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Def Leppard: 'Hysteria' (Remastered 2017)

7th August 2017

jonathan churchill
Words: Jonathan Churchill

def leppard

An album born out of extraordinary adversity, pioneering electronic drumming, an all-time strip-club gold anthem, Robert John 'Mutt' Lange's unique production and twenty-five million copies sold worldwide. It can only be 'Hysteria', Def Leppard's precision, polished hard-rock masterpiece.

Released on 3rd August 1987, there was nothing else like it then and there's nothing really like it now. It's a genuine classic and the pinnacle of Def Leppard's album output.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary the band have released new remastered editions, including the standard CD, various vinyl options and deluxe 3-CD and 5-CD/2-DVD packages, all available from 4th August.

So how does it sound thirty years in? 2017 is a vastly different musical place from the one where I reverently bought 'Hysteria' on cassette, having seen the video for 'Animal' on TV but playing 'Hysteria' extremely loudly, even via Bluetooth speaker, is more than enough to remind exactly why this album sold so many copies. It's still a complete blast.

def leppard

Almost every track has its own special moments that either send goose bumps up your spine or have you singing along and grinning like an idiot. 'Animal's' opening guitar licks define the Def Leppard sound while 'Pour Some Sugar On Me' and 'Armageddon It' have immense riffs and melodic pop-rock choruses that could raise the dead - and then get them playing air guitar.

'Hysteria' and 'Love Bites' provide a subtle, classier radio-friendly side to the band, while 'Don't Shoot Shotgun' and 'Run Riot' deliver the hard-rock punch as seen on earlier albums. Throw in the 70s inspired 'Rocket' and the grandiose epic, 'Gods Of War', and you've got one of the best and most entertaining rock albums of all time.

The slightly forgettable 'Women', 'Excitable' and 'Love and Affection' can be overlooked because the rest of the album is just so effortlessly brilliant. From the delirious "C'mon Steve" moment in 'Armageddon It', to the Reagan and Thatcher soundbites in 'Gods Of War' - "He counted on America to be passive... he counted wrong..." - there's not a note on this album that sounds out of place in 2017. It delivered then and it delivers now and is the epitome of a classic album.

The new remasters include various B-sides and live tracks, plus the audio for 'In The Round In Your Face (Live)' on CD for the first time and are available in a range of formats.

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