DEF LEPPARD – Hysteria

Def Leppard – Hysteria (1987, Mercury Records)

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

Joe Elliot – Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals
Phil Collen – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Steve Clark – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Rick Savage – Bass, Backing Vocals
Rick Allen – Drums

Producer: Robert John “Mutt” Lange

What can I say? This album is a pop-metal masterpiece on par with Def Leppard’s previous release Pyromania (I should really extend my “review” of that album). And like that album, SEVEN singles were released from this album all of which were hits and most of which can still be heard on radio and dominating Def Leppard’s live set to this day. I think “Women” is the only single the band doesn’t don’t play as much and I know it’s too long to have gotten play on pop stations but I think “God of War” could’ve done really well on rock radio and “Love and Affection” should’ve been a single as well.

I just recently bought this album. I held off on it for so long because I know most of these songs already practically every rock fan does whether they own the album or not. I first heard the complete album around 1999 when I was visiting a friend in Virginia who had recently picked up a used copy on CD. I always drag my feet on picking essential albums when I know them so well, for so long I couldn’t bring myself to pick up an album where I already knew half of it extensively.

Well, I was browsing Best Buy and had a $25 gift card, saw it for $9.99 and grabbed it. I know there’s a deluxe super duper remixed remastered bonus tracks edition available (and having heard it, I can say the bonus stuff is actually really good) but it goes for $25-30 most of the time. I’m fine with owning the original material and nothing else in order to shave off $15-20. Maybe years from now if it hits that $10-15 range I’ll get it.

I’m having a hard time deciding whether this album or Pyromania is their best. Pyromania set the blue print, Hysteria has sold more (though not by much), both seemed to equally be hailed as not only the best Def Leppard album but as one of rock’s best as well. I think I slightly lean towards Pyromania just based on the fact that most of the singles on this album have been played and played and played and played so much more than anything from Pyromania and with me at least when songs are overplayed as much as these, they tend to lose impact. Still great songs but it’s like “yeah yeah, I could go a few years without hearing this song”.

Hysteria was certainly my introduction to the band. I can remember watching “Pour Some Sugar On Me” on MTV (I would’ve turned SIX not too long after it was released) and I’ve always felt a close connection to “Hysteria” and “Love Bites”. Those are the three singles I remember most from those days. By the way, I HATE the “Animal” music video. I can’t believe they still do the whole circus theme on the video screens when they play it live.

Now, there is some filler on this album. “Don’t Shoot Shotgun” (which is just an odd title to me), “Run Riot” and “Excitable” are fairly uninspired and make the album feel bloated. They should’ve gone for 9 or 10 tracks like they did with Pyromania.

Highlights: “Women”, “Rocket”, “Animal”, “Love Bites”, “Pour Some Sugar On Me”, “Armageddon It”, “Gods of War”, “Hysteria”, “Love and Affection”

Buy it on
Buy it on CD Universe


Posted on April 4, 2010, in Def Leppard and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I cannot put into words, just how much this album means to me. I saw Def Leppard on this tour, they played “in the round” at the Hartford Civic Center. Tesla was the opening band! They played an all acoustic set too… I didn’t expect that, still Tesla impressed me beyond belief.

    Def Leppard played “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak” acoustically during that show, I believe it was the only song they did an acoustic version of. Def Leppard did kick it up a notch however, towards the end of that song.

    Are you ready for this… this same Def Leppard show had only half of the Hartford Civic Center filled!!! Half. I will never figure that one out!

    I would have to say it’s a “tie” between “Pyromania” and “Hysteria” for me. Yup, I could never decide between the two albums, they are that amazing for me.

    “Pour Some Sugar On Me” was my “surprise” wedding song for my wife too. Metal memories… you can’t put a price on them!!

    Excellent post… real excellent!


  2. I also saw Def Leppard on the “Hysteria” tour with Tesla opening.
    Tesla played every song on their “Mechanical Resonance” album (it was their only album at that time).

    This was Def Leppard’s first tour with their drummer playing with only one arm.

    As for me, I like “Pyromania” much better. I was in junior high when “Pyromania” came out and my friends and I played that album constantly when it was first released.

    By the way, I can’t seem to remember which track (maybe “Rocket”)…but one of the songs on Hysteria has obvious “backwards tracking”.
    When I first bought the album in the ’80s, I played it backwards on my turntable, and it was the chorus of the song “Gods Of War”. But they inserted it backwards as the intro to the other song (“Rocket”?).

    In the ’80s, there was a “hysteria” of backwards tracking on hard rock songs by the “Moral Majority” in America.

    (Ozzy Osbourne’s album “No Rest For The Wicked” has the odd line “Your mother sells mint furs” backwards on the intro to the song “Bloodbath In Paradise”).

  3. This is a true piece of crap. Def Leppard were sailing strong before this one. Complete sappy pulp with no soul whatsoever. I remember running out to buy it in 1987 and being shocked at the horrible change. What a shame.

  4. You mean an honest person? LOL
    I got into them on High -n- Dry and loved Pyromania too. To me Hysteria is far more watered down from where they were. It’s AOR instead of hard rock, but it’s not very good AOR either.

    • Interesting that you would like Pyromania but NOT Hysteria. Most people who hate Hysteria hate Pyromania as well and consider their first two albums heavy metal classics.

  5. On through the night is decent, but far from great. I love High-n-dry and Pyromania. I remember checking out High-n-dry from the public library on vinyl. That was a long time ago.

  1. Pingback: Def Leppard – Mirror Ball: Live & More « Metal Excess

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