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30 Years ago: Def Leppard persevere's and triumph's with Hysteria

Cranster

Banned
This is probably the one single album in history that probably had the most interesting behind the scenes stuff going on during production. I can't think of many bands and artists that had so much in life going on yet at the end the final result never suffered from lack pof quality or production.



Writing and recording began in 1984. 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 clamoured for a straight sequel to Pyromania. 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.Joe Elliott later stated in an interview: "Todd Rundgren produced (Meat Loaf's) Bat Out of Hell. Jim Steinman wrote it". 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. The other members of the band supported Allen's recovery and never sought a replacement. Allen was placed in a separate studio to practice his new drums. After a few months, Allen gathered the band together and performed the intro to the Led Zeppelin version of "When the Levee Breaks" to showcase his progress to the band. Joe Elliott reports this as being a "very emotional moment." During this period, Mutt Lange returned as producer. Def Leppard brought in Jeff Rich in August 1986 to play alongside Allen during Def Leppard's warm-up mini tour of Ireland. When the band couldn't fit two drum kits on stage at a gig, he and the band realized Allen could drum alone. Allen's comeback was sealed at the 1986 Monsters of Rock festival in England, with an emotionally charged ovation after his introduction by Joe Elliott.



The band slowly continued production on the album but 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", 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 and Canada where "Women" was the first single.

According to David Simone, the managing director of Phonogram Records at the time, the album might have been the most expensive record made in the UK. According to Phil Collen the album had to sell 5 million copies to break even.

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 #1 spot on both the singles and album charts with "Love Bites" and Hysteria, respectively.



Women
Rocket (Full version) (Video Edit)
Animal
Love Bites
Pour Some Sugar on Me (NA Video Edit)
Armageddon It
Gods of War
Don't Shoot Shotgun
Run Riot
Hysteria
Excitable
Love and Affection

Hysteria went on to dominate album charts around the world for three years and the album has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. The band would partake in a massive world tour that saw the band perform "in the round" which put the stage in the centre of the arena. Unfortunately, Hysteria is also the last album to feature guitarist Steve Clark before his untimely death in 1991.
 

norm9

Member
Great background and even greater album. Saw them about five years ago. They killed it.

eta- I wonder if Rick at the time of recording was using the modified double bass pedal that he's using now.
 

Cranster

Banned
Great background and even greater album. Saw them about five years ago. They killed it.

eta- I wonder if Rick at the time of recording was using the modified double bass pedal that he's using now.
I don't think he was as most of the drums on Hysteria were programmed.
 

-hal-

Member
Hats off to Leppard, but pretty sure AC/DC has them beat with their lead singer dying, and then coming back immediately with Back in Black.
 

Media

Member
I still have a faded t shirt of that cover lol. I had to had picked up second hand in the 90s though.
 

Catdaddy

Member
Saw the twice on Hysteria tour, one was outdoors the other in the round. Great album, but I was always liked Pyromania better. Great concert as well..
 
Hats off to Leppard, but pretty sure AC/DC has them beat with their lead singer dying, and then coming back immediately with Back in Black.
Well ya, highway to hell and back in black are two masterpieces back to back too. Both bands were monsters in the 80s.
 
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