Def Leppard detail The Early Years box set

(Image credit: UMC/Virgin)

In December last year, Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott revealed the band were planning on releasing a box set titled The Early Years.

That news came after he previously stated they were planning on launching a “warts and all” show recorded in Oxford in 1980

Now full details of the box set have been revealed – and it’s going to be packed with material, with the package coinciding with the 40th anniversary of Def Leppard’s debut album On Through The Night.

The Early Years 79-81 box set will be released on March 20 through UMC/Virgin and will contain remastered editions of 1980’s On Through The Night and 1981’s High ‘N’ Dry, which were overseen by Elliott, who acted as executive producer, and mastered by Def Lep’s longtime sound engineer Ronan McHugh.

The collection will be spread across five discs, with the albums joined by the previously revealed Oxford show, along with b-sides, remixes, further live cuts and more.

In addition, The Early Years 79-81 will include the Nick Tauber-produced version of Rock Brigade which was planned to launch as a single but remained in the vaults… until today. Listen to it below.

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.

“It’s been a trip putting this box set together and I hope you all enjoy listening to it as much as we did working on it.”

In addition to the music, the box set will include a history of the band’s first two albums written by Classic Rock writer Paul Elliott which will feature “personal insights from the band on the making and releasing of those early records as well as rare photos and memorabilia.”

The Early Years 79-81 is now available to pre-order, while a full list of contents can be found below.

In addition, On Through The Night will be released on blue vinyl, while High ’N’ Dry will be pressed on red vinyl on March 20. Both are now available to pre-order.

Def Leppard will head out on the road across the US next summer with Motley CruePoison and Joan Jett And The Blackhearts on their highly anticipated stadium tour.

Def Leppard: The Early Years 79-81

Def Leppard: The Early Years 79-81
Def leppard celebrate the 40th anniversary of their debut album On Through The Night with this brand new box set. It features remasters, b-sides, rarities, live cuts and more.

Def Leppard: The Early Years 79-81 box set contents

CD1: On Through The Night - remastered
1. Rock Brigade
2. Hello America
3. Sorrow Is A Woman
4. It Could Be You
5. Satellite
6. When the Walls Came Tumbling Down
7. Wasted
8. Rocks Off
9. It Don't Matter
10. Answer to The Master
11. Overture

CD2: High ’N’ Dry - remastered
1. Let It Go
2. Another Hit and Run
3. High N Dry (Saturday Night)
4. Bringin' On the Heartache
5. Switch 625
6. You Got Me Runnin'
7. Lady Strange
8. On Through the Night
9. Mirror Mirror (Look into My Eyes)
10. No No No

CD3: When The Walls Came Tumbling Down: Live in Oxford: 26/04/1980
1. When the Walls Came Tumbling Down
2. It Could Be You
3. Rock Brigade
4. Satellite
5. Medicine Man
6. Answer to the Master
7. When the Rain Falls
8. Sorrow Is a Woman
9. Good Morning Freedom
10. Don't Matter to Me
11. Overture
12. Lady Strange
13. Getcha Rocks Off
14. Hello America
15. Wasted
16. Ride into The Sun

CD4: Too Many Jitterbugs: B-sides and rarities
1. Ride into The Sun - The Def Leppard EP
2. Getcha Rocks Off - The Def Leppard EP
3. The Overture - The Def Leppard EP
4. Wasted -Single
5. Hello America - Single
6. Rock Brigade - Unreleased Nick Tauber produced version
7. Glad I'm Alive - Unreleased Nick Tauber produced version
8. Good Morning Freedom - Single
9. Let It Go - Single Edit
10. Switch 625 - Single Edit
11. Bringin' On the Heartbreak - Single Edit
12. Me and My Wine - Original Version
13. Bringin' On the Heartbreak - Remix
14. Me and My Wine - Remix

CD5: Raw: Early BBC Recordings
1. Glad I'm Alive (Andy Peebles Session - 07/06/1979)
2. Sorrow Is A Woman (Andy Peebles Session - 07/06/1979)
3. Wasted (Andy Peebles Session - 07/06/1979)
4. Answer to The Master (Andy Peebles Session - 07/06/1979)
5. Satellite (Friday Rock Show Session - 03/10/1979)
6. Rock Brigade (Friday Rock Show Session - 03/10/1979)
7. Wasted (Friday Rock Show Session - 03/10/1979)
8. Good Morning Freedom (Friday Rock Show Session - 03/10/1979)
9. Satellite / When the Walls Came Tumbling Down (Live at the Reading Festival  - 24/08/1980)
10. Medicine Man (Live at the Reading Festival - 24/08/1980)
11. The Overture (Live at the Reading Festival - 24/08/1980)
12. Lady Strange (Live at the Reading Festival - 24/08/1980)
13. Getcha Rocks Off (Live at the Reading Festival - 24/08/1980)

Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Poison, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts tour
Jun 21: San Antonio Alamodome, TX
Jun 23: Kansas City Kauffman Stadium, MO
Jun 25: St. Louis Busch Stadium, MO
Jun 27: Minneapolis U.S. Bank Stadium, MN
Jun 29: Nashville Nissan Stadium, TN
Jul 02: Cincinnati Great American Ballpark, OH
Jul 03: Cleveland FirstEnergy Stadium, OH
Jul 07: Miami Hard Rock Stadium, FL
Jul 09: Orlando Camping World Stadium, FL
Jul 11: Charlotte Bank of America Stadium, NC
Jul 14: Arlington Globe Life Field, TX
Jul 15: Houston Minute Maid Park, TX
Jul 19: San Francisco Oracle Park, CA
Jul 23: San Diego Petco Park, CA
Jul 25: Phoenix State Farm Stadium, AZ
Aug 09: Atlanta SunTrust Park, GA
Aug 11: Hershey Hersheypark Stadium, PA
Aug 13: Buffalo New Era Field, NY
Aug 15: Philadelphia Citizens Bank Park, PA
Aug 16: Pittsburgh PNC Park, PA
Aug 18: Milwaukee Miller Park, WI
Aug 20: Detroit Comerica Park, MI
Aug 22: Washington Nationals Park, DC
Aug 23: Flushing Citi Field, NY
Aug 25: Boston Fenway Park, MA
Aug 28: Chicago Wrigley Field, IL
Aug 30: Denver Coors Field, CO
Sep 02: Seattle T-Mobile Park, WA
Sep 05: Los Angeles SoFi Stadium, CA

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Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.