home > lep history >

def leppard / Hysteria UK Single Release

on this day - 16th November 1987

On this day in Def Leppard history the 'Hysteria' single was released in the UK.
The third single released from the album of the same name and the band's third UK hit.

Def Leppard 1987.

"Out of touch, out of reach, yeah."

Def Leppard 1987.

This section looks at the 'Hysteria' single release. A third hit single for the band in their homeland following on from 'Animal' and 'Pour Some Sugar On Me'.

"Oh can you feel it, do you believe it?"

Def Leppard released their classic Hysteria single on this day in 1987 in the UK.

The third single to be released from the Hysteria album in the UK.

It was released on 16th November 1987 reaching Number 26 on the singles chart.

Previous UK single discographies (including one in the 'Action' booklet from 1994) had the release date listed as 23rd November. This has since been corrected to the 16th via magazine new stories, press releases and UK chart entry information.

The 23rd was the release date of the special edition 12" collectors edition pack. Many other UK singles were released in the same way over two different weeks.

The follow up to 'Animal' which had reached Number Six in August and Pour Some Sugar On Me which reached Number 18 in October.

The first week of release saw the single released on regular 7", 12" and cassette featuring new B Side song 'Ride Into The Sun'.

Technically a new song version but actually a re-recording of a song originally on the 1979 Def Leppard EP. It featured new lyrics and updated music from the current lineup. Recorded in a matter of hours during the 'Hysteria' B Side sessions in February 1987 at Wisseloord Studios in Holland.

A live version of 'Love And Affection' was also included recorded in Tilburg, Holland in June 1987.

Two CD singles were released. One featured titles in yellow writing on the back cover with all other text in red. The second was a Limited Edition (1,000 copies only) with the titles in red and all other text in yellow on the back. It was also specified on the front cover that it was a limited edition. Both CDs had the same tracklisting.

A limited version of the 7" featured a free 'Hysteria' album cover patch. A 12" Limited Collectors Edition pack contained a 30" x 40" colour posted with a UK discography on the back. Many of the dates on it have since been found to be incorrect.

Shown below are some quotes from various band members on how the song came about during the 'Hysteria' album sessions in Dublin, Ireland.

Def Leppard 1987.

Def Leppard 1987.

Hysteria Single Release - 1987 UK News Story

"Def Leppard release their single 'Hysteria' on November 16."

"It's the title track from their zillion selling recent album and the flip side is a new version of 'Ride Into the Sun', a track which was previously available on the Leps 1978 EP 'Getcha Rocks Off'."

"The 12 inch features a live version of 'Love And Affection' recorded in Tilburg, Holland in July."

"The Leppies are currently on a mega-American tour."

Hysteria Classic Albums - Rick Savage/Joe Elliott Sep 2002 Interview Quotes

Rick Savage - "We'd gotten so far with the recording and writing of Hysteria and we thought that we needed about three more songs. We were looking for more straight-ahead rock songs and we all went away for a weekend and I got together with Phil the guitar player and I played him the opening riff for Hysteria."

"I said 'Look it's an idea I've had for a few months now I mean I know it's not what we're looking for but let's see what we can develop, and he had another part of the song which became bridge of Hysteria and we put the two together and all of a sudden he started coming up with melodies for the verses and the bridge and it happened very quickly and within the space of about two hours we'd got most of the song done."

"We just needed a chorus and we said look leave it 'till Monday cause we've got the germ of a good song here but we don't know whether it's appropriate we don't know whether it's what we need right now let's play it to the rest of the guys on Monday. The guys came in Monday morning and everybody loved it and it was like Wow this could be really big."

Joe Elliott - "It was like a complete team effort."

Rick Savage - "Yeah, this was one of the few examples of just the way that it worked out that splitting up the song became people’s individual ideas that worked together."

Def Leppard 1987. Def Leppard 1987

Hysteria - Rick Savage 1995 Interview Quotes

"We all decided to take a weekend off and try and write a commercial rock song. I came up with something, and it became the main riff to the song. Phil thought it was great and he came up with the bridge and sang it to me. We took out some acoustic guitars and played it for some friends. The following Monday, we went back to the studio and everyone was blown away, even though it wasn't the type of song we wanted."

"Stringed instruments can set a mood, and we wanted to do the same thing but do it on guitar. We didn't want to cop out and do a keyboard thing so we got into using E-bows and orchestrating sustained notes with harmonies. It gave that orchestral sound to the guitars."

Def Leppard 1987. Def Leppard Hysteria

2004 Best Of Liner Notes - Rick Savage Quote

"Me and Phil wrote the verse and bridge one afternoon. Then auditioned it that night around the fire for some Irish friends. It got a surprising thumbs up. It was a great hard rock song. Side two of the vinyl edition of ‘Hysteria’ is one of the most heavy metal sides of a record we’ve ever done."

2004 Best Of Liner Notes - Joe Elliott Quote

"Rick Allen thought of the title in hospital because people were trying to climb up laundry chutes to get photos of him. If memory serves. The verse was Sav’s. Phil wrote the bridge and the chorus came from Steve. Mutt, Phil, Sav and I wrote the lyrics. There are actually 11 different guitar parts. We glued all those elements together like a model kit and they worked perfectly."

Def Leppard 1987.

Hysteria 1987.

Joe Elliott - June 2000 Interview Quotes

"When it comes to us doing things, people might have listened to it and thought, "How the hell are they going to do that live?" You do alternatives when you play. The song "Hysteria" has eleven guitar parts. What we did is made a hybrid of them into two - the ones that people could really hear and the ones that aren't that important to hear live."

"Also, what we did do, which is the best thing we ever did, was that we would s*** our pants when we heard these finished mixes and we would go, "Holy f***, this is going to be hard." And we'd have to rehearse twice as hard. It made us a better band, unto the point where - I could pull out a dozen reviews that said, "Def Leppard, whose backing vocals are so obviously on tape..."

"No they weren't. We have never used tape. Never, ever. The only thing that we've ever used that you could deem "not real" are drum loops, because Rick basically, with one arm, I think more so than anybody else has got an excuse to use them. Any drummer you see who has headphones on is playing to drum loops."

Rick Savage - August 2017 Interview Quotes

"This has a lot of meaning personally, because all the verse guitars and intro I actually played on Phil’s mirror-plated guitar going through a whole nation of different effects."

"There was a box called the Rockbox, and it was very similar to the Rockman in that it was this tiny little thing you plugged in. But it had such great compression when you kicked it in!"

"It’s not unusual for me to come up with guitar parts, but more often than not I let the proper guitar players record it on the album. For some reason, it just didn’t quite have the feel that me and Mutt wanted when Phil or Steve played it. So in the end, Mutt said, ‘Sav, it’s your riff… you just play it!’ and I did, even though I’m the bloody bass player."

"So it’s a song that’s very close to my heart, it’s one of my babies. Phil came up with the bridge idea, which then went into this separate thing that Steve had come up with and all of sudden, we found we had a song. We just glued three sections together and I think it was Rick [Allen, drums] that came up with the title."

Def Leppard 1987.

Phil Collen - July 2012 Interview Quotes

"An epic song, that one. We put so much into it. Rick Savage had this idea on guitar, and I literally sang the first verse over the top of it. I said, ‘Oh, I’ve got this bit – I gotta know tonight…’ We took it to Steve, Joe and Mutt, and they added their parts."

"Rick Allen had suggested that we called the album Hysteria, so we decided to call the song the same thing. Once we had the basis for it, it was just a matter of getting all the parts down."

"On the ‘gotta know tonight’ part, we recorded every guitar string separately so that there would be no arpeggiating. Mutt said, ‘I don’t want a keyboard doing it, I want it on guitar.’ It had to sound non-arpeggiated. Because even if you hit a power chord, there’s a certain amount of arpeggiation. But if you hit every note separately, it sounds totally different. It’s a brilliant sound."

"Steve and I played the solo live together in the studio. We did the same notes, but our vibrato techniques were quite different. We both went through Rockmans. I was playing a Strat, and Steve played a Les Paul."

Phil Collen - March 2016 Interview Quote

"The song really is about finding spiritual enlightenment. Not many people know that because it sounds like just getting hysterical, but it's actually about that. It's about finding this deeper thing, whether you believe it or not."

1995 - Vault Liner Note Quotes

Rick Savage

"Me 'n' Phil wrote the verse and bridge one afternoon and auditioned it that night around the fire for some friends. Got a surprising thumbs up!."

Def Leppard 2018. Screenshot

Rick Savage - November 2018 Video Interview Quotes


"Another track I'd like to talk about from The Story So Far Disc 1. It's one of my all time favourites. It's Hysteria. It's one of those songs I never kinda get tired of listening to. Never ever get tired of playing. For me it's the highlight of the night when we play the song. There's just a special bond between the audience and the band. Particularly on that song. I don't really know why. It's just that we all sort of come together and...it's just one of those songs that just like the band love, the crowd love as a mutual appreciation."

Writing The Song

"And I remember coming up with the verse idea which is just this very simple jangle. When we were recoding. We were in Paris recording some of the tracks for the Hysteria album. And I just kind of played it to Phil. I played it to Joe. Joe didn't like it initially. I think I remember him saying it sounded too much like a Police song. That we shouldn't be going down there. Oh maybe OK. I played it to Phil and he went no, it's fantastic, it's brilliant. And by the way I've got this bit that'll fit onto it and Phil had this idea for the bridge. 'I gotta know tonight' and it literally just glued right on to the end of this idea that I had."

"And from then there was too much of a song to be sort of ignored. And I think pretty much soon after that Steve came up with the idea of just the chorus chords and the little guitar parts that feature within it. And by that point we got Mutt involved and you know him and Joe just basically finished the thing off. ."

Song Title

"At that point in time it didn't have a title. But when Mutt and Joe came up with this Hysteria idea that's when Rick sort of went well that's what we should call the album. You know I mean it's a great album title. It's a great title. And we went yeah. So it all fell into place. the song came into being. It became sort of the album track of the album which Hysteria to me is kind of a greatest hits in its own right. But It's one of my favourite songs as I say. And it's a buzz to play every single night. It's one of the few songs where I still listen to it and go that's cool."

related pages/releases


share this page:

explore def leppard tour history
All News
Tour News
Album News
All Tours