Hair Metal

Def Leppard

5 US platinum albums, 4 years between Pyromania and Hysteria, 3 top-5 Billboard Hit Songs, 2 lead guitars, and a 1-armed drummer. Sheffield's own, Def Leppard.

Rock & Roll inductees from Sheffield, UK. One of the best to ever do it. In contention for best hair metal band ever. Just a magnificent band with righteous tunes. Death and a one-armed drummer couldn't stop them. Think about that.

Def Leppard, a Hair Metal rock band from United Kingdom
Def Leppard | United Kingdom


5 bodacious dudes from Sheffield (UK) have enlightened us with 40+ years of the most majestic guitar riffs and gang vocals. It's hard to understate their contributions to not only the hair metal genre, but the rock world as a whole.

Riffage is the word that comes to mind when one considers Def Leppard. Serious, serious riffage. The non-radio hit riffs of Pyromania were primal. The electro-burst riffs of Hysteria was outstandingly catchy. Perhaps the best song they ever wrote, Adrenalize's Tear It Down, might just be their best riff. What's worse, the song received zero accolade. Then again, it hit the scene (informally) right between albums, and more importantly, right when Steve Clark died.

The band, like any, has overcome its share of heartbreak and tragedy. They parted ways with long-time guitarist Pete Willis because he just couldn't hang in there after two years of booze problems. They lost another when Clark died in 1991. And years prior, their drummer of all people, lost an arm. The drummer. THE DRUMMER. You can't make this up.

Def Leppard soldiered on. They released one of the best rock albums of all-time, and arguably the best hair metal album of all-time with 1987's Hysteria.

In an era and currently at an age where the band still wants to tour but the singer can't hack it any longer, Def Leppard has remained together, in-tact, and touring, which they will resume with Motley Crue and Poison in 2022.

Perhaps we can attribute the vocal longevity to the band's gang chorus approach. Def Leppard choruses are powerful artifacts of hair metal lore, the likes of which may have only been topped by Boston's Bang Camaro.

Fizz would happily die on the hill that serves to elevate Def Leppard as the King of All Hair Metal Bands. Pants leaves that to Guns N' Roses.

Def Leppard Band Members

  • Joe Elliot (Lead Vocals)
  • Phil Collen (Guitar)
  • Rick Allen (Drums)
  • Rik Savage (Bass)
  • Vivian Campbell (Guitar)

Def Leppard Past Band Members

Kenning was only in Def Leppard for 8 shows or so. His drum work can be heard on the E.P.

Unfortunately, Elliott drew the small straw and had to fire him. And Willis, if memory serves, in 1982. Note to Leppard band members, if Joe invites you to dinner, your time in the band is over.

Clark, as you know, passed away in-between Hysteria and Adrenalize. Former guitar player, Willis, had this to say,

"Things were going too fast for me." he now admits. "I was still enjoying it, but I was using drink as a crutch. It wasn't nice to go that way, but it was something that needed to happen for them and the best thing to happen health-wise for me. If I'd stayed, there was a good chance that I'd have ended up going the same way as Steve Clark."

  • Pete Willis (guitar)
  • Steve Clark (guitar)
  • Tony Kenning (drums)

Touring Members / Special Guests

  • Frank Noon
  • Jeff Rich
  • Steve Brown

Touring Substitute Steve Brown

Trixter's Steve Brown has filled in on guitar for both Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell in their absence from the band. Neither was removed from the permanent lineup, rather both had temporary reasons for not being able to commit to a show or block of shows on tour.


Def Leppard's Biggest Hit: Pour Some Sugar On Me

If we are only choosing one of the MANY Def Leppard hits, then I guess it's Pour Some Sugar On Me. We could have easily gone with Photograph, Rock of Ages, Bringing on the Heartbreak, Hysteria, Animal, Rocket, Let's Get Rocked ... you get the point.

Other Def Leppard Hit Songs

Can we just say everything off Hysteria? Is that acceptable?

  • Animal
  • Armageddon It
  • Bringin' On The Heartbreak
  • Hysteria
  • Let's Get Rocked
  • Love Bites
  • Miss You In A Heartbeat
  • Photograph
  • Rock of Ages
  • Rocket
  • Two Steps Behind
  • When Love & Hate Collide

Def Leppard FAQs

How old are the band members in Def Leppard?

Below is a table showing the ages of the bandmates in Def Leppard. Former member, Steve Clark, now deceased, would be 61 if he were alive.

Name Age
Phil Collen 64
Joe Elliott 62
Rik Savage 61
Vivian Campbell 59
Rick Allen 58

What Def Leppard song appeared in the Season 4 Finale (Episode 10) of Cobra Kai?

Switch 625 appeared at the very end of Episode 10 in the show, Cobra Kai. Switch 625 is off the album, High and Dry. No, Johnny Lawrence was not on screen.

Reviews of Def Leppard Albums

Def Leppard Adrenalize album cover


Def Leppard

Def Leppard High 'n' Dry album cover

High 'n' Dry

Def Leppard

Def Leppard Hysteria album cover


Def Leppard

Def Leppard Pyromania album cover


Def Leppard

References & Sources