There’s a great interview with the lead singer of the band in Rolling Stone magazine talking about their biggest album. I remember the mayhem over “Pyromania” in early 1983. That was Def Leppard’s third album and at the time I thought, “this is their signature LP.” It had seven singles around the world and, so far, has sold over 10 million in the U.S. alone but four years later we got “Hysteria.” Just when you thought Def Leppard couldn’t get any bigger comes this masterpiece. It also had seven singles but they were higher charters. And this one sold over 25 million copies worldwide (12 million in the U.S.) making it their biggest album ever.
Now the band are set to release 30th anniversary box set for “Hysteria” which was released August 3, 1987. Elliott calls the album the, “the most iconic thing we’ll ever do.” It was also the first album since drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm in an auto accident. He took a while to recover and build that special drum kit plus the music industry was changing so fast as they were creating the album that in order to make it relevant the band had to keep changing thing just to keep up. Also producer Mutt Lange left during the recording but later came back. It was a high tension album.
Elliott says it’s not that they didn’t want to make another record like “Pyromania” but they didn’t want to do what Boston did with their first two album where both sounded so similar. Elliott says Boston’s “Don’t Look Back” sounded like side three and four of their debut album. He credits Lange for kicking their butts to make sure Def Leppard didn’t repeat themselves.
The album did not come without sacrifices. It also was one of the most expensive albums ever made When Lange left Jim Steinman Meatloaf’s right hand man was brought in then Nigel Green and ultimately Lange came back. Elliott says, That’s another reason it took so long. We weren’t in a rush to get it right; we just wanted to get it right.” He also admits they’ll never do anything better adding that he could pretend their new stuff is better but he know that’s the album that everyone will judge them by. He did add that the project was not his personal favourite but it’s in the top 3. – by John Beaudin
John Beaudin has been in major market radio (Edmonton, Vancouver & Calgary) for 33 years and a music journalist since 1989. He graduated from Broadcasting school as a news man so he would have the skills to write about the artists that inspired him since he bought his first album, “Madman Across The Water” by Elton John as a teen. In the 80’s Beaudin was the host of the syndicated radio show “The Cross Canada Report” which had two version (Rock and A/C). Beaudin was also asked to be a judge at the Juno Awards (Canada’s answer to the Grammys) Twice. He has anchored every position in radio including morning and afternoon drive and was a Program and Music Director for The Breeze and California 103 in Calgary. He currently hosts the popular Lovesongs at QM-FM in Vancouver and on iHeartRadio.
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