Photographer Ross Halfin began his career working for Sounds magazine in the 1970s, shooting various artists on the punk scene, including The Clash, The Jam, The Sex Pistols, 999, The Adverts. Halfin moved on to working mainly in the United States with bands like AC/DC, UFO, Rush, Journey, Aerosmith, Black Sabbath. He started Kerrang! magazine in 1980 with Geoff Barton and produced images of bands from that era, including Metallica, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Motley Crue, and Van Halen. In the VH1 series Behind the Music, Halfin was one of the most common people interviewed. He has shot numerous album covers and published several books on bands, including Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Black Crowes, Iron Maiden, Metallica. Halfin spends most of the year travelling the world but is still based in England. Def Leppard has sold over 65 million albums worldwide, most notably their two RIAA diamond certified albums Pyromania and Hysteria. They have a loyal fanbase that supports their recent albums and tours, and is (interestingly) a bit more female than the standard rock act. The band themselves would characterize themselves as hard rock rather than heavy metal, though they are often considered together with other metal acts. Emerging in the late '70s as part of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, the group actually owed more to the glam rock and metal of the early '70s, as their sound was equal parts T. Rex, Mott the Hoople, Queen, and Led Zeppelin. By toning down their heavy riffs and emphasizing melody, Def Leppard was poised for crossover success by 1983's Pyromania, and skillfully used the fledgling MTV network to their advantage. The musicians were already blessed with photogenic good looks, but they also crafted a series of innovative, exciting videos that made them into stars. They intended to follow Pyromania quickly but were derailed when their drummer lost an arm in a car accident, the first of many problems that plagued the group's career. Def Leppard managed to pull through such tragedies, and they even expanded their large audience with 1987's blockbuster Hysteria. As the '90s began, mainstream hard rock shifted away from Leppard's signature pop-metal and toward edgier, louder bands, yet the group maintained a sizable audience into the late '90s and were one of only a handful of '80s metal groups to survive the decade more or less intact.
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"It's refreshing to see that the guys behind "Pour Some Sugar On Me" don't take themselves too seriously, and it makes this book a pleasure." --Metromix jersey Shore