Def Leppard are coming to Liverpool, home of the British Music Experience on Saturday 15th December for their Hysteria World Tour. Hysteria has sold over 25 million copies to date, and is in the top 50 best-selling albums of all time. Amongst our 600+ artefacts, the BME proudly host Joe Elliott’s custom-made Hysteria guitar, featuring the iconic album artwork, and his leather jacket worn in their famous video for 1992’s Let’s Get Rocked, remembered for its use of very early CGI.
A trip to the BME is a must for any Def Leppard fan, and any gig goers will receive a 20% discount on a full price ticket by showing their gig ticket, or band t-shirt across the weekend.
Hysteria, the fourth album by Sheffield’s most successful musical export Def Leppard, remains one of the biggest and best-selling hard rock albums of all time.
With a staggering 25 million records sold and counting, and each and every song being crafted to hooky, pop-rock perfection, it made Def Leppard one of the biggest bands on the planet and one of the best-selling acts of the entire decade of the 1980s, regardless of musical genre.
However, the band themselves quite famously had a horrific run of bad luck that proved to be a true test of their dedication to the band in the events leading up to the album’s conception and recording, making the colossal, if not immediate, success of the album even sweeter for them.
After their last album, 1983’s Pyromania, was such a massive hit, turning 4 northern lads and one southerner into global rock demigods, they knew they had to follow up with something special and nothing else would do.
Wanting to further evolve the sound of Pyromania, they looked to Mutt Lange to return to the producer’s chair for the follow up, only to find him unable to do so, as a result they turned to Jim Steinman, most famous for co-writing and producing Meat Loaf’s “Bat Out Of Hell” album, however this proven to be an unwise move so they scrapped the songs and work done with Jim Steinman and moved onto Nigel Green.
Around two weeks after this arrangement began however, Rick Allen had his now infamous car accident which left him without his left arm and in hospital for months on end, unsure if he as a drummer, or Def Leppard as a band, could continue past the incident, as they refused to release Rick from the band unless he asked for that himself. He would later develop an electronic kit and revise his drumming style to suit his situation, and this arguably was the turning point in the recording process of the Hysteria album and how the futuristic, polished sound of Hysteria would eventually turn out.
With Rick Allen back behind the kit they continued on writing the album in Dublin, and by the time they were ready to go into the studio they had Mutt Lange back with them again, and with Mutt’s notoriously micro-detail obsessed recording methods they proceeded to lay down what would become legendary stadium-rock anthems such as “Animal”, “Love Bites”, “Hysteria” and, of course, their (now) signature tune “Pour Some Sugar On Me” (written last minute when Mutt Lange heard Joe Elliot messing around with an idea in the studio, no less!!!)
This album is often referred to as Hard Rock’s equivalent of “Thriller”, in that each and every song on the album is a potential hit single and just as potent as the song before it, and the many people who have enjoyed this album and played it death over the past 30 years will understand that the comparison would be a hard one to argue.
Joe Elliot’s “Let’s Get Rocked” Jacket:
This jacket is the jacket Joe Elliot can be seen wearing in Def Leppard’s music video to the track “Let’s Get Rocked” from the album Adrenalize (1992).
The video itself features a lot of computer animation interspersed with footage of the band playing the song in futuristic looking stadium and was still early on in terms of using that amount of CGI in a music video and, while not the first video to do this by any means, it raised the bar in what could be presented using technology at the time.
This jacket is the very same one Joe wears when you see him performing in the “stadium” segments of the video, it is almost Colonial in style with more than a few rock and roll tweaks to the aesthetic, mainly being length of the jacket and the colours used to embellish it.
Joe Elliot’s “Hysteria” Guitar:
This guitar is a mid/late 80’s custom shop Jackson Soloist, and was made for specifically for Def Leppard Vocalist Joe Elliot. It is a celebration of what makes this album (and the band themselves) so great, it also it sums up the whole era of 80’s stadium rock/metal to a tee with its loud, crazy graphics, and 80’s hot-rodded “Super Strat” specifications.