Exactly 32 years ago today, Def Leppard released their 4th album, “HYSTERIA”. On that very day, it immediately became my official Favorite Album Of All Time.
It wasn’t just the 12 songs that impressed me; it was also the artwork, the liner notes, the singles, the videos, the story behind the album, the band themselves…..it was more than just an album by a band I happened to like; it was a phenomenon.
These days, I’m not that much into Def Leppard anymore, but funnily enough, “Hysteria” is still positioned firmly at the top of my favorite album list. Although listening to it now does take me back to simpler times when I was young with a great head of hair in a glorious, Dutch summer, it’s not only nostalgia why I still play it quite regularly.
Of course, being a classic product of the 80s, some of the songs sounds dated here and there. Ah, maybe that’s the nostalgia factor I like. But the songwriting, the performances, the sonics, the atmosphere, and even the artwork; I have not lost any interest after 32 years. I can still listen to the album from start to finish and be impressed just as much as I did on August 3, 1987. Quite remarkable.
It’s not a perfect album, of course. I don’t care much for songs like “Run Riot” and “Don’t Shoot Shotgun”, but I never skip them either.
Some songs I can’t stand in a live setting. After seeing the band perform “Animal” and “Armageddon It” literally dozens and dozens of times, I don’t really care for those anymore. But as part of the “Hysteria” album listening experience (and as long as I listen to the album in original running order), they’re still excellent.
But hey, my story is not so special; a lot of people like it. It’s one of the best sold albums of all time (25 million), it got about 3 reissues (I got, and will continue to get, every possible version there is of it), and now it’s 32 years old. How time flies.