Few bands in history had a story so full of tragedies. Def Leppard's story is a story about stardom, alcohol abuse, death and accidents.


Def Leppard was born in 1977 in Sheffield, England when Pete Willis (guitar) and Rick Savage (bass) went to Joe Elliott's home to see him play guitar and found out that he was bad at it, but certainly could sing. The three guys played with a few drummers until they found a very young Rick Allen who really fit in the band. In January of 1978 Steve Clark joined as second guitarist and the band rehearsed almost everyday for six months until Clark threatened to quit the band if they didn't play live. So, they started playing and developed a good live reputation.


In 1979 they self-released the The Def Leppard E.P. EP later reissued as Ride Into the Sun / Getcha Rocks Off / The Overture and in 1980 their full length debut On Through the Night hit the streets and become one of most promising debut albums from England that year while touring Europe opening for AC/DC. On Through the Night put Def Leppard on the map as part of the NWOBHM.

In 1981 John "Mutt" Lange produced their second album High 'n' Dry which features their first US big hit "Bringin' On the Heartbreak / Me and My Wine". The sound of the band was still raw and heavy, but the production of the album helped them to reach a more developed sound.


In 1982 they began recording their new album with Lange again and after experiencing a lot of incidents with Pete Willis alcohol problems, which included a walk out of the stage in the middle of a show, the band replaced him with Phil Collen. By January 1983, Def Leppard released Pyromania which became a major sales hit thanks to the singles "Photograph" and "Rock of Ages". Pyromania stands as their most critically acclaimed album to date as it combines their metal sound with a major production work.

After two years of exhausting touring and some "nowhere going" recording sessions with Meat Loaf's producer Jim Steinman, Def Leppard decided to take vacations and on 31st of December 1984 Rick Allen suffered a severe car accident and lost an arm.

Def Leppard spent most of 1986 recording new material while Rick Allen using a special electronic drum kit rehearsed in order to re-learn how to play the drums. In 1987 Allen was fully back in the band and the new album was finished. The resulting record Hysteria became their biggest commercial success reaching multi-platinum sales all around the world. Hysteria has the peculiarity of containing seven singles: "Women", "Animal", "Pour Some Sugar on Me", "Rocket", "Love Bites", "Armageddon It" and "Hysteria". The band supported the album with 227 shows and in 1989 began working on his next album.


Fans had to wait five years for the fifth album to be released in 1992. In the meantime, Steve Clark died in January of 1991 after mixing alcohol with painkillers, but the band didn't replaced him until Adrenalize was finished. They invited Vivian Campbell (ex Whitesnake) to join the band and to date that's their line-up.

Adrenalize went multi-platinum in the US, but wasn't such a success as Hysteria. In the 12 years since their first album, the band had turned their sound into pop metal, with almost no signs of heavy riffs. At least until Retro Active was released in 1993, which is a collection of b-sides and unreleased material.

Def Leppard continued releasing albums during the 90s and 2000s repeating the pop metal formula and decreasing their sales, even though they still fill their shows. Their records Slang (1996), Euphoria (1999) and X (2002) have been very controversial for fans, because a great part of them have turned their backs on the post Clark sound of the band.