Def Leppard Find New, Previously Lost Songs Recorded for 1980 Debut ‘On Through the Night’

When Def Leppard was recording their debut album On Through the Night in 1979, the band lost some of the original tapes of previously unreleased songs from those early sessions. The songs had been lost for decades, or so they thought until the tapes were recently unearthed and are being revisited by the band, according to Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen.

Videos by American Songwriter

“Our first record, we thought that the tapes had been destroyed, but it turns out that they exist,” said Allen in a recent interview. “So we were able to pull some versions and some songs that have never been heard from those tapes, which is fantastic.”

Though Allen didn’t share the number of songs found or the band’s specific plans with the tracks he hinted at a possible release and added, “There’s always room for another box set.”

Shortly after forming in Sheffield, England in 1976, Def Leppard was still writing the songs for On Through the Night while the band members were working day jobs and rehearsing at night. 

“We would get together at night, and one of us had got this idea—and it would be ‘Wasted’ or ‘Hello America’ or ‘Rock Brigade’—all while we had other things to do all day long,” singer Joe Elliott told American Songwriter in 2023. “Then we would work again from seven to 11 at night in a rehearsal room and make an album.”

[RELATED: Rock of Ages – American Songwriter Interview with Def Leppard]

Prior to working on On Through the Night, the band had been playing together for three years. How Def Leppard formed is what Elliott called “God playing chess.” At the time, Allen was as working as a roadie and his mother answered an advertisement for a band looking for a drummer. He joined Def Leppard in 1978 when he was just 15 years old and replaced original drummer Tony Kenning.

On Through the Night also featured founding member and original guitarist Pete Willis, who was dismissed from the band in 1982, following Def Leppard’s second album High ’N’ Dry, and replaced by Phil Collen.

Def Leppard recently extended their The Stadium Tour with Mötley Crüe, Poison, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, from 2022 through 2023. Their extended tour with Mötley Crüe in 2023 will wrap up with one final show in Melbourne, Australia on November 14.

Calling all rock music fans! Purchase your tickets now for the Journey and Def Leppard 2024 Tour and be part of an electrifying concert experience.

Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Leave a Reply

5 Little Known Facts About Alan Jackson