Friday, November 27, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Def Leppard

Artist:Def Leppard
Song:Rock Of Ages
Album:Vault: Def Leppard Greatest Hits

Though Def Leppard had their highest level of chart success in the late 80s with hits like Pour Some Sugar On Me, it's unlikely they would have had that level of success without earlier hits like Rock Of Ages to establish them. They were formed in 1977 as Atomic Mass in Sheffield, England by guitarist Pete Willis, bassist Rick Savage and drummer Tony Kenning. Joe Elliott joined as lead singer and he brought the name Deaf Leopard which was changed to Def Leppard in tribute to Led Zeppelin. Guitarist Steve Clark joined in 1978 and Kenning was replaced by Rick Allen. Willis was fired for alcoholism in 1982 and replaced by Phil Collen. And that was the lineup through the 80s. Def Leppard signed with Mercury Records and had immediate success when their 1980 debut album All Through The Night was certified Platinum. But things picked up for them when Robert "Mutt" Lange became their producer. It was during the recording of the 1983 album Pyromania that Collen replaced Willis. The singles Photograph and Rock Of Ages hit the top 20 and fueled album sales. Pyromania was certified 10XPlatinum. MTV's constant play of Rock Of Ages was a factor too. The song has biblical roots as Joe Elliott based the lyrics on the hymn Rock Of Ages. When Def Leppard went to record their next album, Lange wasn't available. They brought in Meat Loaf producer Jim Steinman. Then Rick Allen lost his left arm in a car crash. Instead of replacing him, a setup was rigged so he could play with one arm. When the Steinman sessions weren't working, Lange returned, scrapped those recordings and produced the 1987 album Hysteria. One would think the time gap would have hurt them but it didn't. Hysteria was an even bigger hit and so were the singles Pour Some Sugar On Me and Love Bites. And again MTV was a huge factor as they played the videos a lot. Their next album Adrenalize wasn't released until 1992 due to Clark's alcoholism and 1991 death. But Def Leppard continued and they are still around today. You can get all their 80s hits on this comp. They released a new CD in Sept. and they are on tour in England. They will tour the US in the new year. Here's the video for Rock Of Ages by Def Leppard.

1 comment:

  1. I meant to comment earlier. This Group brings back bittersweet memories to me. I still remember listening to them play "Rock of Ages" in my car right after high school. I listened alone. I went out for the first time in my used car right after high school with no one. Everybody had left and gone on to either college or the military. 2 years later i joined the Army in 1982 and left Traverse City as well. Two lonely years by myself. Def Leppard brings back those memories very sharply.