Def Leppard biography
Def Leppard, originally named Deaf Leopard, were formed in 1977 in Sheffield with the English rock band becoming a part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement.The band’s biography can be split into several time spells.
1977 - 1985
The first Def Leppard rehearsal took place in Sheffield (UK) in November 1977 and in July 1978 as the young band played their first public concert at Westfield School with the teacher paying them 5 pounds from his own pocket. A year later all Def Leppard members quit their jobs and Rick Allen left school (yeah, he was just 15 year-old!).
In 1980 Def Leppard were first introduced to the US audience featuring in the AC/DC tour after they released the first album “On Through the Night”. In 1982 Pete Willis was replaced by Phil Collen, from LUCY and GIRL band. After recording an extremely successful the Pyromania album in 1983, Def Leppard went on their first headline US tour. On the New Year’s Eve of 1984 Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen got into car accident and had his left arm damaged so badly that mirco surgery failed to restore his limb. However, Rick Allen worked hard and learned to drum with one hand at the Simmons electronic kit that was modified for his needs.
1986 – 1995
In early 1987 the band finally completed the long-awaited Hysteria album and the single "Animal" became the band's first Top 10 hit in the UK, reaching No. 6 on the UK Singles Chart.
Affected by the rise of alternative rock, Def Leppard changed their style to appeal to a broad range of music fans.
US album sales were slow until the release of the fourth single "Pour Some Sugar on Me", often regarded as the band's iconic song that took the second spot on VH1's "100 Greatest Songs of the 80s" in 2006.
Tragedy struck the group in 1991 when guitarist Steve Clark died of a fatal mixture of drugs and alcohol failing to beat his addiction with Vivian Campbell (previously Dio and Whitesnake.) stepping in the next year. Another album “Two Steps Behind”, released in 1992, became a hit in the U.S. as well as the rest of the world.
On 23 October 1995, the band came into the Guinness Book of World Records by performing three concerts on as many continents in just one day (Tangiers, Morocco; London, England; and Vancouver, Canada).
1996 - 2005
Slang, released in May 1996, marked a drastic musical departure for the band by featuring darker lyrics and a stripped-down alternative rock edge.
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).
Def Leppard's tenth album, X, saw the band's musical direction shifting towards pop and further away from the band's hard rock roots.
2006 - PRESENT
On 23 May 2006, Def Leppard released an all-covers album titled Yeah! Featuring songs of their childhood, originally recorded by Blondie, The Kinks, Sweet, ELO, and Badfinger among others. In April 2008, the world saw the first album from Def Leppard in six years, called “Songs from the Sparkle Lounge”.
Def Leppard announced 2008 World Tour covering 41 concert venues but later the same year the last leg of their North American tour (23 shows) was cancelled due to the unforeseen personal matters igniting the rumors about a possible split.
The band rejuvenated in the summer 2011 releasing the first live two-disc album with three new studio tracks called "Mirror Ball: Live & More". It was followed by "Viva! Hysteria" two years later - an attempt to revive the memories of their blockbuster 1987 on the first diss and a collection of rarely played and early raw material on the second.
On June 15th, 2011 Def Leppard's three-month North American tour with special guest HEART was named #1 on “Hot Tours” list of Billboa.
Def Leppard had an extremely successful North-American tour in 2015 that was extended into the 2016 due to an overwhelming demand. In February 2016 the English rockers had to postpone some concerts as Joe Elliott battled vocal issues but added even a lot more 2016 US tour dates to extend the tour by October.