Def Leppard is an English rock band formed by a group of teenagers from Sheffield England in 1977. The band is composed of Rick Savage on bass, Pete Willis on guitars and Joe Elliott on vocals. Their name Def Leppard, comes from Elliott’s imaginary interview write ups for his English class. It was originally spelled as Deaf Leopard but it was slightly modified to make their name seem more like a rock band. A year after they started playing in local pubs, they decided to add Steve Clark on their band as their new guitarist. They later recorded their debut EP album, Getcha Rocks Off and released it under their own label named Bludgeon Riffola. The EP album became a success through word of mouth and it even gained an airplay on the BBC.
Def Leppard’s Hit Songs and Albums Include:
- On Through the Night (1980)
- High ‘n’ Dry (1981)
- Pyromania (1983)
- Hysteria (1987)
- Adrenalize (1992)
- Slang (1996)
- Euphoria (1999)
- X (2002)
- Yeah! (2006)
- Songs from the Sparkle Lounge (2008)
- Def Leppard (2015)
- Rock of Ages
- Love Bites
- When Love and Hate Collide
- Two Steps Behind
- Armageddon It
- Pour Some Sugar on Me
- Miss You in a Heartbreat
- Bringin’ On the Heartbreak
After the release of this EP, the band added a new permanent drummer, Rick Allen. They soon signed with Peter Mensch who was also AC/DC’s manager and he helped them sign a contract with Mercury Records. in 1980, Def Leppard released their debut studio album with the title On Through The Night. This became an instant hit in the UK and it slowly gained airplay in the United States. To promote their album, Def Leppard started playing touring Britain and the United States. And although they play their own shows, they sometimes take the gig to be the opening act for famous musicians like Sammy Hagar, Judas Priest and Ozzy Osborne.
The band released their second studio album, High ‘n’ Dry in 1981 which included the hit single “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak”. The music video of the hit song received extensive airplay on MTV which helped turn this record into Def Leppard’s first platinum album ever.
While the band is busy recording the follow up album to High ‘n’ Dry, their guitarist Pete Willis was fired from the band because of his alcoholism and he was replaced by Girl’s former guitarist, Phil Collen. And in 1983, Def Leppard released their third studio album with the title Pyromania which became an unexpected hit. This album held the hit singles “Photograph” and “Rock of Ages” and thanks to MTV and the repeated airplay of the songs music video, Pyromania sold over ten million copies which made Def Leppard one of the most popular bands in the world at that time.
Following this success, Def Leppard embarked on an extensive international tour and after that they started recording their follow up album for Pyromania. During their recording process, their drummer Rick Allen was involved in a car accident which cost him his left arm. Def Leppard had to put on hold their recording sessions because they cannot continue without a drummer. But later in 1985, Rick Allen began to learn how to play a custom made electronic drum kit. The band continued their recording sessions again and in 1987, they released their fourth album, Hysteria. Although this album started out slow in the market, it managed to gain six straight top 20 singles in the United States, namely, “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, “Rocket”, “Hysteria”, “Armageddon IT”, “Animal” and “Love Bites”.
The success of Hysteria made the public eagerly wait for what Def Leppard’s follow up album. This caused the band take a rest from all the touring in the early 1990’s and started to work on their new record. While they were on the process of recording, their guitarist Steve Clark died from drug and alcohol overdose. After this, Def Leppard decided to carry on as a quartet and released their album Adrenaline in 1992. Even if this album received less than stellar reviews, it still managed to debut at the top spot of the charts and produce hit singles like “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad” and “Let’s Get Rocked”. After this, Def Leppard added former Whitesnake guitarist Vivian Campbell into their line up to complete their two guitar attack.
In 1993, Def Leppard released their album Retro Active which featured the acoustic hit single “Two Steps Behind”. Two years later, the band released a greatest hits compilation album, Vault, while they were recording their sixth album. Slang was released in 1996 which was greeted with different criticisms. Despite of this, the band carried on and released a pop-metal album entitled Euphoria in 1999. In spite of producing the hit single, “Promises”, the album failed to make any additional hit songs. The band then returned into the pop ballad genre with their album entitled X in 2002. This was followed by their 2006 album, Yeah! which was a cover album.
In 2008, Def Leppard released their ninth studio album, Songs from the Sparkle Lounge. The album debuted at the number five spot of the charts and was followed by a summer tour. Throughout the years, Def Leppard released three live albums including the double live album and concert video entitled And There Will be a Next Time. In August 2017, Def Leppard celebrated their 30th year in the music industry by releasing a collectors edition box of their successful album, Hysteria.