Def Leppard- Story So Far pt2- Joe Elliott, Ric Savage

After World War II the worldwide success of The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Who, The Kinks, Cream, and a bit later Led Zeppelin all had a profoundly positive effect on the British self-esteem. All of these predecessors of Def Leppard were almost entirely influenced musically by the blues, rhythm and blues, and soul music of African-Americans, yet it is most telling that when the Sheffield England quintet compiled an all-covers tribute album a few years ago made up of their most-loved formative impressions, all but one were by white British musicians.

“We grew up on a bunch of British pop music that never even infiltrated the American psyche,” asserts Def Leppard lead singer/songwriter Joe Elliott.” Of course we dearly love bands like Led Zeppelin and (Deep) Purple,what you may call heavier album track bands, but I think when we first started listening to radio it was the British Top 40 on (BBC) Radio One and Radio Luxembourg, which was a little more adventurous with their playlist. They’re the kinds of songs that we obviously got to listen to a lot. We were fortunate that the British music scene from ’70- ’71 to ’74 had a lot of the bands like Slade and Sweet and David Bowie and T Rex were very guitar-based three minute pop songs, which by today’s standards may be called ‘hard rock’, because it was just big drums and guitars and big honkin’ choruses. Some of them cheesy, some not. But you have to weed through the dross. A lot of the Slade singles were top notch.”

It became like a Greatest Hits package all on its own: Def Leppard’s July 1987 Hysteria  album, one of the most popular albums ever at an estimated twenty-five million  copies, yet as Joe Elliott and Ric Savage remind us here in part two of The Story So Far,  it is a miracle that it ever was finished. The epic saga is revealed here behind “Pour Some Sugar on Me”,”Love Bites”,”Animal”,”Women”,”Armageddon It“, and “Hysteria” , plus Nineties and 21st century chestnuts “Slang”, “Now”,”Let’s Go”,”Dangerous”, and the uncanny Depeche Mode cover “Personal Jesus“, as Def Leppard are inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! –Redbeard