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Def Leppard

By

Def Leppard

Origins:

1977 in Sheffield, England

Original Name(s):

Atomic Mass, Deaf Leopard

Origin of the Name:

The band felt Def Leppard made them seem less like a punk rock band than Deaf Leopard.

Influenced By:

T Rex, Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy, AC/DC

Influence On:

Bon Jovi, Poison, Slaughter, Bryan Adams

Original Members:

  • Joe Elliott - vocals
  • Pete Willis - guitar
  • Tony Kenning - drums
  • Rick Savage - bass

Other Members:

  • Phil Collen - guitar
  • Vivian Campbell - guitar
  • Steve Clark - guitar
  • Rick Allen - drums
  • Frank Noon - drums

Current Members:

Joe Elliott, Phil Collen, Vivian Campbell, Rick Savage, Rick Allen

First Album:

On Through the Night (Compare Prices) - 1980

Most Recent Album:

Songs From The Sparkle Lounge (Compare Prices) - 2008

Signature Songs:

  • "Rock of Ages"
  • "Photograph"
  • "Pour Some Sugar On Me"
  • "Armageddon It"
  • "Love Bites"

Essential CD:

Tie: Pyromania and Hysteria

Pyromania was their third album, and the one that brought their first success in the US. Their fourth album, Hysteria was their biggest seller, and generated seven hit singles.

Young Leppard:

Rick Savage, Tony Kenning and Pete Willis started the band in 1977. They soon added Joe Elliott and Steve Clark, and replaced Kenning with Frank Noon. All were still in their teens in 1978 when they recorded a three-song EP (Extended Play single) from which the single "Gethca Rocks Off" became popular in the UK thanks to extensive exposure on BBC Radio.

Their first album, 1980's On Through the Night made it into the Top 15 in th UK, but didn't crack the Top 50 in the US.

Def Leppard Invades America:

1983's Pyromania broke through in the US and put the band in the forefront of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Their music was distinctive in its use of heavy audio processing to achieve a high-tech, futuristic effect and its rich vocal harmony.

It would be four years before the next album was released, during which time drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm in a car accident and taught himself to use his legs to replace it.

Def Leppard's Ups and Downs:

Pyromania had established the band in the US. Hysteria solidified their success, selling 18-million and staying on the charts for three years. It became just the third rock album to produce seven or more singles that charted in the US.

Tragedy struck again in 1991 when guitarist Steve Clark died from an accidental overdose of alcohol and prescription drugs.

Def Leppard's Staying Power:

Def Leppard established itself as a tireless touring band, even making it into the Guinness Book of World Records by playing three concerts on three continents (Africa, Europe and North America)in a single day. They continue to tour today.

By the band's own reckoning, they have performed in front of more than 50-million people and sold more than 65-million albums worldwide.

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