Def Leppard

In 1979, Def Leppard guitarist Steve Clark walked into the rehearsal of the Sheffield based band and threatened to quit if they would not get on stage and play a live gig. With that, the members of Def Leppard began a journey that would see them play all over the world, overcome tragedy and sell 46 million records in the process.

Along with bassist Rick Savage, singer Joe Elliott and drummer Rick Allen, guitarist Pete Willis and Steve Clark made up the original lineup that made Def Leppard part of the New Wave of British Metal, first on 1980's On Through The Night and on 1981's High 'N' Dry, the latter being produced by producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange.

While MTV began to play "Bringin' On The Heartbreak," metal fans ate up "Lady Strange," "Let It Go," "Another Hit And Run," and "Mirror, Mirror" the latter being a good example of what the band's next album had to offer.

Growing up in Sheffield meant different things to different people, but for cheap nba jerseys wholesale many it meant a relationship with the bottle. In 1982, guitarist Pete Willis was asked to leave the band as his drinking problem had grown too unbearable.

In came Londoner Phil Collen. Asked what he could come up with when given a tape, he showed up the next day and offered the solo to cheap nba jerseys "Stagefright," a blinder of a tune with a raucous solo that would become their concert opener for years to come. Suffice it to say, Collen was in.

1983's Pyromania ignited radio stations and set store shelves on fire. The band crafted the blueprint that would be copied and duplicated for the better part of the 1980s. With Marilyn Monroe starring in "Photograph," and hits "Rock of Ages" and "Foolin'" in heavy MTV rotation, the album went on to sell 9 million albums, peaking at 2 on the Billboard Charts. Only Michael Jackson's Thriller kept Lep from the throne.

As the band's tour winded down, December 31, 1984 marked the day that drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm in a car accident. While most bands would have disappeared after such a setback, Leppard came back stronger than ever. After having Status Quo's drummer Jeff Rich serve as a backup for a few warm up gigs, the Thunder God showed that he was able to keep the beat and then some.

Hysteria was released in 1987 and it was a DJ's dream. The album's entire Side A spawned 6 hit singles, notably "Love Bites" and "Pour Some Sugar On Me." Side B offered the title track. Touring "in the round," the album went on to sell over 12 million, putting the band in the elite Diamond Club.

As the band began the process of hitting the studio for a follow up, tragedy struck again as the "best kept secret in rock 'n' roll" was unearthed: guitarist Steve Clark succumbed to his alcohol and painkiller addiction. The band members mourned Steve's loss, but Solomon Hill jerseys knew that they had to move on.

Deciding to record Adrenalize as a four unit band, the album came out in the midst of the grunge sound. The album offered some of the band's best music: "White Lightning," "Stand Up" and "Tonight" are some of the album's standouts.

By now, Leppard had recruited Vivian Campbell, formerly of Dio and Whitesnake. The gifted virtuoso fit in like a glove and was part of the lineup that offered Slang, Euphoria and now, X.

We sat down with bassist Rick Savage and talked about 25 of the most eventful years in rock music.

Q: Rick, you have sold over 46 million records, yet every single time you release a new album, you almost have to prove yourself again how does that make you feel as an artist?

Well, I think it's good and that's how it should be. I don't think you should relax and say that the last album was big so we do not have to prove anything anymore. You want to get totally behind new albums and you should always want to have something to prove because there are always new people that can listen to the band.

Q: Quite true. This is the fourth album written with the current lineup of Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell. Can you compare the dynamics of this lineup with the one that included first Pete Willis and Steve Clark, and then Steve Clark and Phil Collen?

I think that it is hard to compare them really because the lineups were in place at different ages. In the early days, there was a lot of naivet in the band. We know more about the industry. In the past, it was like kids making mistakes. But that is how you get the experience, I suppose.

The one thing I would say is that the feeling within the band that of the 5 guys is the same as always. There is a chemistry and feel between us, whether we are on stage or in a room, it is hard to explain but that has been the biggest similarity across all the lineups, between then and now. We still feel like we are 21, it does not make a difference if it is 1982 or 2002.

Quick fact ?

Q: Well, you guys have always been the perfect model of democracy in rock 'n' roll, so I think that Vivian's coming from a background in which he worked with Dio and Whitesnake must have been very comfortable for him, right?

Absolutely. He has the same background, same personality literally from day one, it has been great.

Q: You guys started working on this album, X, one year ago one year Rick! What happens to you cheap nba jerseys free shipping guys as you mature? Do you get quicker?

(laughs) A lot of it has to do with the fact that technology allows you to do something in an afternoon that in the days of Hysteria would take three months to do. In all fairness, the way that we produced albums opened a new wave of recording that set off a lot of these improvements. The way we did background vocals, production techniques, today you can replicate that with technology. You do not need to spend too much time going down the wrong alleys. With earlier albums, we tried things that we never used.

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