Def Leppard High & Mighty

Def Leppard have probably never received their due credit. Oh sure, it's hard to feel sorry for a band that has sold more than 50 million albums during their 25 year career, and has received more accolades for their accomplishments that most Nobel Prize winners. But the undeniable fact is that despite all that they've done in the rock and roll world – highlighted by their mid-'80s double-play combo of Pyromania and Hysteria which together have sold over 25 million copies – vocalist Joe Elliott, bassist Rick Savage, drummer Rick Allen, guitarist Phil Collen and late guitarist Steve Clark (since replaced by Vivian Campbell) rarely receive the degree of respect one would anticipate.

Elliott, for one, admits that at one time such back-of-the-hand treatment bothered him. He says that while so many of his compatriots were being singled out for being "cool", "hip" or "cutting edge", the Leps had to content themselves with selling more records than anyone this side of Bon Jovi. But the truth is that perhaps no other band played a greater role in shaping the core sound and style of the '80s hard rock recent than these quintessential English aces. Sure, chart-topping hits such as Photograph, Pour Some Sugar on Me and Rock of Ages may sound "cute" on today's rock radio, but their real significance is that they helped establish new hard rock boundaries and precedence… quite simply, they helped open the doors for the metal floodgates that would soon follow.

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