Forty years ago, one of Sheffield’s biggest bands was formed, playing their first gig in the dining hall at the old Westfield School in Mosborough.
Thirty years ago this month, that band, Def Leppard, released their fourth studio album, which has gone on to be recognised as one of the top rock albums of all time.
Powered by stadium-filling drums, rapturous guitars and unshakable choruses – and featuring smash hits such as Pour Some Sugar On Me, Animal, Love Bites, Rocket and Armageddon It – Hysteria has sold more than 10 million copies in the USA, more than 30 million worldwide and topped the UK and US album charts, staying in the US top 40 for 96 weeks.
Rolling Stone has ranked it among the 500 greatest albums of all time, while Q magazine put it among the top 100.
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Now, to mark the 30th anniversary of its release in August 1987, Def Leppard have remastered it and re-released it.
To mark this milestone, we wanted to do something special for our fans and give them the definitive version of the album, one that incorporates the memories and milestones we caught on tape and some of the madness we got up to on the road.Joe Elliott, Def Leppard frontman
The anniversary remastered edition comes in various formats, including super deluxe five-CD/two-DVD, deluxe three-CD, standard CD and double LP on black vinyl, as well as a limited edition double LP on coloured vinyl. The reissue boasts B-sides and live tracks and additionally the audio for In The Round In Your Face (Live) on CD for the first time.
Frontman Joe Elliott was heavily involved in pulling it all together.
“The words that keep coming up is wow,” he says, “30 years ago, when you’re working all the time, doesn’t feel like 30 years. It’s hard to believe it’s been 30 years, as in some respects it does seem like only yesterday.
“To mark this milestone, we wanted to do something special for our fans and give them the definitive version of the album, one that incorporates the memories and milestones we caught on tape and some of the madness we got up to on the road.
And lead guitarist Phil Collen says: “I look back at the whole Hysteria experience with excitement along with fond and tragic memories. It was our commercial zenith thanks to producer Mutt Lange’s insistence we create an artistic hybrid between hard rock and pop top-40 music using every genre as an inspiration.
“It was a rock album that would garner seven hit singles. Mission accomplished.”
However, Joe admits Hysteria’s success was a millstone around the band’s neck at first, as every subsequent release was compared with it.
“For the first decade, decade and a half, it was frustrating,” he admits. “When reviews came in for our new records, everyone compared them with Hysteria. But it would be the same for every band with a big record, for Pink Floyd with Dark Side of the Moon, The Beatles and Sgt Pepper. Every artist has things they have to deal with.
But now he is at ease with its success, even if he can’t exactly explain why it is so popular.
“If there was a secret,” he says, “every single record released would be the same, but there’s just a handful of records that have that life, that go on forever. It’s more perspiration than inspiration. The inspiration is something you’re born with, but every band should be putting in 100 per cent, but a lot can’t be bothered.”
“We are an iconic band, this album is more famous then we are, so of course we embrace it.”
The Star has teamed up with Def Leppard to give away two copies of the remastered Hysteria on CD.
To stand a chance of winning, just answer this simple question – In what year was Hysteria released?
Send your answer, along with your name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Def Leppard competition, Jon Ball, Newsdesk, Sheffield Star, York Street, Sheffield S1 1PU. The first two correct entries drawn after the closing date of noon on Friday, August 26, will each win a copy of the CD. Usual Johnston Press competition rules apply and the Editor’s decision is final.