1980’s a decade to be remembered: Part Two

Alex Brown

Alex Brown

The UK metal band Def Leppard hit the music scene March 14, 1980, with their debut album “On Through The Night.” While the album was a success, reaching the Top 15 in Britain, many fans were upset that the band was trying to focus on being a hit in the US. Touring the States and songs like “Hello America” only fueled the fire, and it would be awhile before Def Leppard could tame the home crowd.

The first big hit for the band came with the song “Photograph.” The song, combined with a music video, helped Def Leppard become the most requested video on MTV. “Photograph” stayed on the US rock charts for six weeks.

However, their biggest hits came off their fourth album “Hysteria.” This album sold over 12 million copies in the US and stayed on the charts for three years. It included their only number one single “Love Bites” and “Pour Some Sugar On Me.” The video for “Pour Some Sugar On Me” was number one on the MTV show “Dial-MTV” for 68 days, a record for the show.

Besides their influence on the music scene and albums sold, there is one other aspect that makes the band so interesting. Their drummer, Rick Allen, has only one arm. After losing his left arm in a car crash, Allen was determined to stay with the band. Allen learned to use his legs to make up for the loss of his arm.

It wasn’t until the ’80’s that Whitesnake finally broke into the United States. After spending the late ’70’s in Japan and Europe, the band was ready to cross the pond and make their mark in America.

In 1984, the band released their album “Slide it In,” which went gold. It was their next album “Whitesnake” that really made the band a household name. Their number one hit “Here I Go Again” was only a part of the successful album. The ballad “Is This Love” helped bring the band to a bigger fan base.

Once again, MTV and music videos helped to make good record sales great. The videos for the band featured Tawny Kitaen, wife of lead vocalist and group founder David Coverdale.

Despite the success of the last album, Coverdale fired all members of Whitesnake, except for one studio musician. Featuring a new line-up, the group released “Slip of the Tongue,” their final album of the 80’s. Despite help from Grammy-award-winner Steve Vai, album sales were low.

After a couple of albums in the ’90’s, the group called it quits. That is, until the 25-year celebration tour, which kicked off in 2003. The latest project from the group was a DVD released in February 2006. Whitesnake is also doing another tour, back to their early success in Europe and Japan.

Poison, led by vocalist Bret Michaels, was a huge hit in the clubs in Los Angeles before gaining national recognition in the mid 80’s. It was the independent debut album “Look What The Cat Dragged In,” which went multi-platinum that pushed them into the spotlight.

The follow-up platinum album “Open Up And Say?Ahh!” was fueled by the first single “Nothin’ But A Good Time,” a major success on the charts and on MTV. The band quickly went from an opening act to tour headliners. The huge success of the single “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” helped the album to sell over eight million copies.

Drug and alcohol abuse were a big problem for guitarist C.C. DeVille, prompting Michaels and Poison to kick him out of the group. The sides have since reconciled, and are touring and performing together once again. Poison is putting out a greatest-hits album in honor of the group’s 20-year anniversary, along with a summer tour.

Information for this article was collected from: ?www.inthe80s.com/timeline.shtm ?www.chiff.com/pop-culture/1980s.htm ?www.crazyfads.com/80s.htm ?www.80music.about.com/library/1980s