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”