Retro Active

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Retro Active
Compilation album by Def Leppard


5th October 1993



Label (s) Universal

Format (s)


Genre (s)

Hard rock

Title (number)


running time




Def Leppard

Studio (s)

Wisseloord Studios ( Hilversum , Netherlands ), Rainbow Studios and Olympiahalle in Munich , Bow Lane Studios and Joe's Garage in Dublin ( Ireland )

Retro Active Slang

Retro Active is the fifth music album by British hard rock band Def Leppard , released in 1993 . It is a collection of various recordings from the period from 1984 to 1993. Mostly revised versions of titles were published that had previously only been published as B-sides on singles of the group or were not used in the release of albums ( so-called outtakes ).


During the recording of the 1991 album Adrenalize , Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark died as a result of his alcohol and drug use. Def Leppard continued work on the album without engaging a replacement , Vivian Campbell , who also became a permanent member of the group, was engaged for the subsequent tour .

For Retro Active the group put together recordings from a period of ten years.


All is Vanity by Charles Allan Gilbert , 1892

The cover photo of the album is based on the vanitas picture All is Vanity by Charles Allan Gilbert from 1892 and shows a woman sitting in front of a dressing table. At second glance, however, you can see that the picture also shows a skull in which the mirror defines the shape of the skull, the woman's head forms the eye sockets, the nasal cavity is created from two hanging curtains and a candle and through the one in front of the Mirror standing bottles reproduce the rows of teeth. A cloth hanging from the front of the table forms the lower jaw.

In contrast to the painting, the cover shows the woman in a white instead of a black dress, so that the ambiguity of the picture is not immediately apparent. However, the woman is sitting in a shadow that darkens her back and the lower part of the dress, making the picture effect possible.

The German first edition of the CD was also provided with a sticker. In white letters on a blue background it read:

“This is neither a new DEF LEPPARD album, nor is it an old DEF LEPPARD album. It's RETRO ACTIVE - a collection of songs that came out here and there but were difficult to find or never left the studio. "

- Phonogram Ltd. (London)


Chart positions
Explanation of the data
Retro Active
  DE 36 10/25/1993 (9 weeks)
  US 9 06/01/1993 (26 weeks)
  UK 6th 10/16/1993 (5 weeks)
Two steps behind
  DE 66 11/29/1993 (10 weeks)
  UK 32 09/18/1993 (4 weeks)
  US 12 10/23/1993 (20 weeks)
Miss You in a Heartbeat
  US 39 01/22/1994 (17 weeks)
  UK 14th January 15, 1994 (5 weeks)

Oliver Klemm ( Rock Hard ) wrote about this album, “Value for money” alone promises the concept of this “snack for in between consumption” , which deliberately renounces the hits of the group and “instead offers plenty of rare goods in the block” , which was "usually revised and remixed" . This included “various non-album tracks from B-sides from the past decade” , including Klemm the cover versions of 'Action' (Sweet) and 'Only After Dark' (Mick Ronson), as well as “the '87 rewrite from 'Ride Into The Sun' and the superb 'Ring Of Fire', other curiosities ” ('From The Inside', the result of a recording with the Hothouse Flowers ), and a version of 'Miss You In A Heartbeat', with “ none other than Elton John on the piano. In addition, there are "two previously completely unreleased numbers" ('Desert Song' and 'Fractured Love'), which "were forgotten as unfinished remnants of the" Hysteria "session" and were only given the finishing touches in 1993. For Def Leppard fans, the album is "a must" .

The Allmusic - reviewer Eduardo Rivadavia wrote, "ordinary fans" could album "find confusing," Def Leppard fanatics, however, would certainly "his versatility and informative production notes" estimate.

Track list

  1. "Desert Song" (Steve Clark, Joe Elliott, Rick Savage) - 5:19
  2. "Fractured Love" (Clark, Elliott, Savage) - 5:08
    • Outtake from the Hysteria Sessions
  3. "Action" ( Andy Scott , Brian Connolly , Steve Priest , Mick Tucker ) - 3:41
    • Originally released on the "Make Love Like a Man" single
  4. "Two Steps Behind" (Acoustic Version) (Elliott) - 4:16
    • Originally released on the "Make Love Like a Man" single
    • Was part of the Last Action Hero soundtrack
  5. "She's Too Tough" (Elliott) - 3:41
    • Originally released on the single for "Heaven Is"
  6. "Miss You in a Heartbeat" ( Phil Collen ) - 4:04
    • Originally released on the "Make Love Like a Man" single
  7. "Only After Dark" ( Mick Ronson ) - 3:52
    • Originally released on the "Let's Get Rocked" single
  8. "Ride Into The Sun" (Clark, Collen, Elliott, Savage) - 3:12
    • Originally released on the "Hysteria" single
    • The title's original recording was part of the The Def Leppard EP
  9. "From the Inside" (Elliott) - 4:13
    • Originally released on the "Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad" single
  10. "Ring Of Fire" (Clark, Collen, Elliott, Mutt Lange , Savage) - 4:42
    • Originally released on the "Armageddon It" single
  11. "I Wanna Be Your Hero" (Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange, Savage) - 4:29
    • Originally released on the "Hysteria" single
  12. "Miss You in a Heartbeat" (Electric Version) (Collen) - 4:58
  13. "Two Steps Behind" (Electric Version) (Elliott) - 4:29
  14. "Miss You in a Heartbeat" (Piano Version) [Hidden track] (Collen) - 4:09

Web links


  1. Production notes in the CD booklet
  2. Retro Active CD cover
  3. Charts DE Charts UK Charts US
  4. Review in Rock Hard 78 (1995)
  5. Review on