Def Leppard Classic Albums: Hysteria

2000 • 0h 50m

A musical biography telling the incredible story of the making of the Def Leppard album Hysteria. The album that sold over 17 million copies, produced seven hit singles, and brought worldwide superstardom to Def Leppard in 1987. After the success in America of the 1983 album Pyromania, the band went into 'exile' in Dublin to begin the writing and production of their fourth album. It would be four years in the making.

During this time they would try three different record producers, three different recording studios, Producer Robert 'Mutt' Lange would suffer leg injuries in a car crash, Joe Elliott would contract mumps, drummer Rick Allen would narrowly survive a terrible car crash but lose his left arm in the accident, and the band would be taken to the limits of their physical and emotional endurance. This program takes a track-by-track look at the making of the album.

In Dublin, we speak to Joe Elliott, Rick Allen, Phil Collen, and Rick Savage, who lead us through the original multi-track tapes. Joe and Phil play acoustic versions of "Pour Some Sugar On Me" and "Hysteria," and Sav and Phil demonstrate riffs and licks from the songs and explain the genesis of the songwriting. Rick talks of the impact of the car accident on his life and on the band, of his determination to re-learn the drums, and of his triumphant return to performing live at the 1986 Donnington Festival.

The featured songs include "Animal," "Rocket," "Love Bites," "Hysteria," "Women," "Armageddon It," and "Pour Some Sugar On Me." The program is illustrated by archive footage from Def Leppard in concert, TV performances, and promotional videos, and provides a unique insight into the making of a record which dominated the charts for two years, a true Classic Album.