Thursday, January 28, 2021

"Hysteria" by Def Leppard

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  3388
Date:  01/23/1988
Debut:  66
Peak:  10
Weeks:  16
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Def Leppard had been knocking on the door to the Pop Top 10 since 1983, but had yet to be allowed to enter. Three of their singles made the Top 20 with "Photograph" getting the closest at #12. The first two singles from their fourth album Hysteria weren't able to do the trick either and it seemed like it just wasn't going to happen for the guys, but then this title-track third single from the LP finally broke the spell. The same week that this song debuted on the Pop chart, it peaked at #9 on the Rock chart. The action there along with heavy video play from MTV helped the mid-tempo track up the chart. In its ninth week on the Pop chart it sat at #11. The next week it was just barely able to make it to #10 where it only stayed for one week. It was a very brief appearance, but Def Leppard finally earned their first Pop Top 10 hit. It would also mark the beginning of a mini-streak of Top 10's for the band.

ReduxReview:  Although not a power ballad, this mid-tempo tune fell right in line with other songs by rock/glam metal bands that played well on pop radio. While the band certainly had some solid, hooky songs hit the pop chart, this one may have been their most pop-oriented to date. Frankly, if it didn't have the big, chunky production by Robert "Mutt" Lange and Joe Elliott's rock vocal, this tune could have easily been a hit for a pop artist. So it wasn't exactly a surprise that it finally got them into the Top 10. I think what was surprising is that it kicked off a terrific run of singles. All of a sudden, it seemed like Def Leppard was hot property on pop radio and they could do no wrong. It just took this single to get them there.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  When Def Leppard was formed in 1977, Pete Willis was the original guitarist. Then Steve Clark would join in '78 giving the band two guitarists. Wills was with the band through to the 1982 sessions for Pyromania. Due to his alcohol consumption, the band decided to fire Wills. They then immediately hired Phil Collen to take his place. Collen had been with the UK glam metal band Girl. They would release albums in '80 and '82, both of which reached the UK chart. While in Girl, Collen had been courted by Def Leppard to help them out on guitar during their tour supporting the 1981 album High 'n' Dry, but since it wasn't a permanent position in the band, Collen turned them down and stayed with Girl. When Willis was fired, the band called up Collen again as a possible replacement. Collen took the leap this time and after a quick audition, he became a member of Def Leppard. Girl split up not long after his departure. Another member of Girl, vocalist Phil Lewis, did pretty well himself. He would become the lead singer of the US hard rock/glam metal band L.A. Guns. In '88 and '89, the band's first two albums would be gold sellers in the US. For their debut album, L.A. Guns would record "Hollywood Tease," a song Lewis co-wrote (with Phil Collen) and recorded with Girl for their 1980 debut LP Sheer Greed.


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