Def Leppard: Hysteria


Def_Leppard_-_Hysteria_(vinyl_version)Hysteria is the fourth album by Def Leppard, originally released on 3 August 1987 and re-released on 1 January 2000. It is the band’s best-selling album to date, selling over 20 million copies worldwide, including 12 million in the US, and spawning seven hit singles. The album charted at #1 on the Billboard 200 and #1 on the UK Album Chart

The album is the follow-up to the band’s 1983 breakthrough Pyromania. Hysteria’s creation took over three years and was plagued by delays, including the aftermath of the 31 December 1984 car accident that cost Allen his left arm. Subsequent to the album’s release, Def Leppard published a book entitled Animal Instinct: The Def Leppard Story, written by Rolling Stone magazine Senior Editor David Fricke, on the three-year recording process of Hysteria and the tough times the band endured through the mid-1980s.

Hysteria has earned critical acclaim from a number of sources. In 1988 Q magazine readers voted it as the 98th Greatest Album of All Time, while in 2004, the album was ranked at #472 on Rolling Stones list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time

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. Meatloaf songwriter Jim Steinman was brought in. Steinman’s involvement was a disaster because he was more interested in making a raw rock n’ roll record and capturing the moment, warts and all, while the band was still interested in a bigger, more pristine pop production.

On 31 December 1984, Rick Allen lost his left arm when his Corvette flipped off a country road. 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 foot pedals that triggered the hits he would have played with his left arm. The band slowly soldiered on until Mutt Lange made a surprise return a year later, and Allen mastered his customised drum kit. However, 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”, 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 where “Women” was the first single.

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.

Hysteria went on to dominate album charts around the world for three years. It was certified 12x platinum by the RIAA in 2009. The album currently sits as the 51st bestselling album of all time in the US, and spent a record 96 weeks in the US top 40. The album has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide.

On 24 October 2006, a 2 CD “deluxe edition” of the album was released, including a re-mastering of the original b-sides and bonus tracks from the album’s period. Many of these songs had been featured on Retro Active, albeit with remixes, revamps, and new parts added. The deluxe edition Hysteria deluxe CD included the original b-side versions of these recordings without alterations.

Track listing

All songs written by Steve Clark, Phil Collen, Joe Elliot, Mutt Lange and Rick Savage.














“Love Bites”



“Pour Some Sugar on Me”



“Armageddon It”



“Gods of War”



“Don’t Shoot Shotgun”



“Run Riot”









“Love and Affection”