Monday, July 25, 2016

Def Leppard - Hysteria

Album cover: One of the most recognizable covers in rock n roll history, Hysteria's elaborate artwork is intriguing and dare I say a bit bizarre.  The cover was intended to capture the feeling of hysteria, which is why you have the three faces merged together against a background of a rocket ship counsel, which is a nod to the song "Rocket."  You'll also notice a small version of the view finder (from the Pyromania album artwork) located just below the eye of the left greenish face.  Its vibrant colors have always been regarded as iconic, especially when displayed at live shows. 

Overall album:  Without a doubt, a vast majority of rock and hard rock fans will always cite Hysteria as Def Leppard's greatest album.  From the strong textures that each song exhibit, to how adventurous the sound is, to the pristine production quality showcased on it, this is a masterpiece that continues to draw attention from the music community. 

Songs: 

Women: With a somewhat eerie beginning, the song erupts into a violent explosion of melodies that create a mystic atmosphere in the listeners mind.  The lyrics themselves revolve around the topic of the 'Garden of Eden.'  Some great solos to watch out for here. 

Rocket: Cited by many as the most adventurous song of Hysteria, the tribal drumming pattern exhibited here by Rick Allen, reinforces why he is referred to as the Thunder God.  A strange flow of guitar solos, vocal patterns and sound effects crisscross the entire track.  It takes a few listens to really get into it.  But once you do, you keep discovering something new each time. 

Animal: One of Leppard's most well known anthems and one that seems to tie into the name of the band itself.  Its two part chorus makes the song truly memorable. Steve (R.I.P.) and Phil really display their chops out here. 

Love Bites: This one sends chills down your spine. Joe displays some unique singing on this one.  But more than anything it is the way all the instrumentation works out here, from its delicateness to sonic explosion. 

Pour Some Sugar On Me: This is widely acclaimed as the band's finest performance.  Catchy, groovy, hard and totally in your face, this track features stellar work by both Rick's with Steve and Phil coming in at specific intervals with grinding assault. 

Armageddon It: A very catchy track that features arguably the most memorable solo by Steve.  This number is so easy to follow along even after the first listen. 

Gods Of War: The serious number off the album with a formidable structure to it.  This exhibits some interesting narrative lyrics delivered by Joe with a build up that creates an atmosphere of impending doom that is to come. 

Don't Shoot Shotgun: An interesting number but one that appears weaker when compared to the other tracks on the album.  However, hard and solid it plods along nicely. 

Run Riot: A hard hitter and one that flashes by with razor sharp guitar work.  A big fan favorite at live shows.   

Hysteria: Arguably the greatest ballad of Leppard's career.  Beautiful, tantalizing, with strong undercurrents, this song keeps you reaching for the repeat button.  It evokes a dreamy sequence and a feeling of floating above the world during a full moon night. 

Excitable: A quirky and peppy track that has a mix of interesting sounds that is kind of like the song Rocket.  But of course, it sounds nothing like that.  Easy going and likable. 

Love And Affection: Hard, strong yet subtle are the ways to describes this number.  It seems to take the listener on a journey and showcases some great guitar work again by Steve and Phil.  

Ultimate Album Song: Pour Some Sugar On Me


The Band: Rick Allen (Drums), Joe Elliott (Vocals), Rick Savage (Bass), Phil Collen (Guitars) Steve Clark (Guitars) 
Image source: rockmusictimeline.com 

My Video Review Of Hysteria 




(Review of Def Leppard's entire discography at my channel on YouTube: Rohan Moorthy)

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