Hysteria (Def Leppard album)

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Def Leppard - Hysteria (vinyl version).jpg
Studio album by
Released3 August 1987 (1987-08-03)
RecordedFebruary 1984 – January 1987
ProducerRobert John "Mutt" Lange
Def Leppard chronology
Singles from Hysteria
  1. "Animal"
    Released: July 1987 (UK)
    September 1987 (US)
  2. "Women"
    Released: August 1987 (US, Canada and Australia)
  3. "Pour Some Sugar on Me"
    Released: 8 September 1987 (UK)
    16 April 1988 (US)
  4. "Hysteria"
    Released: November 1987 (UK)
    January 1988 (US)
  5. "Armageddon It"
    Released: March 1988 (UK)
    November 1988 (US)
  6. "Love Bites"
    Released: July 1988 (UK)
    August 1988 (US)
  7. "Rocket"
    Released: January 1989 (UK, US)

Hysteria is the fourth studio album by English rock band Def Leppard, released on 3 August 1987 through Mercury Records and reissued on 1 January 2000.[1] It is Def Leppard'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 number one on both the Billboard 200 and the UK Albums Chart.[2][3]

Hysteria was produced by Robert John "Mutt" Lange. The title of the album was thought up by drummer Rick Allen, referring to his 1984 car accident and the ensuing worldwide media coverage surrounding it. It is also the last album to feature guitarist Steve Clark before his death, although songs co-written by him would appear on the band's next album, Adrenalize.[4]

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 drummer Rick Allen’s accident that cost him his left arm on 31 December 1984. 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.

Lasting 62 minutes and 32 seconds, the album is the band's longest to date.


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. Meat Loaf songwriter Jim Steinman was brought in, but Steinman's intention to make a raw-sounding record that captured the moment conflicted with the band's interest in creating a bigger, more pristine pop production.[5] Joe Elliott later stated in an interview: "Todd Rundgren produced (Meat Loaf's) Bat Out of Hell. Jim Steinman wrote it".[5] After parting ways with Steinman following an unsatisfactory recording of "Don't Shoot Shotgun", the band tried to produce the album themselves with Lange's engineer Nigel Green with no success, and initial recording sessions were entirely scrapped.

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 electronic pedals that triggered (via MIDI) the sounds that he would have played with his left arm. The band slowly continued production until Lange unexpectedly returned 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" and a last-minute composition "Pour Some Sugar on Me", though 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 and Canada where "Women" was the first single.

In the liner notes to the album, the band apologized for the long wait between albums, and promised to never force fans to wait that long between albums again. However, later events, particularly the death of lead guitarist Steve Clark, delayed the next album, Adrenalize, by almost five years.

David Simone, managing director of Phonogram Records at the time, said the album might have been the most expensive record made in the U.K. According to guitarist Phil Collen, the album had to sell a minimum of 5 million copies to break even.[6]

The popularity of Def Leppard in their homeland had significantly grown over the previous 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 US, however, the band initially 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 on 23 July 1988, nearly a year after its release - topping the chart three separate times for a combined total of six weeks.[7] In the Billboard issue dated 8 October 1988, Def Leppard held the No. 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 best selling album of all time in the US. It spent 96 weeks in the US top 40, a record for the 1980s it ties with Born in the U.S.A.[8][9] The album has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide.[10]

The leadoff track, "Women", was selected as the first single for the US and Canada, instead of "Animal", in July 1987. Then-manager Cliff Burnstein reasoned that the band needed to reconnect with their hard rock audience first before issuing more Top 40-friendly singles. "Women" became a top 10 hit on the rock chart, peaking at number seven, but as predicted, did not make a large impact on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 80. Six more singles were subsequently released in the United States, with "Love Bites" reaching number one, and three others reaching the top ten. The singles earned similar success in the United Kingdom.

Speaking to Kerrang! in May 2008 about the album's success, Joe Elliott remembered:

For us the first album showed promise, the second showed the true reality of where we were going, the third album worked better in America than it did in England simply because there was no exposure radio-wise over here but by the time we did Hysteria, everything had fallen into place. Airplay and hit singles were one aspect of it but there was also all the hard work we put into the album – we literally did slave over it to get every sound on it right. There was also Rick's accident, of course, and to be honest, I'm sure there was the initial wave of sympathy but I'm equally sure the album would have still worked anyway. None of the other stuff – the touring, the promotion, the videos – none of that would have meant anything if the songs hadn't been there and I'm still really proud of all the songs on Hysteria.[11]

On 24 October 2006, a 2-CD "deluxe edition" of the album was released, including a remastering of the original B-sides and bonus tracks from the album's period. Many of these songs, alongside two other Hysteria compositions "Desert Song" and "Fractured Love", 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.

During their 22 March to 10 April 2013 residency at The Joint, Def Leppard performed the album in its entirety, from start to finish. This was followed up with a live album Viva! Hysteria, recorded during the residency and released on 22 October 2013, which includes all of Hysteria being played live.


The album's goal, set out by Lange, was to be a hard rock version of Michael Jackson's Thriller, in that every track was a potential hit single.[12][13] Songs were therefore written with this concept in mind, disappointing heavy metal fans who clamoured for a straight sequel to Pyromania. One song, "Love Bites", was already mostly written in the vein of a country ballad by Mutt Lange when he brought it to the band's attention.

While Pyromania contained traces of Def Leppard's original traditional heavy metal sound found on their first two albums, Hysteria removed them in favour of the latest sonic technology available at the time (best displayed on "Rocket", "Love Bites", "Excitable", and "Gods of War"). As with Pyromania, every song was recorded by every member in the studio separately instead of the whole band. The multiple vocal harmonies were enhanced by Lange's techniques, even pitching background vocals on all tracks. Guitar parts were now focused more on emphasising melody than hard rock's more basic and clichéd riffs. The band used the Rockman amplifier, developed by guitarist Tom Scholz from the rock band Boston, to record the album. Engineer Mike Shipley described the Rockman as "a shitty little box" with "a godawful sound" that "had no real balls to it",[14] but it was used because the other amplifiers used had an excessively "crunchy" sound ill-suited to layering guitars and which Lange did not think was "commercial" enough.

In addition, all of the album's drum sounds were samples recorded by Lange and the engineers, then played from the Fairlight CMI. In a 1999 interview with Mix Magazine, Shipley noted, "Pyromania was done the same way, on cheesy 8-bit Fairlight technology where we had to figure out how to record everything at half speed into the Fairlight to make it sound like it had some tone to it, and we'd be stacking up a bunch of snares and bass drums." Shipley also noted that the drum sounds were dealt with last because each song's structure could change so radically, and because of technical difficulties.[14] This unique approach sometimes led to painstaking lengths of time in the recording studio.

The smash single, "Pour Some Sugar on Me", was the last song written but was quickly finished within two weeks. In sharp contrast, the final version of "Animal" took almost a full three years to be developed but was not as successful as other singles despite reaching number 19 on the Billboard Hot 100.

This was a successful formula that Lange would later repeat with his now ex-wife Shania Twain in country music with the albums The Woman in Me and Come On Over.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic5/5 stars[15]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[16]
Sputnik Music5/5[17]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music5/5 stars[18]

Hysteria received generally positive reviews. AllMusic reviewer Steve Huey gave the album a rating of five stars and stated that "Pyromania's slick, layered Mutt Lange production turned into a painstaking obsession with dense sonic detail on Hysteria, with the result that some critics dismissed the record as a stiff, mechanized pop sell-out (perhaps due in part to Rick Allen's new, partially electronic drum kit)."[15] Huey said that album was not heavy metal and was instead a standout example of pop metal.[15]

In 2005, Hysteria was ranked number 464 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.[19] Hysteria got the same placement on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 best albums of all time,[20] and the magazine also ranked the album atop its list of the 50 greatest hair metal albums.[21] Loudwire named it at second in their list of best hair metal albums.[22] Hysteria was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[23]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Joe Elliott, Rick Savage, Phil Collen, Steve Clark and Mutt Lange, except where noted for bonus tracks on reissues.

Side one
4."Love Bites"5:47
5."Pour Some Sugar on Me"4:27
6."Armageddon It"5:22
Side two
7."Gods of War"6:37
8."Don't Shoot Shotgun"4:27
9."Run Riot"4:39
12."Love and Affection"4:35
Total length:62:32
Japanese bonus track
13."Love and Affection" (live in Tilburg, Holland, June 1987)4:50
2006 deluxe edition: Disc one
13."Tear It Down""Women" US single and "Animal" UK single3:38
14."Ride into the Sun" (1987 re-recording)
  • Elliott
  • Savage
"Hysteria" single3:04
15."I Wanna Be Your Hero" "Pour Some Sugar on Me" single and "Animal" US single4:32
16."Ring of Fire" "Armageddon It" single and "Pour Some Sugar on Me" US single4:36
2006 deluxe edition: Disc two
1."Elected" (live in Tilburg, Holland, June 1987)"Heaven Is" single4:18
2."Love and Affection" (live in Tilburg, Holland, June 1987) "Hysteria" single4:50
3."Billy's Got a Gun" (live in Tilburg, Holland, June 1987)"Love Bites" single5:21
4."Rock of Ages" (medley) (includes "Not Fade Away"/"My Generation"/"Radar Love"/"Come Together"/"Whole Lotta Love") (live in Tilburg, Holland, June 1987)"Rocket" 12" single and CD singles8:42
5."Women" (live at McNichols Arena, Denver, Colorado, February 1988) "Rocket" US single and "Let's Get Rocked" UK CD single6:29
6."Animal" (extended version) "Animal" 12" single4:40
7."Pour Some Sugar on Me" (extended version)  5:37
8."Armageddon It" (Nuclear mix) "Armageddon It" 12" single7:41
9."Excitable" (Orgasmic mix) "Love Bites" 12" single6:25
10."Rocket" (Lunar mix) Released as single, and B-side of "Love Bites" CD single8:42
11."Release Me" (performed by Stumpus Maximus & The Good Ol' Boys)
"Rocket" single and "Armageddon It" US single3:31

30th anniversary editions[edit]

On 4 August 2017, the band released 30th Anniversary editions of the album. This included remasters of the original songs, B-sides and remixes from the albums era on two discs, the Classic Albums documentary episode of the making of the album, and an audio only version of the Live: In the Round, in Your Face video, recorded in Denver, Colorado at McNichols Sports Arena on 12 and 13 February 1988. This release omits four songs from the concert: "Don't Shoot Shotgun", "Let It Go", "Tear It Down" and "Travelin' Band" (Creedence Clearwater Revival cover) as well as a Steve Clark guitar solo. Two songs, Armageddon It and Pour Some Sugar On Me, were performed twice in order to record music videos.

30th anniversary edition (2017) – Disc two
1."Tear It Down"
  • Clark
  • Collen
  • Elliott
  • Savage
2."I Wanna Be Your Hero" 4:35
3."Ride Into the Sun"
  • Elliott
  • Savage
4."Ring of Fire" 4:36
5."Women" (radio edit) 4:55
6."Rocket" (edit*) 4:37
7."Love Bites" (radio edit) 4:48
8."Hysteria" (radio edit) 3:48
9."Pour Some Sugar on Me" (radio edit) 4:22
10."Armageddon It" (radio edit) 4:12
11."Release Me"
  • Miller
  • Yount
  • Pebworth
12."Classic AlbumsHysteria – BBC Documentary"  
30th anniversary edition (2017) – Disc three
1."Rocket" (Lunar mix – extended version) 8:40
2."Armageddon It" (Nuclear mix) 7:42
3."Animal" (extended version) 4:52
4."Pour Some Sugar on Me" (extended version) 5:36
5."Excitable" (Orgasmic mix) 6:24
6."Rocket" (Lunar mix) 7:06
7."Rock of Ages" (medley) (live in Tillburg, Holland, June 1987)
  • Elliott
  • Clark
  • Lange
  • Holly
  • Petty
  • Townshend
  • Hay
  • Kooymans
  • Lennon
  • McCartney
  • Page
  • Plant
  • Jones
  • Bonham
  • Dixon
8."Love and Affection" (live in Tillburg, Holland, 1987) 4:50
9."Billy's Got a Gun" (live in Tillburg, Holland, 1987)
  • Elliott
  • Willis
  • Clark
  • Savage
  • Lange
30th anniversary edition (2017) – Disc Four (Live: In the Round, In Your Face)
  • Elliott
  • Savage
  • Lange
2."Rock! Rock! (Til You Drop)"
  • Elliott
  • Clark
  • Savage
  • Lange
3."Women" 6:14
4."Too Late for Love"
  • Elliott
  • Willis
  • Clark
  • Savage
  • Lange
5."Hysteria" 7:00
6."Gods of War" 6:32
7."Die Hard the Hunter"
  • Elliott
  • Clark
  • Savage
  • Lange
30th anniversary edition (2017) – Disc five (Live: In the Round, In Your Face)
1."Bringin' on the Heartbreak"
  • Elliott
  • Willis
  • Clark
  • Elliott
  • Clark
  • Lange
3."Armageddon It" 5:31
4."Animal" 4:51
5."Pour Some Sugar on Me" 4:52
6."Phil's Solo"Collen3:06
7."Rock of Ages"
  • Elliott
  • Clark
  • Lange
  • Elliott
  • Willis
  • Clark
  • Savage
  • Lange


  • *Mislabeled as "Lunar Mix (radio edit)", this is a rare promo mix edited from the album version. It differs heavily from the actual Lunar Mix radio edit, which contains elements from both the album version and the full-length Lunar Mix and cuts the second verse in half. The version used for the music video and for Vault significantly shortens the bridge section of the Lunar Mix radio edit.


Def Leppard[edit]


  • Robert John "Mutt" Lange – producer
  • Nigel Green – engineering, engineering assistance, mixing
  • Ronald Prent – engineering
  • Erwin Musper – engineering
  • Pete Williscroft – engineering
  • Mark Flannery – tape operation
  • Philip "Art School" Nicholas – Fairlight CMI programming
  • Mike Shipley – mixing
  • Bob Ludwig – mastering
  • Howie Weinberg – mastering
  • Ross Halfin – photography
  • Laurie Lewis – photography
  • Satori – illustration, artwork and design


Chart (1987–89) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[24] 1
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[25] 14
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[26] 10
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[27] 1
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[28] 1
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[29] 2
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[30] 2
UK Albums (OCC)[31] 1
US Billboard 200[32] 1
Chart (2017–18) Peak
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[33] 71
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[34] 153
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[35] 76
US Billboard 200[citation needed] 39
US Catalog Albums Chart[citation needed] 1


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[36] 4× Platinum 280,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[37] Diamond 1,000,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[38] Platinum 15,000^
Sweden (GLF)[39] Gold 50,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[40] Platinum 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[41] 2× Platinum 600,000^
United States (RIAA)[42] 12× Platinum 12,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Def Leppard Hysteria (Album Anniversary): A Look Back". Def Leppard Report. 4 August 2019. Retrieved 24 December 2019.
  2. ^ "Allmusic (Def Leppard charts and awards) Billboard albums".
  3. ^ "Def Leppard The Official Charts Company".
  4. ^ "Def Leppard: "Let's do a rock Thriller - an album with seven singles"". 8 March 2006.
  5. ^ a b [Source: Classic Albums Hysteria episode]
  6. ^ Classic Albums: Def Leppard - The Making of Hysteria, Isis Productions, Eagle Rock Entertainment
  7. ^ "Billboard 200 - 1988 Archive | Billboard Charts Archive". Billboard. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  8. ^ Dave McAleer. The omnibus book of British and American hit singles, 1960-1990 p.48. Omnibus Press, 1990
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel. The Billboard Book of Top 40 Albums, 3rd edition, Billboard Books, 1995, p. 386.
  10. ^ Kara, Scott (30 October 2008). "One giant Leppard". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 4 October 2011.
  11. ^ Travers, Paul. Kerrang! #1212, May 2008. Treasure Chest. An Intimate Portrait of Life in Rock. Joe Elliott. P.52
  12. ^ Bienstock, Richard (1 October 2012). "Interview: Phil Collen on the Making of Def Leppard's 'Hysteria'". Guitar World. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  13. ^ Wiederhorn, Jon (3 August 2019). "32 Years Ago: Def Leppard Unleash 'Hysteria'". Loudwire. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  14. ^ a b "How? Soft attack on clean guitars in first bars of Hysteria". Gearslutz.com. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  15. ^ a b c Hysteria at AllMusic
  16. ^ Gavin Edwards (1 November 2006). "Rolling Stone magazine". Rollingstone.com. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  17. ^ "Reviewer". Sputnikmusic.com. 27 April 2009. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  18. ^ Larkin, Colin (2007). Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195313734.
  19. ^ [...], Rock Hard (Hrsg.). [Red.: Michael Rensen. Mitarb.: Götz Kühnemund] (2005). Best of Rock & Metal die 500 stärksten Scheiben aller Zeiten. Königswinter: Heel. p. 23. ISBN 3-89880-517-4.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  20. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone.
  21. ^ "50 Greatest Hair Metal Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. 31 August 2019.
  22. ^ DiVita, Joe (9 November 2016). "Top 30 Hair Metal Albums". Loudwire. Retrieved 2 January 2020.
  23. ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (23 March 2010). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 978-0-7893-2074-2.
  24. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Def Leppard – Hysteria". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  25. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Def Leppard – Hysteria" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  26. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Def Leppard – Hysteria" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  27. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Def Leppard – Hysteria". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  28. ^ "Charts.nz – Def Leppard – Hysteria". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  29. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Def Leppard – Hysteria". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  30. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Def Leppard – Hysteria". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  31. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  32. ^ "Def Leppard Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  33. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Def Leppard – Hysteria" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  34. ^ "Ultratop.be – Def Leppard – Hysteria" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  35. ^ "Ultratop.be – Def Leppard – Hysteria" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  36. ^ "ARIA Report Issue #850" (PDF). ARIA. 19 June 2006. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  37. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Def Leppard – Hysteria". Music Canada. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  38. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – Def Leppard". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  39. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  40. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Def Leppard; 'Hysteria')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  41. ^ "British album certifications – Def Leppard – Hysteria". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 24 April 2019. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Hysteria in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  42. ^ "American album certifications – Def Leppard – Hysteria". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 24 April 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

External links[edit]