Def Leppard – Part 1


                                          Hysteria pic

  For Def Leppard the band, the album ‘Hysteria’ must’ve been a case of the best-of-times and the worst-of-times. During the prolonged creation of the album their drummer Rick Allen lost an arm in a single-car high-speed accident on New Year’s Eve 1984. Besides that tragedy they had to abandon their initial attempts at the album with producer Jim Steinman (of Meatloaf’s ‘Bat Out of Hell’ fame) when the sound wasn’t to their liking. A second attempt at self-producing the album with an engineer also proved fruitless. Finally their producer-of-choice Mutt Lange, whom had produced their two previous albums, came available and the band got to work in earnest.

After the massive multi-platinum success, in America, of their prior album ‘Pyromania’ the band wanted to go for the ‘Thriller’ of rock albums. The goal was for every song they made to be a potential single and ultimately, out of the 12 songs on the album, seven were released as commercial singles. The album produced five Top Ten hits, three of which went Top 5 and ‘Love Bites’ went all the way to #1.
It was ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’, which inexplicably stalled at #2 on the Billboard chart, that would get the album on track after the album came out flat initially, and started the band down the road to Diamond record (10 million sales or more) status. While the band toured the world they had the time of their lives except for one of their guitarists, Steve Clark, who slowly drank himself to death and gave the band yet another tragedy and casualty of rock-n-roll excess.
For the boys of Dandy Classic, the album was a crucial one for them growing up. Randy, in particular, was a young teenager who fell hard for the album even using it as inspiration to create his own music charts (and head him down the road of being a D.J. in college and podcasting) and for Dan it was a bridge from the New Romantic stylings of Duran Duran to the heavy-metal lifestyle of Guns N’ Roses.
As far as music history goes this album along with Bon Jovi’s ‘Slippery When Wet’ were the commercial, if not critical, peak of pop-metal, although it can be argued Def Leppard did it better. Listen in as Dan and Randy, by request, talk about an album that had a huge impact on both of them and how it stands up almost 30 years since its release.  It ought to be hysterical J!


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