Personalities | Def Leppard | Eighties | Rock
(Vocal/instrumental group, 1977–present)
The band appropriately formed in Sheffield, erstwhile home of the British steel industry. Their fresh brand of poppy heavy metal, led by Joe Elliott (vocals) and Pete Willis (lead guitar), soon won them fans. An early B-side ‘Hello America’ hinted at their ambitions. Debut album On Through The Night (1980) just missed the US Top 50, but with 1983’s Pyromania they became giants of the genre, hitting the stateside No. 2. Drummer Rick Allen lost an arm in a car accident, but adapted his kit, and 1987’s Hysteria made US No. 1, and UK No. 2. Guitarist Steve Clark died from drink and drugs in 1991, but once again the band returned, topping the charts with Adrenalize (1992). Since these heady days – replete with smashes such as ‘Love Bites’ and ‘Let’s Get Rocked’ – they have modernized successfully on Slang (1996), Euphoria (1999) and X (2002). Their pioneering, catchy pop rock still draws crowds.
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