Wed July 31st, 2002
Mon July 31st, 2000
Wed July 12th, 2000
Mon July 12th, 1999
Wed July 7th, 1999
Mon May 20th, 1996
Mon August 9th, 1993
Mon September 7th, 1992
Mon November 30th, 1987
Mon March 28th, 1983
Mon August 17th, 1981
X (2002)
Euphoria (1999)
Slang (1996)
Vault: Greatest Hits 1980-1995 (1995)
Retro Active (1993)
Adrenalize (1992)
Rick Savage (1977-Present), bass
Joe Elliott (1977-Present), vocals
Rick Allen (1978-Present), drums
Phil Collen (1981-Present), guitar
Vivian Campbell (1992-Present), guitar
Like a lot of kids, Joe Elliott dreamed about being in a rock band, but being more creative than most, he did more than just fantasize. He invented a band for himself called Deaf Leopard, and he dedicated much of his time and energy in art classes designing cover art, logos and posters for it. Later when the 17 year old was asked to join Atomic Mass, he was able to realize his band aspirations. With a slight spelling modification, Def Leppard became a reality.
Def Leppard
When Def Leppard made its live debut in July of 1978 at Westfield School in Sheffield, none of the band members had yet turned 20. Youthful as they were, they demonstrated determination and an enterprising spirit well beyond their years. Later that year the quintet recorded a three-song EP at a small studio in Hull. With a loan from singer Joe Elliottís father, the fledgling band released its debut recording, titled Getcha Rocks Off on its own Bludgeon Riffola label. The initial pressing of the EP was a run of 1000 copies, and after being picked up by a local radio station, attracted the attention of BBC Radio 1 music mogul John Peel.

Favorable attention from the music press aligned Def Leppard with the simmering hard rock renaissance that would come to be known as the new wave of British heavy metal. Phonogram Records picked up Getcha Rocks Off and reissued it. After the EP sold some 24,000 copies, record retailer Peter Martin and promoter Frank Stuart Brown signed on as the groupís managers. The Phonogram imprint Vertigo signed Def Leppard and, with producer Tom Allom at the helm, the band recorded its album debut, On Through the Night, in less than three weeks.

Def Leppard made the most of key support slots touring with Sammy Hagar and AC/DC, and by early 1980, AC/DC manager Peter Mensch had taken the young band under his wing, and with his guidance Def Leppard set out to conquer America Ė a goal made easier thanks to the bandís deft ability to blend musicianship and melody into compelling pop metal. Producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange manned the boards when the time came to record a follow-up to On Through the Night. The resulting album High Ní Dry was released in 1981, and it was Def Leppardís first taste of platinum success. MTV had just hit the airwaves, and the video channelís power rotation support of "Bringiní On the Heartbreak" was vital in fueling Def Leppardís chart success.

In 1982, while the band was in the process of recording the follow-up to High Ní Dry, simmering tensions concerning guitarist Pete Willisís drinking problems erupt and he is fired. Phil Collen, formerly of the group Girl was hired to take his place. The completed album, Pyromania proved to be an even huger success than its predecessor, selling more than ten million copies and making Def Leppard superstars.

For the remainder of the í80s, Def Leppard would reign supreme in the realm of pop metal. Unlike many of its hair band cousins, Def Leppard had a knack for consistently writing solid material as well as the chops to play it with the bravado of more metallic artists. Unfortunately, the í80s proved to be a decade of lows as well as highs.

After the success of Pyromania, the group wanted to work with Lange again, but he was unavailable, so Jim Steinman (best known for his work on Meat Loafís Bat Out of Hell) signed on for production duty. The match didnít work out, and after Steinman left the project, Langeís engineer Nigel Green took over. Only a month into the recording, drummer Rick Allen was involved in a serious New Yearís Eve automobile accident. The force of impact severed his left arm and severely damaged the right. Surgeons reattached his severed limb, but infection set in three days later and it had to be amputated.

Four months later in April of 1985, Allen returned to the fold but progress on the album was slow, and ultimately the band decided to wait until Lange was available to finish work on it. Hysteria, Def Leppardís fourth album, was released in 1987, and though it didnít explode out of the box as Pyromania had, it gradually built momentum on the strength of singles like "Pour Some Sugar On Me," "Love Bites" and "Animal." For the remainder of the decade Def Leppard rode the charts and inspired legions of shaggy-haired bands in shredded jeans.

At the dawn of the í90s it was time to return to the studio, but shortly after the recording process started, Def Leppard suffered a second blow when guitarist Steve Clark finally succumbed to his long battle with drugs and alcohol. After Clarkís overdose, his bandmates elected to finish the follow-up to Hysteria as a quartet.

Adrenalize hit the streets in 1991, and despite the fact that it debuted at number one and yielded several hits, it still fell short of the track record established by earlier albums. A rarities collection (Retro Active) followed in 1993, and two years later a greatest hits package called Vault. Def Leppardís next studio effort, 1996ís Slang found the quintet (former Whitesnake axman Vivian Campbell had been enlisted after the completion of Adrenaliz) experimenting with more adventurous sounds, though its successor, Euphoria was a return to the tried-and-true blend of melodic metal that remains Def Leppardís signature style.
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