DEF LEPPARD’s JOE ELLIOTT Says There Will Be A 40th-Anniversary ‘Hysteria’ Re-Release With Bonus Material
DEF LEPPARD singer Joe Elliott has confirmed to «The Jeremy White Podcast» that there are tentative plans for the band to release a 40th-anniversary expanded version of mega-selling album «Hysteria» in 2027. «We did put our foot down and say we’re not doing any more 35th- or 37th-anniversary releases,» he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). «When the old regime [at the record label], for example, were in charge, they put the double deluxe version of ‘Hysteria’ out on the 19th anniversary. And I’m sorry, but we all just went, ‘Can’t you just wait one year?’ Those are the things that were pissing us off as a band. It’s all gone away now.
«We don’t want anything out till the 40th [anniversary]. There’s no value in doing it,» he continued. «It’s not fair on the fans until we really go through the archives and find stuff [that is worth releasing]. I will say this out loud. Nothing survived from the Jim Steinman sessions,» referencing the early «Hysteria» recordings DEF LEPPARD did with the Meat Loaf songwriter, who wanted to make a raw-sounding record that conflicted with the band’s interest in creating a bigger, more pristine pop production. «They’ll never see the light of day, ’cause there isn’t anything. It all got wiped at the time as we recorded the record. But there are rough mixes, there’s maybe instrumental versions of certain things.
«The sad thing about ‘Hysteria’ is most of the tapes got lost, so you can’t even do a remix, ’cause it was all digital,» Elliott revealed. «So a lot of the stuff was never even on tape; it was just on hard drives and run concurrently with tape. Then the things, they got shoved into a corner, eaten by spiders, and then when you plug ’em in, they don’t work, or you can’t plug ’em in ’cause the machine you plug ’em into doesn’t exist anymore. ‘Cause the technology was in its very infancy at the time; nowadays, it’s easy. All our old stuff, like analog tapes, we’ve had ’em transferred into Pro Tools and we can do everything with them. But there’s a mid-period where we kind of scuppered. But there’s definitely stuff there.
«So, yeah, we may save most of the ‘Hysteria’ stuff for a 40th-anniversary box set. But it’s like that Bond film ‘Never Say Never Again’. We don’t say absolutely not because we get talked into things and then we sometimes go, ‘Actually, I don’t know what we were thinking when we said we wouldn’t do it, ’cause we really should.’ Things become more valuable the older they get.»
Essential listening for fans across the board, «Hysteria» indisputably ranks as one of the most decorated and revered rock albums of all time. As the group’s second consecutive RIAA Diamond-certified record (10 million sales in the U.S.), it would go on to sell over 30 million copies worldwide and 12 million in the U.S. Moreover, the record staked a spot in the U.S. Top 40 for 96 weeks matched only by «Born In The U.S.A.» Rolling Stone touted it on the prestigious «500 Greatest Albums of All Time» list, and a poll in Q placed it among the «100 Greatest Albums of All Time». Dominating multiple charts, it captured No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 and U.K. album charts, bolstered by immortal Top-5 anthems such as «Pour Some Sugar On Me», «Animal», «Love Bites», «Hysteria», «Rocket» and «Armageddon It».
«Hysteria» left an indelible mark on rock ‘n’ roll. Powered by stadium-filling drums, rapturous guitars, and unshakable choruses, the record saw DEF LEPPARD rightfully claim their place among rock’s divinities forever. As a result, its influence now reverberates through three generations of artists to follow. It also historically marked their third straight collaboration with producer Robert John «Mutt» Lange.
Regarding what he thinks it was about that album that continues to attract fans today, Collen told Vegas.com: «Mutt Lange is a genius. He said we can do an ultimate rock album or we can do a rock version of ‘Thriller’, where we have seven hit singles. But to do that, you have to put the extra effort in. The attitude when the album came out, a lot of people didn’t like it. They thought, oh this is too pop or they didn’t understand the crossover because it’s a perfect hybrid between rock and pop. If you look at Mutt Lange‘s track record, his biggest successes are, for example, Shania Twain. He definitely brought country to the masses. He successfully fused rock, pop music with country, and I never thought I’d see the day. I remember being in Japan and hearing Shana Twain when I was going up and down in an elevator. That, for us, like I said, it was the perfect hybrid of pop and rock that was actually acceptable. A lot of rock fans didn’t like it at first, but by the end of that year, everyone had the record. You couldn’t really escape the whole thing. It was pop music, but done rock. We kicked our ass on it. It was very different from anything that had come before it, actually.»
Four years ago, DEF LEPPARD celebrated the 30th anniversary of «Hysteria» with the release of «Hysteria (Remastered 2017)». The remastered anniversary edition was released in various formats via Bludgeon Riffola/Mercury/Ume — Super Deluxe Edition, Deluxe Version, 1 CD Vanilla Version, 2-LP Black Vinyl Version, and limited-edition 2-LP Colored Vinyl Version. The reissue boasted B-sides and live tracks, plus the audio for «In The Round In Your Face (Live)» on CD for the first time.