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Pour Some Sugar on Me...Ooh, in the name of love

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Def Leppard Turns 25, Hits the Road

By CHELSEA J. CARTER, AP National Writer

Tue May 31, 7:20 PM ET

First they were rock gods. A decade later, Def Leppard almost became rock ghosts. Now the band that defined 1980s party rock can call itself a rock survivor. It's marking 25 years since its major label debut with the release of "Rock Of Ages: The Definitive Collection" and a much-anticipated summer tour.

"A lot of it is down to the natural alignment of the stars. What you have when you break it down is a band that signed a record deal more than 20 years ago and ... is still making records," lead singer Joe Elliott recently told The Associated Press. "To survive, you have to adapt, go along with things."

Def Leppard has overcome everything from the death of a band member to the debilitating injury of another, from making back-to-back mega-monster-hit albums ("Pyromania" and "Hysteria") to releasing a commercial bomb ("Slang").

They thrived during the '80s and early '90s with sold-out stadium tours, and survived the leaner times in smaller venues in the late '90s. But unlike many of the monster '80s bands, Def Leppard never called it quits, never took an extended break that could be viewed as a parting of the ways.

The reason, says the 46-year-old Elliott, is simple: "It's always been feast or famine with us."

But examine the band's history, and the answer is a little more complicated, a little more rock 'n' roll.

Formed in 1977 in Sheffield, England, when Elliott met guitarist Pete Willis, the band gained attention in 1979 as teenagers with their independent debut EP "Def Leppard." They were signed later that year, released "On Through the Night" and followed it up with 1981's "High 'N' Dry."

But it was 1983's "Pyromania" that launched Def Leppard into the rock stratosphere, selling 10 million copies in the United States. In 1987, Leppard followed it up with "Hysteria," which sold 13 million copies and spawned the band's only No. 1 hit, "Love Bites."

But as Def Leppard sold albums, band members were in crisis: Willis was fired for alcoholism during the making of "Pyromania" and replaced by Phil Collen; drummer Rick Allen lost an arm after a New Year's Eve car accident in 1984; guitarist Steve Clark was found dead on Jan. 8, 1991, after battling alcohol abuse.

Guitarist Vivian Campbell joined in 1992. As the '90s churned on, the band's album sales nose-dived as grunge took over, followed by Barbie and Ken pop-rock from the likes of Britney Spears and N'Sync.

"There was a period of time that Def Leppard was distasteful to most people," said Campbell, 42. "It was hard to create an awareness ... and let people know what we were doing."

While the album sales dropped off, the band was a touring machine. In late 2003, Def Leppard took a hiatus of sorts to work on solo projects. It's been 17 months since the band has toured.

"We're not doing anything different. We're doing what we always do," Elliott said.

But the band says its renewed popularity is due to the increasing popularity of retro rock. "I guess all things come back if you wait long enough," Campbell said.

As part of its 25th anniversary, Def Leppard is co-headlining the "Rock 'N Roll Double Header Tour" — which visits minor league baseball stadiums — with Bryan Adams. The tour begins Wednesday in Portland, Ore. Def Leppard also will play solo shows in some markets.

At first glance, the double bill lineup appears to be an odd combination — the ultimate party rock band and the ballad king.

But the lineup makes sense to Def Leppard.

"There was a time during 1992, people said they couldn't tell us apart from Bryan Adams because (Helmut) Mutt Lange was producing both our albums," Elliott said. "He's not a stranger in our life."

The other draw, Elliott said, is there isn't "a lot of ego on this tour."

Age appears to have mellowed Def Leppard. In fact, the once party-driven rockers have settled down.

"Almost every one in the band is a parent. A couple of the guys don't drink," Campbell said. "We go to the gym. We work out a lot. It's a different sort of thing now."

In fact, Collen had only completed a workout minutes before his interview. He quickly dispensed with any thoughts anyone might hold these days of Def Leppard's rock 'n' roll decadence.

"It's all fairly civilized and all grown up I'm afraid," said Collen, 47. "You know, we like each other. We were there to keep each other in check. We've experienced all these weird things together: birthdays, deaths, accidents, Rick's accident. It's a kinship that binds you together."

That may be the real answer to why the band is still around.

 

Liz

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"So hot, sticky sweet, from my head down to my feet Yea!" hehe! i love that song!

 
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I didn't know that Pour Some Sugar on Me...Ooh, in the name of love was by def leppard. Thanks guys

 
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Originally Posted by jamie18meng I didn't know that Pour Some Sugar on Me...Ooh, in the name of love was by def leppard. Thanks guys I didn't know it either....first time i heard this song from mine fiance...thanks for sharing Marisol...
 
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OMG, I still remember them from Pyromania. I can only hope they'll tour Hawaii b/c I'd be all over that concert.


 

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