DEF LEPPARD — Hysteria (review)

DEF LEPPARD — Hysteria album cover Album · 1987 · Hard Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Stephen
Def Leppard's history is like a Hollywood fictional movie. As soon as they released “Pyromania", Rick Allen was involved in a car accident that caused him his left arm. Allen was in a depressive state when singer Joe Elliot came and encouraged him to continue playing with a special drumset designed for him. Def Leppard then returned to the scene with this fourth album in 1987 and went on to become their biggest selling album with over 20 million sales worldwide. And just when they think the worst is over, the original guitarist and songwriter, Steve Clark, was later found dead in 1991 because of drug overdose.

The concept of "Hysteria" is to create an album with as many singles as possible, and the band achieved a record-breaking milestone by putting seven hit singles to the chart. This objective marked a change on their musical style by incorporating a heavier pop element which alienated some fans demanding a consistent heavy metal sound. Despite that many singles, some tracks here are quite average. "Women" and "Rocket" are even a decent opener, "Don't Shoot Shotgun" and "Excitable" are totally fillers, but "Animal" and "Armageddon It" are very good with Leppard's harmonic chant trademark and anthemic hooks.

"Love Bites" is a good ballad and "Pour Some Sugar On Me" is a classic party tune that inspired many newer songs, from Warrant's "Cherry Pie" to Reckless Love's "Love Machine", but those hits aren't really my favorite. I think the non-single tracks, "Gods of War" and "Love And Affection", are even better. The best track of the album is definitely the title track, from the memorable picking intro, the dense verse, to the fantastic chorus and harmonic guitars, this track is just flawless.

In my opinion, "Hysteria" and "Adrenalize" are very similar in songwriting structure and approach, fans who like this album won't have any difficulty enjoying the follow-up, and vice versa. This album is highly recommended for fans of mid-80s glam/pop metal, melodic hard rock, AOR, or Def Leppard's hardcore.
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