Stranger Things got a lot of mileage out of songs by Metallica and Journey in the most recent season, and I think it’s time for them to throw a little love to Def Leppard in the next one.
In terms of album sales, 1983 belonged to one man: Michael Jackson. Though his Thriller was technically released in late 1982, it picked up steam in the early months of ’83 and became an unstoppable juggernaut by March. Thriller dominated the albums chart all year, stepping aside occasionally to allow other artists a brief moment in the sun.
The Police, too, had a hell of a showing. Between them, Synchronicity and Thriller owned the #1 spot in 38 of the 52 weeks. In third place was Men at Work’s debut album, Business As Usual, which was released in the U.S. in June of 1982 but spent 15 weeks at #1 between late ’82 and early ’83. Fourth… Lionel Richie, whose Can’t Slow Down claimed the top spot for three weeks at the end of the year.
Our next 2019 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee is the British hard rock band Def Leppard, who have been eligible for inclusion since 2005. This is the first time they have been up for nomination, which is frankly shocking.
Def Leppard is one of only a handful of bands with more than one Diamond album (more than 10 million copies sold). Their company include the Eagles, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Van Halen, all of whom have been in the Hall for decades. They have sold 36 million albums overall, and every rock band in that ballpark is already in.
I like listening to the album that came right before an artist’s landmark work. Like The Police’s Ghost in the Machine, covered earlier this week, which preceded Synchronicity. Or Fleetwood Mac, a smash in its own right, but one that lives in the shadow of its follow-up, Rumours.
Everybody knows Def Leppard’s 1983 megahit Pyromania, and 1987’s Hysteria, which pretty much matched it in sales, but you don’t hear much about 1981’s High ‘N’ Dry. At least I haven’t.