Def Leppard
Hysteria


5.0
classic

Review

by BenjoJames USER (18 Reviews)
February 14th, 2013 | 42 replies | 1,188 views


Release Date: 1987 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This album is truly testament to a band going against all odds to deliver one of the greatest albums of all time. An absolute undisputed classic from start to finish.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

Let's put things into perspective here; come 1987 Def Leppard haven't released an album in 4 years, a relatively long time between releases in the 80s, especially for such a fresh-faced band. Their last album, 'Pyromania' has sold an excess of copies, and is assumed to be the peak of their success. Popular opinion is that things are only going to go downhill for the Lepps, although they've been so long out of the picture that there's very little popular opinion of DL at all. Throw into the equation that drummer Rick Allen has just lost his arm in a car accident. Does any of this deter these Sheffield boys? Does it hell. Instead they simply dust themselves off and record one of the best albums of the decade.

Waves of melodic guitars, vocal harmonies and larger than life drums open the album with 'Women', equal parts pop melody and hard rock power, mostly thanks to the tutelage and production excellence of John 'Mutt' Lange. It's clear from the offset that is an album solely designed to dominate stadiums and arenas. If you're gonna listen to this album, you're gonna listen to it loud. 'Women' is as epic and grandiose as pop-metal can be, and this sets the tone for the rest of the album. It's bubblegum, but it's bubblegum with heart and soul. Samples and studio experimentation kick off 'Rocket' before one is hit with a wall of sing-along melody and air-guitar licks. The sheer size of the song's chorus practically transports you to the arena, as punchy as it is radio-friendly. Whilst Joe Eliot's cries of 'Guitar! Drums!' drip with cliche in retrospect, the sheer power of the songs and the distinct lack of pretentiousness render such outbursts easily forgivable.

One of the pop-ier tracks on the album, 'Animal' is just as huge, scaling down the distorted guitars in favour of monumental vocal harmonies and cathedral-sized snare hits. Sure, it's cheesy as hell, but it takes a truly cynical disposition not to want to sing along to this glam stomper. More experimental production continues in the form of power ballad 'Love Bites', working in pop synths and country influenced vocal melodies alongside the walls of guitars. Hysteria is truly special in that every song on the album has it's own individual identity, and as such it's hardly surprising that 7 of the 12 tracks on the album were to be released as singles. 'Pour Some Sugar on Me' follows, all groovy riffs and gigantic chorus, a true pop-metal masterpiece if there ever was one. One of rock's greatest anthems.

One is barely given a second to compose one's self before 'Armageddon It' turns it up to 11, every inch megalithic guitars and lyrics that flit between saccharine and school-boyish sex drive. This is juxtaposed by 'Gods of War'; one of the more serious tracks on the album, it takes hard rock guitars to another dimension of epic and the man-on-the-streets socio-political commentary in the song's lyrics are backed up by one of the album's most memorable choruses (not an easy feat considering the radio-friendly gems on offer here). 'Don't Shoot Shotgun' brings back the feel good themes typical of bands of this pre-grunge period, raunchy axes rubbing shoulders with high harmonies before we get on to 'Run Riot', a personal highlight of the album, it is as hard-rocking and raucous as it is melodic. Next the title track appears in the form of (another) power ballad, the emotion laid on thick to a backdrop of monolithic guitars and drums. The duo of 'Excitable' and 'Love and Affection' finish the album on a cheery note, all glam-metal cheese and arena-sized grins, tongues firmly in cheek.

This album is truly testament to a band going against all odds to deliver one of the greatest albums of all time. An absolute undisputed classic from start to finish.

Stand out tracks: 'Animal', 'Pour Some Sugar on Me', 'Run Riot', 'Hysteria'



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user ratings (435)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
mindleviticus
February 13th 2013



8157 Comments


Good review, but are you gettin' it?



BenjoJames
February 13th 2013



178 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I c wot u did thur ;)

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
February 13th 2013



4379 Comments


I've never been a fan of Def Leppard, but I do enjoy quite a few songs from this album, and a couple others from their discography. Good review, though, man. Have a POS.



BenjoJames
February 13th 2013



178 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

In my experience many people consider them a marmite band. Thank you.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
February 13th 2013



4379 Comments


It's not really that for me, but more the fact that I never paid much attention to them in the first place. There was so much happening in the metal scenes of the 80s, bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest were at the top of their careers, the thrash and death bands were taking off as well, that Def Leppard was always at the bottom of my list when I was first looking through '80s bands. But they are good though, from what I've heard, they've just never been a band that I could listen to nonstop.


BenjoJames
February 13th 2013



178 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Fair enough.

BenjoJames
February 13th 2013



178 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Fair enough.

sspedding
February 14th 2013



4751 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this album is definitive for hair metal. Good review.

BenjoJames
February 14th 2013



178 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thank you. Yeah it really encapsulates that 80s arena sound.

BenjoJames
February 14th 2013



178 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thank you. Yeah it really encapsulates that 80s arena sound.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2013



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Rating is correct.

No idea who you are Benjo, but I like you already. Wanna be staff?

foxxxythnksustnk
February 14th 2013



2132 Comments


thot this was a davey review

TheNotrap
February 14th 2013



7978 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Classic release.

Also great review.

KILL
February 14th 2013



70543 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

lame

Digging: Gal Costa - Gal Costa

BenjoJames
February 14th 2013



178 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks for the feedback. Sure I'll be staff.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2013



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Bugger. Applications closed the other day. By the time the next ones roll around, you'll have 30+ reviews and be a shoe-in.

Tyrael
February 14th 2013



20725 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Lol

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
February 14th 2013



19941 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album rules. Prefer Pyromania and High N' Dry though.

BenjoJames
February 14th 2013



178 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Haha cool, where do I apply?

BenjoJames
February 14th 2013



178 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Ah fair enough, I prefer their over-produced pop-metal works such as this album and 'Adrenalize'. 'Pyromania' has some highlights but their releases prior don't interest me. I've noticed this divide in a lot of DL fans.



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