What if Adrian had joined Def Leppard?

nibblet

Invader
Just to throw an idea out there....

In 991/92, Def Leppard were looking for a replacement for their deceased Steve Clarke.
And at that time, Adrian was out of a job, so to speak - having left Maiden the year before and seen his ASAP band break up.

Leppard were arguable the biggest band in the world at the start of the 90s, coming off two blockbuster albums and were no doubt making the kind of melodic rock music that Adrain was being drawn to at the time.

Now, I suspect Adrain was too big of a name to fit into Leppard, I suspect their remaining guitarist Phil Collen wanted a more subordinate co-guitarist (the job went to Vivian Campbell who is terribly undervalued as a guitarist in the band).

But what if Adrain had joined? Def Leppard continued to major league success through to the mid 90s - 'Adrenalize' in 1992 was a worldwide number 1 album including the USA where it hit number 1 for 5 weeks. In 1993, 'Two Steps Behind', a previously released b-side was flipped to become an a-side and became the band's biggest selling single worldwide. And in 1995 their greatest hits album was a major global hit.

But since 96, the band have been in terminal decline and are now doing package tours of the USA every summer - sometimes going on last, but most recently going on before Kiss. There hasn't been a new album since 2008!

But would their career have been more sustained if Adrian had joined - would more Maiden fans have started to follow Leppard? And if Leppard's decline had happened anyway, would Adrian have come over to Maiden for the reunion or stuck with Leppard. And what would the Maiden reunion (ei jsut Bruce coming back) have been without Adrian in terms of excitement/fan interest?
 

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
But since 96, the band have been in terminal decline and are now doing package tours of the USA every summer - sometimes going on last, but most recently going on before Kiss. There hasn't been a new album since 2008!
What goes up, must come down. Def Lep was huge in 1987/88 with the Hysteria album and all the hit singles. They were everywhere. They took over from U2 as the band no one could escape, as the favorite high school slow dance moved from "With Or Without You" to "Love Bites".

My point being: no one can sustain that level of success forever, and the inevitable decline should not be held against them. A criticism that they have become a cabaret band with no new albums is fair... but the "decline" was from such a height that it can't be considered any ordinary decline. Def Lep came down to normal levels, and the cabaret thing they do is now no less than typical for bands of that era.
 

RALFPL

Atlas Arena, Lodz
Leppard is poprocky band not metal since thei very first albums at all. Nothing to compare with Iron Maiden in terms of music style and kind of auditoriums really.
 

nibblet

Invader
What goes up, must come down. Def Lep was huge in 1987/88 with the Hysteria album and all the hit singles. They were everywhere. They took over from U2 as the band no one could escape, as the favorite high school slow dance moved from "With Or Without You" to "Love Bites".

My point being: no one can sustain that level of success forever, and the inevitable decline should not be held against them. A criticism that they have become a cabaret band with no new albums is fair... but the "decline" was from such a height that it can't be considered any ordinary decline. Def Lep came down to normal levels, and the cabaret thing they do is now no less than typical for bands of that era.



I am sorry, but I disagree.

Def Leppard's decline has been terrible. Once talked about being the next Led Zepplin, they are now one level above the likes of Poison and well behind the likes of Bon Jovi and U2 who are stadium acts. In the late 80s Leppard were outselling everyone but Maiden, Bon Jovi, Metallica and U2 are now in a totally different league to them - and none of these bands are a cabaret acts (hmmm....well, 3 years of Maiden England?)
 
Last edited:

Perun

And the world, unheeding, turns
Staff member
Def Leppard really aren't very big in Europe anymore, but I'd believe SMX when he says they play the same venues as Maiden in the US.
 

nibblet

Invader
Here in the US, Def Lep still plays the same venues as Maiden.
But only on package tours - They have been co-headlining since 2005 with the likes of Bryan Adams, Journey, Heart and Poison. And last year, they were no longer even going on last on stage as they found themselves under Kiss.

Don't get me wrong, I am not bashing Def Leppard - I think they made some incredible albums from High N Dry through to Slang - but they have declined both commercially and artistically since then. And I raise this observation only in the context of what Adrian would be doing now if he had joined in 1991.
 

nibblet

Invader
This makes no sense, given that Vivian Campbell was by far more famous and popular at the time.
Vivian was in a band called Shadow King before he joined Def Leppard - not exactly a big time band! True, before that he was in Whitsnanke but only as a touring guitarist who recorded just one track with the band.
 

nibblet

Invader
He was also in a band called Dio between 1983 and 1986. I recommend you check out their records, they're quite good.
He did indeed do some great stuff with Dio - and has rejoined his former bandmates (Dio aside) to form a new band, Last In Line. They have an album out soon.
 

nibblet

Invader
I know that, but it sort of invalidates your point, doesn't it?
In what way? My post was in response to whether or not Vivian Campbell was more famous and popular than Adrian Smith in 1991/92.
I disagree with the idea that 'Vivian was far more famous and popular' than Adrian, as stated by SinisterMinisterX

Adrian had nearly a decade of success with Maiden under his belt. In contrast, Vivian was at the time a member of Shadow King (no hits) and had previously just come off the back of a touring stint with Whitesnake in 1988, but with him having not recorded an album with the band. I do not think the further consideration of his 3 studio albums with Dio prior to that manages to support a claim that he was 'far more famous and popular' than Adrian.

So, no , I don't see any invalidation of my point.
 
Last edited:

Perun

And the world, unheeding, turns
Staff member
Hm, you know, those Dio albums were huge. And Campbell was the star of them, next to Dio himself. I wasn't around at the time, but I was always under the impression that, at the very least, the Dio singles of that era had more of a mainstream impact than anything Maiden did then. A few years of obscure activity doesn't make the guitarist himself obscure.
 

nibblet

Invader
Hm, you know, those Dio albums were huge. And Campbell was the star of them, next to Dio himself. I wasn't around at the time, but I was always under the impression that, at the very least, the Dio singles of that era had more of a mainstream impact than anything Maiden did then. A few years of obscure activity doesn't make the guitarist himself obscure.
I can't see how those first 3 Dio albums could be described as 'huge'. Dio were more popular in America than in other markets but, even in America, their first three albums all charted lower and sold sell than the 3 Maiden albums released in the same years. And Dio were certainly very tiny compared to Maiden outside of the USA.

And Dio certainly didn't have any 'hit' singles - their airplay success was even less than Maiden from the same era.

But to clarify, I am not saying that Vivian was obscure, just pointing out that I dispute any claim that he was way more popular and successful than Adrian by the time he joined Def Leppard.
 
Last edited:

SinisterMinisterX

Illuminatus
Staff member
I wasn't around at the time, but I was always under the impression that, at the very least, the Dio singles of that era had more of a mainstream impact than anything Maiden did then.
From someone who was around at the time: your impression is correct.
 
Top