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Hysteria (Def Leppard album)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Def Leppard - Hysteria (vinyl version).jpg
Studio album by
Released3 August 1987 (1987-08-03)
RecordedFebruary 1984–January 1987
StudioWisseloord Studios, Hilversum; Windmill Lane Studio 2, Dublin; Studio Des Dames, Paris
LabelPhonogram (Europe)
Mercury (US and Japan)
ProducerRobert John "Mutt" Lange
Def Leppard chronology
Singles from Hysteria
  1. "Animal"
    Released: July 1987 (UK)
    September 1987 (US)
  2. "Women"
    Released: August 1987 (US, Canada and Australia)
  3. "Pour Some Sugar on Me"
    Released: 8 September 1987 (UK)
    16 April 1988 (US)
  4. "Hysteria"
    Released: November 1987 (UK)
    January 1988 (US)
  5. "Armageddon It"
    Released: April 1988 (UK)
    November 1988 (US)
  6. "Love Bites"
    Released: July 1988 (UK)
    August 1988 (US)
  7. "Rocket"
    Released: January 1989 (UK, US)

Hysteria is the fourth studio album by English hard rock band Def Leppard, released on 3 August 1987 through Mercury Records and reissued on 1 January 2000. It is Def Leppard's best-selling album to date, selling over 25 million copies worldwide, including 12 million in the US, and spawning seven hit singles. The album charted at #1 on both the Billboard 200 and the UK Albums Chart.[2][3]

Hysteria was produced by Robert John "Mutt" Lange. The title of the album was thought up by drummer Rick Allen, referring to his 1984 auto accident and the ensuing worldwide media coverage surrounding it. It is also the last album to feature guitarist Steve Clark before his death, although songs co-written by him would appear on the band's next album, Adrenalize.[4]

The album is the follow-up to the band's 1983 breakthrough Pyromania. Hysteria's creation took over three years and was plagued by delays, including the aftermath of drummer Rick Allen’s accident that cost him his left arm on New year’s eve of 31 December, 1984. Subsequent to the album's release, Def Leppard published a book entitled Animal Instinct: The Def Leppard Story, written by Rolling Stone magazine Senior Editor David Fricke, on the three-year recording process of Hysteria and the tough times the band endured through the mid-1980s.

Lasting 62 and a half minutes, the album is one of the longest ever issued on a single vinyl record. It is the band's longest album to date.


Initially, Hysteria was to be named Animal Instinct and produced by Lange, but he dropped out after pre-production sessions, citing exhaustion from a gruelling schedule from the past few years. Meat Loaf songwriter Jim Steinman was brought in, but Steinman's intention to make a raw-sounding record that captured the moment conflicted with the band's interest in creating a bigger, more pristine pop production.[5] Joe Elliott later stated in an interview: "Todd Rundgren produced (Meat Loaf's) Bat Out of Hell. Jim Steinman wrote it".[5] After parting ways with Steinman following an unsatisfactory recording of "Don't Shoot Shotgun", the band tried to produce the album themselves with Lange's engineer Nigel Green with no success, and initial recording sessions were entirely scrapped.

On 31 December 1984, Rick Allen lost his left arm when his Corvette flipped off a country road. Following the accident, the band stood by Allen's decision to return to the drum kit despite his disability, using a combination electronic/acoustic kit with a set of electronic pedals that triggered (via MIDI) the sounds that he would have played with his left arm. The band slowly continued production until Lange unexpectedly returned a year later, and Allen mastered his customised drum kit. However, the sessions were further delayed by Lange's own auto accident (sustaining leg injuries from which he quickly recovered) and a bout of the mumps suffered by singer Joe Elliott in 1986.

The final recording sessions took place in January 1987 for the song "Armageddon It" and a last-minute composition "Pour Some Sugar on Me", though Lange spent another three months mixing the tracks. The album was finally released worldwide on 3 August 1987, with "Animal" as the lead single in most countries except for the U.S. and Canada where "Women" was the first single.

In the liner notes to the album, the band apologized for the long wait between albums, and promised to never force fans to wait that long between albums again. However, later events, particularly the death of lead guitarist Steve Clark, delayed the next album, Adrenalize, by almost five years.

According to David Simone, the managing director of Phonogram Records at the time, the album might have possibly been the most expensive record made in the U.K. According to guitarist Phil Collen, the album had to sell a minimum of 5 million copies to break even.[6]

The popularity of Def Leppard in their homeland had significantly grown over the previous four years, and Hysteria topped the charts in Britain in its first week of release. The album was also a major success in other parts of Europe. In the U.S., however, the band initially struggled to regain the momentum of Pyromania that was lost from such a prolonged absence. The success of the album's fourth single, "Pour Some Sugar on Me" would propel the album to the top of the U.S. Billboard 200 albums chart on July 23, 1988, nearly a year after its release - topping the chart three separate times for a combined total of six weeks.[7] In the Billboard issue dated 8 October 1988, Def Leppard held the No. 1 spot on both the singles and album charts with "Love Bites" and Hysteria, respectively.

Hysteria went on to dominate album charts around the world for three years. It was certified 12x platinum by the RIAA in 2009. The album currently sits as the 51st best selling album of all time in the US. It spent 96 weeks in the US top 40, a record for the 1980s it ties with Born in the U.S.A.[8][9] The album has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide.[10]

The leadoff track, "Women", was selected as the first single for the US and Canada, instead of "Animal", in July 1987. Then-manager Cliff Burnstein reasoned that the band needed to reconnect with their hard rock audience first before issuing more Top 40-friendly singles. "Women" became a top 10 hit on the rock chart, peaking at #7, but as predicted, did not make a large impact on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #80. Six more singles were subsequently released in the United States, with "Love Bites" reaching #1, and three others reaching the top ten. The singles earned similar success in the United Kingdom.

Speaking to Kerrang! in May 2008 about the album's success, Joe Elliot remembered:

For us the first album showed promise, the second showed the true reality of where we were going, the third album worked better in America than it did in England simply because there was no exposure radio-wise over here but by the time we did Hysteria, everything had fallen into place. Airplay and hit singles were one aspect of it but there was also all the hard work we put into the album – we literally did slave over it to get every sound on it right. There was also Rick's accident, of course, and to be honest, I'm sure there was the initial wave of sympathy but I'm equally sure the album would have still worked anyway. None of the other stuff – the touring, the promotion, the videos – none of that would have meant anything if the songs hadn't been there and I'm still really proud of all the songs on Hysteria.[11]

On 24 October 2006, a 2 CD "deluxe edition" of the album was released, including a remastering of the original b-sides and bonus tracks from the album's period. Many of these songs, alongside two other Hysteria compositions "Desert Song" and "Fractured Love", had been featured on Retro Active, albeit with remixes, revamps, and new parts added. The deluxe edition Hysteria deluxe CD included the original b-side versions of these recordings without alterations.

During their 22 March to 10 April 2013 residency at The Joint, Def Leppard performed the album in its entirety, from start to finish. This was followed up with a live album Viva! Hysteria, recorded during the residency and released on 22 October 2013, which includes all of Hysteria being played live.


The album's goal, set out by Lange, was to be a hard rock version of Michael Jackson's Thriller, in that every track was a potential hit single.[12] Songs were therefore written with this concept in mind, disappointing heavy metal fans who clamoured for a straight sequel to Pyromania. One song, "Love Bites", was already mostly written in the vein of a country ballad by Mutt Lange when he brought it to the band's attention.

While Pyromania contained traces of Def Leppard's original traditional heavy metal sound found on their first two albums, Hysteria removed them in favour of the latest sonic technology available at the time (best displayed on "Rocket", "Love Bites", "Excitable", and "Gods of War"). As with Pyromania, every song was recorded by every member in the studio separately instead of the whole band. The multiple vocal harmonies were enhanced by Lange's techniques, even pitching background vocals on all tracks. Guitar parts were now focused more on emphasising melody than hard rock's more basic and clichéd riffs. The band used the Rockman amplifier, developed by guitarist Tom Scholz from the rock band Boston, to record the album, which engineer Mike Shipley described as "a shitty little box" with "a godawful sound" that "had no real balls to it",[13] but was used because the other amplifiers used had an excessively "crunchy" sound ill-suited to layering guitars and which Lange didn't think was "commercial" enough.

In addition, all of the album's drum sounds were samples recorded by Lange and the engineers, then played from the Fairlight CMI. In a 1999 interview with Mix Magazine, Shipley noted, "Pyromania was done the same way, on cheesy 8-bit Fairlight technology where we had to figure out how to record everything at half speed into the Fairlight to make it sound like it had some tone to it, and we'd be stacking up a bunch of snares and bass drums." Shipley also noted that the drum sounds were dealt with last because each song's structure could change so radically, and because of technical difficulties.[13] This unique approach sometimes led to painstaking lengths of time in the recording studio.

The smash single, "Pour Some Sugar on Me", was the last song written but was quickly finished within two weeks. In sharp contrast, the final version of "Animal" took almost a full three years to be developed but was not as successful as other singles despite reaching #19 on the Billboard 100.

This was a successful formula that Lange would later repeat with his now ex-wife Shania Twain in country music with the albums The Woman in Me and Come on Over.

Critical reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic5/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[14]
Sputnik Music5/5[15]
The Village VoiceC[16]

Hysteria received generally positive reviews. AllMusic reviewer Steve Huey gave the album a rating of five stars and stated that "Pyromania's slick, layered Mutt Lange production turned into a painstaking obsession with dense sonic detail on Hysteria, with the result that some critics dismissed the record as a stiff, mechanized pop sell-out (perhaps due in part to Rick Allen's new, partially electronic drum kit)."[1] Huey said that album was not heavy metal and was instead a standout example of pop metal.[1]

In 2005, Hysteria was ranked number 464 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.[17] Hysteria got the same placement on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 best albums of all time,[18] and the magazine also ranked the album atop its list of the 50 greatest hair metal albums.[19] Hysteria was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[20]

Track listing

All tracks written by Joe Elliott, Rick Savage, Phil Collen, Steve Clark and Mutt Lange.

Side one
4."Love Bites"5:47
5."Pour Some Sugar on Me"4:27
6."Armageddon It"5:22
Side two
7."Gods of War"6:37
8."Don't Shoot Shotgun"4:27
9."Run Riot"4:39
12."Love and Affection"4:35
Total length:62:32

30th Anniversary editions

On August 4, 2017, the band released 30th Anniversary editions of the album. This included remasters of the original songs, b-sides and remixes from the albums era on two discs, and an audio only version of the Live: In The Round, In Your Face video, recorded in Denver, CO in 1987.


Def Leppard

  • Joe Elliott – lead vocals (backing vocals credited as part of 'The Bankrupt Brothers')
  • Steve Clark – guitars (backing vocals credited as part of 'The Bankrupt Brothers')
  • Phil Collen – guitars (backing vocals credited as part of 'The Bankrupt Brothers')
  • Rick Savage – bass guitar, keyboards, jangle guitar on "Hysteria", rhythm guitar on "Ring of Fire" (backing vocals credited as part of 'The Bankrupt Brothers')
  • Rick Allen – drums (backing vocals credited as part of 'The Bankrupt Brothers')

Additional personnel



  • Andie Airfix @ Satori


Year Chart Position
1987 UK Top 40 1[citation needed]
1988 US Billboard 200 1[citation needed]
1989 Australian ARIA Albums Chart 1[citation needed]
2018 Catalog Albums Chart 1[citation needed]
2018 US Billboard 200 39[citation needed]


Country Provider Certification
(sales thresholds)
United States RIAA 12× Platinum (diamond)[citation needed]
Canada CRIA 10× Platinum[citation needed]
United Kingdom BPI 2× Platinum[citation needed]
Australia ARIA 4× Platinum[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Hysteria at AllMusic
  2. ^ "Allmusic (Def Leppard charts and awards) Billboard albums".
  3. ^ "Def Leppard chart stats". Archived from the original on 27 May 2012.
  4. ^ "Def Leppard: "Let's do a rock Thriller - an album with seven singles"". 8 March 2006.
  5. ^ a b [Source: Classic Albums Hysteria episode]
  6. ^ Classic Albums: Def Leppard - The Making of Hysteria, Isis Productions, Eagle Rock Entertainment
  7. ^ "Billboard 200 - 1988 Archive | Billboard Charts Archive". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-01-04.
  8. ^ Dave McAleer. The omnibus book of British and American hit singles, 1960-1990 p.48. Omnibus Press, 1990
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel. The Billboard Book of Top 40 Albums, 3rd edition, Billboard Books, 1995, p. 386.
  10. ^ Kara, Scott (30 October 2008). "One giant Leppard". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
  11. ^ Travers, Paul. Kerrang! #1212, May 2008. Treasure Chest. An Intimate Portrait Of Life In Rock. Joe Elliot. P.52
  12. ^ "Interview: Phil Collen on the Making of Def Leppard's 'Hysteria'". 2012-10-01. Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  13. ^ a b "How? Soft attack on clean guitars in first bars of Hysteria". Retrieved 2014-06-13.
  14. ^ Gavin Edwards (2006-11-01). "Rolling Stone magazine". Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  15. ^ "Reviewer". 2009-04-27. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  16. ^ Christgau, Robert (1987). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice (September 29). New York. Retrieved May 19, 2015.
  17. ^ [...], Rock Hard (Hrsg.). [Red.: Michael Rensen. Mitarb.: Götz Kühnemund] (2005). Best of Rock & Metal die 500 stärksten Scheiben aller Zeiten. Königswinter: Heel. p. 23. ISBN 3-89880-517-4.
  18. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone.
  19. ^ "50 Greatest Hair Metal Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone.
  20. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (23 March 2010). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 978-0-7893-2074-2.

External links

This page was last edited on 16 January 2019, at 11:00
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