The canon of Def Leppard represents a lot more than just music.
How many great moments have been soundtracked by "Photograph?" How many times have you sung along to "Pour Some Sugar On Me" amongst friends? How many memories can be associated with their records?
Def Leppard not only maintain, but also extend one of rock music's greatest legacies by consistently delivering airtight songcraft and top-flight performances on each subsequent tour, release, and new frontier. That's why they've moved over 100 million records worldwide. It's why they're "one of only five rock bands with two original studio albums selling over 10 million copies in the U.S." It's why their admirers span everyone from Metallica to Taylor Swift. It's why the music endures forty years since their 1977 formation in Sheffield, UK.
In 1980, the platinum On Through The Night introduced Def Leppard on a global scale. Right out of the gate, they set a rigorous standard for touring and even touched down stateside for the first time. 1981's double-platinum High 'n' Dry saw them begin a storied creative partnership with producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange powered by signature singles "High 'n' Dry (Saturday Night)" and "Bringin' On the Heartbreak"-eventually covered by none other than Mariah Carey.
Then the boys set everything on fire…
Def Leppard lit up Pyromania in 1983 alongside Lange. Fueled by singles such as "Photograph," "Rock of Ages," "Foolin'," and more, the record eventually became a Diamond-seller, moving over 10 million units in the U.S. alone by 2004. Long before the days of TRL, "Photograph" famously knocked Michael Jackson's "Beat It" from the top of MTV as the "Most Requested Music Video." Among countless placements everywhere from the Grand Theft Auto and Guitar Hero video game franchises to Blades of Glory, "Photograph" would also be honored with covers by Santana and Daughtry, The All-American Rejects, and more as The Offspring famously sampled "Rock of Ages." A 2017 Rolling Stone list of the "100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time" ranked Pyromania at #52.
A household name at this point, Hysteria cemented them as icons in 1987. Their best-seller to date, it sold in excess of 30 million copies globally and 12 million in North America, standing out as the "51st best-selling album ever in the states." Hysteria spent 96 weeks in the Top 40-a feat shared only by Born in the U.S.A. A critical favorite, Rolling Stone named it among the coveted 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and a poll in Q placed it on the 100 Greatest Albums of All Time. Beyond clinching #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and UK Albums Chart, this epic spawned the Top 5 juggernauts "Pour Some Sugar On Me," "Animal," "Love Bites," "Hysteria," "Rocket," and "Armageddon It."
In 1992, the triple-platinum Adrenalize catapulted to #1 on the Top 200 as well as reaching #1 in a total of 23 countries. During this era, the current lineup of Joe Elliott [vocals], Rick "Sav" Savage [bass], Rick Allen [drums], Phil Collen [guitar], and Vivian Campbell [guitar] was locked. A string of fan favorites followed, including the gold-selling Slang  and Euphoria , X , and Yeah! . 2008's Songs from the Sparkle Lounge bowed at #5 as the musicians joined forces with Taylor Swift to perform the single "Love" on CMT Crossroads. The 2015 self-titled Def Leppard repeated that chart success, crashing the Top 200 at #10.
2018 represents yet another watershed moment as the group unleashes their full catalog on digital platforms for the very first time. Of course, the songs roar as loudly as ever in the 21st century.
"It's with a mixture of relief and euphoria that we now see our entire catalog finally getting a digital release," says Elliott. "Having embraced every other format with open arms-especially and more recently the reemergence of vinyl-we're now going to be available to everyone everywhere. Honestly, it's as exciting as the original releases were."
That excitement amplifies as they embark on a massive worldwide co-headliner alongside longtime friends Journey. Dominating stadiums and arenas everywhere, expect a spectacle for the ages.
"This tour is going to be a blast," smiles Elliott. "We've toured together before. It was massive, and it was good, but this time it's going to be even bigger and better."
"Bigger and better" is a promise that Def Leppard keep time and time again.
The future will be no exception.
How many bands grow even more iconic with each passing year? It’s a short list, and on it is Journey. Through all its phases and eras, twists and turns the band sees its music become more popular as the years go on. The roadie who suggested the band name “Journey” truly had a vision.
In a career spanning five decades, Journey is blazing hotter than ever with the lineup of Neal Schon (guitars, backing vocals), Jonathan Cain (keyboards, backing vocals), Ross Valory (bass, backing vocals), Deen Castronovo (drums, percussion, backing vocals) and Arnel Pineda (lead vocals).
The band has reached heights that likely no other artist can hit these days, with its Greatest Hits album hitting 15-million-plus in sales. It’s not luck; it’s persistent, hard work over the years. When TV shows like Glee and The Sopranos made the song “Don’t Stop Believin’” a sensation decades after its release, it’s because that music endured. Since the group’s formation in 1973, the band has earned 19 Top 40 singles and 25 Gold and Platinum albums.
“Don’t Stop Believin’,” Schon said, “has become this national anthem, world anthem. It’s really wild. If somebody plays it, no matter where, everybody sings it.”
As their San Francisco Bay Area cohorts The Grateful Dead once sang, what a long strange trip it’s been.
With survivors of Santana and Frumious Bandersnatch in the fold, Journey released three albums starting in 1975 before teaming up with singer Steve Perry to define the classic rock of the late ‘70s and ‘80s. The triple-platinum Infinity in 1978 started the run that few bands would match. Evolution and Departure would follow with more hits, all leading up to 1981’s iconic Escape. Not only did it contain inescapable hits like “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Who’s Crying Now” and “Open Arms,” but it was the first music album turned into a videogame – a truly visionary move at a time when most people didn’t know what that meant. Fans worldwide snapped up 12 million copies, and FM radio had programming for life. The follow up, Frontiers, was only kept out of the #1 spot by a little album called Thriller.
It’s a run that continues to this day. Through the years, Journey has kept the music alive with classic-rock airplay and a touring schedule most bands can’t or won’t match. With the changes and upheavals in the music industry, nothing can replace the live concert experience.
“The one thing that remains the same is live performances,” Schon said. “So that’s why we’re still here doing this. It’s the one thing that can’t be hacked and one thing that you absolutely have to show up live to be able to do. And so I still love it.”
A short string of lead singers followed Perry’s departure, but nothing quite worked until Schon found Pineda. It’s one of the most unlikely success stories in rock ‘n’ roll history: Schon discovered the singer in a Filipino cover band via YouTube. He quickly reached out to the incredulous singer and a new era of Journey was born.
The hits came coming, with the new album Revelation debuting at #5 in 2008 and continuing their streak of platinum albums. A two-year tour sealed Pineda’s place as the voice of Journey. A new album came with Eclipse – this time with Pineda’s full participation as a band member and songwriter. And the TV exposure of “Don’t Stop Believin’” made the song the #1 digital catalog song in history, with sales of more than 5.4 million in the U.S.
While touring is still Journey’s #1 passion, it doesn’t mean there isn’t time for a world view. The band recently recorded a cover of The Police’s “Synchronicity II” for a charity CD that fights child slavery in Third World countries, along with Stevie Wonder, Steven Tyler and more.
What has the band learned over the years?
“I think we got it right, you know? We wrote a lot of really great songs, the three of us; myself, Steve Perry, and Jonathan Cain. And it was like we just got some things right and I think that’s why it’s etched in stone,” Schon said. As for the future, “I’m still as aspiring guitarist, you know. I never feel like I’ve learned everything on the instrument. You have to love what you do. I certainly do.”
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