Heavy Pettin's Best Of proves that music doesn't always age well

Even a Best Of from Def Leppard wannabes Heavy Pettin fails the test of time

Heavy Pettin - Best Of artwork
(Image: © Burntout Wreckords)

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

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.

Neil Jeffries

Freelance contributor to Classic Rock and several of its offshoots since 2006. In the 1980s he began a 15-year spell working for Kerrang! intially as a cub reviewer and later as Geoff Barton’s deputy and then pouring precious metal into test tubes as editor of its Special Projects division. Has spent quality time with Robert Plant, Keith Richards, Ritchie Blackmore, Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore – and also spent time in a maximum security prison alongside Love/Hate. Loves Rush, Aerosmith and beer. Will work for food.