Classic Rock News

Def Leppard’s Phil Collen breaks down ‘Hysteria’ ahead of album’s 36th anniversary

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Mercury Records Limited

August 3 marks 36 years since Def Leppard released their fourth studio album, Hysteria, which went on to become their first Billboard 200 #1. Ahead of the anniversary, guitarist Phil Collen is breaking down the album for fans in a new video posted to social media.

“When we went in to record Hysteria (producer) Mutt (Lange) said let’s do a rock version of Thriller where you have like seven singles,” Collen says in the clip, referring to Michael Jackson’s classic album. “Create a genre of our own.”

Collen then goes to discuss several of the songs on the album, including hits like “Armageddon It,” their only #1 song “Love Bites” and “Animal,” which Collen says took “three years to write, or to get right.”

He also talks about “Pour Some Sugar On Me,” which became their signature tune. Collen says the song almost didn’t make the album as it was recorded after they already finished the record. They were also late handing it in and were “four and a half million dollars in debt.”

Frontman Joe Elliott was playing something on guitar in the studio, which caught Lange’s ear, and he pushed them to record it despite the album being late. He insisted, “this song is going to be really important.”

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