Def Leppard

The English band Def Leppard was instrumental in metal's transition from underground subculture to the centre of the mainstream during the 1980s, sheparding the genre into newly sleek, melodic and maximalist territory. Formed in Sheffield in 1976, Def Leppard first came to prominence in the UK as a leading group of what was later dubbed the new wave of British heavy metal and debuted in 1980 with the LP On Through the Night. Their big break in the US came with the advent of MTV, which featured the music video for their 1981 power ballad Bringin' On the Heartbreak prominently in its early days; Def Leppard's third LP Pyromania propelled them into the heights of stardom. As the band was preparing to record a follow-up, drummer Rick Allen was involved in a serious car crash, resulting in the amputation of his left arm.

In one of metal's most oft-repeated inspirational legends, however, he came back behind the drum kit, augmenting it with MIDI pedals that allowed him to trigger samples with his feet—and Def Leppard used it to their advantage on their next record, 1987's cult classic Hysteria, augmenting each song with the electronic drum sounds in a daring and surprisingly successful attempt to make every track on the record a hit single. An unprecedented exercise in maximalism, the album defined Def Leppard's sound since, with the band becoming synonymous with its brand of metal extravagance. The band went on to release eight more albums, the latest being 2022's Diamond Star Halos, and to become one of the world's best selling music artists of all time, with more than 100 million record sales worldwide.

About Def Leppard

The English band Def Leppard was instrumental in metal's transition from underground subculture to the centre of the mainstream during the 1980s, sheparding the genre into newly sleek, melodic and maximalist territory. Formed in Sheffield in 1976, Def Leppard first came to prominence in the UK as a leading group of what was later dubbed the new wave of British heavy metal and debuted in 1980 with the LP On Through the Night. Their big break in the US came with the advent of MTV, which featured the music video for their 1981 power ballad Bringin' On the Heartbreak prominently in its early days; Def Leppard's third LP Pyromania propelled them into the heights of stardom. As the band was preparing to record a follow-up, drummer Rick Allen was involved in a serious car crash, resulting in the amputation of his left arm.

In one of metal's most oft-repeated inspirational legends, however, he came back behind the drum kit, augmenting it with MIDI pedals that allowed him to trigger samples with his feet—and Def Leppard used it to their advantage on their next record, 1987's cult classic Hysteria, augmenting each song with the electronic drum sounds in a daring and surprisingly successful attempt to make every track on the record a hit single. An unprecedented exercise in maximalism, the album defined Def Leppard's sound since, with the band becoming synonymous with its brand of metal extravagance. The band went on to release eight more albums, the latest being 2022's Diamond Star Halos, and to become one of the world's best selling music artists of all time, with more than 100 million record sales worldwide.

Genres: Rock, Metal

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