Hysteria (Def Leppard album)

Hysteria (Def Leppard album)
Studio album by Def Leppard
Released 3 August 1987
Recorded Feb 1984-Jan 1987, Wisseloord Studios, Hilversum, Netherlands, Windmill Lane Studio 2, Dublin, Ireland
Studio Des Dames,
Paris, France;
additional mixing,
February–May 1987
Genre Hard rock, pop metal, heavy metal
Length 62:52
Label Mercury, Island
Producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange, Def Leppard
Def Leppard chronology
Singles from 'Hysteria'
  1. "Women"
    Released: August 1987 (US, Canada & Australia only)
  2. "Animal"
    Released: July 1987 (UK)
    September 1987 (US)
  3. "Hysteria"
    Released: November 1987 (UK)
    January 1988 (US)
  4. "Pour Some Sugar on Me"
    Released: September 1987 (UK)
    April 1988 (US)
  5. "Love Bites"
    Released: July 1988 (UK)
    August 1988 (US)
  6. "Armageddon It"
    Released: April 1988 (UK)
    November 1988 (US)
  7. "Rocket"
    Released: February 1989 (UK, US)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars [1]
Robert Christgau (C)[2]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars [3]
Sputnik Music 5/5 stars [4]

Hysteria is the fourth studio album by the English rock band Def Leppard. It was released on 3 August 1987 through Mercury Records. It is the band's best-selling album to date, selling over 20 million copies worldwide, and spawning six hit singles. The album charted at #1 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the UK Albums Chart.[5][6]

Hysteria was produced by Robert John "Mutt" Lange. The title of the album was thought up by drummer Rick Allen, relating to his experiences during the time of his auto accident, and the worldwide media coverage that followed. It's also the last album to feature guitarist Steve Clark, but their next album, Adrenalize is the last to feature his songwriting.

The album was the follow-up to the band's 1983 breakthrough Pyromania. Its creation process took over three years having been plagued by many trials, such as the 31 December 1984 car accident that cost Rick Allen his left arm. Subsequent to the release of the album, Def Leppard published a book entitled Animal Instinct: The Def Leppard Story, written by Rolling Stone magazine Senior Editor David Fricke on the recording process of Hysteria over the 3+ years it took to record the album and the tough times the band went through.

The album has earned critical acclaim from a number of sources. In 1988 Q magazine readers voted Hysteria as the 98th Greatest Album of All Time, while in 2004, the album was ranked at number 472 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.[7]



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. Steinman's involvement was a disaster because he was more interested in making a raw rock n' roll record and capturing the moment, warts and all, while the band was still interested in a bigger, more pristine pop production.[8] Joe Elliott later stated in interview: "Todd Rundgren produced (Meat Loaf's) Bat out of Hell. Jim Steinman WROTE it".[8] After parting ways with Steinman, the band tried to produce the album themselves with Lange's engineer Nigel Green with no success, as initial recordings sessions were entirely scrapped at this point.

On 31 December 1984, drummer 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 foot pedals that triggered (via MIDI) the hits he would have played with his left arm. The band slowly soldiered on until Mutt Lange made a surprise return a year later, and Allen mastered his customized 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 during 1986.

The final recording sessions took place in January 1987 for the song "Armageddon It", but 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 US 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 make fans wait that long between albums again. Later events, namely the death of Steve Clark, proved that a hard promise to keep.

Fortunately for the band, their popularity in their homeland had significantly grown over the past 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 United States however the band at first 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 US Billboard 200 albums chart nearly a year after its release. In the Billboard issue dated 8 October 1988, Def Leppard held the number one 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. RIAA x 12 platinum sales in America 2009. Hysteria currently sits as the 51st best selling album of all time in the US, and spent a record 96 weeks in the US Top 40.[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, 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. The strategy backfired somewhat as "Women" did not make a large impact on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #80. It was a top 10 hit on the rock chart though, peaking at #7. Six more singles were subsequently released in the United States, with "Love Bites" reaching #1 three others reaching the top ten. The singles earned similar success in the United Kingdom.

On 24 October 2006, a 2-CD "deluxe edition" of the album was released, including a re-mastering of the original b-sides and bonus tracks from the album's period. Many of these songs 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.


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. Songs were therefore written with this concept in mind, disappointing heavy metal fans who clamored 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 the band's original traditional heavy metal sound found on their first album, 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 cliched riffs. The band used the Rockman amplifier, developed by guitarist Tom Scholz from the rock band Boston, to record the album.

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, engineer Mike 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.

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.

Track listing

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

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Women"   5:41
2. "Rocket"   6:37
3. "Animal"   4:02
4. "Love Bites"   5:46
5. "Pour Some Sugar on Me"   4:25
6. "Armageddon It"   5:21
7. "Gods of War"   6:37
8. "Don't Shoot Shotgun"   4:26
9. "Run Riot"   4:39
10. "Hysteria"   5:54
11. "Excitable"   4:19
12. "Love and Affection"   4:37

Note: Some CD versions of the album include a live version of "Love and Affection" as a bonus track.

Deluxe edition

Disc one
No. Title Length
13. "Tear It Down"   3:38
14. "Ride into the Sun" (Elliott, Collen, Clark, Savage, 1987 re-recording) 3:12
15. "I Wanna Be Your Hero"   4:29
16. "Ring of Fire"   4:42
Disc two
No. Title Length
1. "Elected" (Alice Cooper, Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith, live in Tilburg, Holland) 4:19
2. "Love and Affection" (live in Tilburg, Holland) 4:50
3. "Billy's Got a Gun" (Elliott, Pete Willis, Clark, Savage, Lange, live in Tilburg, Holland) 5:21
4. "Rock of Ages" Medley: Not Fade Away/My Generation/Radar Love/Come Together/Whole Lotta Love" (Elliott, Clark, Lange; Buddy Holly, Norman Petty; Pete Townshend; Barry Hay, George Kooymans; John Lennon, Paul McCartney; Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones, John Bonham, Willie Dixon; live in Tilburg, Holland) 8:42
5. "Women" (live in Denver) 6:29
6. "Animal" (Extended version)"   4:41
7. "Pour Some Sugar on Me" (Extended version)"   5:38
8. "Armageddon It" (The Nuclear Mix)"   7:41
9. "Excitable" (Orgasmic Mix)"   6:27
10. "Rocket" (The Lunar Mix)"   8:43
11. "Release Me" (Elliott, Collen, Clark, Savage, Rick Allen, Malvin Mortimer, credited as Stumpus Maximus & The Good Ol' Boys) 3:33

Chart positions

Year Chart Position
1987 UK Top 40 1
1988 The Billboard 200 1
1989 Australian ARIA Albums Chart 1


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


Additional personnel

  • The Bankrupt Brothers (another joking reference to Def Leppard themselves) – backing vocals
  • Philip Nicholas – Fairlight programming


  • Robert John "Mutt" Lange – producer
  • Nigel Green – engineer, assistant engineer, mixing
  • Erwin Musper – engineer
  • Ronald Prent – engineer
  • Mike Shipley – mixing
  • Bob Ludwig – mastering
  • Howie Weinberg – mastering
  • Ross Halfin – photography
  • Laurie Lewis – photography
  • Mark Flannery – tape operator

Artwork design

  • Andie Airfix @ Satori

See also


  1. ^ Hysteria (Def Leppard album) at Allmusic
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Def Leppard". Robert Christgau. http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_artist.php?id=1871. 
  3. ^ By Gavin Edwards (2006-11-01). "Rolling Stone magazine". Rollingstone.com. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/hysteria-20061101. Retrieved 2011-08-18. 
  4. ^ "Reviewer". Sputnikmusic.com. 2009-04-27. http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/30340/Def-Leppard-Hysteria. Retrieved 2011-08-18. 
  5. ^ "Allmusic (Def Leppard charts and awards) Billboard albums". http://www.allmusic.com/artist/p4062. 
  6. ^ "Def Leppard chart stats". http://www.chartstats.com/artistinfo.php?id=398. 
  7. ^ 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Hysteria - Def Leppard Rolling Stone. Retrieved 17 November 2011
  8. ^ a b [Source: Classic Albums Hysteria episode]
  9. ^ Dave McAleer. The omnibus book of British and American hit singles, 1960-1990 p.48. Omnibus Press, 1990
  10. ^ Kara, Scott (30 October 2008). "One giant Leppard". The New Zealand Herald. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/music/news/article.cfm?c_id=264&objectid=10539947&pnum=0. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  • (1987) Album notes for Hysteria by Def Leppard [Vinyl inner sleeve]. London, England: Phonogram (HYSLP 1).

External links

Preceded by
OU812 by Van Halen
Appetite for Destruction by Guns N' Roses
Tracy Chapman by Tracy Chapman
Billboard 200 number-one album
23 July – 5 August 1988
13–19 August 1988
3–23 September 1988
Succeeded by
Appetite for Destruction by Guns N' Roses
Roll with It by Steve Winwood
Appetite for Destruction by Guns N' Roses
Preceded by
Hits 6 by Various Artists
UK number one album
29 August 1987 – 4 September 1987
Succeeded by
Hits 6 by Various Artists
Preceded by
The Raw and the Cooked
by Fine Young Cannibals
Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album
24 July – 13 August 1989
Succeeded by
Matchbook by Ian Moss

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