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def leppard - love bites u.s. number one single

on this day - 8th October 1988

On this day in Def Leppard history the 'Love Bites' single reached Number One in the USA.
The band's first and only American Number One single taken from the 'Hysteria' album.

Def Leppard 1988.

"If you've got love in your sights."


Def Leppard 1988.

This section looks at the 'Love Bites' single US chart peak. The first ever Def Leppard single to reach the Top Spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart after two Top ten hits with 'Hysteria' and 'Pour Some Sugar On Me' earlier in 1988.


"watch out, love bites."

Def Leppard's classic Love Bites single reached Number One on the US Billboard Top 100 chart on this day in 1988.

The fifth US single from the Hysteria album was released on 27th August 1988 and had entered the chart at 52.

It went to Number One on 8th October 1988 replacing Bobby McFerrin's 'Don t Worry, Be Happy' at the top of the Hot 100.

The single would go on to spend 6 weeks in the Top 10 and 23 weeks in total on the chart.

It was Number 30 on the Year-End Hot 100 Singles of 1988.

The band were in Atlanta, GA on this day for the second of three sold out In The Round shows during the final month of the Hysteria world tour.

'Love Bites' remains their only US Number One single. Its success came off the back of the 'Hysteria' album reaching Number One and 'PSSOM' reaching Number Two on the Hot 100 in late July.

On the same day the 'Hysteria' album was at Number Two having recently ended the last of its six weeks at Number One on the Top 200 chart.

Joe and Phil spoke to Billboard in late 2011 about reaching Number One - watch the video below.

Fellow British band UB40 were at Number Two with Red Red Wine.

Lots of other rock acts were in the Top 40 that week including many who have since toured with Def Leppard including Europe who had supported them in July/August 1988.

They included Joan Jett And The Blackhearts (8), Poison (12), Guns N' Roses (16), INXS (18), Bon Jovi (26), Europe (31), Cinderella (34), U2 (37) and Van Halen (40).


Def Leppard 1988.


Love Bites Single - 6 Weeks In The US Billboard Top 10

  • 17th September 1988 - 9
  • 24th September 1988 - 5
  • 1st October 1988 - 2
  • 8th October 1988 - 1 - (First Ever Number One Single)
  • 15th October 1988 - 2
  • 22nd October 1988 - 4

Billboard Top 5 Singles - 8th October 1988

  • 01 - Def Leppard - Love Bites
  • 02 - UB40 - Red Red Wine
  • 03 - Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry, Be Happy
  • 04 - Cheap Trick - Don't Be Cruel
  • 05 - Peter Cetera - One Good Woman



Love Bites 1988.

Billboard 1000 No. 1's - Joe Elliott/Phil Collen Interview Quote

Phil Collen

"It was a very interesting thing cause that was a studio song. We'd never actually played it live. And it went to number one and we'd never played it as a band. So we had to put the tour on hold and rehearse it frantically so we could sing and play it at the same time cause it's quite involved as well."

Joe Elliott

"I remember it nearly not getting to number one. I remember being told we probably wouldn't get to number one because Red, Red Wine I think it was by UB40 was gonna pip us."

Phil Collen

"Wow. I know Bobby McFerrin was the other side of it."


Def Leppard 1988.


Love Bites 1988.

Joe Elliott

"And we were at the age as well where we thought it was about bloody time. You know because everybody says overnight success but it was actually seven years since we formed when Pyromania broke. So it was seven years before we hit real success in the States and it was ten years before we hit it in England. And it's strange because we'd been to number one on the album and it had been back and forth. For six weeks we'd been swapping places with Van Halen and Guns N' Roses all summer. So we kinda felt comfortable with that. I wouldn't say we were taking it for granted. But now we wanted a No. 1 single because we'd never had one. So it was like 'come on! come on!' When we got there, it was, as you can imagine, a 'yes!' moment."

Phil Collen

"I think cause we were an absolute hybrid of a hard rock band and pop music. You know you could sing along to these songs but they still had a rock edge. It wasn't say like Boston which was great. It had all these lovely harmonies and everything but they weren't as hard rocking as we were so that was the weird one. We kinda sounded a bit like AC/DC. It had a bit more of that edge but we kinda fit image wise more with something like Duran Duran. So it wore lots of different hats at the same time. So that was very exciting for us cause we always wanted to appeal to lots of different age groups, lots of different genres. We didn't just want to be a rock band you know it was something a bit more special - we felt. And I think it really was as well."


Def Leppard 1988.


Def Leppard Love Bites - VH1 Love Songs 2002 Quotes

Def Leppard 2002.

Phil Collen

"I think the fact that it started as a country song in the first place as well kind of separated it from all the rock power ballads. It actually kinda sounded like The Eagles and we kinda rocked it up."

"I mean I played it to my Mum and she started bawling her eyeballs out. So we actually, we knew then it kinda, it had something special about it."

Def Leppard 2002.

Joe Elliott

"Love Songs touch on human emotion. I mean that just never tires. It changes everyday and there's always something that happens that people all over the world can relate to. Especially if you can put it in a decent lyric."


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