Def Leppard formed in Sheffield in 1977, by Pete Willis, Rick Savage and Tony Kenning, with the original name Atomic Mass, acquiring their current name when Joe Elliott joined. In 1978 they picked up a guitarist named Steve Clark.
Their first gig was played at Westfield school July 18th, where they were paid out of a teacher’s pocket. In November drummer Tony Kenning was fired and replaced by Frank Noon, and the band recorded their first EP. In 1979 Def Leppard got their first major airplay, and were soon signed by Phonogram and Mercury.
On March 14th 1980, their debut album ‘On Through The Night’ was released, shortly followed by ‘High N’ Dry’ in 1981. In 1982 Pete Willis left the band and is soon replaced by Phil Collen (formerly of Girl) In January 1983, following which their third album ‘Pyromania’ is released.
On December 31st 1984 Rick Allen's car is overturned, causing his arm to be severed. Rick gets a Simmons electric drum kit and with determination begins to practice drumming with only one arm. Def Leppard soon performed at the Mosters of Rock tour, Allen’s first performance since the accident. In August 1987 Def Leppard's fourth album, ‘Hysteria’, is released, and was a huge success, selling over 15 million copies. In 1989 the band plays a new single ‘Tear it Down’ at the MTV video music awards, the last show that Steve Clark played with the band. On January 8th 1991 in London Steve Clark died after a long battle with alcoholism, at the age of just 31.
In April 1992, Vivian Campbell joined the band and their 5th album ‘Adrenalize’ followed, with ‘Retro Active’ released the following year. In October 1995 their Greatest hits album, ‘Vault’ is released, followed by ‘Slang’ in 1996, and ‘Euphoria’ in 1000. And the next year, 1996, Slang, is released in May. On March 16th 1999 Euphoria is released.
On September 5, 2000, Def Leppard were inducted into the Rock Walk of Fame on Hollywood's Sunset Boulevard by their friend Brian May of Queen.
Def Leppard's tenth album, simply titled X, was released in July 2002. It saw the band's musical direction moving more towards pop and further away from the band's hard rock roots.
On May 23, 2006, Def Leppard released an all-covers album titled ‘Yeah!’. The disc pays homage to classic rock songs of their childhood, originally recorded by ELO, Sweet, The Kinks, Blondie, and Badfinger among others. The band began their "Downstage Thrust Tour", on June 29, which took them across the US and into Canada.
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