Def Leppard’s Phil Collen has vivid memories of recording Hysteria, the multi-platinum album the band released 25 years ago. “I can remember being in the studio, what guitars we used … I think I remember what we ordered for lunch on some days,” the veteran guitarist tells MusicRadar.com, in a lengthy interview about the 1987 classic.
Collen said the band was determined to fulfill producer Mutt Lang’s vision of making a hard rock version of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. “Mutt wanted to open us up to any kind of sound, make us like a hybrid in a way, and we thought that was really exciting,” he explains. “A lot of rock albums can sound thin and reedy. But listen to hip-hop albums and R&B records – they sound huge! We found that we could get a lot of crossover appeal by making the songs big and open.”
Hysteria was three years in the making, but when Collen heard the finished product for the first time, he was ecstatic. “I thought, ‘If it sells one copy and my mom’s the only one that buys it, I’ll be happy’,” he said . “It was the best thing I’d ever heard. I was completely satisfied. I was so proud and pleased. I can still listen to it and feel the same way."