As all of us who championed this Glaswegian band at the time of their 1983 debut Lettin Loose must admit, they haven’t aged half as well as the band with whom they were consistently compared: Def Leppard.
Heavy Pettin protested when so charged, but had only two defences: singer Steve Hayman sounded more like Biff Byford than Joe Elliott, and their drum sound was so poor that had Rick Allen been in the band he would have quit.
Otherwise, there are Leppard paw prints all over this: riffs, melodies, gang vocals, and – from 1985’s second album Rock Ain’t Dead – two songs (Northwinds and China Boy) that sound like rewrites of Leppard’s Billy’s Got A Gun.
This compilation re-sequences five songs from those first two albums among just four from the tissue-thin third, Big Bang (initially shelved, then allowed to escape in 1989), on which they experimented with keyboards – witness the risible Born To Burn.
The tracks from Lettin Loose (what did they have against apostrophes?) are strongest – especially In And Out Of Love, Rock Me, Hell Is Beautiful and re-recorded former B-side Love Times Love – so it’s a shame the compilers didn’t also include Roll The Dice. Or simply give this up as a bad idea.