The Bottom Line
- As it should, the collection features all seven hits from the band's 1987 pinnacle, "Hysteria."
- Does a pretty good job of skimming the cream from the top of the band's somewhat spotty output.
- Contains at least a good half-dozen certifiable arena rock classics that are top-notch in any era.
- Inexplicably omits the band's finest moment, the superlative power ballad "Too Late for Love."
- Relies far too heavily on inferior, post-"Hysteria" material.
- Is presented in a messy, confusing sequence that doesn't realize the disc's potential for balance.
- A somewhat overstuffed if pleasant survey of a key hard rock band's career.
- A favorable alternative to buying more than one Leppard album for non-fanatics.
- A collection of some of the best work from the band that perfected the power ballad.
Guide Review - Vault: Def Leppard Greatest Hits
Still, despite that particular flaw this collection dips into Def Leppard's vault and generally pulls out keepers. "Photograph" and "Foolin'," two of the standout tracks from the band's breakthrough album, Pyromania, are thankfully and appropriately here. The near-perfect ballad "Love Bites" and the title track are the two best songs from Def Leppard's masterpiece, Hysteria, and they're here as well.
Beyond that, this disc remains a solid if not exceptional listen, cranking out the band's essential rockers like "Animal" and "Rock of Ages" and not scrimping on offerings from the huge-selling Hysteria album. The key problem with Vault is that it probably contains too many songs given the selection scheme. After all, while Def Leppard certainly qualifies as one of the best hard rock, arena rock and pop metal bands in rock music history, the band doesn't hold up in quite the same way in a broader, less genre-specific examination. Still, despite its flaws, this CD delivers for its target audience of casual fans of the group.