Tag Archives: Def Leppard Hysteria

Summertime Spin: Def Leppard-Hysteria(1987)

Hard to believe that as of tomorrow (Aug 3) Hysteria will be 33 years young!

Instead of doing a song by song breakdown of Hysteria which there are a million reviews of it( including this site) everywhere, I thought it would be fun to step back in the Time Machine and dial back to that day in August when Def Leppard released there first new studio album in 4 Years! (Pyromania was released back in 1983)

 4 years between albums back then was huge news as bands in the mid to late ’70s would release multiple albums in a year. As the ’70s rolled into the 80s you would have most bands putting out an album every year or at least under every 2 years but 4 years??

What the hell! 

Nowadays we’re lucky if a new album drops every 5-10 years lol

Age, of course, has something to do with it now but…

Back to  August 87.

I think it was Circus Magazine that I had first read about back in early 87 that the Leppard was pretty much done and Hysteria was targeted for a summer release.

Finally, I thought here comes some new music by a band that I had invested in back in the summer of 81 when my pal Muk bought On Through The Night and we were blown away at how good Leppard was and became instant fanboys!

I still remember August 3rd, 1987 like it was yesterday.

I worked my 6am-2pm job at our local hospital kitchen (doing up those dishes, mopping up that floor)^. It was raining out that day so I didn’t ride my bike to work instead I rode the 40 seat limo(transit bus)to my job,

Once 2 pm rolled around I was on the bus and off to the local shopping mall that had A&A Records and another record shop Music City and between the 2 of them whoever had Hysteria cheaper that’s who I would buy it from.

A&A was the winner and in saying that I think I still paid around $13.98 for it on cassette tape! The reason I wanted Hysteria on tape was for the good old trusty Sony Walkman so I could rock out with my bike out!

I was glad to see that Hysteria had all the packaging included in the cassette tape, not just some tape dumped into a blank case with the cover being the only thing to look at.

I basically had read all the credits listed inside the tape  on that 40-minute bus ride back home from the mall.

Def Leppard opened Hysteria with Women which is still a great opener on any Leppard album even though when Women was released as the first single it tanked on the charts. I’m sure there was a mild freak out over that but when all is said and done Hysteria is one of the biggest all-time Hard Rock sellers and why wouldn’t it be.

25 million and change.

Look at the first 6 songs on Side 1. (Women, Rocket, Animal, Love Bites, Pour Some Sugar On Me, Armageddon It) All singles! When you really think about it that was amazing. 

Side 2 though is no slouch with some great tracks like Gods of War, Run Riot and Don’t Shoot Shotgun. 

Basically, lot’s of great rock on this one folk as I don’t need to tell you that.

Joe Elliot, Rick Allen, Phil Collen, Rick Savage, and the late great Steve Clark knew their backs were against the wall in recording Hysteria (accidents, firing Jim Steiman as producer) yet delivered 12 classics on Hysteria. Mutt Lange should also be credited as not only did Mutt dial in the sonics but he also had a co-write with the Leppard boys on all 12 tracks!

 Once I started working full time in 1988 I bought a boom box and one of my first ever CD purchases was indeed Hysteria.

When Hysteria was released as the 20th Anniversary in 2007 I once again bought it on CD as it had an extra CD with material on it.

I think there is a pattern developing here.

Back in 2017, I was in Montreal with my good pal Tbone and I bought the 30th Anniversary of Hysteria on VINYL! Yeh!

Better yet at Christmas Time 2018, my 3 Awesome Daughters bought me the Leppard Box Volume One on vinyl which came with there first 4 studio albums, and Hysteria was included as well!

So now I had two copies of Hysteria on vinyl so what did I do?

Gave Tbone a copy!

^I nicked that line from Van Halen’s Diver Down album! Do you know which song it’s from?

Below is a Gatefold shot inside Hysteria!

 

 

 

Def Leppard/Hysteria(1987)

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When I think of Hysteria I think of millions of copies of this album sold and sugar! Ha! So after a ton of turmoil (Drummer Rick Allen losing his arm no doubt being the worst) from 1983 til 1987 I would read about updates(Circus and Kerrang magazines) on the progress or lack there of the followup to the mega selling Pyromania. Leppard started recording with Jim Steinman (MeatLoafs songwriter/producer) but after a while they punted Steinman(with a huge buyout from what I read) and went back to Mutt Lange the super sonic layered plastered producer who helmed the previous Pyromania(1983) and the Deke approved High N Dry(1981).

So when Hysteria dropped in August of 1987 I was a  first day buyer(cassette) and upon first listen it was apparent that this thing in the guitar department was gonna be huge with the guitars sounding like a thousand guitars and of course the curiosity factor of Allen and his electronic drums(Bravo) was another factor like how the hell is he drumming with one friggin arm??

Joe Elliot,Rick Savage,Steve Clark(RIP),Rick Allen and Phil Collen hit a huge payday with this album and to this day it still carries them on rock radio….

Rock Rock Til Ya Drop…..Insert Cash Into Leppards Bank Vault!

WOMEN-Swirling guitars and a slam of Allen’s electronic drums cue up Women which is a good leadoff track and what is even better is when the tempo ramps up at the beginning of the solo. Phil Collen as per his shred  protocol of guitar hero slices and dices a pretty slick solo. It’s all here snazzy sing along chorus! Powerful bass sonics. Simple yet effective! Steve Clark blitzes the solo at the end of the tune and as his cool  protocol plays a simple yet effective solo to take the song out. Actually it’s one of my fav solos of his. Dude did not have to shred at a million times the speed limit of some(like his partner) Great player that Clark was! As I have said many a time at Mike’s site and here all the great Leppard guitar riffs went to Heaven when Clark passed away. They have never been the same….Anyhoo….

ROCKET-I dig this tune and even though MuchMusic played the tar out of the video I like the sound of this tune as its like we’re landing on the moon! The lyrics are Joe telling us all the influences that have come into the Leppard sound. Kinda corny but catchy as heck! The chorus though is the money shot! Rocket….Satellite Of Love! Huh? Whatever it’s a fun song as it keeps building and building into a aural sonic romp!

ANIMAL-A well written rock track that was a huge hit and it has all the trimmings of Lep single! Once the song hits the chorus it takes this tune to another level. Power chords galore with a snappy happy chorus.

LOVE BITES-Oh,Oh it’s 1987 but by the time Love Bites is released as a single it’s 1988 and Power Ballads are everywhere! This one included but it’s Def Lep so I give them a pass. The song is what I would think would be a Mutt Lange signature piece. Big time hook that draws you into the chorus and along with the twin guitars or is that 500 guitars just gives it enough gas for me not to push skip on the CD player circa 1988.

POUR SOME SUGAR ON ME-Ha! What the hell could I say about this tune other than the video being all about Leps live show and a ton of shots of the ladies in the crowd from  there 1988 Denver show! What I wish Lep would do is go back to Denver now(2016) and do a casting call and have all the ladies that were in the original video from 1988  show up and for Lep to recut the video! Hahaha…man that would be a hoot! The song is driven by Allen’s electronic drum kit and the song musically is pretty decent kinda plods along but this tune was another biggie from this album.

ARMAGEDDON IT-Back to some great rock! Are You Getting It? This tune starts with a great guitar hook and we’re off. Armageddon It is what I like about Leppard. It’s not rocket science just a great hard rocking track(well hard rocking for Leppard) love Clarks guitar solo after Joe chirps “come on Steve”. Awesome stuff and of course Collen has to have a crack of a solo at the end of the tune as well. Great song.

GODS OF WAR-Side 2 begins with a big Lep song! This is a great track. This has to be Steve Clarks deal this one! Big power chords thumping loud Drums  and Bass carry this song and consider that at times Leppard likes to write straight forward catchy songs(Animal,Armageddon It) they can roll the dice and put out big epic rock with a wicked sounding chorus as well! Gods Of War is one of them. They even sample Presidents and such.

DONT SHOOT SHOTGUN-This song and the next one (Run Riot)got buried under a ton of Sugar(get it?) as the singles are the ones everyone would talk about. Don’t kid yourself folks theirs some good rock here! Yeah sure everything is multilayered (guitars,vocals) but when you strip back the sonics It’s a bare bones rock track! The verses are real good even better than the chorus. Collen does his dippity do da  shred work as per protocol and yeah I can be a sucker for that kind of solo(in little doses mind you)

RUN RIOT-This is my fav track from Hysteria! Yeah it is! I shit you not! Dig Allen and his drums smashing down a ton of percussion along with a million layered guitars all over the musical map and say what you want Run Riot is a great track with a great solo and real ear catchy chorus. ‘Ruuuuuuuun Riiooooooot!” Big lead and cracking backing vocals deliver me a Lep Sonic Sandwhich! Loooove it!

HYSTERIA-Another biggie Lep single! Wow man for a slower groove like tune this is a masterpiece! Sweeping the landscape musically Clark  drives this song with his guitar work. Hysteria is a well written rock track that over time has become one of my sleeper tracks on this album. Great title for this record along with artwork for the cover. Lepp 1987 were the deal and by 1988 they were a Big Fackin Deal!

EXCITABLE-Are You Excitable some one asks and you hear a female panting in the background and this is a goofy tune! Just a cheap over night Lep romp at a 5 and Dime hotel! It’s like Mutt Lange wanted Lep to write a Cars Like song. In the element of this album this tune is the weak link amongst some pretty decent hard rock!

LOVE AND AFFECTION-End of the album closer! A pretty decent tune at a mid clip speed. Like many other tunes which are here singles this could have been one also. Nice tempo and Elliot tosses down a decent vocal and as the song ends, the Leps bid adieu! Good song.

FINAL YAMMER- So your asking ‘Wheres the video Deke?” Ummm well the whole first side (first 6 songs) was released as singles and we all know them right? We have seen the videos a million times over so let’s leave it at that! Seriously would you watch the video of  Pour Some Sugar On Me again? Ok, Rockin Roberts of course You would! Haha….

Read somewhere years ago that Lep went into huge debt with this album back in 1987 and when it was released it would have to sell 2 million to break even so when Women was released as the first single it tanked on the charts! There must have been a real freak out at Camp Lep! But no worries 5 other singles were released and I still recall Pour Some….that video on Muchmusic every 5 minutes during the summer of 1988! No looking back for Joe and the boys!

Hysteria is a top-notch album and the last one to feature the great Steve Clark! He was the King Of Lep Riffs. Lep never really recovered from his loss! See my Adrenalize review on how I spin wit and wisdom on that album! Allright a bit of wit no wisdom! Ha!

Folks this is my 300th Post! Holy CRAP! Thanks to everyone who has hooked up for the ride and have taken the time to read,comment,join and follow along!

Had no idea this was my 300 post until after I had finished this review! Kinda appropriate that one of the biggest selling Hard Rock Albums Of All Time would be number 300 don’t you think?