Joe Elliott Determined to Prove ’80s Bands Aren’t ‘Mockable’
Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott is tired of people discounting an entire era of musicians who came to prominence in the '80s.
“There are a lot of people that think the '80s are a mockable decade,” Elliott noted during a SiriusXM press conference announcing his band’s 2020 tour alongside Motley Crue, Poison and Joan Jett. “We’re about to prove that it’s not.”
Though Def Leppard originally formed in 1977, they didn’t rise in prominence until the following decade. The group released four studio albums during the ‘80s, On Through the Night, High ‘n’ Dry, Pyromania and Hysteria. Each LP achieved platinum sales, with the latter two earning diamond status, making Def Leppard one of only 22 artists to score sales of over 10 million albums of more than one title.
Despite their massive sales figures, successful worldwide tours and insatiable fan bases, the music community has seemingly turned their collective nose up at Def Leppard and their ‘80s contemporaries. The band has never received a Grammy award, a distinction shared by their tour mates Motley Crue. Though Def Leppard were finally enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019, it took 14 years after they were first eligible for the honor to be bestowed.
“There’s an amazing audience out there that’s never gone away for a lot of bands from that period,” Elliott noted of the public's support for ‘80s bands. “Whether we’ve gone away and come back, or whether we’ve been constant, the music has been the thread that keeps bringing everybody back again.”
The 2020 stadium tour will give Def Leppard and their counterparts another chance to quiet naysayers’ criticisms about ‘80s bands.
“We’re very blessed that we’re in a situation here when we can all go out together and it just gives it an almighty weight,” Elliott said of teaming with Motley Crue, Poison and Joan Jett. “It’s last man standing to a point maybe, but we have survived.”