Are you excitable? Def Leppard fans sure were by the time 1987's "Hysteria" had been released in August. It had been 4 long years since their previous release, "Pyromania". After that long, fans wonder if/when they come back and what they will sound like. The band wonders if their fans will forget about them. Most bands only take about 2 years between releases but Def Leppard had a string of misfortunes that included 2 car accidents (the one infamous one resulting in Rick Allen losing his arm) and Joe Elliot getting the mumps. There were also reports of the whole record getting scrapped to start over at one point.
Mutt Lange was brought in because of his expertise to produce the would-be classic. They had a vision going in of what they wanted to create-- a rock version of Michael Jackson's "Thriller". They wanted a veritable masterpiece where any and every song could be a single. Of the 12 songs that made the record, 7 of them were released as singles/videos. That wasn't all the of their songs though. They have been writing and recording for 4 years-- on and off between hurdles. They started putting extra songs on the B-sides of the singles. Songs like "Ring of Fire", "Ride into the Sun", "Tear it Down" and "I Wanna Be Your Hero". They already had the songs completed so why not throw them on the singles. I'm actually surprised more bands don't do that, especially today. With stuff like iTunes and YouTube, you have extra songs you recorded but they didn't make the final cut. Throw a bunch on iTunes and sell them cheap or just toss them on YouTube.
No use in just having them sit around.
"Hysteria" also broke new ground for what fans can expect out of a new record. At the time, most new releases were roughly 10 songs, and totaling 40 minutes long. Def Leppard unleashed "Hysteria" with 12 songs and clocked in at 62:32. That's about 20 minutes longer than your average records by other bands. However, a few months later Dokken would push that limit a little further with "Back for the Attack" in November. That clocks in at just over 63 minutes. It would be become the threshold of expectation for the next 4 years until the likes of Guns N Roses and the Red Hot Chili Peppers each release 75-minute CDs, pushing the space limit of a single disc.
"Hysteria" would go on to sell 12 million copies in the US and combine for 16 million more in Canada, UK and Australia. I'd say that's a pretty good sign that the fans did not forget who they were. With the help of a smash hit single "Pour Some Sugar on Me", and MTV pushing the video every chance they got, I'd say they picked up a few new fans along the way too.
Dave Christy loves horror, music, documentaries, breaking the rules, and more. He is also the co-runner of several fan based groups including Morningstars (THE Lucifer fan group also run by Melanie), and now is a member of the VIPers Spotlight Lounge team for Melanie's Muses. Other than "In The Spotlight" Features -check out his "31 Days Of Halloween Movies"
All Links To Buy / Subscribe to Amazon Programs On Amazon in this article areAmazon Affiliate Links
(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases which in turns helps support all the Muser giveaways we do!)