A 1979 EP, On Through The Night (1980) and High 'n' Dry (1981) established Def Leppard as one of the UK's premier Hard Rock bands, but 1983's Pyromania blew things wide open for the group and Hysteria, released on this day in 1987, became one of the best selling albums of any decade.
The release had a working title of Animal Instinct as work began on it. It would be the band's first album since drummer
Rick Allen lost an arm in the crash of his Corvette and the last album Steve Clark would play on.
Mutt Lange bailed on the project due to the exhausting schedule the highly sought after producer had been keeping. The band recruited Jim Steinman to fill the role but reportedly dropped him over dissatisfaction with his production approach on the one song they recorded with him. Ultimately, the album was produced by the band itself, resulting in the use of so much studio time that it became one of the most expensive albums ever recorded, but its sales erased that debt very rapidly.
Hysteria tracks got heavy airplay on Rock radio for the next 3 years and the album sold more than 25 million copies, almost 1/2 of the total number bought in the U.S.