Def Leppard

The band was formed in the city of Sheffield, England, in 1977. It was part of the generation called NWOBHM, but has other styles, such as hard rock. It is considered one of the most popular bands in the world and has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide.

Rick Savage (bass), Pete Willis (guitar) and Tony Kenning (drums) formed in 1977 a band called Atomic Mass, which would be the embryo of Def Leppard. Joe Elliott emerged as a guitarist, but after a test, it was decided that he would take only the vocals. They change their name to Deaf Leopard, but at Tony Kenning’s suggestion, they change the name to Def Leppard. To this day they say that this name change was to sound similar to the name of another great band, Led Zeppelin. Def Leppard has always denied this, although they have never hidden their respect and admiration for the band. Steve Clark joins the group in 1978 at the same time that Tony Kenning leaves the group. He is replaced by Frank Noon, who only stays a short time, and is in turn replaced by the young drummer Rick Allen, only fifteen years old. That same year they record an EP with the same name (which features Noon), and are acclaimed as one of the greatest bands of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal.

First records
Their first album, 1980’s On Through the Night, establishes itself in the top fifteen of the British charts and they open for Pat Traves, AC/DC and Ted Nugent. They catch the attention of AC/DC producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange, who decides to produce the next album, 1981’s High ‘n’ Dry.[2] The album has songs considered classics of the group such as “Let It Go”, “Another Hit And Run” and “No, No, No”. The song “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak” (which would be re-recorded in 2003 by singer Mariah Carey), from the same album, becomes the first heavy metal ballad to play on MTV. Pete Willis leaves the band due to alcoholism problems and is replaced by Phil Collen, from the band Girl. It is with Collen that the group records the album that would make them world-famous, Pyromania.

Worldwide success and tragedy
Pyromania, from 1983, is a smash hit. Songs like “Rock! Rock! Til You Drop”, “Photograph”, “Foolin'”, “Rock of Ages”, “Too Late for Love” and “Die Hard The Hunter” become true anthems among fans. The music video for the song “Photograph”, a theme dedicated to the diva Marilyn Monroe, becomes the most requested on MTV, surpassing that of Michael Jackson’s song “Beat It”. A Gallup poll names the band as the most popular in the United States, and they are also considered the most popular band in England, their homeland where they were not initially well accepted. They are invited to play at the Rock in Rio festival, which would take place in 1985 in the city of Rio de Janeiro, but since they had not finished their next album, Hysteria, they did not close the deal to come to Rock in Rio. There was a great expectation, both from the fans and the band itself, about these presentations in the famous Brazilian city. In late December 1984, drummer Rick Allen is involved in a terrible car accident and his left arm is amputated,[3] doctors try to reattach the limb, but without success. All professional engagements are immediately canceled and the band withdraws for four years.

The return and another tragedy
After five years without recording, Def Leppard returns with the album Hysteria in 1987. It is the band’s most successful album, with over twenty million copies sold (mainly in the United States and England). Rick Allen participates in the recordings with a special drum set in which the rhythm controls are all on his feet. This album achieved seven hits, among them “Armageddon It”, “Animal”, “Women”, the title track, the ballad “Love Bites”, and “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, which became a hit in pornographic nightclubs in the USA. After this huge success, Def Leppard would only release a new album in 1992. However, a new tragedy awaited the band: in 1991, guitarist Steve Clark died due to his alcoholism problem.

The second comeback
The new album, Adrenalize, is released in 1992 and is another success. At the time, the group decided not to put anyone to replace Clark, with guitarist Phil Collen playing Clark’s parts on the album in addition to his own. However, this decision would be reviewed and guitarist Vivian Campbell (who had previously played with Dio and Whitesnake) is called in to take Clark’s place. Vivian’s first appearance is at the Freddie Mercury (Queen’s lead singer) tribute concert. From there comes a quiet and successful period in the group’s history. In 1993, they release the album Retro-Active, a mix of unreleased tracks with B-sides. From this album, as an original theme is released the song “Two Steps Behind”, which would be chosen as one of the twelve tracks on the soundtrack of the movie Last Action Hero with the participation of actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. From this album, a curiosity for Portuguese fans, the opening theme “Desert Song” is written by Joe Elliot on a rest day in Portugal, on the occasion of the European “7-Day Weekend Tour”, a concert held at the now non-existent Pavilhão do Dramático de Cascais, “sanctuary” of countless hard rock and metal bands.Vault: Def Leppard’s Greatest Hits, from 1995, is the group’s first anthology and it sells very well. This album features only one original song, a ballad called “When Love & Hate Collide.”

In 1996, they release the album Slang, leaving the roots of hard rock/heavy metal and incorporating a sound more focused on alternative rock, a style that was on the rise at the time. According to the band itself, it is a more personal album, the most intimate. From this album are released, among others, the singles Slang, the most commercial theme and Work It Out, theme written by Vivian Campbell, being this album the first with her active participation. Still reflecting the release of this album, the band decides to make a record. To enter the “Guinness” book of records through three concerts in three different continents in one day, and this record is obtained. Armed with acoustic guitars and a mini drum kit the band leaves for Morocco, Tangier, the city that hosted the first of three concerts at 00:00, then followed London where they played around noon and to finish, they left for Canada, Vancouver received the last of three concerts at 22:50. This was the end of the “Vaulting The World” project. Pulled by the hit “Promises” and the ballad “Goodbye”, the album Euphoria is released in 1999, which makes a kind of “return to the roots”, quenching the thirst for heavy rock of old fans and winning new ones. In this album, the theme “Demolition Man” has the collaboration of a final guitar solo by former Formula 1 driver Damon Hill.

21st Century
The American cable television film company VH1 releases the movie Hysteria: The Def Leppard Story in 2001.[4] As the title says, the movie tells the story of the group (albeit partially) from 1977 to 1986, with emphasis on the tragedies of Rick Allen and Steve Clark. After three years without recording, it already seems like a promise to take so long to release an album, they release in 2002 the album X. The latter is perhaps the most reminiscent in terms of sound, of the albums Hysteria and Adrenalize. With the release theme “Now”, they put together a video that somewhat portrays the hand-to-hand life of a Def Leppard t-shirt, their own life and those who are part of it. Not for nothing, another powerful ballad that leads to a compact, “Long Long Way To Go”, which according to Joe Elliot is since the ballad “Love Bites” (Hysteria album) the one that demanded the most from him, from his voice. In 2004 they release a new Best Of, with that same title, not released in the United States of America. In 2005, a new anthology comes out: Rock of Ages: The Definitive Collection. Finally, in 2006, they release the album Yeah!, with versions of their old idols. Among the tracks is “No Matter What”, by the English band Badfinger, who, like Def Leppard, were marked by a tragic story with two of their members – Pete Ham and Tom Evans – having committed suicide.

The band finished a tour in partnership with the band Journey. This was followed by the worldwide release on March 18, 2008, of the album Songs from the Sparkle Lounge. In 2011, they released their first live album called Mirrorball and in 2013 they released another live work, the double CD plus DVD and Blu-Ray Viva Hysteria, and starting in February 2014 they began work on recording a new studio album. A new album of the same name, Def Leppard, was released in October 2015.

Musical style and legacy
Def Leppard’s music innovated by bringing a blend of elements of hard rock, pop rock, glam rock and heavy metal, with their multi-faceted, harmonic vocals, constant strumming even in heavier songs and extremely melodic guitar riffs. However, even though they were considered one of the biggest bands of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement, in the mid-1980s the band was associated with the growing glam metal scene, mainly due to their commercial success and glamorous production. Pyromania has been cited as the catalyst for the glam metal movement of the 1980s. Def Leppard, however, have expressed their distaste for the “glam metal” industry, as well as thought that it does not accurately describe their musical style or appearance.

On the release of the album Hysteria, the band developed a more linear characteristic sound, with a cadenced rhythm, electronic drums, and the effects-laden guitars sound coated by a multifaceted wall of husky, harmonized vocals. Def Leppard is one of five rock bands that have sold in the United States 10 million records (each record) with two original studio albums. The others are The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, and Pink Floyd.