Love Bites (Def Leppard song)

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"Love Bites"
Single by Def Leppard
from the album Hysteria
B-side Billy's Got a Gun (Live)
Released 1988
Format 7"
Recorded 1984-1987
Length 5:46
Label Mercury
DreamWorks (2000 re-release)
Producer(s) Robert John "Mutt" Lange
Def Leppard singles chronology
"Pour Some Sugar on Me"
"Love Bites"
"Armageddon It"

"Love Bites" is a power ballad recorded by the English rock band Def Leppard in 1987 on the album Hysteria. It is Def Leppard's only number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100 to date.


When Robert John "Mutt" Lange originally brought the song to the band's attention, it was a country ballad, which the band thought sounded like nothing they had done before. The band then added power rock elements and emotive backing vocals similar to those used in R&B ballads at the time.[1] The title "Love Bites" was originally used for a very different song that was eventually re-titled "I Wanna Be Your Hero", and which appeared as a Hysteria B-side and later on the album Retro Active.

Following the huge momentum generated by "Pour Some Sugar on Me", the song was released in August 1988 and quickly shot to the top of the U.S. charts, dethroning Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy". It stayed there for one week before giving up the position to UB40's "Red Red Wine". The song also hit number eleven in the UK (their second best showing from the album).

The first part of the song says "If you got love in your sights, watch out, love bites." It is subliminally mixed in and many listeners have trouble clearly hearing what is spoken until they are told what to listen for lyrically.

Track listing[edit]

7": Bludgeon Riffola / Vertigo / Polygram / 830 675-1 (USA)[edit]

  1. "Love Bites"
  2. "Billy's Got a Gun (Live)"

The live track was recorded at Tilburg, Netherlands in 1987[2]


Chart (1988–89) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[3] 2
Canada 30 Retail Singles (RPM)[4] 1
Canada 100 Singles (RPM)[5] 6
Ireland (IRMA)[6] 7
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[7] 11
US Billboard Hot 100[8] 1
US Album Rock Tracks (Billboard)[9] 3

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Classic Albums: Def Leppard - The Making of Hysteria DVD
  2. ^ notes on record label
  3. ^ " – Def Leppard – Love Bites". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  4. ^ "RPM 30 Retail Singles" (PDF). RPM. Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada. 48 (24). October 1, 1988. OCLC 352936026. Retrieved February 25, 2017. 
  5. ^ "RPM 100 Singles". RPM. Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada. 48 (26). October 15, 1988. OCLC 352936026. Retrieved February 23, 2017. 
  6. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Love Bites". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  7. ^ "Archive Chart: 1988-07-30" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  8. ^ "Def Leppard – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Def Leppard. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  9. ^ "Def Leppard – Chart history". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 23, 2017. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
8 October 1988
Succeeded by
"Red Red Wine" by UB40