Def Leppard

The band was formed in 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 worldwide and has sold over 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, they decided he would do only the vocals.
They changed their name to “Deaf Leopard”, but at Tony Kenning’s suggestion, they changed the spelling to “Def Leppard”.
Steve Clark joined the group in 1978 at the same time that Tony Kenning left 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 recorded 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, established itself in the top fifteen of the British charts, and they opened for Pat Traves, AC/DC and Ted Nugent. They caught the attention of AC/DC producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange, who decided 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 became 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, became 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 were invited to play at the Rock in Rio festival, which would take place in 1985 in 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 great expectation from the fans and the band itself about these presentations in the famous Brazilian city. In late December 1984, drummer Rick Allen was involved in a terrible car accident, and his left arm was amputated. Doctors tried to reattach the limb but without success. All professional engagements were immediately cancelled, and the band withdrew for four years.

The return and another tragedy
After five years without recording, Def Leppard returned 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: 1991 guitarist Steve Clark died due to his alcoholism problem.

The second comeback
The new album, “Adrenalize”, was released in 1992 and was 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 first appeared at the tribute concert of Freddie Mercury (Queen’s lead singer). From there comes a quiet and successful period in the group’s history. In 1993, they released 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” 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 deactivated “Pavilhão do Dramático” de Cascais, “sanctuary” of countless hard rock and metal bands.

In 1996, they released the album Slang, leaving the roots of hard rock/heavy metal and incorporating a sound more focused on alternative rock, a rising style. According to the band, it is a more personal, intimate album. From this album are released, among others, the singles Slang, the most commercial theme, and Work It Out, a theme written by Vivian Campbell, being this album the first with her active participation. Still reflecting the release of this album, the band decided to make a record. This record is obtained to enter the “Guinness” book of records through three concerts on three different continents in one day. 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 was 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” released the movie “Hysteria”: The Def Leppard Story in 2001. As the title says, the movie tells the group’s story (albeit partially) from 1977 to 1986, emphasising 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 released 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 released a new Best Of, with that same title, not released in the United States of America. In 2005, a new anthology came out: Rock of Ages: The Definitive Collection. Finally, in 2006, they released 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, was 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”, 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. 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, they were 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 and 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 Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, and Pink Floyd are the others.