10 Things You Didn't Know... - August 3, 2017

10 Things You Didn’t Know About… Def Leppard’s Hysteria
by Tom
Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About… Def Leppard’s Hysteria

When Def Leppard started working on their fourth studio album, they already had a lot to live up to. Its predecessor Pyromania had sold over six million copies and taken the band into arenas in the US, it was also recorded smoothly over nine months in 1982, something the band would spectacularly fail to achieve on the follow-up.

In the end, it took the band four years to record Hysteria, a process that made it the most expensive album ever made at the time.

To celebrate its 30th anniversary, the album gets a lavish re-release on a series of different formats, including a Super Deluxe Edition with five CDs, two DVDs, four books and a range of other memorabilia.

As the reissues hit shelves, we thought we’d have a dig through the archives and present 10 things you didn’t know about Def Leppard’s all-conquering Hysteria

 

The band were shooting for Michael Jackson…

The stated aim when the band started work on the album was to make a rock version of Thriller, an album where every song could be a single. The LP ended up yielding seven singles, which is not bad going...

 

Sessions started with a very different producer…

When the band first began to work on Hysteria, they were back in the studio with Robert ‘Mutt’ Lange, the man who’d been at the controls for their previous two LPs High ‘N’ Dry and Pyromania, but he stopped out in the early stages, citing exhaustion.

Needing a producer the band instead turned to Meat Loaf songwriter Jim Steinman, but after early sessions, the group discovered that they and Steinman weren’t on the same page and they parted ways, very expensively paying him off for his trouble. After a brief failed attempt at self-production, they decided, probably pretty sensibly, to wait for Lange to recharge his batteries...

 

And the album had a very different working title…

Back when sessions were starting the band had already decided on their title, it would be called Animal Instinct. Somewhere, in the midsts of recording, they decided Hysteria was better…

 

The band and producer were beset by injuries…

With sessions slowly sputtering along, things were ground to a halt completely when the band’s drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm when his Corvette flipped off a country road.

It was widely expected that Allen would never play again, but 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 pedals that triggered the sounds he would have made with his left arm.

After he’d mastered his new kit, yet another car crash stopped the band in their tracks again when returned producer Lange was involved a smash that put him out of action for a few weeks with leg injuries. Then singer Joe Elliott, just for good measure, came down with a nasty case of mumps!

 

They had to sell five million copies just to break even…

All told, the four-year recording, firing Steinman, bringing Lange back, it all added up to a cost that meant the band would need to shift five million copies just to make any money. Fortunately…

 

The album wound up going diamond…

Yup, it went a cool 12 times platinum and, to date, has worldwide sales of over 25 million copies.

 

One song took over three years to get right…

‘Animal’ began its life back in early 1984, but it took multiple producers and over three years before it was finally finished and ready for Hysteria!

 

‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’ almost didn’t make the album…

As far as the band were concerned they’d finished Hysteria and were just polishing up final track ‘Armageddon It’. During a coffee break, Elliott began to play an idea he’d been working on to Lange, who pronounced it a work of genius and demanded the band add it to the album. In the end, they finished it in 10 days and added it to Hysteria.

 

And it owes its success to exotic dancers...

While Hysteria had sold healthily enough, it looked like it might stall at three million, until a bizarre intervention by exotic dancers down to Florida. Enough requested the song on local radio stations to make it a hit in the state, a hit that then spread right across the country and took the song to Number One.

 

But it took a long time to top the US charts…

It was almost a year in fact, but it got there. At one point they even held both the album crown and the singles one too for their hit ‘Love Bites’.

 

Def Leppard’s Hysteria is re-released today and is available to purchase here, in a range of editions, here in hmv’s online store.

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