Def Leppard have big plans for 2020.
The rockers are preparing a new box set, The Early Years, which includes a recently teased live show from 1980 that singer Joe Elliott called “astounding”; the quintet will also launch a visual campaign featuring “cleaned-up” versions of its past video titles.
Elliott discussed both projects in a new interview with SiriusXM’s Trunk Nation [via Blabbermouth], noting that the box set will come between January and April 2020, timed around the 40th anniversary of their 1980 debut, On Through the Night.
“We’re doing the first two albums [Night and 1981’s High ‘n’ Dry] with bonus material,” he said. “And there’s a live recording from Oxford New Theatre in the U.K. from April 1980, which is actually astounding. I didn’t realize how good it was. Listening to it, the two-armed Rick Allen and Sav [bassist Rick Savage], I mean, what a tight rhythm section they are — they were then, but they still are now. But even back then, they were. And Pete Willis and Steve Clark were a great combination in those days; they really were as well. And as I said in the liner notes, if you peel through the curtain of uncertainty that was my voice back in those days, you can hear the beginnings of a really great band.”
The visual series, “2020 Vision,” will feature reissued videos “in much better condition than it was originally released.” “In other words, no hissy VHS tapes anymore,” Elliott added, “but cleaned-up, 5.1 surround sound remixes on the sound of some live stuff, some live things that have never seen the light of day before.”
Asked about the possibility of new music, which would follow their self-titled 2015 LP, Elliott noted that touring is the band’s primary priority. “We still wanna make new music — don’t get me wrong, we absolutely do,” he said, pointing to some other classic rock icons like the Rolling Stones and the Who. “They just released only their second album since 1982,” he said of the latter band. “The Who have been touring all this time, because it’s what people want, and it’s what they want.”
On that front, Def Leppard will hit the road in 2020 on the Stadium Tour with the recently revived Motley Crue, Poison and Joan Jett. The newly expanded trek launches June 21 in San Antonio and currently runs through early September.