Happy 25th Anniversary to Def Leppard’s Hysteria

Currently out on their Rock of Ages tour, ’80s hair metal rockers Def Leppard are shaking the bottle and breaking the bubble as they celebrate the 25th anniversary of the album that Rocket-ed them into superstardom. Yes folks, Hysteria is 25.

Not so fresh off the release of their previous hit album, 1983’s Pyromania, the release of Hysteria was anything but easy, as they put up with issues on and off the stage. Drummer Rick Allen lost his arm in an auto accident. Producer Mutt Lange bowed out (before returning). Guitarist Steve Clark’s drug and alcohol abuse got worse and eventually cause his 1991 death. But the album was made after three grueling years, giving them six hit songs and helping them outsell every other rock band in the ’80s.

One of the most interesting things about Hysteria was that its most famous song was the final one added after just two weeks of producing it (to put that in perspective, they worked several years on “Animal”). Dreamt up after producer Mutt Lange heard Joe Elliot experimenting with the riff on an acoustic guitar, “Pour Some Sugar on Me” was only the fourth song released as a single, which ultimately led to its skyrocketing sales.

Fast forward 25 years and Def Leppard is still making music, still touring, and still entertaining loyal fans. But if there is any moment in time that can freeze forever and show them at their absolute creative peak, it’s this:

Image via Def Leppard’s Facebook page.

Now let’s go track by track:

No. Title Length Comment
1. “Women” 5:41 A decent song to open this album with. It’s also frequently played in concert.
2. “Rocket” 6:37 One of the top songs from this album is great live, especially when they expand it with solos. The shorter versions live aren’t as fun.
3. “Animal” 4:02 Not a power ballad, but nice, slow song that leaves us wanting to hear others.
4. “Love Bites” 5:46 The signature power ballad.
5. “Pour Some Sugar on Me” 4:25 Never heard this one.
6. “Armageddon It” 5:21 This song simply rocks. Although I never figured out what it meant.
7. “Gods of War” 6:37 DL actually played this in concert on their current tour, which is odd because it wasn’t one of their hits.
8. “Don’t Shoot Shotgun” 4:26 One of a few weak songs from the album, but they’re forgiven.
9. “Run Riot” 4:39 The most underrated song from the album.
10. “Hysteria” 5:54 Hate to say it, but between this and Animal, I’m craving a much harder tune.
11. “Excitable” 4:19 The album would’ve worked fine without this song.
12. “Love and Affection” 4:37 The album would’ve worked fine without this song, too.
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