Retro Active contains alternative versions of several compositions, as well as by-side singles and previously unreleased tracks recorded by the band between 1984 and 1993.
Retro Active took 9th position in the US Billboard 200 and 6th place in the UK Album Chart. Later the album became platinum in the USA and Canada.
Another opus from commercial mentalists from Def Leppard. This CD contains rare and unreleased early compositions of the band, recorded at different times. Despite the fact that the release is not a full-fledged new material, I still consider it as a fresh studio work. The first thing that catches your eye is an increased dose of gloom and depressiveness, both in heavier music, and in more vicious and desperate vocals. I’m not afraid to say that this is one of the band’s most powerful works in terms of a standard rhythm section and pure solos. The music asks out loud from the speakers – damp and rumbling, but the orderly sound reminded something of the band’s early work, but the atmosphere here is more depressing, which, in my opinion, is only beneficial. This time, the games turned out to be less sophisticated and heavier, so that commercial music can be called only in relation to slow compositions.
If you briefly go through the things, they can be divided into three categories – medium tempo depressive, less depressive coppers and, of course, a couple of good old rock’n’roll faces. The greatest potential lies in the most eerie opener “Desert Song”, a combat cover “Action”, a more commercial and melodic electric version of “Two Steps Behind”, well, and, perhaps, the most down-to-earth action movie with screaming vocals and cool chorus – “She’s too Tough. ” One cannot help noting the slow hit “Miss You in a Heartbeat”, featuring a special lyricism and beautiful lyrics, as always, about love. I note from myself that here the mood after listening to the album remains depressed and very sad at heart. Maybe it’s Retro in the notion of musicians (some things really remind it), but in fact it’s their real essence. Music really conveys that black-haired period in the life of musicians. And this is exactly the atmosphere that leaves its mark, as it leaves unhappy love or there… such things.
In the end, I note that many will misunderstand this work and will not appreciate it, but in fact it is also strong, like the previous ones. Despite such a lively and more “difficult” sound, the guys hold the tail with a wheel, and their material once again brings a dose of buzz to the listener. Is that a minus one point for frankly weak and rare backing vocals, but let’s not forget that this is still not quite a new album.