Must Own Heavy Metal/Hard Rock Albums :
Artist : Def Leppard
Album : Hysteria
Released : August 3, 1987
M.M. Album Rating : 4.5/5 (A Pop/Rock Masterpiece. One Of The Greatest Comeback Records In Music History !)
August 3, 1987. 12 songs, 63 minutes. That was the sticker on the shrink wrap of the first Def Leppard album in over four years tilted Hysteria. A record that ended up costing millions of dollars to make, and would have to sell over three million copies just to break even. But that’s just one part of the story. The fact that it got made at all is in itself remarkable. The story of the making of this album is one of faith, brotherhood, perseverance, patience, and very very hard work. It’s one of the greatest comebacks in music history.
By the beginning of 1987 the band Def Leppard was all but forgotten. It had been four years since their last record, the classic “Pyromania”. In those four years (which was an eternity in the music business in the 1980’s) so much had changed. A new style of music known as “pop, or hair metal” was now ruling the airwaves, and on heavy rotation on MTV. Most music insiders had figured Def Leppard was all but finished after a car accident that seriously injured their drummer Rick Allen, who would end up losing his arm. Also the fact that the first sessions for this new album were an absolute disaster. Their unofficial 6th member (but most important) genius producer Robert “Mutt” Lange had told them he would not be able to produce the album.
For some crazy reason they would end up hiring songwriter (not producer) Jim Steinman who was famous for writing the legendary Meat Loaf album “Bat Out Of Hell”. As Joe Elliott would later say ” we were idiots to do that. We knew that Todd Rundgren produced that album, not Jim.” Everything recorded from those sessions was unusable. They then would have to buy Steinman out of his contract. Right off that bat they were already a million dollars in the hole with nothing to show for it. Finally though after a hiatus Mutt Lange would come back. And thank goodness he did, otherwise there would probably be no Def Leppard today.
Through it all they stuck by Rick Allen’s side. Patiently waiting for him to learn how to use a specialized multi- million dollar drum kit that would allow him to use his feet in place of his left arm. They never even hinted at replacing him, which shows the deep and lasting brotherhood they have together. In pretty much any other situation he would’ve been gone. So finally after Rick mastered the drum kit , and already millions of dollars in debt they finally went back into the studio with Mutt Lange, and his goal of making a hard rock album to rival Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Where pretty much every song was a hit.
When the album was released though it took off slowly. The record company made another huge blunder in releasing the song “Woman” as the first single. It flopped, and hurt the albums sales. It took months to take off, but finally did with the release of “Pour Some Sugar On Me”. As of today it’s one of the best selling albums in music history. As for me, as I get older I have mixed feelings about this record. I personally don’t think it has aged well like thier earlier albums High N’ Dry, and Pyromania have. Still though I respect the fact of how it was made. Through all the turmoil and tribulations they never gave up. Nine out of ten other bands would’ve folded. For that alone it deserves recognition.
All songs written by Steve Clark, Phil Collen, Joe Elliott, Mutt Lange and Rick Savage.
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
1. “Gods of War” – 6:37
2. “Don’t Shoot Shotgun” – 4:26
3. “Run Riot” – 4:39
4. “Hysteria” – 5:54
5. “Excitable” – 4:19
6. “Love and Affection” – 4:37
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