. It went against the grain of what we normally do, which I think we really had to. We'd been doing all these albums, and 'Adrenalize' kinda started turning a little bit similar to 'Hysteria' and stuff like that and 'Pyromania.' I think it was a drastic move, left field for us."
Collen adds that Def Leppard was in a no-win situation at that point in time:
"Everything changed. Nirvana happened and everything changed. We unfortunately got lumped I with all the crap metal bands of the 80s that were like a pale version of us, like a fifth-division version of us -- copying us but getting all the wrong aspects of it. That became a norm, and it was time for music to have a drastic change. And it was unfortunate for us...It was in the midst of music and the rock genre kind of changing the way it done stuff so we got swept up in it."
Def Leppard is currently working on material for a new album, the group's first since 2008's Songs From the Sparkle Lounge, and plans to tour North America this summer.
Collen, meanwhile, will also release an album with his new side project, Delta Deep.