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?