Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Rock News Artist Of The Year No. 10: DEF LEPPARD

Welcome to the 2013 hennemusic Rock News Awards.

Over the next ten days, we’ll be counting down the Top 10 Rock News Artists of the past year.

Finalists for the 4th annual hennemusic Rock News Awards are chosen by readers: winners are determined by the combined total page views of the top 50 hennemusic rock news stories of the past twelve months.

The 2013 hennemusic Rock News Awards winners will be announced on Friday, January 17.

Rock News Artist of The Year No. 10 – DEF LEPPARD

Def Leppard spent 2013 celebrating the success of their 1987 smash, “Hysteria.”

In the spring, the band followed in the footsteps of Motley Crue and Guns N’ Roses by playing their first-ever Las Vegas residency, "VIVA! Hysteria."

The 11 shows at The Joint in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino saw Def Leppard play two sets each night: the first, a wild card collection of songs that changed from night to night – performed under the name “Ded Flatbird”; the second presented “Hysteria” from start to finish.

During the Vegas run, Leppard also signed on for a special edition of Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy Camp, which saw the group serve as mentors and instructors, guiding campers through their songs as well as general playing and performing techniques.

Vegas also the debut of drummer Rick Allen’s fine art exhibit, “Electric Hand: Rhythm + Change.” Allen is translating rhythm into a visual art medium through an extensive process involving drumbeat, light, photography, and graphic design; the result is a collection of abstract imagery (check out some video of the exhibit here).

Allen’s second collection, “Rock On Canvas”, surfaced in the fall.

In June, guitarist Vivian Campbell revealed that he was battling cancer.

“My diagnosis was Hodgkin's Lymphoma and 6 months of chemotherapy is the prescribed treatment,” posted Campbell. “I’m about 2 months in and feeling rather spiffy, all things considered. Hodgkin's has an over 80% cure rate, so by my reckoning, if you’re going to have a cancer, Hodgie’s is the one to have!” (read more of Vivian’s post here).

Campbell’s upbeat nature and determination saw him continue treatment while touring through the summer with both Def Leppard and the reunited Dio band as Last In Line.

In November, Campbell announced that his cancer was in remission and that he was starting to work on a solo album.

The fall saw the cinema promotion and DVD/audio release of the Las Vegas shows as the “VIVA! Hysteria” package hit stores.

Late in the year, guitarist Phil Collen revealed the band’s plans to return to Sin City in 2014.

"The Vegas thing was amazing," said Collen. "We're also going to be doing Viva Pyromania at some point at the end of next year."

"Pyromania," the 1983 release certified 10 times platinum in 2004, was the Sheffield, England hard rock band's breakthrough album, predating "Hysteria" by four years.

The group also shared plans that they’ll be hitting the studio in February to work on some new music.

See also:

2013 hennemusic Rock News Awards announced
Van Halen dominate the 2012 hennemusic Rock News Awards
Van Halen win two hennemusic Rock News Awards
Guns N’ Roses named hennemusic’s Rock News Artist of The Year
Jimmy Page’s 2011 plans named hennemusic’s Rock News Story Of The Year