Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott says he managed to keep his fame in check over the years due to his low-wage upbringing.
When the group achieved great success in the 80s, it achieved sales figures that many other groups never achieved. In particular, Def Leppard was one of the few artists to sell over 10 million copies of more than one album in the United States: 1983’s Pyromania (10.2 million with worldwide sales totaling 12 million) and 1987 Hysteria (12.5 million, world total 25 million).
“At the time it was announced, which was years ago, there were only four or five [groups]”, Elliott told the Independent in a recent interview. “It was us, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, and maybe another. And who was that? was not there that blew your mind: the Beatles, the Stones. I don’t think the Stones had a single album that sold over 10 million copies in the United States.
But while some artists let it all go their way, Elliott said there was a good reason he didn’t. “Growing up in Sheffield, Phil [Collen] coming from Walthamstow and Vivian [Campbell] from Belfast, there is a certain grounding from your parents,” he explained. “You have to remember that all of our parents were children during the war and they didn’t have much. And me, as a child, I still remember that moment when I walked into the house and the TV was no longer black and white.
And while many artists left the colder climate of Britain to settle in places like Los Angeles, Elliott found a home in Dublin in 1984. “I left Sheffield when I was 21 and I was living in London,” he recalls. “I hated it. It was so massive and rough, bends here and bends there. But when I got to Dublin it reminded me of Sheffield by the sea. … It was safe and from the good size – a capital with a million inhabitants.
Def Leppard release their new album, Diamond Star HalosFriday, and kick off their delayed stadium tour with Motley Crue, Poison and Joan Jett in June.
Top 25 New Wave British Heavy Metal Albums
It’s no exaggeration to say that the New Wave of British Heavy Metal saved metal from itself.