The Def Leppard Album For Which Band Members Put Their Lives At Risk
One of the biggest bands of the new wave of the British heavy metal movement of the early 1980s, Def Leppard, is often regarded as one of the greatest artists of hard rock music. Their music career spans over four decades, and they are one of the world’s best-selling music acts of all time, having sold more than 100 million records worldwide.
Def Leppard has always been a triumphant band, starting from their debut studio album, ‘On Through the Night,’ that reached Top 15 in the UK. The following records gradually brought the band into the spotlight all over the world, starting from the United States with the band’s song, ‘Bringin’ On the Heartbreak,’ which became one of the first rock videos played on MTV in 1982.
The English band has released several legendary records to this date, which immensely contributed to the metal legends’ success. However, there’s one album that all band members and their crew put endless efforts into, which is also unique for their fans. That is their 1987 album, ‘Hysteria,‘ during the making of which several band members were hospitalized. Let’s take a look.
‘Hysteria’ Is Arguably Def Leppard’s Best Record
‘Hysteria‘ is the fourth studio record of Def Leppard released on August 3, 1987, and it’s the band’s best-selling album to this date, having sold over 20 million copies worldwide. Furthermore, the album charted at No. 1 on both the Billboard 200 and the UK Albums Chart.
The 1987 album is the follow-up to the band’s breakthrough record, ‘Pyromania,’ and the expectations were high for this one. The album, which is Def Leppard’s longest to date with 62 minutes and 32 seconds, took three years to make due to the numerous delays surrounding band members’ serious health issues. Let’s dig deeper into the tough times the band endured during the recording process.
The Making Of ‘Hysteria’ Has A Tragic Story For Def Leppard
The making of ‘Hysteria’ started problematically right off the bat when the band initially intended to work with two different producers and try to produce the album themselves. This resulted in the initial recording sessions being entirely abandoned, making Def Leppard lose a precious amount of time.
The most catastrophic event occurred when drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm when his Corvette flipped off a country road on December 31, 1984. The musician hit a drystone wall and was thrown from the car, causing his left arm to be severed. Although his doctors first reattached Allen’s arm, it had to be re-amputated due to an infection causing the drummer to lose his arm for good.
Although the musician considered quitting music after losing his arm as a drummer, Allen later decided to find a way to continue playing drums. That’s when his band members stood by his decision to return, and they built a special drum kit for their bandmate to use. This unique electronic-acoustic kit included a combination of electronic pedals that triggered the sounds when he played with his left arm.
Following this unbelievably tragic event, the Def Leppard drummer continued making their album during his healing process, and Rick mastered his customized drum kit. Unfortunately, Allen wasn’t the only person injured during this time as their producer Robert John’ Mutt’ Lange, was also involved in a car accident that resulted in leg injuries.
Fortunately for Lange, he quickly recovered from his injuries, but this incident further delayed the recording sessions of ‘Hysteria.’ As if two devastating events weren’t enough, lead singer Joe Elliott suffered from mumps in 1986, which is a viral disease caused by the mumps virus and has symptoms such as fever, headache, and muscle pain, followed by the painful swelling of the parotid glands.
After three years of painful experiences, Def Leppard’s fourth studio album was finally released thanks to the great efforts and persistence of the band members and their staff. Fortunately for them, it was all worth the pain since it’s one of the band’s most celebrated records, if not the most notable one.