RETRO: Sheffield’s biggest band of all time - not Arctic Monkeys, but Def Leppard

Def Leppard launch Sheffield's Centre for Popular Music in 1995
Def Leppard launch Sheffield's Centre for Popular Music in 1995
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It may be all about the Arctic Monkeys or Jarvis Cocker these days, but cast your eye a few years further back, and you’ll find a Sheffield band whose success dwarfs them both.

Def Leppard, made up of former Tapton School students, played their first gig at Westfield School’s dining hall in 1977.

The wrecked Chevrolet Corvette in which Def Leppard's drummer Rick allen lost an arm

The wrecked Chevrolet Corvette in which Def Leppard's drummer Rick allen lost an arm

In the early years, audiences are reported to have pelted the band with bottles for ‘selling out’ to American tastes, but such complaints were short-lived: the band have sold a staggering 100 million albums, with their third release, 1987’s Hysteria, selling 25 million copies on its own, driven by mega-hits Pour Some Sugar On Me and Love bites.

The band had seven hit singles from that album, and it - alongside predecessor Pyromania, was diamond-certified. In fact, they are one of only five rock bands to have two 10-million selling albums in the US.

All this, of course, after drummer Rick Allen lost an arm in a crash on the A57 near Hollow Meadows – his Corvette wreck is pictured here.

The band are still going today and haveplayed many Sheffield gigs, including the one pictured here at the (now bulldozed) Don Valley Stadium, in April 1993, as well as another, pictured at the old rock club the Wappentake, in Cambridge Street, Sheffield, in October 1995.

Def Leppard played Don Valley Stadium in 1993

Def Leppard played Don Valley Stadium in 1993

Will Sheffield ever boast another act as legendary?

Def Leppard at the Wappentake, Sheffield - a former rock bar/club in the city centre

Def Leppard at the Wappentake, Sheffield - a former rock bar/club in the city centre