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A Magazine for Sheffield

The Def Leppard EP

Def Leppard had their first rehearsal in a spoon factory on Bramall Lane and their first public gig at Westfield School in July 1978.

With their euphoric riffs, big blonde manes and undeniably stateside sound, they went on to sell records across the globe, unsurprisingly finding their biggest audience amongst the people on which they modelled their image, the Americans. At the height of their success in the USA, they went on to sell more than ten million albums. Who knew?

The 1979 Def Leppard EP is the band’s debut, recorded by the ballsy Yorkshire teenagers on a borrowed budget of £150 at Fairview Studios in Hull. It’s probably the only release which can be claimed to have come out of Sheffield, before they left for brighter lights. As you might expect, it’s a lot grittier than the glam metal hits they’re famous for, but this is perhaps owing more to the fact that it was recorded almost 40 years ago than anything. The foundations of future guitar solos – notably the solo on opening track 'Ride into the Sun' – are evident even in this premature production.

If it’s a slice of Sheffield’s music history that you seek, then hunt through the vinyl section of your local independent for this little rarity. The 7” white label version is the one you’re most likely to come across, while the original yellow label has made its way to that ethereal plain of the collector’s item. Alternatively, if you weren’t born when the EP was released, ask Pops. He might even have a copy.