Best Songs on Def Leppard's Retro-Active

Retro-Active is a album by Def Leppard that was released on October 5th 1993. This album features touched up B-Sides from the bands recording sessions from 1984 - 1993.

After releasing only five albums over the course of a twelve-year period, Def Leppard used Retro Active to break that habit, provide a treat for diehard fans, and close the door on the " Steve Clark " era of the band.
According to singer Joe Elliott, the concept behind the album was envisioned after "Two Steps Behind", originally demoed solely by Elliott as an electric version in 1989, was recorded by the band as an acoustic ballad at the suggestion of guitarist Phil Collen. When the producers of the film Last Action Hero contacted the band in 1993 to provide a new song for the soundtrack, the band were unable to record new material due to touring schedules and sent over the multitrack tape of the acoustic version of "Two Steps Behind", which was given strings by conductor Michael Kamen in April 1993 and included onto the film soundtrack. It would become the band's last Top 20 single in the US, reaching No. 12, and would inspire the band to put the album together and re-record the electric version of the song.
Although many tracks were found on single releases, some parts were re-recorded on the road during the Adrenalize tour.

The original B-side version of "She's Too Tough" and the electric version of "Miss You in a Heartbeat" were released as bonus tracks for the Japanese pressing of Adrenalize.Written in 1985, "She's Too Tough" first appeared on the Helix album Wild in the Streets in 1987.
Two unfinished songs from the Hysteria recording sessions, "Desert Song" and "Fractured Love", were completed exclusively for the album.

The album also had covers, Sweet's "Action" (which charted higher than the original in the UK) and Mick Ronson's "Only After Dark". Although guitarist Collen had written and demoed "Miss You in a Heartbeat" in 1991, it was released first on the self-titled 1991 debut by the Law, a band featuring Paul Rodgers and the Who drummer Kenney Jones. After the band had recorded new vocal, bass and drum parts to the electric version of the song in April 1992, Collen overheard Elliott experimenting with the song with a piano. Elliott then recorded a piano and vocal version to the song, and then Collen, bassist Rick Savage and drummer Rick Allen added acoustic and electric guitars, bass guitar and drum parts to it in June 1993, creating the acoustic version that would be released as a single.
The version of "Ride into the Sun" is not the version that appeared on The Def Leppard E.P., but rather the 1987 re-recording. It differs slightly from the version of the recording used as a B-side in the Hysteria era, though. The one used as a B-side had a Rick Allen drum solo intro, whereas this one has a piano intro provided by Ian Hunter.

Retro Active features a hidden (final) track: the piano/vocal version of "Miss You in a Heartbeat", which also features an alternate acoustic guitar solo by Collen.

This is the first Def Leppard album to feature songs recorded with newly added guitarist Vivian Campbell.

Genres: Hard Rock, Glam Metal,


Rick Allen – drums

Vivian Campbell – electric guitars, acoustic guitars, backing vocals

Steve Clark – electric guitars

Phil Collen – electric guitars, acoustic guitars, backing vocals

Joe Elliott – lead vocals, backing vocals, rhythm guitar, piano, jungle orchestra on "Fractured Love"
Rick Savage – bass guitar, keyboards, backing vocals

Additional Musicians:

Ian Hunter – honky tonk messiah on "Ride into the Sun"

Michael Kamen – string arrangement on "Two Steps Behind" (Acoustic Version)

Robert John "Mutt" Lange – backing vocals

Fiachna Ó Braonáin – tin whistle on "From the Inside"

Liam Ó Maonlaí – grand piano on "From the Inside"

Peter O'Toole – mandolin on "From the Inside"

P.J. Smith – backing vocals on "Action"

Pete Woodroffe – piano on "Miss You in a Heartbeat"


Def Leppard – producer

Pete Woodroffe – engineer, mixing

Janfred Arendsen – engineer

Albert Boekholt – engineer

Giles Cowley – mixing

Freek Feenstra – engineer

Nigel Green – engineer

Steve McGaughlin – engineer

Erwin Musper – engineer

Nial O'Sullivan – mixing

Ronald Prent – engineer

Robert Scovill – engineer

Mike Shipley – engineer

The Top Ten

1 Ring of Fire
2 Ride Into the Sun
3 Two Steps Behind (Electric Version)
4 Two Steps Behind (Acoustic Version) UListen to Sample
5 Miss You In a Heartbeat (Electric Version)
6 Fractured Love
7 Miss You In a Heartbeat
8 Desert Song
9 She's Too Tough
10 Only After Dark

The Contenders

11 I Wanna Be Your Hero
12 Miss You In a Heartbeat (Piano Version)
13 Action
14 From the Inside
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Related Lists

Greatest Def Leppard Songs Best Songs On Def Leppard's Pyromania Top Ten Songs from Def Leppard's High 'n' Dry Top Ten Best Songs from Def Leppard's Adrenalize Top 10 Best Songs on Def Leppard's on Through the Night

List Stats

14 listings
1 year, 334 days old

Top Remixes

1. Ride Into the Sun
2. Ring of Fire
3. Two Steps Behind (Electric Version)
1. Fractured Love
2. Ring of Fire
3. Desert Song


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