Book Review: Def Leppard: The Definitive Visual History
If you love this band, you will love this book! There are very few rock bands that have managed to survive as many highs and lows as Def Leppard. This fully authorized visual history of the band starting in 1978 runs right through their present day (book was first published in 2011) activities. Photographer Ross Halfin was along for the entire ride. At 3.5 pounds this book is packed with amazing color and black/white images capturing over 450 photos many unseen and previously unpublished. You get text and commentary from not only Halfin but the band members themselves throughout each chapter. Along with a forward by Joe Elliot each band member also has a brief one or two page synopsis on what each of them took away from it after seeing the finished copy of the book.
I think what I liked most about it was that is runs in chronological order starting right from day one in 1978. Even if you are a diehard and think you may have seen some of these images around in various magazines and posters there are a lot of alternate versions taken from the same sessions. It’s truly magical to be able to flip from one chapter to the next and see so many changes both physically and stylistically through the years. The toughest parts to read are obviously those periods during the Hysteria tour in dealing with what was Steve Clark’s final stand. There is no doubt those were the toughest for the band members to comment on as well.
The book is high on photos and light on reading so as a visual guide you’ll enjoy it very much. If you’re looking for detailed accounts of the events that went on behind closed doors or on various tours or in the studio you’ll have to wait until an official biography comes out in the future. Enjoy this for what it is and take a ride on into the past and relive the good, the bad and the ugly that has existed for one of the greatest rock bands to come out of the 80’s and not only survive but thrive on into their future but ours as well.