Thursday, June 13, 2013

Def Lep: Whats a Deaf Leopard ?

DEF LEP...what can I say about Def lep...WELL,  first time I saw them was on Donnie Sutherlands Sounds one saturday morning when he played the clip "Rock Rock till you Drop"...and that was me hooked, what can I say, catchy hooks...hook me....and my super liking of the band has held up even if they had the guts or gall to release Slang and X...cant let a blip turn you off a superb band.

Def Leppard formed in 1977 in Sheffield....they initially practiced in an old spoon factory and called themselves Atomic Mass with tony kenning on drums, Tony left and 15 year old Rick Allen got the seat and when it came time to do gigs 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

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 like "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 Elliot says that the media had exaggerated the event and all bands on the day had experienced the traditional "bottling" from the crowd

 Since 1992, the band has consisted of Rick Savage (bass, backing vocals), Joe Elliott (lead vocals), Rick Allen (drums, backing vocals), Phil Collen (guitar, backing vocals), and Vivian Campbell (guitar, backing vocals). This is the band's longest-standing line-up.

The band had by then caught the attention of AC/DC producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange, 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.

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. (Willis would later resurface with the bands Gogmagog and Roadhouse.) 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 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

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, this popularity was not matched in their native England where Duran Duran secured the number one spot, a fact that greatly bothered them.

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.

The band's strongest commercial success came between the early 1980s and the early 1990s. Their 1981 album High 'n' Dry was produced by "Mutt" Lange, who helped them begin to define their style, and the album's stand out track "Bringin' On the Heartbreak" became one of the first metal videos played on MTV in 1982. The band's next studio album Pyromania in 1983, with the lead single "Photograph", turned Def Leppard into a household name. In 2003, the album ranked number 384 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time

Def Leppard's fourth album Hysteria, released in 1987, topped the U.S. and UK album charts. As of 2009 it has 12x platinum sales in the United States, and has gone on to sell over 20 million copies worldwide. The album spawned seven singles, including the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 number one "Love Bites", alongside "Pour Some Sugar on Me", "Hysteria", "Armageddon It", "Animal","Rocket", and "Women"

Their next studio album Adrenalize (the first following the death of guitarist Steve Clark) reached number one on the U.S. Billboard 200 and UK Album Chart in 1992, and contained several hits including, "Let's Get Rocked" and "Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad". Their 1993 album Retro Active contained the acoustic hit song "Two Steps Behind", while their greatest hits album Vault released in 1995 featured the new track "When Love & Hate Collide".

On 31 December 1984, drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm in a car crash on the A57 in the hills outside the band's home city Sheffield, when his Corvette swerved off the road on a sharp bend and went through a drystone wall. Despite the severity of the accident, Allen was committed to continuing his role as Def Leppard's drummer, and realised 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 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 Elliot 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....and to this day, he is called THE THUNDER GOD  by band, crew and fans...and rightly so.

Rick Savage...being a bit of a bass fan, I can appreciate Rick 'SAV" Savages playing ..the guy is locked in with Rick and fkn stays there, solid muso with a great ear for writing a tune...I must admit to being curious about his looks, I didnt know if he had some work done or what..turns out he had a bout of Bells Palsy which paralyzed someof his facial muscles....still, WHAT A BASS PLAYER HUH?

After over three years of recording, Def Leppard's fourth album, Hysteria, was released on 3 August 1987. 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 videos for "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and "Armageddon It") 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).

Steve Clark...CLARKY...the riff meister of Def Lep in the early days, although how he played a guitar hanging that low still eludes me, apparently his old man was a right peice of shit who constantly belittled him ...arsehole, hope the prick is in pain somewhere..anyway....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. Recording sessions suffered from this distraction, and in mid-1990, Steve was granted a six-month leave of absence from the band. Clark died from an accidental mix of prescription drugs and alcohol on 8 January 1991, in his London home.

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. 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.

Vivian Campbell...Viv signed on after Clarky passed away, and what a great player he is ,his been in Sweet Savage, Dio and Whitesnake before joining the Leps and has complmented Phils guitar playing wonderfully, recently he has let the world know that he has got hodgkins lymphoma, a form of cancer that affects white blood cells which fkn sucks to be honest...get well of this writing, Vivian plans to continue performing with Def Leppard....

SO ANYWAY...In 1992, another world tour followed, Viv joining the band, 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", which became their biggest ever hit in the UK, hitting No. 2 on the UK .....On 23 October 1995, the band entered the Guinness Book of World Records by performing three concerts in three continents in one day (Tangiers, Morocco; London, England; and Vancouver, Canada)....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 US audience reception for Slang and its subsequent tour was a major dropoff 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.

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 capitalise 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.

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.

NEXT came Songs from the Sparkle Lounge, and what a great friggin album it is , it was released worldwide on 28 April 2008 and on 30 April 2008 in Japan. 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.

INTERESTING SUB NOTE:...did you know they mad a bio-pic about the Leps?...NO...they did, starts out with Ricks prang and explains their history in bits and bobs ...not a bad flick actually...but I'm weird

In October 2008, Def Leppard played with country superstar, Taylor Swift in a taped show in Nashville, Tennessee, in a show called CMT Crossroads: Taylor Swift and Def Leppard. 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, 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 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] The band has 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 band had been earning nearly $700,000 a show, placing them in the top 20 shows on tour. Joe Elliott told Britain's Metro that the band would be taking a one year hiatus. 

They then toured with Poison and Lita Ford in the US during the summer of 2012 from 20 June through 15 September. In between the tour, they headlined Rock Fest on 22 July with Poison and others.

The following year, 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. They performed the album Hysteria in its entirety, as well as other songs. Phil Collen stated that the group will be recording the shows for a future live release which he calls ‘Hysteria Live’. This was the first time the band will play an album live from start to finish. The band played a very different set each night before performing Hysteria. For this opening set, the band addressed themselves as "Ded Flatbird - The World's Greatest Def Leppard Cover Band."

In April of 2013 the band re-recorded several hits and eventually the entire album "Hysteria" in an effort to circumvent their record label from future royalties 

With Pyromania and Hysteria both certified Diamond by the RIAA, Def Leppard are 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.


Current members
Rick Savage – bass guitar, backing vocals, additional guitar, additional keyboards (1977–present)
Joe Elliott – lead vocals, additional guitar, additional keyboards (1977–present)
Rick Allen – drums, percussion, backing vocals (1978–present)
Phil Collen – guitar, backing vocals (1982–present)
Vivian Campbell – guitar, backing vocals (1992–present)

Former members
Tony Kenning – drums, percussion (1977–1978)
Pete Willis – guitar, backing vocals (1977–1982)
Steve Clark – guitar, backing vocals (1978–1991)
Frank Noon – drums, percussion (1978)

Live musicians
Jeff Rich – drums, percussion (1986; supplement to Rick Allen)
Sinéad Madden – fiddle (2012)

As one of the world's best-selling music artists, Def Leppard have sold more than 100 million albums worldwide and have two albums with RIAA diamond certification, Pyromania and Hysteria. They are one of only five rock bands with two original studio albums selling over 10 million copies in the U.S. The band were ranked No. 31 in VH1's "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock" and ranked No. 70 in "100 Greatest Artists of All Time".

Studio albums
On Through the Night, High 'n' Dry,  Pyromania,  Hysteria,  Adrenalize,  Slang,  Euphoria,  X, Songs from the Sparkle Lounge

Cover albums

Live albums

Retro Active Vault: Def Leppard Greatest Hits (1980–1995) Best of Def Leppard Rock of Ages: The Definitive Collection

The Def Leppard E.P. Live: In the Clubs, in Your Face

Historia Live: In the Round, in Your Face Visualize Video Archive Historia / Live: In the Round, in Your Face Visualize / Video Archive Classic Albums: Hysteria Hysteria – The Def Leppard Story Best of the Videos Rock of Ages – The DVD Collection

"Wasted" "Rock Brigade" "Hello America" "Let It Go" "Bringin' On the Heartbreak" "Photograph" "Rock of Ages" "Foolin'" "Too Late for Love" "Bringin' On the Heartbreak" (remix) "Women" "Animal" "Pour Some Sugar on Me" "Hysteria" "Armageddon It" "Love Bites" "Rocket" "Let's Get Rocked" "Make Love Like a Man" "Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad" "Heaven Is" "Stand Up (Kick Love into Motion)" "Tonight" "Two Steps Behind" "Action" "Desert Song" "Miss You in a Heartbeat" "When Love & Hate Collide" "Slang" "Work It Out" "All I Want Is Everything" "Breathe a Sigh" "Promises" "Paper Sun" "Goodbye" "Day After Day" "Now" "Long, Long Way to Go" "Four Letter Word" "No Matter What" "Rock On" "20th Century Boy" "Nine Lives" "C'mon C'mon" "Undefeated" "It's All About Believin'" "Rock of Ages 2012" "Pour Some Sugar on Me 2012" "Hysteria 2013"

Concert tours
Def Leppard Early Tours 1978-1979
 On Through the Night World Tour 
High 'n' Dry World Tour 
Pyromania World Tour 
Hysteria World Tour 
Seven Day Weekend Tour 
Def Leppard Slang Tour 
Euphoria World Tour 1999-2001 
X World Tour 2002-2003 
Rock of Ages Tour 2005 
Yeah! Tour Downstage Thrust Tour
 Songs from the Sparkle Lounge Tour 
Mirrorball Tour 
Rock of Ages Tour

There ya go...a tale of a Deaf Leppard

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