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def leppard - Def Leppard Album Release

on this day - 30th October 2015

On this day in Def Leppard history the 'Def Leppard' album was released worldwide.
Featuring the singles 'Let's Go', 'Dangerous', 'Man Enough' and 'We Belong'.

Def Leppard 2015.

"All of a sudden we had twelve songs on the go."


Def Leppard 2015.

This section looks at the 'Def Leppard' album release. The tenth studio album released (of all new material) by the band following 2008's 'Songs From The Sparkle Lounge'. Their first original album release for seven years.


"It's the best thing I think we've done in like 20 years."

Def Leppard's current self-titled studio album was released around the world on this day in 2015.

The band's tenth studio album of all original material was also the first to be released on the new global Friday release day on 30th October 2015.

The eagerly awaited new album, their first in seven years, was a hit with fans and critics alike having been talked about enthusiastically by the band in the months leading up to its release.

In the UK a special Classic Rock Fanpack edition (featuring a 116 page magazine) was released on this day ahead of the regular CD release on 27th November.

The first ever self titled 'Def Leppard' album and featuring the first song with all band members singing lead vocal lines.

All five members collaborated together in one room over three sessions and played live in studio for the first time since 1996's 'Slang'.

Work on the new album started back in February 2014 at Joe's Garage studio near Dublin, Ireland. The band had intended to record a single or an EP but ended up with 12 songs written in just one month prompting them to record a full album.

Up to 16 songs were near completion after a second session in May 2014 and the band continued to work on the album through the Summer Tour with KISS. Vivian recorded most of his guitar and vocal parts on the road after missing the second session due to his ongoing battle with Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

A third and final full-band recording session took place in January/February 2015. Joe then announced on his radio show on 7th March 2015 that the band had completed the recording work. This proved a little premature as later interviews leading up to and during the 2015 world tour (which started on 15th April) revealed "finishing up" work on the album was still ongoing before it was finally finished and mixed/mastered by mid August.

Both Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell had stated the album is either "the best since Hysteria" or "the strongest in 23 years" in interviews in the six/seven months leading up to its eventual release.

The album title and late 2015 release were first revealed (somewhat awkwardly) via the tour poster for the UK shows when that tour was announced on 27th March.

It contained the line - "Def Leppard's highly anticipated new self-titled studio album coming late 2015". This pre album teaser was then used on the side screens at all 2015 shows starting in Penticton, BC on 15th April but shortened to "The Highly Anticipated New Album". Rick Allen also used the artwork on his bass/kick drum head throughout the 2015 tour. Which glowed in the dark.


Def Leppard 2015.


Def Leppard 2015.

The Singles

The first single Let's Go was premiered on Rolling Stone's website on 15th September before being released digitally the following day. A song 80% written by Rick Savage with a classic Leppard sound reminiscent of PSSOM. The song's promo video was premiered on the same day as the album release.

Second single Dangerous was then premiered on Billboard's site on 16th October and released on the same day as a digital single. Originally a Phil Collen demo and idea which dates back to at least 2010.

The promo video for third single Man Enough was premiered online on 22nd June to coincide with the start of the Summer Tour 2016.

The fourth single We Belong followed with a promo video in early December 2016.

Album Artwork

(Joe Elliott - October 2015) - "And you know artwork wise it was dead easy to just say. Come up with something that tied in with who we are. You know we made the logo the main thing but them the broken glass effect was just supposedly like an implosion from inside a building outwards - it's like BOOM that's the sound of a Def Leppard record shooting out of the studio. And you know it worked for us and we're very happy with the fact that we've done this."

Rejected Album Artwork

Album artwork idea by Richard Smith which was not used.

Chart Positions

The album entered the UK chart at Number 11 and was Number 1 on the Rock & Metal chart.

In the USA it debuted at Number 10 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and Number 1 on the Rock charts. It also went Top 10 in Australia, Japan, Germany and Scotland.

Def Leppard 2015.

UK Tour Special Edition

December 2015 - A special release to coincide with the UK tour - "The lenticular has a unique moving 3D effect which shows the iconic logo smashing through glass and is only available in the UK for a very limited period.".

Record Store Day Vinyl Release

April 2016 - A double vinyl release for the UK/Germany Record Store Day - "For Record Store Day 2016 this phenomenal album is being made available in a limited edition, double-vinyl picture disc format.".

2019 German Yellow 2LP Vinyl Release

In May 2019 a special double Yellow coloured vinyl edition was released in Germany and limited to only 1,000 copies. The release was not linked to Record Store Day.


Def Leppard 2015.


Def Leppard 2015.

UK Classic Rock Fan Pack Edition

The Limited Edition 16 track version of the album was contained within the outer cardboard container. Released on 30th October in the UK with a regular 14 track CD edition following in late November. The first time a Def Leppard album had been released this way.

Inside is a 116 page magazine which contains new interviews with each band member, two A4 sized card flats (pictures on either side-one new photo and three classic ones) plus two metal guitar pick key rings.

The album is packaged in a book style - similar to the Songs From The Sparkle Lounge Limited Edition from 2008, only smaller.

The liner notes contain a lengthy message written by Geoff Barton dated 25th September 2015. A bit similar to one written by fellow UK journalist Dave Ling in the Best Of from 2004.

The glass artwork is used throughout interspersed with some Ross Halfin promo pics.

Album Title Revealed/Tour Advertising

The self-titled album title of DEF LEPPARD was first revealed on the poster for the December 2015 UK and Irish tour when it was announced online on 27th March 2015. The poster contained the news at the bottom in small writing. The title was not officially announced until mid September.

Def Leppard 2015. Def Leppard Album

Album Tracklist Reveal

The 14 song titles of the self titled studio album were revealed in a series of Instagram posts on 14th September 2015.

Coming six weeks before its eventual release on 30th October 2015.

The first post was made at 8:37am PT showing the top of a scrap of paper with the words "D.L. Final running Order :) ?" on it signalling to fans that the full tracklisting was coming soon.

The second post at 10:07am showed the bottom right of the picture with only the words 'nhearted', 'An Angel' and 'Faith' visible.

The third, posted at 12:10pm, revealed more of the 14 songs titles including the full titles of 'Dangerous', 'Man Enough', 'We Belong', 'Invincible', 'Sea Of Love', 'Energized' and 'All Time High' with parts of others also showing and all 14 numbers on the left side.

Just over two hours later at 2:18pm the full photo was posted showing all 14 titles and revealing they were hand written by Joe Elliott.

It was also announced that a special surprise would follow on Rolling Stone's website the next day which turned out to be the premiere of the 'Let's Go' single.

Def Leppard Tour History - Album Notes 2015

The band's 11th studio album release and 10th of all-original material. The first ever self titled 'Def Leppard' album. Another first is that all band members sing lead vocal lines on one song. All five members collaborated together in one room over three sessions and played live in studio for the first time since 1996's 'Slang'.

The first single was premiered on Rolling Stone's website on September (at around 4:15pm UK time) along with an interview with Joe describing the song as having been 80% written by Rick Savage.

'Dangerous' was then premiered on Billboard's site on 16th October and was revealed to be a Phil Collen/Mutt Lange demo originally.

Work on the new album started back in February 2014 at Joe's Garage studio near Dublin, Ireland. The band had intended to record a single or an EP but ended up with 12 songs written in just one month prompting them to record a full album.

Up to 16 songs were near completion after a second session in May 2014 and the band continued to work on the album through the Summer Tour with KISS. Vivian recorded most of his guitar and vocal parts on the road after missing the second session due to his ongoing battle with Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

A third and final full-band recording session took place in January/February 2015. Joe then announced on his radio show on 7th March 2015 that the band had completed the recording work. This proved a little premature as later interviews leading up to and during the 2015 world tour (which started on 15th April) revealed "finishing up" work on the album was still ongoing before it was finally finished and mixed/mastered by mid August.

Both Phil Collen and Vivian Campbell have stated the album is either "the best since Hysteria" or "the strongest in 23 years".

2015 Album - Photo Gallery

The album title and late 2015 release were first revealed (somewhat awkwardly) via the tour poster for the UK shows when that tour was announced on 27th March.

It contained the line - "Def Leppard's highly anticipated new self-titled studio album coming late 2015". This pre album teaser was then used on the side screens at all 2015 shows starting in Penticton, BC on 15th April but shortened to "The Highly Anticipated New Album". Rick Allen also used the artwork on his bass/kick drum head throughout the 2015 tour. Which as you can see glowed in the dark.


Def Leppard 2015.


Def Leppard 2015. Screenshot

Joe Elliott - September 2015 Interview Quotes

EP Idea Becomes Studio Album

"We wrote three songs, and they sounded so good we just kept going. When we got to twelve songs, we knew we had an album."

2014 Album Sessions

"In February 2014. We got together for the whole of that month. We banged those twelve songs out, then left it alone for a bit. We did the tour with KISS. We got back together in May for two weeks to work on those twelve, and we ended up with two more. Then we had another break. So we did six weeks of crafting the songs, then we started working on what we'd got - figuring out the vocals, finishing the lyrics."

Working On The Songs

"The last two tracks on the album, Wings Of An Angel and Blind Faith, were written by the whole band - all five of us together in one room. But mostly we write on our own. Without wanting to sound poncey, we are all songwriters in our own right. We write differently when we write individually, and we write a certain way when we contribute to each other's songs. We're like Queen in that respect. I'm not saying I think we're as good as Queen - we're totally different. But what we do have in common with them is we all write individually. What that gives us is a massive amount of variety in our songs. And that really matters to us."

Recording At Home In Dublin

"We know how to make a great record now - on our own terms. In our own environment, without having to bring in the big guns. We've got this dialled in. We can do it all ourselves, and it's a good way to work. It's very different to walking into Abbey Road with all the gear."

Co-Producer Ronan McHugh

"Ronan's been working with us for sixteen years, since the Euphoria album. He's a phenomenal engineer and now co-producer. He produced the Down 'n' Outz albums with me. He knows how to referee. He's our guy."




Length Of Recording Process

"We took eight or nine weeks to record but that was over a period of nine months. We did it all in house, and I think you can hear it in, dare I say, the grooves. There's a natural feel to the record. We didn't rush. We weren't in there seven days a week, twenty hours a day, like we used to be."

"Eleven in the morning till eleven at night is what we normally do. But when I say we start at eleven, that's when we meet in the kitchen, drinking coffee, making toast, then drifting into the studio to see who's got what. That's the template. If we've run our course by nine we quit, we're done for the day. And then there are times you do want to start a new one at the end of the day. We just ran with it. We just went with the vibe. But you're right - gentleman of a certain vintage can dictate their own terms, especially when you haven't got a record company hanging over your head. We did 95 percent of the album at Joe's Garage. Phil did some solos at home. And then we did a bit of work on various laptops while we were touring around the world."

All Band Members Recording Together

"Not really. And in that sense, it was no different to when we did Hysteria or Pyromania. It's not like the five of us were in the room the whole time. I was never in the studio for any of the solos that got recorded for any of those records. Why would I be?. A guitar player doesn't need the singer hovering around when he's trying to do a solo."

Vivian Working While Undergoing Treatment

"Vivian was there for the whole month when we did the original twelve songs. He wasn't there for the second two weeks while he was having treatment. We carried on. We said: "Okay, Viv will catch up" Once we'd got the tracks down, Viv could do his parts on a laptop later on."

"It was something that was obviously hanging over him, but it wasn't like a shadow over us. The truth is, we never talked about it much. The feeling within the band was: "Okay, he's got cancer and he's having treatment - there's nothing we can do." The important thing was that Vivian was in good shape, he was smiling and happy and playing well. And during the period when we were making our album. Viv was also doing his Last In Line album,. Jesus, he's got more energy than most people that don't have cancer."

Naming The Album DEF LEPPARD

"It was Phil who said: "I think we should just call the album Def Leppard," I said: "Well, we've never done that in 35 years, so why not?" And really, it's an album that defines what this band is all about. It's got every kind of song that we've either wanted to record or are familiar with. There are songs like Let's Go and Dangerous that are classic Def Leppard. We've not going to shy away from what we're good at. But there are all these other songs where we're going off into new directions, stretching our wings."

New Musical Directions

"Well, I hate to keep using Queen as a reference point, but we'd much rather be in that Queen bracket - where you have the ability to do Seaside Rendezvous as well as We Will Rock You - as opposed to Back In Black, where everything is in that one style. I'm not saying that negatively,. I love AC/DC. We all do. But we've got the slow songs that they'll never do, and the harmonies. I hear Queen in certain songs on this album, and Zeppelin in others. But we've never been afraid to wear our influences on our sleeves, and with this album we didn't shy away from admitting these things to each other's faces. It's not like we're copying, but at times one of us would say they'd got this song that sounds a bit like Zeppelin, or KISS, or AC/DC. To use that reference, it makes it so much easier for everybody to understand where you're coming from. It's like the Rolling Stones, Keith saying to Mick: "I got this song that sounds like Muddy Waters." I bet they must have said that a million times, We all do it."

The Joe Elliott Show - 7th March 2015

"I'm jolly because we have finished the new album. Yes, well apart from the mixing of it. We have sung our last word, played our last solo, hit our last drum. It's done!. And it will be out later this year."

Joe Elliott - August 2015

"It's got a bit of everything. And that's why the album is called Def Leppard."

Joe Elliott - February 2015

"There's a song on the new album where everybody takes lead vocal and that was my idea because I thought you know what, you guys can sing that well, let's all take a line each you know. So it's kind of like. A bit like The Beatles with the second song that they did off the Lennon demos which went on the Anthology where they all took a verse each. What we're doing on this is we're just swapping lines, and I sing the rest of the song but on the verses, where everybody's taking a line each, even Rick."

Joe Elliott - June 2015

"With the new album, swear to god, the new record we've never been more excited about an album - ever, I don't think because of the timing of it. The way that it worked. The way that - the ease of how the songs oozed out of us. It wasn't pulling teeth like on previous records that we've made."


Def Leppard 2015.


Def Leppard 2015. Screenshot

Rick Savage - September 2015 Interview Quotes

The Current Def Leppard Album

"To me there's certain things that we created back in the day, a way that our drums are played and sound, a way that the guitar parts are structured, there's a way in which me, Vivian and Phil sing together and harmonise with each other in conjunction with Joe. They're the main things that make a Def Leppard album sound like Def Leppard. All those things are very much in existence on the new album."

"The songs are very much varied though. We're not stuck on a wheel like we were with Hysteria and Adrenalize. And even Pyromania, to a certain extent, where every song is given the same treatment. With the new one, it's much more varied. It's a wider album. Not all of the same ilk, but with with all of the same ingredients. It's having the security within the band to say: "I want to write this kind of song," And as long as they still have those vital ingredients that we formulated in the 80, it will be all right. So to us it sounds like a Def Leppard album. No question about it."

Def Leppard 2015. Screenshot

Phil Collen - September 2015 Interview Quotes

The Def Leppard Album

"Over the years we've done different versions of concepts of how you approach an album, but with this one it just flowed. We went in to do a single and we came out with twelve songs. There wasn't one time on this record when a single person went: "Well, I don't think that worked..." Or: "Maybe we shouldn't try this because of that..." which is what we usually have. This time it was pure inspiration, pure flow. Some of the songs, although they sound unmistakably like Def Leppard, are in totally different styles to what we've done before. Normally that would have been a spanner in the works. Here, it was: "That sounds great." And we kept going."

"We started writing all these stupid names down like we normally do, and I said, 'Why don't we call it 'Def Leppard' 'cause this is like, who knows if there will be another Def Leppard album, per se, with the way the industry is, and the fact that this record actually represents us. It doesn't represent someone else's, you know, a label, a business agenda or anything else's idea of what Def Leppard is. This is actually Def Leppard's version of Def Leppard. That's actually why we called it it."

"It blew me away that we got so many things done and honestly I really think this is the best album we've done since Hysteria."

"I'm very excited about this new album - it's the best thing I think we've done in like 20 years. So it's really exciting."


Def Leppard 2015.


Def Leppard 2015. Screenshot

Vivian Campbell - September 2015 Interview Quotes

The Current Def Leppard Album

"I can honestly say it's the best one I've done with the band. We've called it Def Leppard because there's never been an album from the guys called that before. It's about time!. There are 14 tracks, and it's definitely very diverse - the most varied one the band have ever done. For instance, the last song on there, called Blind Faith, is very psychedelic. That's something the band haven't attempted in the past. There's also another first on the album, a track where all the band members sing lead during the verses."

"There are the usual rockers and ballads as well,. But for the uptempo ones, this time we went old school and played these live in the studio together. It's something we've not done for a long time, and it helped capture the energy and feel of the music. Mind you, other parts were then overdubbed, and sometimes I think the final mixes are slightly too polished. But they do have that unmistakable quality which is so associated with Def Leppard."

Album Recording Sessions

"We did it over a period of a year, but in three different sessions. Each one lasted about four to six weeks. But because of my illness, I could only get involved with two of these - the first and the third. That meant I really didn't feel fully involved. It was as if I wasn't part of the band for much of the recording. I have to stress that's got nothing to do with the other guys' attitude towards me. This hasn't changed at all. It's simply come from me, cos I had to miss so much of the process."

The Way The Band Work

"Well, this is where I disagree with the way the band do things. They intellectualise the process of doing an album. There are lots of discussions in the studio, analysing what they're doing and taking it apart. I much prefer going in and getting straight on with playing. But this is the way the band have done things for so many years, and it's clearly worked for them, as you can tell by their back catalogue of success. So why should they alter anything now?. And I wouldn't ever dream of suggesting we should do things differently. All I would say is that I did things a lot more spontaneously on the Last In Line album."

Vivian Campbell - 20th February 2015

"It's a great record. It's actually I think the best record I've made in the 23 years that I've been with the band."

We Belong

"There is a song on the record. It's a Joe Elliott song and we take it in turns to sing a couple of lines in the verses. Each guy in turn and that's a first for the band. You know we're kinda well known for our strong vocals and we do take great pride in the fact that we can replicate it live without backup tapes and hard drives and stuff. That's kind of what makes Def Leppard unique in the hard rock genre is that we have very, very strong backing vocals. Not just the lead vocals. So it's a nice way to showcase, you know the vocal ability of everyone in the band individually."

Def Leppard 2015. Screenshot

Rick Allen - 2015/2016 Interview Quotes

"I love it. It was great making this record. You know we spent a lot of time together. We did three really concentrated sessions together over the course of last year and a little bit into this year. You know it was great just all sitting down in the same room and figuring these songs out. It's nothing really to do with who did what or what material came from where. It was more the fact that there was this camaraderie while we were doing it and I think that really comes through in the songs that we came up with."

Recording Process

"We carved out like three good long sessions where we all got together. And within those time periods we were able to put about 16 songs together and as of right now they're probably more or less about 85 to 90 percent finished. Some of them even more so. Some of them are just about ready to present you know. So we're really excited about it you know it's been a - it's been a really nice project. It's been good getting together the way that we did in the studio you know. Over the years we tended to rely more on technology and sending you know - sending files to one another. You know for the other person to - to finish off. You know where somebody could but actually getting together in a room and all being together in that way is incredibly you know - incredibly valuable and really creative."

Musical Style

"I think it's a wonderful mixture of everything that inspired us and everything that we've done. So I think people will hear many, many different influences within the music that they hear."

Co-Producer Ronan McHugh

"Ronan McHugh. He's produced quite a few records over the years and he also does our live sound. So we spend a lot of time with Ronan. And I think because he knows us so well. He's to a point now where he just kind of knows what we want. And you know everybody has an input and there's always - there's always room for improvement or you know a certain perception of how you want it to sound. And he's the guy that is able to translate you know whatever it is we want into the finished thing. So we're very fortunate to have Ronan."

"You know what I have to mention the latest one because, you know, because of the way that it came together. We went in just to do a couple of songs. We ended up putting down 15 songs. And we loved all of them."

"We weren't afraid to just express ourselves. We were like you know what if we don't do it now when are we gonna do it. And it was like all the influences you know. I mentioned David Bowie earlier. Huge influence on Def Leppard. Queen. Mott The Hoople. Sweet. Slade. You know all these different bands that we grew up listening to. And it was a great opportunity for us to let the musical influences really shine. And let those come through."

2014 Album Sessions

"Well, we got together really just to write a few songs. We weren’t interested, really, in writing a whole record. But then when everybody brought their ideas to the table, we realized that we had 12 or 15 ideas that were in a state of being finished."

"And we were all in the same boat – it was fantastic, you know? Just being able to be in the same room and come up with songs that we felt were just really strong. And right now we feel as though we ended up with a very classic-sounding Def Leppard record."

Def Leppard - Retail Description

'Def Leppard" is the bands eleventh studio album – the first since 2008’s “Songs From the Sparkle Lounge”. From the instant hooks of album opener and first single “Let’s Go” to the bass groove of “Man Enough”, from the anthemic “Sea Of Love” to the beautiful album closer and future classic “Blind Faith”, from the instant hit of “Dangerous” to the acoustic “Battle Of My Own”, this is timeless Def Leppard: fourteen tracks that will delight fans and win over a whole new generation alike. Def Leppard have always known how to write hits, and this album is packed with them. The album was produced by Def Leppard, and longtime producer/engineer Ronan McHugh. The album was recorded at Joe’s Garage."


Watch all the related album videos on this YouTube playlist.

Def Leppard 2016 Promo Videos.


Buy 'Def Leppard' Online


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