Hysteria (Def Leppard album)

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Studio album by Def Leppard


3rd August 1987


February 1984-January 1987

Label (s) Mercury Records

Format (s)


Genre (s)

Hard rock , heavy metal

Title (number)


running time


  • Singing: Joe Elliott
  • Bass: Rick Savage


Robert John "Mutt" Lange

Studio (s)

  • Wisseloord Studios, Hilversum (Netherlands)
  • Windmill Lane 2, Dublin (Ireland)
  • Studio Des Dames, Paris (France)
Hysteria Adrenalize

Hysteria ( . English for " hysteria ") is the fourth studio album by British hard rock - band Def Leppard . With over 20 million copies sold, this is the band's most successful album worldwide. A total of seven singles were released, the most successful were Pour Some Sugar on Me and Love Bites . The album was one of the longest single albums to be released to date. Like no other work, it defined the sound aesthetics of hard rock in the 1980s.

Classification in the musical background

With the previous studio album Pyromania , the band had their commercial breakthrough in 1983. The group ended their world tour in February 1984 , and at that time they were the most sought-after hard rock band , especially in the USA : several thousand copies of Pyromania were sold each week . The album had reached number 2 on the US album charts and was only trumped by Michael Jackson's thriller . For tax reasons, the musicians decided to move to Ireland .

“Mutt” Lange , who has been the band's producer since their album High n 'Dry (1981) , was of the opinion that “almost every band will probably try to copy Pyromania .” Therefore Def Leppard shouldn't repeat himself and just simply bring out the second part of the album, but instead had to deliver "a noble work that sets standards in pop music".

Recording and production

The band began pre-production for the album in the spring of 1984 in the Wisseloord Studios in Hilversum , the Netherlands, under the supervision of Lange, and worked out the first pieces when he suddenly had to quit: He was burned out after having been producing the albums for The Cars ( Heartbeat City ), Foreigner ( 4 ) and AC / DC ( Highway to Hell , Back in Black , For Those About to Rock (We Salute You) ) had achieved top performances in his field. Since he “did not want to participate in the creation of the album if he was not completely fit”, he withdrew from the recordings.

The band's record company, Mercury Records , pushed for the work to continue, and the band agreed to work with another producer. Various candidates were contacted, including Ted Templeman , Mike Stone, Trevor Horn , Steve Lillywhite and Phil Collins . When a collaboration with these producers did not materialize, the management of the band suggested Jim Steinman . The band worked with him for six weeks before they broke up with him because “nothing went right from the start,” as singer Joe Elliott said.

“At some point we will put a song that we recorded with him (Steinman) in a box set so that everyone has something to laugh about. Really, the recordings are so bad ... "

- Joe Elliott : 400 beers to four in: Rocks - The magazine for Classic Rock, issue 04/2008, page 40

The band decided to produce the album themselves. They received support from the sound engineer Nigel Green, who had been recommended to them by Lange. The work was continued from November 1984 together with Green. The band wrote the pieces on the album together. The recording was interrupted again after drummer Rick Allen was in a car accident on December 31, 1984: he had missed a corner and lost control of his car, which hit a wall, took off and landed in a field beyond. Allen had been thrown through the shattered windshield of his Chevrolet Corvette , his left arm tearing off. In a ten-hour operation, doctors at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield tried to sew the arm back on, but had to amputate it again shortly afterwards when an infection occurred. With the help of NASA , a partially electronic drum kit was developed especially for everyone, with which he could operate the most important functions with his feet. He operates it via four foot pedals, which enable him to call up the sounds that he had previously played with his left arm.

In the spring of 1985 the group had completed some demos , including for the songs Animal, Gods of War, Run Riot and Women . In July 1985, Lange returned and passed a damning verdict on the material recorded so far. He called for new songs and insisted that many of the existing titles should be rewritten and massively optimized. In the period that followed, numerous sophisticated and multifaceted compositions were created.

The guitarists Steve Clark and Phil Collen did not use the usual guitar amplifiers for the recordings , but used the Rockman developed by Tom Scholz ( Boston) . Phil Collen explained:

“Big amps are cool as long as you don't have tons of overdubs to do. But we have so many layers of guitar stacked on top of each other that with a fat Marshall sound there would have been only one sound pulp. In addition, Steve and I rarely played powerful power chords, but rather very filigree things. Otherwise they would not have come into their own. "

- Phil Collen : Company world domination in: Rocks - The magazine for Classic Rock, issue 06/2016, page 27

Lange's perfectionism is evident in this and other examples . In order to be able to do without keyboards for the bridge of the title Hysteria , Clark and Collen had to break down their respective chords into individual notes. Each individual string was then recorded separately. For a long time, this avoided the typical light arpeggio effects that arise when playing chords on the guitar. For Gods of War, on the other hand, Lange copied so many harmony chants that in the end more than 100 choir tracks were created.

In the summer of 1986 the band interrupted the work on the album to appear at a few club shows in Ireland and then at the Monsters of Rock festivals in Castle Donington, Stockholm , Nuremberg and Mannheim . Rick Allen was supposed to be assisted by Jeff Rich ( Status Quo ) when performing in Ireland ; for Def Leppard's fourth appearance in Ballybunion , however, Rich was late, and Allen mastered the entire show on his own.

After the festival appearances, the band continued to work on the recordings. Joe Elliott tried something on an acoustic guitar, Phil Collen developed a riff that was based on White Lines by Grandmaster Flash , and Pour Some Sugar on Me was created in just ten days . In November 1986 singer Joe Elliott fell ill with mumps , Producer Lange was involved in a traffic accident and suffered severe burns to his legs, but was still working on ideas for the album in the hospital. The band finally managed to finish the recordings in January 1987.

Lange then worked for three months on the mix of the album, which was released on August 3, 1987 as LP , CD and MC , almost four years after the previous album .

Cover design

The cover of the album was created by British artist Andie Airfix , who also designed the covers of the released singles . He received the band's assignment without any specific information about what was expected of him. At the time, the group was still planning to name the album Animal Instinct . Airfix 'idea was to depict something that turns or turns towards the viewer and looks at them, and the first design featured an eagle, a shark and a lion blending into one another.

Cover of the album
, 1987

Link to the picture
(please note copyrights )

When the album title was changed to Hysteria , Airfix had to abandon its idea and start over. The new design showed a distorted face within a triangle that seemed to merge with the complex background. In Airfix's opinion, the triangle was a recognizable element for Def Leppard fans because it was also part of the band's logo. From that point, the artist wanted to create something scary. He achieved this by showing the face from the front with his mouth wide open, but also by incorporating his side view so that one could see a head with two screaming faces.

The band, whose popularity had declined, embarked on a 227-show tour to promote the album. It received permanent airplay from the music channel MTV . Joe Elliott described the album as the band's most over-produced album and was surprised by the success of Hysteria .

Track list

No. title Songwriter Remarks length
1. Women Steve Clark , Phil Collen , Joe Elliott, Robert John Lange , Rick Savage   5:41
2. Rocket Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange, Savage   6:34
3. Animal Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange, Savage   4:02
4th Love bites Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange, Savage   5:46
5. Pour some sugar on me Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange, Savage   4:45
6th Armageddon It Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange, Savage Backing Vocal : Debbi Blackwell-Cook 5:21
7th Gods of War Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange, Savage   6:33
8th. Don't Shoot Shotgun Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange, Savage   4:19
9. Run riot Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange, Savage   4:39
10. Hysteria Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange, Savage   5:49
11. Excitable Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange, Savage   4:10
12. Love and Affection Clark, Collen, Elliott, Lange, Savage Bouzouki : Ronan McHugh 4:35
Overall length: 61:52


The music magazine Rolling Stone ranks the album at number 464 on its list of the 500 best albums of all time , and the album has sold over 20 million copies worldwide. The album reached number 1 on the album charts in the USA, Great Britain, Norway , Australia and New Zealand .

Hysteria received mostly very good reviews. In a contemporary review of Rock Hard , the album is certified as "first class", even though the band has become "a little softer compared to its predecessor", it was a "big hit". The Rolling Stone described it as the "schmackhaftesten pop-metal-candy-1980". For Steve Huey from Allmusic , the band crowned their catchy pop metal with the album. He thinks it is the best album of this genre that has ever been recorded.

Chart placements


year title Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
1987 Hysteria DE10 (19 weeks)
AT71 (1 week)
CH2 (17 weeks)
UK1 (108 weeks)
US1 (134 weeks)


year title
Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, , Placements, weeks, awards, comments)
1987 Women - - - - US80 (5 weeks)
First published: August 11, 1987
Animal - - CH17 (7 weeks)
UK6 (9 weeks)
US19 (19 weeks)
First published: July 17, 1987
Pour some sugar on me DE50 (7 weeks)
- - UK18 (6 weeks)
US2 (24 weeks)
First published: September 5, 1987
Hysteria - - - UK26 (7 weeks)
US10 (16 weeks)
First published: November 14, 1987
1988 Armageddon It - - - UK20 (5 weeks)
US3 (18 weeks)
First published: March 26, 1988
Love bites - - - UK11 (8 weeks)
US1 (23 weeks)
First published: July 2, 1988
1989 Rocket - - - UK15 (7 weeks)
US12 (13 weeks)
First published: January 28, 1989

Awards for music sales

Country / Region Award Sales
Awards for music sales
(country / region, Award, Sales)
Australia (ARIA) Australia (ARIA) Platinum record icon.svg 4 × platinum 280,000
Canada (MC) Canada (MC) Diamond record icon.svg diamond 1,000,000
New Zealand (RMNZ) New Zealand (RMNZ) Platinum record icon.svg platinum 15,000
Sweden (IFPI) Sweden (IFPI) Gold record icon.svg gold 50,000
Switzerland (IFPI) Switzerland (IFPI) Platinum record icon.svg platinum 50,000
United States (RIAA) United States (RIAA) Diamond record icon.svgPlatinum record icon.svg 12 × platinum 12,000,000
United Kingdom (BPI) United Kingdom (BPI) Platinum record icon.svg 2 × platinum 600,000
All in all Gold record icon.svg1 × gold
Platinum record icon.svg10 × platinum
Diamond record icon.svg2 × diamond

Main article: Def Leppard / Music Sales Awards

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Rocks - The magazine for Classic Rock, issue 06/2016, page 28
  2. a b c d e f g h i j k l m Alexander Kolbe: Company world domination in: Rocks - The magazine for Classic Rock, issue 06/2016, pages 24–33
  3. a b Holger Stratmann (Ed.): Rock Hard Enzyklopädie. 700 of the most interesting rock bands from the last 30 years . Rock Hard GmbH, Dortmund 1998, ISBN 978-3-9805171-0-2 , p. 87 f .
  4. a b c The story behind Def Leppard's Hysteria album artwork , louder.com, accessed October 9, 2019
  5. ^ Bob Batchelor, Scott Stoddart: The 1980s . Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007, ISBN 978-0-313-33000-1 , pp. 121 .
  6. Phil Anderson: Interview with Joe Elliott. KAOS2000 Magazine, accessed February 10, 2010 .
  7. 500 Greatest Albums of all Time: Def Leppard, 'Hysteria'. Rolling Stone Magazine, accessed April 2, 2014 .
  8. ^ Götz Kühnemund: Def Leppard: Hysteria . In: Rock Hard (Ed.): Best of Rock & Metal. The 500 strongest discs of all time . Heel Verlag, Königswinter 2007, ISBN 978-3-89880-517-9 , pp. 23 f .
  9. ^ Holger Stratmann: Review of Hysteria . In: Rock Hard . No. October 23 , 1987.
  10. ^ Gavin Edwards: Hysteria: Def Leppard: Review. Rolling Stone Magazine, November 1, 1996, accessed February 10, 2010 .
  11. Chart sources album:
  12. Chart sources singles: