Def Leppard approaches 40 years, new album to be released this year

defleppardFew bands today survive five years in the music industry, or even three, before burning out or losing their following to new, up-and-coming pop bands. The turnover is incredible: so many new bands pop up every year, and so many old bands fall apart. The music industry is a brutal mother: constantly rearing and casting out her children.

Def Leppard lead singer and founding member Joe Elliot offers blunt honesty on the reality of a band performing continually for almost 40 years: “When you’ve been together for 35 years,” he told the Grand Forks Herald, “we could split up in 20 minutes as soon as I finish this phone call because that could have happened in our last 20 years, but it didn’t. We’re realistic to realize that it all comes to a sticky end one day. Nothing ever ends well. When did you ever hear of a band who was having massive success and then saying goodbye to each other with a smile on their face?”

Rock ‘n’ roll giant Def Leppard is one of those bands that has stood the test of time and continues to defy the constant change in today’s music industry. Fans can pick up any one of Def Leppard’s albums to find dynamic, melodic rock anthems and a number of rock ‘n’ roll #1 hits. Almost every Def Leppard concert is declared a raving success: after all, the heavy metal band is still headlining tours and selling out arenas on a regular basis.

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The Sheffield, England band’s 11th album will be released later this year, and it is currently absorbed by its 20th tour. While the band members are definitely aging and facing health difficulties — Elliot and bassist Rick Savage are in their 50s and guitarist Vivian Campbell has been fighting cancer for the past two years — the chords are still strong and the vocals lusty.

“We’re really lucky, four members of this five-man group have been together for 32 years and this currently lineup has been together for 23,” Elliot said.

Even though Def Leppard continues to produce new music, the band members recognize the timeless value of their old hits and their responsibility to fans. While continuing to write new rock, Def Leppard doesn’t forget the old tunes or their worth.

“The people that matter, who bought the albums in 1983, 1987 and hopefully in 2015, know what they’re coming to see,” lead singer and founding member Joe Elliott told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “Let’s be honest, live, familiarity is the key ingredient in big venues. Who wants to see Paul McCartney play 12 new songs? We’ll do ‘Sugar’ until the day we don’t exist, and ‘Photograph’ and ‘Rock of Ages.’ We liked them when we wrote them and we like them now, and we get being a fan.”

Photo credit: “Def Leppard Allstate Arena 7-19-12” by AngryApathy – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons –

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