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Trivia / Def Leppard

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  • Career Resurrection:
    • After finding middling success with albums On Through The Night and High and Dry they were sought out by legendary producer Mutt Lange who "dragged them kicking and screaming" through recording Pyromania. Three songs, "Photograph", "Rock of Ages" and "Foolin'", became top 40 singles in the US. However during the band's hiatus, drummer Rick Allen lost his arm in a car crash. The band toiled, refusing to fire Allen in the interim (despite the seeming Foregone Conclusion). However Allen discovered that he could keep time with songs on the radio with his feet and designed a rig to allow him to use his left foot to keep drumming. The band then released Hysteria which might have been their last album if it didn't sell well. Though fairly successful at first, it hadn't generated the sales Def Leppard needed until they released the single "Pour Some Sugar on Me" (which would become their Signature Song), spiking record sales almost overnight, moving seven million units in under a week.
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    • While recording Hysteria's follow-up, guitarist Steve Clark's addiction struggles became worse. Clarke took a six month leave of absence from the band to try and clean up, but he died from an accidental overdose on January 8, 1991. Def Leppard hired ex Dio guitarist Vivian Campbell and released Adrenalize, spawning several Top 40 singles including "Let's Get Rocked", "(Stand Up) Kick Love into Motion" and "Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad". The album went to #1 in several countries.
    • Leading into the recording of Slang guitarist Phil Collen went through a divorce, bassist Rick Savage was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy and lost his father, Rick Allen was arrested for spousal abuse and lead singer Joe Elliott was arrested for assault. They also split from producer Mutt Lange and embarked on a completely different recording process for the forthcoming album. Slang would feature less production in favor of a more organic sound. "We'd got so sick of recording the old way. We didn't want to do it any more. We wanted the music to be more personalized and let the character of the individuals to come out," explains Rick Savage. However the album flopped in the US (but did well in Britain) failing to achieve platinum status for the first time of any Leppard album. The band reunited with Lange to record Euphoria. The lead single "Promises" re-ignited fans' faith in the band, going to #1, and the album followed suit. Since then Def Leppard has enjoyed good success for a band their age, including a successful long-term Vegas show.
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  • Executive Meddling: Pressure from higher-ups resulted in a huge sum of money being paid to bring Jim Steinman in to produce Hysteria, in spite of the band's protests that he was primarily a songwriter rather than a producer. Steinman later got fired and they reunited with their previous producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange.
  • The Pete Best: Original drummer Tony Kenning and his replacement Frank Noon who played on the Def Leppard EP.
    • In a way, Pete Willis, who was fired from the band just prior to Pyromania, thus not being able to share in the success of that album or its followup Hysteria. He does have some writing credit for Pyromania, however.
  • Troubled Production: Hysteria, partly due to Rick Allen's car accident, among other factors. Adrenalize as well, due to the death of Steve Clark. Slang had the band facing a lot of personal troubles; Collen got divorced, Allen and Elliot were arrested, Sav was diagnosed with Bell's Palsy and lost his father.


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