Def Leppard‘s “Hysteria” is turning 30 years old and we can’t but think about the monumental importance of this release. Not only did this album set new production and song-writing standards but it also demonstrated how important it is to not lose the human aspect when you’re aiming for the sky.
It took Def Leppard about three years to make this album – three long years full of endless hardships and one obstacle after another. The final goal, however, remained unchanged. Def Leppard were ready to go one step further than their previous hit album, “Pyromania”. Well, they did do it, didn’t they….? I can only guess how incredibly tough it was for them to assemble their acts together after every punch. First it was Rick Allen, their drummer, who lost his arm in a car accident (and almost lost his second arm, actually); on top of that they were constantly struggling with finding the right producer, after Mutt Lange took a little break. Nevertheless, it all resulted in a beautiful piece of music we now call “Hysteria” or simply put….the album that defined the ’80s! “Hysteria” saw the light on August 3rd, 1987 and even though it took the album some time to warm up the hearts of audiences, especially in North America, we got to a point where it was certified 12 times Platinum – a recognition that speaks for itself.
In honor of my favorite album of all time, I decided to prepare a little list of facts which I believe should and probably are know by most of the fans out there. Also, I think it’s always great to remind ourselves of some little intriguing music facts that make up an album or a song we love. This written piece might be good for newer fans of Def Leppard who just want to know more about the band. Here we go…
*) “Hysteria” is the last album to feature the outstanding guitarist Steve Clark, before his death. Some of his songs do appear on their following album – “Adrenalize” (1992) and “Retro Active” (1993), however Hysteria World Tour was the last chance fans got to see him on the stage with his bandmates, unfortunately. Losing their guitarist once again shook the band’s grounds but they rose from the ashes and kept on making great rock music!
*) Def Leppard formed in the late ’70s and can certainly brag about their lengthy and productive career. They have released more than 50 timeless singles. However, up to date, their only #1 hit single remains the beautiful power ballad “Love Bites”, released as their sixth single from “Hysteria”.
*) Def Leppard released “Animal” as their first single in UK, Europe and the rest of the world. In the USA, they went with “Women” which according to some music critics became the reason why the initial response of American audiences wasn’t that good.
*) The last-minute composition – “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, a song that wasn’t even supposed to be on this album, turned out to be one of Def Leppard‘s most instantly-recognizable songs. It was released as their fourth single and it ultimately became the reason why “Hysteria” topped the Billboard Chart.
*) Originally, “Hysteria” was supposed to be called “Animal Instinct”. However, they eventually changed the name as suggested by Rick Allen who thought it suitably described the worldwide coverage and interest in his accident and recovery.
*) The album artwork was designed by legendary graphic designer Andie Airfix who also did the album covers of “Pyromania” and “Adrenalize”. The front image of “Hysteria” represents a terrifying man, transforming into an animal – or it can be the other way around. His presence on the artwork is directly related with and represents the lead single of the album – “Animal” as well as the lyrics of the song. The song itself is about humans’ wild, primitive and rather intense and crazy animalistic nature.
*) “Hysteria” was produced by Robert “Mutt” Lange who reconcile with the band after initially leaving them. His obsessive desire to create the perfect and most commercially successful hard rock album of all time, resulted in a painful squeezing of every tiny bit of talent and effort from the music engineers and technicians to the band members themselves. The realization of Mutt Lange‘s visions of this album took longer than expected which caused delays in the release of the album. He wanted to create a rock version of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”.
*) “Hysteria” was one of the most expensive and lengthy albums at the time of its release. The album stretches for around 63 minutes which was going over the CD limit. The cost of making “Hysteria” was over 5 million USD which for the late ’80s was an insane amount of money.
*) After “Hysteria” was released, Def Leppard published a book, titled “Animal Instinct: The Def Leppard Story”, written by Rolling Stone magazine Senior Editor David Fricke. The book talks about the three-year recording process and struggles Def Leppard had to face before they made “Hysteria” a fact.
*) The follow-up album to “Hysteria” – “Adrenalize” was released 5 years later, in 1992. During that time, Def Leppard lost Steve Clark and eventually took legendary guitarist Vivian Campbell to replace him. So many tragic events happened to Def Leppard that many thought they had a curse on them, referring to it as “the Def Leppard Curse”.
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🔥Time to…. Rise up, gather round and rock this place to the ground!🔥
Def Leppard’s “Pyromania” – do I have to say more? It’s one of those groundbreaking hard rock albums which don’t really need an introduction or a bunch of fancy words, describing how awesome and influential it is. I will just say one thing, though – if I have to choose one album to be buried with, it’s going to be “Pyromania” (together with “Hysteria” most probably). Yes, it’s that special to me!
“Pyromania” defined Def Leppard’s career like no other album. Most importantly, it gave birth to a couple of smashing hit singles, including “Photograph”, “Too Late for Love”, “Foolin” and of course, the absolute fan-favorite, “Rock of Ages”. I could write books about each one of the songs on “Pyromania” because they are that valuable and worthy to me and to the history of hard rock in general. However, this time I would like to focus on “Rock of Ages”, mainly because of its significant presence in popular culture, which is a reason enough to know a little bit more about the background of the tune. Also, there are a couple of really interesting facts, surrounding the making of “Rock of Ages”,which some of you might not know. [My Rock Mixtapes] gives you the story of Def Leppard’s “Rock of Ages”.
“Rock of Ages” was released as the second single from Def Leppard’s multi-platinum 1983 album “Pyromania”, following the highly successful debut album single, “Photograph”. The song became an instant hit, peaking at #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and topping the Top Tracks rock chart.
“Rock of Ages” was written by Joe Elliott, Steve Clark, and producer Mutt Lange. The music was all set and done, however coming up with the lyrics turned out to be a challenge for the guys. Until of course, that faithful discovery of a bible, left behind in the studio by a bible study group. The book was open to the hymn “Rock of Ages”…the rest is history. Another example of how ideas and inspirations can come from all sides of the world, as long as we pay attention to the signs of the universe!
The iconic music video of “Rock of Ages” was directed by David Mallet and shot at the end of 1982. Here’s what Joe Elliott had to say about it:
“It was the ridiculousness of it, which is exactly what the video needed to be. (Director David Mallet) was like, ‘I want you to walk down this drawbridge holding this sword.’ It’s like, ‘Oh, f–k off. Don’t make me do that!’ Of course, like an idiot, I submitted to his blinked eyes, looking at me like some long-lost dog. David Mallet‘s got a great way of manipulating people like that. I was young and dumb and went ‘OK.’ I look at that now, and I think ‘What the hell was I thinking?'”
(MTV Ruled the World – The Early Years of Music Video)
The verses contain no guitars, focusing entirely on the strength of the vocals. However, that turned out to be a problem for the MV making. Here’s what Joe Elliott said about it:
“There’s a couple of shots where Phil was clapping along on the verse – because there’s no guitars – and he’s standing directly behind me, so I look like I have these clapping antlers coming out of my head.”
“Pretty funny when you look back. The robe thing took about 30 seconds to film. You kind of forget about that,” said guitarist Phil Collen.
(MTV Ruled the World – The Early Years of Music Video)
An owl appears on the music video right when Joe says “all right”. Director David Mallet thought that it sounds like “owl right” so he decided to include the owl as a joke!
One of the most peculiar and heavily-discussed aspects of the song is the opening phrase. The German-sounding “Gunter Glieben Glauchen Globen”, said by producer Mutt Lange doesn’t really mean anything in particular. It’s a rather funny way of simply saying “1…2…3…4…!” For those of you who are familiar with Mutt’s obsession with achieving that perfect recording, it won’t come as a surprise to find out that at one point, he got actually pretty tired of counting “1…2…3…4…!” Instead, he decided to make things more entertaining and used this gibberish. The combination of “Gunter Glieben Glauchen Globen”, followed by the laughs of Joe Elliott and the famous line “All right, I’ve got something to say! It’s better to burn out, than to fade away”, has to be one of the most memorable openings of all time!
The instantly-recognizable slogan was re-used in 1989 for The Offspring’s Pretty Fly (For a White Guy).
Another curious (lyrical) “Rock of Ages” moment is of course that empowering saying “It’s better to burn out, than to fade away” at the beginning. The lines are a reference to Neil Young‘s song “My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)”. According to some sources, however, Joe Elliott saw those lines on someone’s T-shirt and took them for the song, without actually knowing who they belong to.
The lines “It’s better to burn out, than to fade away” became even more important for the history of rock music when they appeared on Kurt Cobain’s suicide in 1994.
Def Leppard’s four-line version was used in the movie Highlander (1986) by the villain, the Kurgan.
“Rock of Ages” also appears on the Season 5 finale of the TV show Supernatural .
“Rock of Ages” is one of Def Leppard‘s most beloved live staples. It has been an inseparable part of their live shows, ever since its release.
1988 Live (Hysteria Tour)
2013 Live (Viva! Hysteria, The Hard Rock Hotel, Las, Vegas NV)
Similarly to Joan Jett’s “I Love Rock & Roll”, “Rock of Ages” is a powerful anthem, written to inspire and spread that fiery rock & roll spirit. Here is what Joe Elliot said about the connection between “Rock of Ages” and “I Love Rock & Roll” in an interview with Kaos 2000 magazine.
“We’d have never written ‘Rock Of Ages’ if we hadn’t have heard ‘I Love Rock And Roll’ by Joan Jett. But we didn’t steal her entire sound. We took that one song and thought, ‘This is very anthemic. We could get away with writing songs of this standard and style.’ And that’s what we did. It doesn’t particularly sound that much like her, the chorus a bit. The actual structure of the song is nothing alike.” (Quote, retrieved from http://www.songfacts.com/)
A high-praised musical, titled “Rock of Ages” opened on Broadway in 2009. The show featured some of the biggest music hits of the ‘80s; however despite named after Def Leppard’s song, “Rock of Ages” doesn’t appear on it.
In 2012, the musical was turned into a movie, in which Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me” was performed by Tom Cruise.
In 2012, Def Leppard re-recorded the song with the title “Rock of Ages 2012”. It was released in the summer of 2012, along with a newly-recorded version of “Pour Some Sugar On Me”.
“Rock of Ages: The Definitive Collection” was released in 2005 and it featured some of the band’s most definitive classics.
“Rock of Ages” Lyrics
Gunter glieben glauchen globen
All right I got something to say Yeah, it’s better to burn out Yeah, than fade away All right Ow Gonna start a fire C’mon! Rise up! gather round Rock this place to the ground Burn it up let’s go for broke Watch the night go up in smoke
Rock on! Rock on!
Drive me crazier, no serenade No fire brigade, just Pyromania
What do you want? What do you want? I want rock’n’roll, yes I do Long live rock’n’roll
Oh let’s go, let’s strike a light We’re gonna blow like dynamite I don’t care if it takes all night Gonna set this town alight
What do you want? What do you want? I want rock’n’roll, Allright! Long live rock’n’roll
Rock of ages, rock of ages Still rollin’, keep a-rollin’ Rock of ages, rock of ages Still rollin’, rock’n’rollin’
We got the power, got the glory Just say you need it and if you need it Say yeah!
Heh heh heh heh Now listen to me I’m Burnin’, Burnin’, I got the fever I know for sure, there ain’t no cure So feel it, don’t fight it, go with the flow Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme one more for the road
What do you want? What do you want? I want rock’n’roll, You betcha Long live rock’n’roll
We’re gonna burn this damn place down Down to the ground
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers. The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Released: October 5, 1993 Genre: Hard Rock/Glam Rock Duration: 56:04 Label: Mercury Producer(s): Def Leppard
Singles: “Two Steps Behind”, “Desert Song”, “Miss You In A Heartbeat”, “Action”, ““Two Steps Behind (re-issue)”
Certified: Platinum (RIAA)
Def Leppard released four albums during the 90s but this time I will specifically focus on “Retro Active”, despite “Adrenalize” being their most commercially and critically successful 90s record. I wanted to talk a little bit more about “Retro Active” because of its unique format that combines groomed up versions of unreleased/B-sides tracks and a couple of covers from previous albums. The album carries with it Def Leppard’s genuine and classic ‘80s sound, making it their most deserving work that came out in the ‘90s. Don’t get me wrong, “Adrenalize” and “Euphoria”, for instance are groundbreaking albums, but they cannot match the variety and character of “Retro Active”. Fuelled up with first-class production quality and of course, the dynamic and charismatic spirit of Def Leppard, the record is the ultimate cause for celebration, especially for die-hard fans of the band, like me. On top of it all, the band gives us one more chance to honor the late Steve Clark (RIP) by revisiting his legacy and experiencing his enormous talents and contributions all over again. We get to hear the first recordings with the new guitarist Vivian Campbell, as well.
In terms of songs, “Retro Active” is an absolute rock festival from start to finish. We get to enjoy a couple of gorgeous ballads -“Miss You in a Heartbeat” and “Two Steps behind You”, both presented in acoustic and electric versions. Listening to those excellent pieces of art makes me such a proud fan of Def Leppard. “Miss You in a Heartbeat”, especially, is one in a lifetime kind of song – memorable and easy to sing with chorus, heartbreaking lyrics and an unmatchable classy aura. I have always been entranced by Joe’s vocals on this track. “She’s too Tough”, originally released on the “Heaven Is” single (1993) is such a delightful surprise and definitely my favorite moment of “Retro Active”. Energizing and empowering, the track is definitely something to anticipate as you go from start to finish. Playful, even sexy lyrics that generate an immediate visual in your mind, which is one of the reasons why I love Def Leppard so much – they tell a story with their music and make things so much more interesting. Kicking things off gently and then quickly teleporting us to a pure solid hard rock realm, “I Wanna Be Your Hero” is another groundbreaking point. On “Retro Active”, you get to find tons of other deserving rockers, such as the covers “Action” (Sweet) and “Only After Dark” (Mick Ronson). The mind-blowing first two opening tracks “Desert Song” and “Fractured Love”, both from Hysteria sessions, are bringing us back to Def Leppard’s early raw roots. The epic “Ride into the Sun” is another personal favorite of mine, probably due to the long history it carries with it – the track was actually featured on Def Leppard’s first ever self-produced EP, released back in 1979 before it was rerecorded in 1987 as a B-side to the “Hysteria” single. “Retro Active” wraps things up with a hidden track – a tender piano version of “Miss You in a Heartbeat”. Leaving us absolutely speechless, you can’t but go on the “Retro Active” journey once again, after the final song is over; the feeling is just that strong!
This album is for everyone, though I do believe that die-hard fans of Def Leppard would enjoy it much more than everyone else. The collection of songs offers a little something for all the rock souls out there – from attractive hard rockers to sentimental ballads, “Retro Active” provides you with the ultimate Def Leppard experience. The album is important also because it’s a final farewell to Steve Clark, the irreplaceable force, without which the band wouldn’t have reached such heights. Grab a copy and enjoy the superb production and quality of this record. Definitely in my top 5 Def Leppard albums! That should tell you something!
“Desert Song” (Steve Clark, Joe Elliott, Rick Savage) Outtake from the Hysteria album sessions (1984–87)
“Fractured Love” (Clark, Elliott, Savage) – 5:08 Outtake from the Hysteria album sessions
“Action” (Andy Scott, Brian Connolly, Steve Priest, Mick Tucker) Original version released on the “Make Love Like a Man” single (1992)
“Two Steps Behind” (Acoustic version) (Elliott) Original version released on the “Make Love Like a Man” single Originally released on the Last Action Hero soundtrack (1993)
“She’s Too Tough” (Elliott) Original version released on the “Heaven Is” single (1993) and is the bonus track for the Japanese pressing of Adrenalize (1992)
“Miss You in a Heartbeat” (Phil Collen) Original version released on the “Make Love Like a Man” single
“Only After Dark” (Mick Ronson, Scott Richardson) Original version released on the “Let’s Get Rocked” single (1992)
“Ride into the Sun” (Clark, Collen, Elliott, Savage) Original version released on the “Hysteria” single (1987) First recording of the song released on The Def Leppard E.P. (1979)
“From the Inside” (Elliott) Originally released on the “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad” single
“Ring of Fire” (Clark, Collen, Elliott, Robert John “Mutt” Lange, Savage) Original version released on the “Armageddon It” single (1988)
“I Wanna Be Your Hero” (Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange, Savage) Original version released on the “Hysteria” single
“Miss You in a Heartbeat” (Electric version) (Collen) This was the Japanese bonus track for Adrenalize
“Two Steps Behind” (Electric version) (Elliott)
“Miss You in a Heartbeat” (Piano version) (Hidden track)) (Collen)
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Released: July 11, 1981
Label: Mercury (US), Vertigo (UK and Europe)
Singles: “Let It Go”, “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak”,
Certified: 2xPlatinum (RIAA) ~
“Let It Go”
“Another Hit and Run” “High ‘n’ Dry (Saturday Night)” “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak” “Switch 625” “You Got Me Runnin” “Lady Strange” “On Through The Night” “Mirror, Mirror (Look Into My Eyes)” “No No No” + 2 Bonus Tracks on the Re-issued version in 1984 “Bringin’ On the Heartbreak” (Remix) “Me & My Wine” (Remix)
It’s the 35th anniversary of Def Leppard’s “High ‘n’ Dry” record and I thought it’s the perfect time to share my thoughts and feelings on their sophomore album. Don’t forget to share your favorite photos or memories of it on social media by using the #HighNDry35 and of course,#DefLeppard.
Def Leppard’s “High ‘n’ Dry” has always been somehow ignored or even forgotten due to their ultimate smashing hit records “Pyromania” and “Hysteria” that follow it. Yes, those two albums are the ultimate masterpieces of the ’80s rock scene and definitely two of the greatest and best polished rock records of all time. However, “High ‘n’ Dry” offers something different and its beauty definitely lies in its raw hard rock energy, rough heavy metal sound and straight-up clean production.
“High ‘n’ Dry” was definitely a step up in song craft in comparison with their debut album – “On through the Night” – the riffs were more tasteful and Joe Elliott definitely improved his vocal performance. Overall, the album cannot classify as “original” or “innovative”, however there’s simply no weak or “filler” song in it. What’s quite impressive about it is that the record was released at the very beginning of the ‘80s – at that time the hard rock/metal/pop recipe hadn’t been fully mastered; however, those guys somehow managed to come up with a very definitive sound. With this album, Def Leppard were setting the tone for the decade. Along with that, the band was also looking for inspiration and establishing their signature sound and identity. To help them with discovering their greatest strengths, none other than the famous world-class producer Mutt Lange came to the rescue. With his precision and obsession with achieving studio perfection, he managed to create an absolute rock solid album and skilfully captured the young and quite aggressive spirit of the band.
“High ‘n’ Dry” is a simple album with catchy rockers and mild, even innocent lyrics. The instant pop standout and the album’s finest moment has to be “Bringin’ On The Heartbreak”. With this song, Def Leppard set the standard for power ballads. It is probably the band’s least-cheesy sounding power ballad of their career. In addition, the track received heavy rotation on MTV and was one of the greatest examples of a radio-friendly rocker. “On Through the Night” and “Another Hit and Run” are heavier tracks with catchy hard riffs and loud climaxes. “High ‘n’ Dry (Saturday Night)” is the obligatory song about letting loose and having fun. “Switch 625” pleases with its fine melody and vocal intensity. It has to be their greatest instrumental so far.
“High ‘n’ Dry” shows a young, maturing band, hungry for success and ready to take over the world. It is definitely one of those “feeling good” old rock ’n’ roll records that you cannot expect to listen nowadays. Def Leppard were at their rawest, truest and more genuine finest here. Later on, they would become the ultimate rock monsters. Before that, however, it was the distorted heavy metal sound, combined with the pop feels of “High ‘n’ Dry” that took Def Leppard to the peak of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal scene. The record simply foreshadowed DL’s success.
Happy 35th anniversary!
Let It Go
High ‘n’ Dry (Saturday Night)
Bringin’ On the Heartbreak
“High ‘n’ Dry” official Wikipedia webpage: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_%27n%27_Dry P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers. The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment. Cheers~~
There are a number of essential classic rock albums from the ‘80s and then there’s Def Leppard’s “Hysteria” – the monstrous record that goes way beyond that! In addition to the brilliant technical and song-writing skills demonstrated on this album, “Hysteria” is significant due to the human stories that surround its production and release. Furthermore, till today it remains their best-selling and most successful album of all time! I don’t think something so extraordinary and out-of-this-world can actually be made nowadays. “Hysteria” is the perfect ‘80s rock album – catchy, fun, sexy and full of passion and timeless hard rock hits.
The creation of “Hysteria” took over three years due to a number of hardships the band had to go through. Rick Allen – their drummer, lost his arm in a car accident. Before this tragic event, Def Leppard were still riding on the train of success thanks to their phenomenal album “Pyromania”, released in 1983 – a record that proved that the band is here to stay and change the world! For a moment, though, their future didn’t seem as bright as they thought…What happened? Well, Def Leppard were the unquestionable kings of hard rock and such events couldn’t stop them from continuing their quest. Rick started using a custom-made electronic drum kit and not only became one of the greatest inspirations for so many people, but he became an even better drummer. Now, we call him the thunder God and he indeed is! Imagine the strength of his will and the degree of his passion. He is such a remarkable human being…
“Hysteria” is the last album to feature the outstanding guitarist Steve Clark, before his death. Some of his songs do appear on the following album – “Adrenalize” (1992), however Hysteria’s promotional tours and concerts were the last times we saw him on the stage with his bandmates, unfortunately. Losing their guitarist once again shook the band’s grounds but they rose from the ashes and kept on making great rock music!
“Hysteria” is produced by none-other than Mr Mutt Lange – the producer I adore and respect with all my heart and soul. His goal was to create an album that’s going to be the “rock version” of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” – an album in which every track is a potential hit single! Well, he did it – “Hysteria” spawned 7 phenomenal hit singles I don’t even know how to describe. From the breathtaking power ballad “Love Bites” to the sexy and timeless guitar riffs of “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, “Hysteria” can just instantly settle down in your heart and never leave it.
Oh by the way, if you haven’t figured it out yet, YES – “HYSTERIA” it’s my favorite album of all time…
Let’s talk more about it and listen to some tunes!
Released:August 3, 1987 Recorded:February 1984 – January 1987; Wisseloord Studios, Hilversum; Windmill Lane Studio 2, Dublin; Studio Des Dames, Paris; Mixing: February – May 1987 Genre:Hard Rock, Rock, Glam Rock Length:62:32 Label:Mercury (US), Phonogram (Original Release), Mercury (2000 re-release) Producer(s):Robert John “Mutt” Lange Singles: “Animal”, “Women”, “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, “Hysteria”, “Armageddon It”, “Love Bites”, “Rocket” Personnel:Joe Elliott – lead vocals; Phil Collen – guitars; Steve Clark – guitars; Rick Savage – bass guitar; Rick Allen – drums Certified:12xPlatinum (RIAA)
“Pour Some Sugar on Me”
“Gods of War”
“Don’t Shoot Shotgun”
“Love and Affection”
2006 Deluxe Edition: Disc one “Tear It Down” “Ride into the Sun” “I Wanna Be Your Hero” “Ring of Fire”
2006 Deluxe Edition: Disc two
“Elected” (Live in Tilburg, Holland) “Love and Affection” (Live in Tilburg, Hollad) “Billy’s Got a Gun” (Live in Tilburg, Holland) “Rock of Ages” Medley: Not Fade Away/My Generation/Radar Love/Come Together/Whole Lotta Love” (Live in Tilburg, Holland) “Women” (Live in Denver, CO) “Animal” (Extended version) “Pour Some Sugar on Me” (Extended version) “Armageddon It”” (The Nuclear Mix) “Excitable”” (Orgasmic Mix) “Rocket”” (The Lunar Mix) “Release Me” (credited as Stumpus Maximus & The Good Ol’ Boys)
“We’ve always wanted to be a band for the people,” Phil Collen says. “When we started working on Hysteria we had just sold eight million records with Pyromania so we knew we had a fanbase. We weren’t necessarily trying to top that because you can’t go into something saying, ‘Okay, yeah, this one’s going to sell more than 8million copies.’ That’s a lot of records. We just wanted to make a record with good songs that we really liked and that were maybe a little more polished and more modern sounding. Even when we finished Hysteria we had no idea how it was going to do, but it felt like a triumph for us.”
“Pyromania” established a very high standard for what should be called a very well-produced and fine as hell hard rock album. In 1987, however, “Hysteria” raised the stakes even higher. Once again, Robert “Mutt” Lange was on board and his obsessive desire to create the perfect and most commercially successful hard rock album of all time, resulted in a painful squeezing of every tiny bit of talent and effort from the music engineers and technicians to the band members themselves. Undoubtedly, “Hysteria” was not an easy album to make – it took years, a lot of money and tons of planning.
Throughout the years, many critics have claimed that “Hysteria” is just a very well made pop sell-out product that doesn’t really possess any sort of artistic value or originality. If releasing seven hit singles from one album is not valuable and doesn’t speak for a band’s efforts and hard work then I don’t really know what else we should call “valuable and impressive”.
The brilliant consistency and marriage between pop and hard rock can easily be felt as we go from one song to another. To make the sound of “Hysteria” so unique and essential, Mutt Lange went above and beyond by using a variety of technology, vocal and sound layering and adopting numerous other effects to give the tracks a “stadium rock vibe” and “extra solid sound” that pierce your heart and gives you chills the moment you play them.
Def Leppard’s sense of craft was successfully portrayed in “Hysteria”. This pop-rock guilty pleasure record is filled with killer riffs, exquisite sonics, brilliant hooks and easy to sing along with lyrics. From the ultimate power ballad “Love Bites”, fueled with Joe Elliott’s gentle but rather extreme vocal delivery techniques to the timeless hard rock anthem “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, the album rocks song after song. Bottom line is, “Hysteria” will forever remain as one of the greatest pop-metal records ever. Not to mention that “Hysteria” completely revolutionized the industry at that time. No other rock record managed to impress with such polished production, album length and number of singles. The album and the band simply did the impossible with this album. They also paved the way and set a new and very high standard for all the rockers out there releasing albums.
My favorite thing about “Hysteria” is that there is just no weak song. Even the tracks that were not released as singles are equally impressive and important. The album is very consistent, easy to listen to, easy to sing along with and so exciting. We can just listen to it forever…
Now let’s listen to some music…
The most instantly recognizable rock tune of all times! Do I even need to introduce this song? Sexy, fun, spectacular and essential for every rock party! It hit number 2 on Billboard Hot 100 chart and is an epitome of ‘80s hard rock. The song sent sales of “Hysteria” so high that we can surely say that this song is one of the main factors behind the success of the album. The MV is also iconic and one of MTV’s most favorite and played one of all time!
Pour Some Sugar On Me
Love is like a bomb, baby, c’mon get it on Livin’ like a lover with a radar phone Lookin’ like a tramp, like a video vamp Demolition woman, can I be your man? Razzle ‘n’ a dazzle ‘n’ a flash a little light Television lover, baby, go all night Sometime, anytime, sugar me sweet Little miss ah innocent sugar me…
Power ballads were the thing back in the ‘80s. It was essential for every rock musician to have such a song in their album. However, none other is as beautiful and captivating as “Love Bites”. Joe Elliott’s vocal delivery is what makes it so strong and effective. So far, “Love Bites” is Def Leppard’s only number one single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Following the huge success of “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, the explosion called “Love Bites” shot Def Leppard right to the stars!
When you make love, do you look in the mirror? Who do you think of, does he look like me? Do you tell lies and say that it’s forever? Do you think twice, or just touch ‘n’ see? Ooh babe ooh yeah
When you’re alone, do you let go? Are you wild ‘n’ willin’ or is it just for show? Ooh c’mon
I don’t wanna touch you too much baby ‘Cos making love to you might drive me crazy…
This is my favorite songs from “Hysteria” and as a matter of fact I often point it out as my favorite Def Leppard song of all time. The reception of “Women” was not as good as Def Leppard might have expected and many believe it’s the least interesting song from “Hysteria” but I can never agree with such statements. The intro, heavy bass and lyrics hit so hard that I can’t even explain it. Just listen and tell me how come this awesome track flopped?
In the beginning God made the land Then He made the water and creatures, then He made man
He was born with a passion, love and hate A restless spirit with a need for a mate But there was somethin’ that was missin’, somethin’ lost So he came with the answer, here’s what it cost
One part love, one part wild One part lady, one part child I give you…
Some other memorable tunes from the album…
Love And Affection
“Hysteria” is THE album of the ‘80s! It has everything I ever wanted from an album and there’s a reason why it’s my favorite one of all time! Every song is a piece of art, fueled with so many emotions. You can actually feel their immense passion, devotion and determination as u go from one track to another. This album meant a lot to them and they poured out their souls in it. Most importantly, “Hysteria” is the perfect combination of music technology, outstanding craftsmanship and the strength of human will and ambition. The greatest records are not the ones who sound good but the ones that allow you to hear the people inside of them. I can never have a more favorite album than this one…