Who am I talking about?
In some ways, one of the luckiest rock bands in the world!
In other ways…
Well, Keep reading!
Def Leppard have seen it all, from rags to riches – from joy to sorrow.
Def Leppard’s music is a mixture of hard rock, AOR, pop and heavy metal elements, with its multi-layered, harmonic vocals and its melodic guitar riffs. However, even though they were often considered one of the top bands of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement of the late 1970s, in the mid-1980s the band were associated with the growing glam metal scene, mainly due to their mainstream success and glossy production. Pyromania has been cited as the catalyst for the 1980s pop-metal movement. Def Leppard, however, expressed their dislike of the “glam metal” label, as they thought it did not accurately describe their look or musical style. By the release of the Hysteria album, the band had developed a distinctive sound featuring electronic drums and effects-laden guitar sounds overlaid with a multi-layered wall of husky, harmonised vocals. Def Leppard has been cited as an influence by popular contemporary artists Matt Nathanson and Taylor Swift.
With Pyromania and Hysteria both certified Diamond by the RIAA, Def Leppard is one of only five rock bands with two original studio albums selling over 10 million copies each in the US. The others are The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Van Halen. Both Pyromania and Hysteria feature in Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Def Leppard was the most successful of the ‘New Wave of British Heavy Metal’ bands in the early 1980s. They combined the power of metal with a pop emphasis on melody, catchy hooks and vocal harmonies that contrasted sharply with harsher contemporary metal and punk bands. Their tremendously popular albums, such as Hysteria, appeared irregularly due to their painstaking perfectionism in the studio, but appealed to a broad range of music fans.
The early years. 1977 -79
Rick Savage, Tony Kenning, and Pete Willis, all students at Tapton School in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, formed a band called Atomic Mass in 1977. The band originally consisted of Willis on guitar, Savage on bass (after originally playing guitar), and Kenning on drums. Only 18 at the time, Joe Elliott tried out for the band as a guitarist following a chance meeting with Willis after missing a bus, in November 1977. During his audition it was decided that he was better suited to be the lead singer. Their first ever gig was in the dining hall in A Block in Westfield School in Mosborough, Sheffield.
Soon afterward they adopted a name proposed by Elliott, “Deaf Leopard”, which was originally a band name he thought up while writing reviews for imaginary rock bands in his English class (and in at least partial reference to the band Led Zeppelin). At Kenning’s suggestion, the spelling was slightly modified in order to make the name seem less like that of a punk band. In January 1978, Steve Clark joined the band. According to Joe Elliott, he successfully auditioned for the band by playing Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird” in its entirety.
In November, just prior to recording sessions for what would be a three-song release known as The Def Leppard E.P., Kenning abruptly left the band; he would later form the band Cairo. He was replaced for those sessions by Frank Noon. By the end of the month, Rick Allen, then only 15 years old, had joined the band as its full-time drummer. Sales of the EP soared after the track “Getcha Rocks Off” was given extensive airtime by renowned BBC Radio DJ John Peel, considered at the time to be a champion of punk rock and new wave music.
The Original E.P. that made the band.
Throughout 1979, the band developed a loyal following among British hard rock and heavy metal fans and were considered among the leaders of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. Their growing popularity led to a record deal with the major label Phonogram/Vertigo (Mercury Records in the US). Def Leppard’s original management, MSB, a local duo consisting of Pete Martin and Frank Stuart-Brown, were fired after Martin and Joe Elliott got into a fist fight over an incident on the road. The band approached Peter Mensch of Leber-Krebs management, who had booked them on a tour of the UK supporting AC/DC. Mensch, who admitted that he had had his eye on the band, became their manager.
The rise to fame. 1980 – 83
Def Leppard’s debut album, On Through the Night, was released on 14 March 1980. Although the album hit the Top 15 in the UK, many early fans were turned off by the perception that the band was trying too hard to appeal to American audiences by recording songs such as “Hello America” and touring more in the US (supporting Pat Travers, AC/DC, and Ted Nugent). A performance at the Reading Festival in August was marred when audience members expressed their displeasure by pelting the band with beer cans and bottles filled with urine. This incident was partially blamed on a cover story in Sounds music newspaper by the journalist Geoff Barton entitled “Has the Leppard changed its spots?” accusing the band of selling out to the American market. In a documentary on the band recorded for BBC 2, Barton recalls feelings of guilt over the story and having a “stand-up row” with the band’s manager, Mensch, backstage at the show. In the documentary series Metal Evolution, Joe Elliott says that the media had exaggerated the event and all bands on the day had experienced the ‘abuse’ from the crowd.
Wasted – Leppard’s first single, and maybe a sign of things to come…
The band had by then caught the attention of AC/DC producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange (Later to marry Shania Twain), who agreed to work on their second album, High ‘n’ Dry, released on 11 July 1981. Lange’s meticulous approach in the studio helped them begin to define their sound. Despite the album’s unimpressive sales figures, the band’s video for “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak” became one of the first metal videos played on MTV in 1982, bringing the band increased visibility in the U.S. After the album’s release, a European tour followed. The band opened for Ozzy Osbourne and Blackfoot.
Bringin’ On the Heartbreak – Thanks to MTV, this gave them the break in the U.S.A.
Phil Collen, former guitarist with the glam band Girl, on 12 July 1982 replaced Pete Willis, who had been fired the previous day because of excessive alcohol consumption on the job. This personnel change took place during the recording of their third album, Pyromania, which was released on 20 January 1983 and also produced by Lange. The cover artwork depicted an animated picture of a huge flame emerging from the top floor of a skyscraper, with a bullseye aimed at the flame. Though many stores would not carry the album due to the cover, the band did not change the artwork. The lead single, “Photograph”, turned Def Leppard into a household name, supplanting Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” as the most requested video clip on MTV and becoming a staple of rock radio (dominating the US Album Rock Charts for six weeks), and sparked a headline tour across the U.S.
Photograph – The song that beat Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat it’ into submission!
Fueled by “Photograph” and subsequent singles “Rock of Ages” and “Foolin'”, Pyromania went on to sell six million copies in 1983 (more than 100,000 copies every week in that year) and was held off the top of the US album charts only by Michael Jackson’s Thriller. With the album’s massive success, Pyromania was the catalyst for the 1980s pop-metal movement. In 2004, Pyromania was certified Diamond having sold over 10 million copies in the US. Def Leppard’s US tour in support of Pyromania began opening for Billy Squier in March and ended with a headlining performance before an audience of 55,000 at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, California in September. As a testament to the band’s popularity at the time, a US Gallup poll in 1984 saw Def Leppard voted as favourite rock band over peers such as The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, and Journey. However, in their native England, Duran Duran secured the number one spot.
Hysteria era. 1984 – 89
Following their breakthrough, the band moved to Dublin in February 1984 for tax purposes to begin writing the follow-up to Pyromania. Mutt Lange initially joined in on the songwriting sessions but then suddenly declined to return as producer due to exhaustion. Instead, Jim Steinman (of Meat Loaf’s Bat out of Hell fame) was brought in.
Then Tragedy hit…
On 31 December 1984, Rick Allen, 21 at the time, was involved in a driving accident. He was driving with his girlfriend to a new years eve party. While trying to pass another car at high speeds, he lost control of his Corvette C4, which hit a brick wall and entered a field. He was thrown from the car, with his left arm severed because the seat belt was not properly fastened. Doctors initially reattached Allen’s arm but, because of infection, it had to be removed. His right shoulder was also severely broken in the accident. His girlfriend was also hurt while in the car.
Despite the severity of the accident, Allen was committed to continuing his role as Def Leppard’s drummer, whilst in his hospital bed and listening to music he started tapping his feet and decided , along with help from his brother and the band to see what he could do and realized that he could use his legs to do some of the drumming work previously done with his arms. He then worked with Simmons to design a custom semi-electronic drum kit. The other members of the band supported Allen’s recovery and never sought a replacement. Allen was placed in a separate studio to practice his new drums. After a few months, Allen gathered the band together and performed the intro to the Led Zeppelin version of “When the Levee Breaks” to showcase his progress to the band. Joe Elliott reports this as being a “very emotional moment.” During this period, Mutt Lange returned as producer. Def Leppard brought in Jeff Rich in August 1986 to play alongside Allen during Def Leppard’s warm-up mini tour of Ireland, but after Rich accidentally missed a gig, he and the band realised Allen could drum alone. Allen’s comeback was sealed at the 1986 Monsters of Rock festival in England, with an emotionally charged ovation after his introduction by Joe Elliott.
The ‘Return of The Thunder God’ as Joe Elliot put it. (Sorry, I can’t find a good copy of the Donnington M.O.R. concert when he introduces Rick back to the stage)
After over three years of recording, Def Leppard’s fourth album, Hysteria, was released on 3 August 1987. In the UK, the first single from the album, “Animal”, became the band’s first Top 10 hit in their native UK, reaching No. 6 on the UK Singles Chart. “Animal” also started their run of ten consecutive U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 singles. Hysteria immediately topped the UK Album Charts in its first week of release. However, US album sales were relatively slow (compared to Pyromania) until the release of the fourth single, “Pour Some Sugar on Me”. The song hit Number 2, and Hysteria finally reached the top of the U.S. Billboard 200 in July 1988. The “Pour Some Sugar on Me” video was No. 1 on Dial MTV for a record 73 days (from 26 May–5 September 1988). Often regarded as the band’s signature song, “Pour Some Sugar on Me” was ranked No. 2 on VH1’s “100 Greatest Songs of the 80s” in 2006.
The song that I’d say is the loudest sung at every Leppard concert I’ve been to!
Pour Some Sugar on Me.
In October 1988, the power ballad “Love Bites” became Def Leppard’s first (and only) number one single on the Billboard Hot 100, in January 1989, the band scored another US Top 5 hit with “Armageddon It”, and by spring of 1989 the final single “Rocket” was in the Top 20. Wanting to give fans something new after the massive radio and video airplay for not only the 7 singles but also the Album tracks that Radio DJs were playing off the album, the band performed “Tear It Down”, a Hysteria B-side at the 1989 MTV Video Music Awards. Due to positive fan reaction the song was reworked for their following album Adrenalize.
Hysteria is one of only a handful of albums that has charted seven singles or more on the US Hot 100: “Women” (#80), “Animal” (#19), “Hysteria” (#10), “Pour Some Sugar on Me” (#2), “Love Bites” (#1), “Armageddon It” (#3), and “Rocket” (#12). It remained on the charts for three years and has sold over 20 million copies worldwide. Equally successful was the accompanying 15-month tour, in which the band performed in the round. This concept proved wildly popular with fans (as seen in the video for “Pour Some Sugar on Me”) and was used again for the Adrenalize tour.
At the 1989 Brit Awards held at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Def Leppard were a nominee for Best British Group, and the band performed “Pour Some Sugar on Me” at the ceremony. At the 1989 American Music Awards, Def Leppard won Favorite Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Artist, as well as Favorite Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Album (for Hysteria)
Then tragedy strikes again. 1990 – 99
Following Hysteria, the band quickly set out to work on their fifth album, hoping to avoid another lengthy gap. Steve Clark’s alcoholism worsened to the point that he was constantly in and out of rehab. On Tuesday 8 January 1991, Clark was found dead on his couch by Janie Dean (His girlfriend at the time) At the time of his death, Clark was on a 6-month leave of absence from Def Leppard. He was 30 years old. The autopsy revealed that he had died from an overdose of codeine. The autopsy also found that Clark had a blood alcohol level of .30 (3x the British legal driving limit) as well as the presence of the prescription drugs, Diazepam (marketed as “Valium”) and morphine. No evidence of suicidal intent was discovered during the autopsy. Daniel Van Alphen, Clark’s drinking companion the night before, testified that the two went to a local pub and returned to the guitarist’s home at midnight to watch a video.
He is buried at Wisewood Cemetery located in Loxley, Sheffield, near the Clark family estate.
The remaining band members decided to carry on and recorded the album as a four-piece, with Collen mimicking Clark’s style on his intended guitar parts. Def Leppard’s fifth album, Adrenalize, was finally released on 31 March 1992. The album simultaneously entered at Number one on both the UK and US album charts, staying on the latter for 5 weeks. The first single, “Let’s Get Rocked”, was an instant smash hit, and the band performed the song at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards where it was nominated for Best Video of the Year
Maybe the second loudest song sung… definitely a huge crowd pleaser!
Lets Get Rocked.
In April 1992, Def Leppard appeared at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert at Wembley Stadium, London, performing a three-song set of “Animal”, “Let’s Get Rocked” and Queen’s “Now I’m Here” with guitarist Brian May. Joe Elliott later performed “Tie Your Mother Down” with the remaining members of Queen and Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash. (Great performance it was too! Glad to have seen it!)
In a period between late 1991 and early 1992, auditions to replace Clark commenced. Among the guitarists who auditioned included Adrian Smith (Ex-Iron Maiden), John Sykes(Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake among others), and Gary Hoey. Ultimately, the band chose Vivian Campbell in February 1992, formerly of Dio and Whitesnake. Another world tour followed but the band’s fortunes began to be affected by the rise of alternative rock, including grunge.
A collection of b-sides and unreleased tracks recorded between 1984 and 1993, called Retro Active, was released in October 1993, preceded by the success of “Two Steps Behind” (from the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Last Action Hero). Another single, “Miss You in a Heartbeat”, hit the Top 5 in Canada, becoming one of their biggest hits there. Retro Active has sold 3 million copies worldwide to date. Two years later, Def Leppard issued their first greatest hits collection, Vault: Def Leppard Greatest Hits (1980–1995), which reached number 3 in the UK, and sold over 5 million copies in the US. Alternate track listings of the album were issued for North America, the UK, and Japan. The compilation included a new track, the power ballad “When Love & Hate Collide” (Mrs Grim’s favorite track and one of the first singles she ever bought!), which became their biggest ever hit in the UK, hitting No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart.
When Love and Hate Collide – For you Mrs Grim!
On 23 October 1995, the band entered the Guinness Book of World Records by performing three concerts on three continents in one day! (Tangiers, Morocco; London, England; and Vancouver, Canada). That record is still held to this day!
Slang, released in May 1996, marked a drastic musical departure for the band by featuring darker lyrics and a stripped-down alternative rock edge. The band rehearsed and played the songs together in the studio instead of recording parts separately, resulting in a much more live-sounding album. The US audience reception for Slang and its subsequent tour was a major drop off from a decade earlier, but Q Magazine nonetheless listed Slang as one of their Top Ten Albums of 1996. This album was the first recorded performance of Rick Allen playing a semi-acoustic drum kit since his accident, and not his electronic set as was first used with Hysteria. I’m pleased to say I was there at the first UK concert at Wembly when it was announced that ‘The Thunder God’ was playing this kit for the first time. What a show!
Title track from the album – Slang.
VH1 revived the band’s fortunes in the US in 1998 by featuring them on one of the first episodes of Behind the Music. Reruns of the episode yielded some of the series’ highest ratings and brought the band’s music back into the public consciousness (following years of burial by the alternative rock climate). The episode was even parodied on Saturday Night Live. In an effort to capitalize on this new momentum, Def Leppard returned to its classic sound with the 1999 album Euphoria. The first single, “Promises”, reunited the band with Mutt Lange and hit the US Mainstream Rock charts at No. 1 for 3 weeks. The album was certified gold in the US and Canada.
The walk of fame! – 2000 -07.
On 5 September 2000, Def Leppard were inducted into the Rock Walk of Fame on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard by their friend Brian May of Queen. In 2001, VH1 produced and aired Hysteria – The Def Leppard Story, a biopic that included Anthony Michael Hall as Mutt Lange and Amber Valletta as Lorelei Shellist (Steve Clark’s girlfriend). The docudrama covered the band’s history between 1977 through 1986, recounting the trials and triumphs of Rick Allen and Steve Clark. The 18 July broadcast still produced some of the channel’s highest-ever ratings and is available on DVD.
Def Leppard’s tenth album, X, saw the band’s musical direction moving more towards pop and further away from the band’s hard rock roots. X quickly disappeared from the charts, ultimately becoming the band’s least successful release. However, the accompanying tour played to the band’s strongest audiences since Adrenalize.
Great track and a quirky Def Leppard/Fan history – Now
An expanded and updated best-of collection, Best Of, was released internationally in October 2004. The North America-only version, Rock of Ages – The Definitive Collection, was released the following May. Def Leppard participated at the Live 8 show in Philadelphia and toured in the summer with Bryan Adams. In 2005, the band left their longtime management team, Q-Prime, and signed with HK Management.
On 23 May 2006, Def Leppard released an all-covers album titled Yeah!. The disc pays homage to classic rock songs of their childhood, originally recorded by Blondie, The Kinks, Sweet, ELO, and Badfinger among others. It debuted at No. 16 in the US, their tenth consecutive Top 20 album.
Blondie cover – Hanging on the Telephone.
The band, along with Queen, Kiss, and Judas Priest, were the inaugural inductees of “VH1 Rock Honors” on 31 May 2006. During the show, The All-American Rejects paid homage to the band with a cover of “Photograph”. Soon afterwards, they embarked on a US tour with Journey. That October, Hysteria was re-released in a two-disc deluxe edition format, which combined the original remastered album with b-sides, remixes, and bonus tracks from single releases. Def Leppard began their “Downstage Thrust Tour”, on 27 June, which took them across the US and into Canada. Support bands were Foreigner and Styx.
Songs from the Sparkle Lounge. 2008 – 09.
On 28 April 2008, Def Leppard released their first album of new studio material in six years, Songs from the Sparkle Lounge. The album debuted at No. 5 on The Billboard 200 in America. The first single was entitled “Nine Lives” and featured country singer Tim McGraw, who co-wrote the song with Joe Elliott, Phil Collen, and Rick Savage.
Nine Lives with Tim McGraw.
A tour in support of the album began on 27 March 2008 in Greensboro, North Carolina, with Styx and REO Speedwagon joining the band on US dates. The band also played several European rock festivals. An arena tour of the UK took place in June in which the band co-headlined with Whitesnake and was supported by US southern rockers Black Stone Cherry. The band then returned to Europe before coming back for a second leg of the UK tour in June. The first of these dates was at the Glasgow SECC on 17 June. Again they were joined by Whitesnake; however, hard rock band Thunder supported at some of these shows. Black Stone Cherry continued to support most of the dates, including some of the Thunder ones. Six shows which were cancelled during the USA/Canada leg of their world tour due to illnesses affecting Joe Elliott and Phil Collen would be rescheduled and played in August of that year. On 11 June, Def Leppard announced further dates for their 2008 World Tour. The extension saw them visit Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Whitesnake continued to support Def Leppard for their Indian and Japanese dates. Def Leppard toured 41 US cities plus Toronto, Canada, during mid-2009 with Poison and Cheap Trick and also played the Download Festival with Whitesnake and ZZ Top.
In October 2008, Def Leppard played with country star Taylor Swift in a taped show in Nashville, Tennessee, in a show called CMT Crossroads: Taylor Swift and Def Leppard.
Def Leppard and Taylor Swift – Hysteria – Live.
This was released as a DVD on 16 June 2009 exclusively at Wal-Mart. The release was the best-selling DVD of week, and the 10th best selling Wal-Mart music release. A fan of the band since childhood, Taylor Swift chose Def Leppard to perform together for the show, and their crossover performance of “Photograph” was up for both Performance of the Year and Wide Open Country Video of the Year at the CMT Music Awards in 2009. Taylor Swift said of the performance, “Performing with Def Leppard was awesome! They are the coolest guys on the planet! It was the coolest thing in the world to have my band on stage with them…It was the most amazing feeling in the world…” Joe Elliott from Def Leppard said, “What an absolute pleasure it was to work with Taylor and her band who are a great set of musicians. Myself and Taylor blended really well together, I think, and everybody, both bands and the crowd, had a great time. I’m really glad we had the opportunity to do this.”
In October 2009 the band announced that they would be cancelling the last leg of the 2009 North American tour, a total of 23 shows. The band cited, “unforeseen personal matters,” as the reason for the cancellations. At the time, the band denied rumours about a breakup, saying, “We’re not splitting. Not at all. We often joke, what else would we do? You just can’t imagine doing anything else.”
The last few years and the future… 2010 to present and plans.
On 22 February 2011 Mirror Ball – Live & More, a two-disc live album, with three new studio tracks, was released in parts of Europe on 3 June, the rest of Europe on 6 June, and on 7 June in the US; it was announced at the same time that Def Leppard would perform at the Download Festival on 10 June 2011. Three singles, all studio tracks, were released from the album, the first single being “Undefeated”.
Def Leppard embarked on a two-month U.S. tour in the summer of 2011, with Heart., as well as another seven shows in Australia in October with The Choirboys and Heart, two shows in Japan in November, and six shows in the United Kingdom in December with Steel Panther and Mötley Crüe.
The following year, they then toured with Poison and Lita Ford in the US during the summer of 2012 from 20 June through 15 September, dubbed the “Rock Of Ages 2012 Tour”.
The year after, Def Leppard played an eleven show residency at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada from 22 March through 13 April 2013. The residency, referred to as Viva! Hysteria, featured a two part show, with the first half featuring Def Leppard opening for themselves, under the alias “Ded Flatbird”, (jokingly called the best Def Leppard cover band in the world), when they would then play songs they very rarely play live, going all the way back to “Good Morning Freedom”, a b-side from the single “Hello America” released in February 1980, an era usually left untouched by the band. The opening set varied each night, from playing the best hits from albums like On Through the Night, Slang, and Euphoria, to being the entire first half of High ‘n’ Dry. The second half, and “main event” was Def Leppard, as themselves playing their best-selling album, Hysteria, from start to finish. A live album, also titled Viva! Hysteria was released on 22 October 2013. This was the first time the band has played an album live from start to finish.
Viva! Hysteria! – Love Bites – Huge ballad from the day!
The band has re-recorded several hits and even the entire album Hysteria in an effort to circumvent their record label from future royalties, though of these re-recordings, only “Rock Of Ages”, “Pour Some Sugar On Me”, and “Hysteria” have actually been released.
More bad news for the band…
In June 2013, Vivian Campbell announced that he had developed Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a malignant form of cancer that affects the Reed-Sternberg cells, located in the lymph nodes.
Vivian Campbell borrowing a little hair from drummer Vinny Appice.
He continued performing with Def Leppard, and no shows were cancelled or rescheduled. The sole idea of cancelling any shows and not doing anything disgusted Vivian, believing performing would be the best way to remain optimistic.In November 2013, he announced he was in remission. However, the cancer has since reemerged, and he is now receiving chemotherapy once again. Should the cancer once again enter remission, he will undergo a stem-cell transplant.
On 11 February 2014, the band released a remastered deluxe edition of their 1996 album Slang after much delay. The album, still coveted by many loyal fans of the band, now features 30 tracks including demos, B-sides, and unreleased material.
From 23 June 2014 to 31 August 2014, Def Leppard and Kiss are scheduled to tour 42 cities, with a dollar per ticket donated to such military charities as Wounded Warrior Project.
Def Leppard contributed one song Helen Wheels to the Paul McCartney tribute album The Art of McCartney released on November 18, 2014. Joe Elliott also contributed another track Hi Hi Hi.
At certain recent points in time, the band had projects, such as a cartoon and a documentary in development. However, these projects seem to be shelved indefinitely. The band had originally planned to do another residency in Las Vegas, this time in honor of Pyromania (called Viva! Pyromania), but due to the “Heroes 2014” tour with Kiss, and an upcoming, unnamed studio album, the project has been pushed back indefinitely.
The new album was originally planned to be an EP, but the set-list increased to 15 songs by June 2014. The album was completed in late 2014 and is planned to be released in 2015 with a tour to follow.
On February 12, 2015, Def Leppard announced a 2015 US summer tour with Styx and Tesla from June to October 2015. This follows the announcement of their 2015 Canadian tour that will take place in April and May this year.
- Albums, E.P’s and Compilations.
- The Def Leppard E.P. (1979)
- On Through the Night (1980)
- High ‘n’ Dry (1981)
- Pyromania (1983)
- Animal E.P. (1987)
- Hysteria (1987)
- Adrenalize (1992)
- Live: In The Clubs (1993)
- Retroactive (1993)
- Vault – Greatest Hits (1995)
- Slang (1996)
- Rock Vault (1999)
- Euphoria (1999)
- X (2002)
- The Best of Def Leppard (2004)
- Rock of Ages (2005)
- The Ballad Album (2005)
- Yeah! (2006)
- Songs from the Sparkle Lounge (2008)
- Mirror Ball: Live & More (2011)
- Viva Hysteria (2013)
Along with 51 singles, 12 videos and countless bootlegs.
A bit on the side…
Phil Collen played guitar, uncredited, on Sam Kinison’s “Wild Thing” from 1988. The video featured members of Poison, Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe, Guns N’ Roses, Ratt, and Aerosmith.
Collen also produced and played on the 1991 album On The Edge from Australian band BB Steal. And if you listen to this and don’t think its Def Leppard… well! I actually bought this album (Damn good it is too!) and tricked a huge Leppard fan into thinking it was a pre-release of Adrenalize!
Precious Love – BB Steel – Now tell me this doesn’t sound like it could have been of the Hysteria album!
Joe Elliott sang lead vocals on two tracks on Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood’s 1992 solo album, Slide on This. His then-wife Karla appeared in the videos for “Always Wanted More” and “Somebody Else Might”.
Various members of Def Leppard have played on tribute records for Jeff Beck, AC/DC and Alice Cooper.
Joe Elliott performed on two tracks to the soundtrack of the 1996 Sheffield-set motion picture, When Saturday Comes, the title track and an instrumental, “Jimmy’s Theme”.
Joe Elliott sang and co-wrote the opening track, “Don’t Look Down” on Mick Ronson’s farewell album Heaven and Hull. A promotional video was issued for the song as well.
Cybernauts was a side project consisting of Joe Elliott and Phil Collen teamed with members of the Spiders From Mars (David Bowie’s former band), minus the late Mick Ronson. The group played several shows, covering Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust-era songs and released one internet only album (since deleted).
Phil Collen has a side band called Man Raze, which released their debut album in June 2008.
Vivian Campbell has played with two side bands in recent years, Clock and the Riverdogs, and recorded a solo album, Two Sides of If, released in 2005.
Joe Elliott released an album in July 2010 with a band called Down ‘n’ Outz, which includes members of The Quireboys. He also hosts a radio show on ‘Planet Rock’ on Saturday nights between 18:00 and 19:00, D.A.B. radio or planetrock.com.
Vivian Campbell toured with Thin Lizzy in early 2011 before joining Def Leppard on their latest tour.
Joe Elliott, along with various other legendary musicians including Glenn Hughes, Duff McKagan, Sebastian Bach, Matt Sorum, Gilby Clarke and Steve Stevens formed a supergroup called Kings of Chaos, whose catalogue consists of songs by Deep Purple, Def Leppard, Guns N’ Roses and others. In 2012, Kings of Chaos recorded their version of Deep Purple’s classic, “Never Before”. Kings of Chaos played a few dates in Australia during Stone Fest 2013.
So what are your memories of this long standing band? What are your memories of them? Love them or hate them, they have been through it all and come out the other side and still working together, there are not many bands that can say that even after no tragedies or loss.
Well, till the next time, Rev Grim is outta here…
Take it away Steve…
Steve Clark – White Lightning Tribute.
Thanks for the music!