The Journey / Def Leppard 2018 Tour: A Tale of the Tape
Two of the biggest heavyweights in the industry are going toe-to-toe this year when Def Leppard and Journey kick off their massive 58-city co-headlining tour in Hartford, Conn., this Monday (May 21). Although it's not a competition between these old friends – they toured together previously in 2006 – we're presenting a "tale of the tape" showing you how the two match up.
Journey: Neal Schon (guitar), Jonathan Cain (keyboards), Arnel Pineda (vocals), Steve Smith (drums), Ross Valory (bass)
Def Leppard: Rick Allen (drums), Vivian Campbell (guitar), Phil Collen (guitar), Joe Elliott (vocals), Rick Savage (bass)
Since 2015, Journey have been touring with their lineup that recorded their classic Escape and Frontiers albums – with the exception of vocalist Steve Perry, who left for the second time in 1998. Arnel Pineda has been their singer since Schon discovered him in 2007.
Over the years, Def Leppard have weathered through many tragedies, most famously the death of guitarist Steve Clark and Rick Allen losing his arm in a car crash. But remarkably, Allen remained in the group. Their lineup has been the same since the 1992 arrival of Vivian Campbell, who himself has endured a bout with Hodgkins' lymphona in recent years.
FORMED / HOMETOWN
Def Leppard: 1977, Sheffield, England
Journey: 1973, San Francisco, Calif.
Def Leppard were formed in 1977 as Atomic Mass by Rick Savage, Tony Kenning and Pete Willis while they were students at Tapton School in Sheffield. They soon recruited singer Joe Elliott, who suggested a new name of "Deaf Leopard," which was subsequently changed, Led Zeppelin-style, to "Def Leppard."
Journey were born in San Francisco when Neal Schon and Gregg Rolie left Santana for a new project with Prairie Prince, Ross Valory and George Tickner – the latter two of whom had been in the psychedelic band Frumious Bandersnatch. They partnered with local radio station KSAN to have a "Name the Band" contest, but a member of their crew, John Villanueva suggested Journey, and the name stuck.
Journey: Dec. 31, 1973
Def Leppard: July 8, 1978
Journey's eight-song set at San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom on New Year's Eve 1973 included five songs that made their debut album, a cover of the Beatles' "It's All Too Much" and another two, "Can You Feel Me" and "Charge of the Light Brigade," that have never been officially released. Coincidentally, AC/DC also had their debut concert the same day.
Def Leppard's first show was in a less-grandiose place than the Winterland: the dining hall at the Westfield School in Sheffield. They were paid five pounds by a teacher for a 50-minute set that included Thin Lizzy's "Jailbreak" and an original called "World Beyond the Sky."
Def Leppard: On Through the Night (1980)
Journey: Journey (1975)
On the strength of 1979's self-released The Def Leppard E.P., which featured three songs, the band were seen as leading lights of the nascent New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. They signed with Phonogram/Vertigo and put out On Through the Night the following year. None of its singles cracked the Top 40 in the U.K. or made the Hot 100 in the U.S.
After replacing Prince with Aynsley Dunbar, Journey signed with Columbia and put out their self-titled debut in 1975. Its lone single, "To Play Some Music," failed to chart, but the album reached No. 138.
Forced by their label to come up with a hit, Journey dispatched with the jazz fusion found on their first three records and found new lead singer in Steve Perry in time for 1978's Infinity. The change gave them their first three charting singles, "Wheel in the Sky" "Anytime" and "Lights," the latter of which Perry co-wrote.
Def Leppard's first two records had sold respectfully, but unspectacularly. But then Robert John “Mutt” Lange, who had also produced 1981's High 'n' Dry, gave them a radio-friendly shine on the follow-up, Pyromania – and they never looked back. Three singles – "Photograph," "Rock of Ages" and "Foolin'" – made the Top 40, and another four tracks were also rock-radio hits. Pyromania has since been certified diamond for sales of 10 million copies.
Def Leppard: Six
After Pyromania made stars out of Def Leppard, the band's next three records, including 1993's rarities-and-outtakes collection Retro-Active, went platinum, with 1987's Hysteria being their best-seller at 12 million copies. Their success also sent fans back to the band's first two albums, which also eventually went platinum.
Infinity began a streak of seven consecutive platinum albums for Journey; 1981's Escape (9 million) and 1983's Frontiers (7 million) marked the apex of their fame. Revelation also reached the platinum mark in 2008, as did their 1981 live two-LP set Captured. Journey's biggest-selling album remains their 1988 Greatest Hits compilation, which has sold in excess of 17 million copies.
TOP 10 SINGLES
Def Leppard: Four
"Who's Crying Now" became Journey's first Top 10 hit on Billboard's Hot 100 when it peaked at No. 4 in 1981. It was subsequently followed by "Don't Stop Believin'," "Open Arms," "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)," "Only the Young" and "Be Good to Yourself." Although they never had a No. 1 hit, "Open Arms" came close at No. 2.
For all the success of Pyromania, its highest-charting single was "Photograph," which peaked at No. 12. They didn't crack the Top 10 until Hysteria's title track reached No. 10, and then their next three singles, "Pour Some Sugar on Me," "Love Bites" and "Armageddon It," all reached No. 3 or better; "Love Bites" is Def Leppard's only No. 1.
ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME
Def Leppard: No
For all their success, Def Leppard have yet to even be nominated for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But the repeated snubs don't bother Collen much. "I don't care, really – whatever," he said in 2014. "The way I look at it, I've got two diamond albums sitting on my mantlepiece. That's ten times platinum; I've got two albums. That means the fans went out and bought it, so that means a lot more to me, I think." Earlier this year, he reiterated his stace by saying, "If it ever happens, great; if not, great."
Journey were inducted in 2017 after winning the fan vote. Perry didn't sing with his former bandmates, though he did join them onstage where he gave a speech praising "the magic fingers of Neal Schon's guitar." Journey were inducted by Train frontman Pat Monahan, who said, "Their music has transcended all things that separate us as humans."
MOST RECENT ALBUM
Journey: Eclipse (2011)
Def Leppard: Def Leppard (2015)
Eclipse marked the second album to feature Pineda, who was hired after Journey found YouTube clips of him singing their songs. This May 24, 2011 release debuted at No. 13 on the Billboard charts; "Anything Is Possible" reached No. 21 on the adult-contemporary singles list.
Def Leppard took seven years to follow up Songs From the Sparkle Lounge. Their Oct. 20, 2015 self-titled album reached No. 11, and featured the singles "Let's Go" and "Dangerous."
RECENT TOUR GROSSES
Def Leppard: $31 million in 2017
Journey: $32.8 million in 2017
Def Leppard have grossed $227.4 million from 432 shows between 2008 and 2017, according to Pollstar. In the same time period, Journey have grossed $260 million in 448 concerts.