Announced last month, Def Leppard will play its multiplatinum 1987 album ‘Hysteria’ in its entirety for Viva Hysteria!, which will begin March 22 at The Joint at Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. The band’s stay follows Hard Rock residencies from Mötley Crüe and Guns N’ Roses. What do you think it was about that album that continues to attract fans today?
(Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen) “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.”
Has performing those songs changed for you over the years?
“I guess a little bit. ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’ took on a whole life of its own, the stripper pole anthem if you like. Wherever you play that song every girl actually turns into a stripper, it’s really interesting. Again, that’s how that song became successful… So I guess all the songs take on something a little different after a few years… They’re not exactly like they were on the record. They certainly take on their own lives. It’s really interesting. It’s just wonderful to be part of one of those classic albums.”