Def Leppard

Hysteria [Video/DVD]

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AllMusic Review by

Hysteria looks at the making of Def Leppard's 1987 album of the same name. One of the biggest-selling albums of all time, it would not be outlandish to assert that Hysteria is the ultimate pop-metal record. This entertaining, 100-minute documentary lends great insight into how that level of excellence was achieved. Combining interviews with bandmembers, music-biz folk, and the album's famed producer Mutt Lange with snippets of concert footage and music videos, this DVD moves well and never bogs down. Bearing some resemblance in format to VH1's Behind the Music profiles (which have also featured the band), this is indeed an intimate portrait. The bandmembers speak candidly about the considerable challenges they faced making this follow-up to Hysteria's wildly successful predecessor, Pyromania, including the car accident in which drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm and relearned his trade on a customized, semielectronic kit. Tribute is also paid to gifted guitarist Steve Clark who died in 1991. Indeed, the making of Hysteria became an epic saga (approximately two-and-a-half years in duration), to the point where it cost so much to make that it had to sell five million units to just break even -- a feat it accomplished easily. The explanations of songwriting techniques and studio methodologies are fascinating without ever getting tedious. In the end, a story of an album, a band, and a particular point in time for rock music is told in an artful and engaging fashion. If you've ever wondered how the music gets from inspiration to record store, this DVD will answer a lot of your questions.

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