75 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2004
Def Leppard's Hysteria was their first album after the tragic car accident which left their drummer Rick Allen with one arm. Before this unfortunate incident, the band was riding high on the success of their first #1 album Pyromania which vaulted them to superstar status and made them the unquestioned kings of hard rock. But Def Leppard would not be denied. Using a custom made electronic kit, Rick Allen would continue to not only drum for the band but also become their inspiration. With producer Mutt Lange manning the boards, the band would alter their sound more towards a pop direction while still maintaining some of their metallic crunch. Lead singer Joe Elliott also toned down his vocals and began singing in a more intelligible and softer tone than his previous raspy voice ala Brian Johnson from AC/DC. As a result, the band did the near impossible. They released an album that would be even more successful than Pyromania spawning 6 huge hit singles. Also, worth noting is that this album helped revolutionize the music industry with both its glossy production and its album length at 63 minutes at a time when most albums were still around 45 minutes long. These aspects would lead to longer and more polished albums in general for most popular music.
The songs presented here are nearly all top notch with the best featuring catchy hooks that were instantly recognizable and stayed in your head for years upon hearing them. The tracks "Pour Some Sugar On Me" and the ballads "Love Bites" and "Hysteria" were huge hits and still sound great. "Armageddon It", "Animal", and "Rockit" were also top 20 hits and feature memorable riffs and catchy choruses. What really makes the album work though is that the some of the remaining songs were on the same level as the hit singles. "Don't Shoot Shotgun", the heavy rock of "Run Riot", and the catchy "Excitable" are all very strong tracks. Truth be told, the mid-tempo ballad "Love And Affection" was a better song than "Love Bites" or the title track and could have been another huge single if they chose to release it. "Gods Of War" is also a strong track featuring several memorable riffs and never gets repetitive or boring despite its 6 1/2 minute length. The opening track "Women" is also very good although it's carried more by its stellar production than its content. While I believe that Def Leppard peaked early on with the High N' Dry and Pyromania albums, this is still a prototype for pop-metal and the band would never come close to reaching these heights again. Highly recommended.
65 of 72 people found the following review helpful
Def Leppard has never been able to climb past the commercial or creative success they achieved with Hysteria. Some might argue that Pyromania was their finest effort. Truth is, Hysteria was the record that made them a success not only in thier home country of England, but also broke them to a worldwide audience like no other hard-rock/ heavy metal act before them.
This Hysteria Deluxe Edition puts that whole era in perspective, with the inclusion of live B-sides, studio outtakes, and extended remixes of their succesful singles. Disc One brings together the original album and the studio b-sides while Disc Two is an additional disc of all the B-sides off the 7 (yes, count them, SEVEN) singles released to promote the record. Four of those B-sides come on the first disc, and the idea works well, because those songs are actually studio outtakes that did not make the final cut. Therefore, their presence here only adds to what they were working on at the time. Of particular interest is Ride Into The Sun, off their independent debut EP which they re-recorded in 1987.
The second disc starts with several LIVE versions of 5 songs (Elected, Love and Affection, Billy's Got a Gun, Rock of Ages, Women) and goes on to include remixes for ANIMAL (extended version), POUR SOME SUGAR ON ME (extended version), ARMAGEDDON IT (The Nuclear Mix), EXCITABLE (Orgasmic Mix), ROCKET (The Lunar Mix). It is important to mention that while Rock of Ages has the same name as their famous song off Pyromania, the version here is actually a medley including parts of the classic rock anthems "Not Fade Away," "My Generation," "Radar Love," "Come Together" and "Whole Lotta Love".
Finally to close the second disc they have included another studio b-side, a humorous version of "Release Me," credited to Stumpus Maximus & The Good Ol' Boys. Which proves that Def Leppard and particularly Hysteria might not be the most serious music ever made, but they were indeed serious about having fun.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
"Hysteria" was huge. Three long years after exploding into the pop culture arena with their album "Pyromania" and the phenomenal single, "Photograph", Def Leppard came roaring back, determined to take their music all the way to the top of the charts (where a little album called "Thriller" had previously kept them at number two).
Yes, their drummer lost an arm. Yes, they went through three producers...the trials and tribulations of the making of this album are well-described in a lovely liner note essay.
They came up with a monster album filled with classic songs, killer riffs, exquisite sonics...this album is the best example of the marriage of pop music to metal that exists. Period.
First, the remastering of the record sounds spectacular. Given the density of the tracks here, you can spend hours listening to songs over and over again, finding new little details, or appreciating more subtle touches.
"Subtle"? Did I say "subtle"? On an album whose first four songs are, in order, "Women", "Rocket", "Animal" and "Love Bites"?
Well, yes. Robert John "Mutt" Lange's productions are famous for layer upon layer of vocals, instruments, percussion, noise, samples...and you can dissect each and every one for days. Elegant little synth lines hidden in bludgeoning anthems, or operatic harmonies that seem to fit together like puzzle pieces...
Def Leppard also have a healthy sense of humor and wit. This is a fun record. Again, look at the names of the first four songs...
The record starts off weak, as I have always felt "Women" to be one of the least interesting things on the platter. "Rocket" gets things moving; it's an homage to the poppy, glam-rock heroes of their youth.
"Animal" is where the "Hysteria" sound clarifies and crystallizes. It's a catchy pop-metal anthem, in an era where metal was dark or hidden behind epic explosions of hair and spandex, and pop was often mall-bound and limp. The soaring vocals of Joe Elliott at the end of the song NEVER gets old.
"Love Bites" is a rare hard-rock ballad that works, so much so it reached Number One. In fact, rock bands were never considered "singles" band (for really no good reason), but Def Leppard gleefully slung tunes, one after another, into American Top 40 radio (and MTV) until they themselves were competing with people like Michael Jackson.
The album went to Number One, stayed for a month and half, and sold, like, sixteen million copies.
Back to the record, we now come to the most totally awesome single. Ever. Dude. Seriously.
"Pour Some Sugar On Me" is a perfect amalgam of power-pop hooks, crunching guitar chords, elephants-on-steroids drums, peerless sonic production...and a chorus a three-year-old can sing. A song both critics and fans love to love. One listen, and it's back to 1987.
"Armageddon It" is yet another crisp, thundering rocker, which sounded sweet coming from car radios back then...and still does now. The lyric wordplay confirms the idea that these guys have a lot of fun with themselves.
"Gods of War" and "Don't Shoot Shotgun" are lesser effors; ambitious yes...just not as successful as the preceding tracks.
The blinding "Run Riot" gives those thundering "elephantine" drums a dose of crack, and the result is a happy thrill ride of a pop song.
The title song "Hysteria" is a justly celebrated, slow rock anthem, composed of seemingly a thousand parts, making another singular epic tune. Crisp guitars, layers upon layers of vocals, great melodies, interesting production effects...
I think the album ends a little weak with the dance-rock of "Excitable" (which is still at least fun to listen to) and the ponderous "Love and Affection" (which is not).
All in all, clearly one of the best of that era. One of the best of that genre. One of the best pretty much ever if you care at all about modern popular music.
Now for the extras: The B-sides are terrific, and almost worth the price of admission in and of themselves. In particular, "Tear It Down" should have been on the album. It's better than four or five of those that made it. The live versions are interesting...Alice Cooper's "Elected" sounds terrific, but the only "Hysteria" songs are "Women" and "Love and Affection". I hope they are saving the other ones for a subsequent live release.
The remixes are "extended" versions, but I think the proper word is "prolonged." By inserting long, lyric-less gaps into a song does not make it any more interesting. These are all examples where "more" is definitely "less".
The capper is an absolutely bonkers version of 'Release Me'...yes, the Englebert Humperdinck song...with truly unhinged vocals from the bands' Welsh crew master, Malvin Mortimer. Strange beyond belief, but riotously funny.
So there you have it. I honestly wish ALL classic albums would come out this way. This was really a treat.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Back in 1987, Kurt Loder, then a reviewer for Rolling Stone magazine, wrote that every track on "Hysteria" "sparkles and burns." He went on to say that "Hysteria" sounds "terrific," and was well worth the wait. How right he was. It's a little hard to believe now, but Def Leppard was once a very relevant and sought after band. Though the Leps fell deep into obscurity by the mid-1980s, much of what the band did musically was waited on in breathless anticipation, once everyone got his act together.
Loder was right on target with his assessment of this album. Mutt Lange's production does indeed conjure a sparkling effect like Loder mentioned, which upped the ante in terms of what metal music could potentially sound like. "Hysteria" is a mixture of hard metal and crafty, excellent pop. Several of the songs didn't grab me right away when I first heard the album, even songs on the hit-heavy "first side," and in some ways, "Hysteria" still comes off as a rather odd but unique album, mostly due to the strange voices and sounds that Lange deftly mixed into some of the songs. Every tune on the first side eventually made its way into homes everywhere as singles and videos, catapulting Def Leppard into astronomical fame worldwide. The "second side" of the CD is just as good, culminating to the free-spiritied "Run Riot," a song I wish the band would include in its live performances. Start to finish, this is an unbelievable album -- no wonder it sold so well.
The music industry has changed drastically since 1987, but Leppard's "Hysteria" still holds a prominent place in rock 'n' roll lore. In fact, the album has more than retained its uniqueness and stands by itself in terms of sound and production. Play it for your grandkids!
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2000
Def Leppard's Hysteria is probably the best rock album ever. And there is a reason for that; each and every one of the songs is a possible hit (maybe with the exception of Excitable) and the production could not be better. Six of the seven released songs were chart bending hits.
The songs hit home on the first listen and that is the point. The album opens with the moody classic 'Women' and then launches into the loud and bombastic, yet equally melodic, 'Rocket'. 'Animal' with its gloriously singalong chorus is followed by an incredibly touching and emotional ballad: 'Love Bites'. Def Leppard have never, and probably never will, write a ballad as timeless and mournful as 'Love Bites'.
Probably the biggest highlight of the album is the perfectly executed 'Pour Some Sugar On Me' which became an MTV favourite. The anthemic 'Pour Some Sugar On Me' is as loud and tongue-in-cheek as it gets. The lyrics are humorous and are delivered in an unparalled style by Joe Elliott ("You got the peaches, I got the cream" or "Do you take sugar? One lump or two?"). The loud drums, the throaty vocals on the verse and the musical interlude with its guitar solo all drip of pure sexiness.
The effervescent 'Armageddon It' never loses its sparkle. Neither does the energised 'Don't Shoot Shotgun'.' Run Riot' is just about the fastest rocker on the album and reminds us that Def Leppard are a metal band.
'Gods of War' is more a piece of music than a hit single. Although just as melodic and tuneful as anything else on the album, it really is a different kind of animal in comparison with the rest of the songs. The chorus is an absolute storm of vocal harmonies which could shake the very foundations of your house if played too loud! The title track is definately one of my favourites here. It's windswept verse and slightly anxious chorus make it incredibly compelling.
Overall, the album doesn't let the listener go for one minute. It certainly is a must have in any rock collection because the longer you wait before acquiring this album, the more time you are spending missing out the the great music that makes Hysteria.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2006
I've always felt that Def Leppard peaked with their 1983 album Pyromania and that Hysteria, while a remarkably solid album, saw a tiny bit of a slide start to happen in the playing/songwriting department that would bottom out quickly by 1992's horrible Adrenalize.
When Hysteria originally came out in 1987, Def Leppard lost a lot of their older fans at the time who decried the band abandoning their metallic roots from the Pyromania days in favor of a more contemporary pop/rock sheen that they went in on Hysteria. I was initially disappointed with the album when it came out. But over the years, I have grown to like it. While I don't think it represents the band at the pinnacle of their songwriting/playing levels like on Pyromania, on its own, it is a really good selection of songs with only a few being filler-ish.
The actual album was composed of 12 tracks and at the time turned a lot of heads since it clocked in at 63 minutes. Vinyl was still pretty much the standard at this point (along with cassettes) so it was kind of unheard of to see someone cram so much music onto a record without sacrificing any sound quality. Record still usually only clocked out at 40 minutes max.
This album also spawned 7 singles in the U.S. with 6 of those going top 20 (Animal, Pour Some Sugar on Me, Love Bits, Hysteria, Armageddon It, Rocket) and the 7th lead off single Women only breaking the top 80. It ended up selling 10 million copies just in the U.S. alone. This topped the 6 million that they sold with their prior album Pyromania. Hysteria will always stand as their commercial, if not critical, peak.
The tracks that haven't quite worked for me over the years are Love Bites, Don't Shoot Shotgun and Excitable. Pour Some Sugar on Me isn't that strong of a track in my opinion as well. They're not actually bad songs, they just don't seem to really go anywhere or do anything that jumps out at the listener in comparison to the rest of the tracks. The standout track for me actually is Rocket which in its original album form clocks in at 6 1/2 minutes and has a really cool extended jungle groove/drum break down in the middle in which the band has some fun with a style that was new to them at the time.
So as a whole, I still give the album 4 stars as it does feature mostly extremely strong material.
As for this 2 disc deluxe edition, I give this a resounding 5 stars.
On disc 1 you get the original 12 album tracks in crystal clear remastered sound. They also tacked onto disc 1 the 4 studio B-sides that were recorded/released at that point.
Disc 2 sees the band putting 5 live B-sides at the start followed up by 5 remixes of some tracks finishing up with a joke cover B-side that truly has to be heard to believe.
It comes with a deluxe booklet with tons of great vintage photos and a long and very insightful essay about the making of the album.
I really wish that they end up doing the same treatment with their 1983 album Pyromania and their 1981 breakthrough album High 'n' Dry at some point.
A must have for all Def Leppard fans.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2006
Wilmar you got it right. This is one of the greatest Rock Albums-by one of the greatest Rock bands. This album reached amazing heights. There is something for everyone on this album. From the Licks of Run Riot, to the ballad of Love Bites and of course the Top 40 favorite Pour some sugar on me. I have been a fan of Def Leppard since the early 80's (no I won't tell you how old I am) but it was the big thing for me to collect all the original B-sides. Every extended version of course my collection is HUGE. But I love the fact that the two cd disc has now come out. I mean really can you ever have to many Def Leppard CDS? Uh NO!!! This was a great idea. And if you get the chance I highly recommend the YEAH Tour. These guys put on an awesome show. STILL. I attended the HYSTERIA tour way back when and it is great to see these guys still have that energy. ROCK ON
As of today 10/30 I am going again. My friend Steve and I are going to Baltimore to see em again. Joe Elliott here I come. :)
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2006
Imagine one of your favorite bands from childhood releasing a new album. No, not a washed up bunch of "has beens" trying to recapture their former glory, or an empty shell of a band reflecting new trends in music through their 20 year old style. Take a band like Def Leppard who were on top of the music world in 1987 with their ultra-classic album "Hysteria". Imagine getting a new album of material from THAT time period but previously unreleased! Well, that is what this cd collection is. The equivelant of a Beatles or Elvis album recorded in the "hey-day" but lost to the ages- ROCK of ages that is! For those Leppard fans who have never heard these tracks it is a literal time machine- a second chance at the past to hear what a 1986, or 1988 Def Leppard album could have been. For "SUPER LEPPARD FANS" like myself, who clammered after and cherished these releases as single "B" sides or foreign imports, it is a chance to have digital quality preserved copies of this music. Listening to it now takes me back to the exitement of those days- but I am a little jealous of you out there getting to hear these songs for the first time and creating new memories to a lost soundtrack.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2001
Def Leppard pretty much changed the way heavy metal was with their 'Pyromania' album. Then they follwed it up by changing the face of hard rock with 'Hysteria' The music is varied, with slow ballads like 'Love Bites' and 'Love and Affection' to riffs n screamming vocals songs as in 'Don't Shoot Shotgun','Run Riot'and 'Excitable' to amazing solos in 'Pour Some Sugar On Me'. One song that deserves a special mention is: Hysteria. The song isn't riffs and screams... it isn't even slow bluesy mourns... it's like a plateau. You know... the music is very level... like if you watched it on an equaliser, you'd hardly see any towers and depressions... it's 'consistant' and yet, it's a masterpiece. In fact, a recent poll on the Def Leppard website put Hysteria as their best song ever. Not supprising. Listen to the opening guitar riffs of 'Animal' and the way Joe Elliot open up with 'A wild ride... over stony ground.....' You end up over the moon. Another anthem is 'Gods of War'. The drums and guitar combination is awesome. This is one album that any proud rocker posseses.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2005
I've been a Def Leppard fan since their "Pyromania" album was released in 1983, but they've one-upped themselves with "Hysteria. This is by far their best album. Every song on the disc is great, and there are five songs, "Rocket", "Animal", "Love Bites", "Pour Some Sugar on Me", and the title track, that went on to be major hits for the band.
Led by Joe Elliot's great lead vocals, Def Leppard delivers a hard-driving style of rock and roll that the listener won't soon forget. It is remarkable that Def Leppard's drummer only has one arm, because you would never know it by listening to the great drum solos on each song.
I highly recommend this great cd. Listen to "Hysteria" and hear the absolute best from Def Leppard.