On this day 28 years ago, Def Leppard released their smash Hysteria. The follow-up to 1983’s Pyromania solidified Leppard’s status as one of the greatest rock outfits of the 80s with six singles that cracked the Billboard Top 20, including the inescapable megahit “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and power ballad “Love Bites.”
The album took three years to record and was plagued with setbacks, the biggest being drummer Rick Allen losing his arm in a car crash on New Year’s Eve in 1984.
"Everything's in slow motion," he said in an interview with ABC News in 2012. "I must have been going a good 65, 70 miles per hour. I landed in a field several hundred yards away, and I remember standing up and saying, 'I'm a drummer, I've lost my arm.' It was very surreal."
Normally this would be the final blow for any drummer, but Allen never gave up. “After listening to music for a few days, I realized I could still play quite a lot of the parts from some of my favorite songs just using my feet,” Allen said in an interview with BBC’s “Fighting Back” in 1992.
Allen worked tirelessly to perfect this new technique and made his return to the stage nearly two years later. As for the album itself, the long, arduous and expensive recording process was totally worth it.
Hysteria was a departure from traditional hard rock and more of a foray into the commercialized rock sound, with synchronized and synthesized backing vocals and a more melodic guitar. The formula obviously worked pretty well for the guys from Sheffield, as the record went on to spend 133 weeks on the Billboard charts and sell over 20 million copies.
Blake Froling is a classic rocker who can be seen on the road belting out AC/DC songs in his car.