This section looks at the 'Euphoria' North American album release. The third album after 'Pyromania' and 'Hysteria' to feature a title ending in 'IA'.
"Nobody has made a record like this for a long time."
Def Leppard released their seventh studio album Euphoria on this day in 1999 in the USA and Canada.
The album was initially released in the USA and Canada and was one of the first albums to be streamed online.
A special called 'Radio Free Euphoria' was streamed on the band's website from 4th June 1999. On the same day the Red Hot Chili Peppers also streamed their album 'Californication'. One of the first times any artists had done this.
The album was released in the USA and Canada on 8th June 1999 and went on to chart at Number 11 in the USA.
Following it's UK release on 14th June it also peaked at Number 11.
Work on album began at Joe's Garage studio in May 1998. The band took a break after the end of the Slang tour in April 1997 during which time Joe and Phil worked with The Spiders From Mars (later to become the Cybernauts). The initial songwriting took place from late 1997 into early 1998.
The album was recorded with co-producer Pete Woodroffe in Joe's Garage Studios 1 and 2. Rick Allen did not join the band for much of the album sessions and instead recorded his drum parts at his home studio in California as he wanted to be close to his family.
The sessions went on until March 1999 when the album was completed and then mixed in April. The finished album was handed to the record company for release on 15th April 1999.
Classic Leppard Sound
The band returned to their trademark sound after the slight detour the >Slang album in 1996. The big vocal harmonies, classic songwriting and pop sensibilities were back in full force on this album.
Almost rebelling against the grunge era of the mid 90s, the band wanted to recapture the sense of melody, fun and excitement of their biggest records 'Pyromania', 'Hysteria' and 'Adrenalize'.
'Promises' was the lead single and video from the album. In the UK the band released two CD singles which saw 'Promises' and 'Back In Your Face' used as a Double A Side. Each was the lead track over CD's 1 and 2 though no video was made for 'Back In Your Face'.
A second single was released around the world. The Rick Savage written ballad 'Goodbye'. Both singles failed to reach the UK or US Top 40. Although 'Promises' did reach Number One on the US Rock charts.
Return Of Mutt Lange
In keeping with the return to their classic sound producer Mutt Lange returned to work with the band for the first time since his executive producer role on 'Adrenalize'. He worked with the band in Dublin for four days and co-wrote three songs - 'Promises', 'All Night' and 'It's Only Love'.
Mutt also played guitar on 'All Night' and contributed backing vocals to that song and 'Promises'. He would go on to work with the band again before the 'Sparkle Lounge' album but the song/songs have yet to be finished or released.
Damon Hill/Guest Appearances
A number of guests appeared on the album. Most notably British Formula 1 driver Damon Hill (the 1996 world champion). Damon lived close to Sav in Dublin and met the band during a party over Christmas 1998. He was invited by Phil (or Pete Woodroffe) to play guitar on an album track. He played the "ride-out solo" at the end of 'Demolition Man'.
Other guests included the band '(SIC)'. A three piece fronted by then ex-The Almighty singer Ricky Warwick who sang the HEY's and did handclaps for 'Back In Your Face'. Co-Producer Pete Woodroffe got his first songwriting credits with the band on 'Paper Sun' and 'Guilty'.
'Pyromania', 'Hysteria' and 'Adrenalize' artist Andie Airfix of Satori returned to do the artwork for this album. The band's classic logo was used as the center piece for the cover. Andie later said he and the band decided to return to their classic look in keeping with the classic sound of the album. Andie Airfix quote - "We decided, almost from the beginning, to pare right down and concentrate on their iconic (and established) logo.".
The Limited Edition version in the UK featured a 3D/Lenticular cover design.
IA - Album Title Trilogy
In keeping with the classic sound and return of the familiar DEF LEPPARD logo the band decided to complete the IA album title trilogy. Advertising posters for the album promoted this fact with the line - "After Pyromania and Hysteria comes....Euphoria!".
Future Deluxe Edition
As of mid 2014 the band regained the rights to the masters of this album and plan to release a deluxe edition at some point. This was first mentioned by Joe during a radio interview in April 2014.
Read some quotes from the band members below about the album and its recording.
Euphoria Album - 1999 Band Member Quotes
Joe Elliott - "Larger-than-life rock 'n' roll is our signature, and we're actually quite proud of it. If anything, our mistake was briefly venturing away from it."
Phil Collen - "The signal could not have been more clear. People have decided what they want from this band, and that's just fine with us. We enjoy making records like 'Euphoria."
Joe Elliott - "Look at the charts. People are getting bored to tears with alternative whining. They want big-time rock 'n' roll stars again. They want excitement."
Euphoria Album - Press Biography Quotes
After Pyromania and Hysteria comes EUPHORIA:
The new studio album from one of the world's most successful & enduring rock groups - Def Leppard. No one has been able to duplicate this sound and Def Leppard are just as fresh and unique as they ever were. Produced by Pete Woodroffe & Def Leppard, the new album brings Mutt Lange back into the fold in a song writing capacity. The first of these collaborations on 'Euphoria' is the first single 'Promises', at radio in mid-May.
The market is ripe for a new Def Leppard record. 'Vault' has scanned over 1.7 million records since its release in October of '95. Since then, VH1's signature series 'Behind The Music' sites their Def Leppard program to be one of their most successful.
Euphoria Album - US Album News Quotes
June 8 saw the release of Def Leppard's new studio album Euphoria, landing them a no. 1 record on the rock charts with the first single 'Promises'." This single reunited the band with the legendary Mutt Lange (producer of their multi-platinum albums Hysteria and Pyromania) who co-wrote the track. The long awaited release entered the LP charts at no. 11 and scanned over 98,000 units its first week of release. They are also still the no.2 most requested 'Behind The Music' special on VH-1.
Euphoria features 13 tracks that embrace the melodies and irresistible hooks that drove Def Leppard to the top of the charts throughout the 80's and into the '90s. Produced by Pete Woodroffe and the band, Euphoria comes at a time when the demand for Def Leppard's trademark pop anthems is at its highest in recent years. The group was recently honored by the RIAA with a Diamond Award, recognizing Hysteria's sales of over 12 million, bringing their total career sales to an astounding 43 million. In fact, current sales of their greatest hits album, Vault, have landed the band in the Top 10 of Billboard's Top Catalogue Albums chart, making it apparent that a significant segment of the record-buying public still clamors for the feel-good pop/rock the band is best known for.
Rick Allen - September 1999 Interview Quotes
"Everyone around us wanted a classic sounding Def Leppard album again. We basically used "Pyromania", "Hysteria", and several elements of other records as a blueprint, and that's how we came up with "Euphoria". And I think it's great. I still think it's great."
"It's a little difficult with the radio aspect. Radio is changing to a certain degree, but the first single hasn't really kicked in the way we thought it was going to. We're all hopeful with "Goodbye". That should help everybody's state of mind. I think the fact is it's pure entertainment. It's escapism. We always get serious to a certain degree on every record that we do - with lyrical content, this, that and the other. But for the most part, it's just entertainment and escapism."
Rick Allen (on recording at home in California/Damon Hill) - July 1999 Interview Quotes
"I felt like I was taking care of a very important part of my life. And I think my state of mind was more important than me being there for the making of the album."
(Mutt Lange) - "It was a huge, huge education. It was like a refresher course to remind us how we used to do it. He's very creative, a great musician, a great singer. He really is the perfect person to work with."
(Damon Hill) - "I think Pete was just being polite and saying, 'Come over. Maybe you can play a solo or two.' Maybe Pete had the odd glass of beer too many. He's a great driver. I'd say don't give up your day job!."
Joe Elliott (on the album's sound) - June 1999 Interview Quotes
"Nobody has made a record like this for a long time. We wanted to write anthems that make you want to punch the air when you hear them. We're more self-aware, self-mocking if you like, we're a group of guys having a laugh. Music has taken itself too seriously for the past seven or eight years."
"Slang was something we had to do, to get it our of our system. But this is us coming back strong. There was a time when so many bands had stolen our sound that the market got saturated, but we always felt we had some unfinished business."
Joe Elliott (on Damon Hill) - June 1999 Interview Quotes
"We asked him to play on 'Demolition Man' which seemed appropriate. It only took him three hours to record. He went for a sound that is like a cross between the way Slash plays and Andy McCoy from Hanoi Rocks."
Rick Savage - June 1999 Interview Quotes
"The one thing we did like about Promises is that for a four minute song it's instantly Def Leppard. It's got all the ingredients of how people remember Def Leppard and how I think how people want to hear Def Leppard."
Rick Savage (on recording) - June 1999 Interview Quotes
"We started about just over a year ago. We started writing songs individually and just basically getting back to the feel of writing songs. Because we were touring for the Slang album on and off for about two years and then we got in touch with Pete Woodroffe, the co-producer who worked on the Slang record and indeed the Adrenalize album as well. And started work in May of last year."
Joe Elliott (on recording) - June 1999 Interview Quotes
"We finished recording it in the first week of March. Then it was mixed till about the middle of April. We delivered it in mid April. So it's been a real quick turn over to think that we only gave it to the record company on April 15 and it's actually coming out like...uh today as it were."
Rick Savage (on recording) - June 1999 Interview Quotes
"I think we caught them by surprise cause I think that when they knew what style of album we were trying to create I think they were seeing another four year project on the go. We've got it down to a finer art. And also the fact we were recording in two studios most of the time cut the work down so we have the old classic Def Leppard album but in a shorter space of time to record."
Joe Elliott (on Pete Woodroffe) - June 1999 Interview Quotes
"With this record we were subconsciously just writing the classic Def Leppard songs with big hooks and cool melodies. But still in a very rock way. But like we've always been, commercial pop rock with the hooks and harmonies and a big production. The songs were leading in that style from day 1. And the first thing we did was to really convince Pete Woodroffe to do the album again because he wasn't really overly fussed about not being in London. And we sent him the first two songs we demoed which were Guilty and a very early version of 21st Century Sha La La La Girl. And he heard them and was raving and he was on board straight away."
Joe Elliott (on the album title) - June 1999 Interview Quotes
"There was a song on the Slang album called Pearl of Euphoria. And somebody mentioned that Euphoria was a cool word. And it got banded around for awhile. We went cold on it towards the end of the year specifically because there was a dance record called Euphoria that had been released in Britain. But once it had been pointed out to us that it was only in Britain where it had been released, and it was kinda meaningless in lets say America, Canada, Europe, whatever, it kinda became popular again. And all the people involved with the band, record company, management, etc; they all said this was a cool word. Once we all got over the initial barrier of, "you know what they all are gonna say, It ends in IA'" like Pyromania and Hysteria. Once we got over that little thing, we all thought it sounded good as well. Just phonetically it's a very simple word to say. And it does sum up the whole feeling of the album."
Joe Elliott (on Mutt Lange) - June 1999 Interview Quotes
"As we were plowing on into the album, we got a couple of songs on the go that we pretty much met a dead-end with. Collectively the five of us and Pete, had dried up. We'd get them to a certain level and then hit a brick wall. No matter how many times we tried to drive around this thing, it was always in the way. So we did what was the best thing to do which was get Mutt involved again. Because he understands and knows how to draw out the best out of us. And he said he'd love to."
"He was actually busy at the time but he freed himself up a couple of weeks after the first initial phone call. We sent him a tape of what was the backing track of Promises and he played with it over at his studio. And over the phone and fax he came up with these great melody and lyrical ideas. And that was how Promises was done then. We actually asked whether he'd like to physically come over and hang with us in the studio for a few days. And he did a month later. He came over to Dublin for an extremely long weekend. During that four-day period, we came up with that song All Night."
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