Def Leppard was easily one of the most popular rock bands of the 1980s, and they’re still cranking out hits, most recently off their 2006 album Yeah!. Their loyal fans made their 2007 tour a hit, but if you weren’t able to catch them last year, don’t worry – their 2008 world tour, featuring Styx and REO Speedwagon, kicks off on March 27th and Coast to Coast has the tickets you need to get there. Buy yours now before you miss your chance to see this legendary act live!
Def Leppard formed in 1977 as a high school cover band. The original name was properly spelled, and the original lineup included singer Joe Elliot, bassist Rick "Sav" Savage, guitarist Pete Willis, and drummer Tony Kenning. At this time, the band's only gig was playing David Bowie and Thin Lizzy covers for friends.
In 1978, they picked up second guitarist, Steve Clark, and practiced relentlessly. Tony Kenning was fired and replaced by Frank Noon for their first recording, The Def Leppard EP. Frank Noon was then replaced by Rick Allen. In 1979, the band's reputation grew as they received their first airplay on BBC 1. Leppard then signed major contracts with Phonogram and Mercury, and quit their day jobs.
They immediately scored quality gigs, opening for both Sammy Hagar, and AC/DC during a two months' span. Leppard's first single, "Wasted," produced by Rick Tauber, was released, and their popularity began to grow. In 1980, Def Leppard produced their debut LP, On Through the Night. This was also the year of their arrival in America, touring with Pat Travers, Judas Priest, Ted Nugent, and AC/DC. The tour was successful, but gave rise to hostility back in the UK.
In 1981, Leppard cut High 'N' Dry with new sixth man "Mutt" Lange, and promoted it heavily in America. Tickets quickly sold out for their tours with Ozzy Osbourne and Blackfoot. MTV began heavy airplay of the video "Bringin' on the Heartbreak." In 1982, Pete Willis left the band and was replaced by Lucy and Girl's Phil Collen. In 1983, they released Pyromania, the most refined work thus far. It sold over 7 million copies in the US alone. In 1984, some collaboration hurdles bogged the band down, and they hired Nigel Green to help produce. Drummer Rick Allen got into a car accident on New Year's Eve, and flew from his automobile. Despite surgical attempts, his left arm had to be amputated. He continued to play with the assistance of an electronic drum kit.
In 1986, they continued in production and joined the Monsters of Rock tour, leading to 1987's Hysteria. It sold over 16 million copies, and Leppard toured in stadiums to support it. In 1991, Steve Clark died after mixing alcohol with pain medication. Dio's Vivian Campbell soon joined the band to produce Adrenalize, Leppard's sixth album. In 1993, they released a B side for Arnold Schwarzenegger's Last Action Hero.
Though daunted by the 1990s plague of grunge rock, they have since toured vigorously, and released several other albums, including Retro Active, Vault, Slang, Euphoria, and X. In 1998, VH1 paid tribute to the band with an episode of Behind the Music. The episode was well received, and led to the creation of the much acclaimed, Hysteria: The Def Leppard Story. In 1999, they received a Diamond Award for selling over 10 million copies of an album in the US. This placed them in very good company, with bands such as The Beatles, Elton John, The Bee Gees, Pink Floyd, and Eric Clapton. In 2001, they released four home videos onto DVD, including Historia, In the Round In Your Face, Visualize, and Video Archive.
2005 saw the release of Rock of Ages: The Definitive Collection on DVD. The following year Def Leppard's Yeah! celebrated their musical roots with cover versions of rock classics from the '70s. As one critic proclaims, it's a killer record. It's also a reminder of why you'll want tickets to see and hear Def Leppard for yourself!
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