Def Leppard Releases Symphonic Version of 1987 Power Ballad “Hysteria”

Def Leppard revealed an orchestral version of their 1987 hit “Hysteria,” the second single on their upcoming Drastic Symphonies album, a collection of the band’s songs over the past 40 years reworked as symphonies, due out May 19.

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The 15-track album combines the original audio recordings of the band’s songs melded with new performances from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) of London.

The orchestrated version of “Hysteria,” follows their Drastic Symphonies‘ lead single “Animal.” Both singles were originally featured on the band’s 1987 hit album Hysteria.

“Def Leppard has always enjoyed veering off the expected path, working with the likes of Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift, and Alison Krauss,” said Elliott in a previous statement on the album. “So when the offer to revisit some of our back catalog with the Royal Philharmonic was presented to us, to a man we all jumped at it. Although, we’re far from the first band to ever do this, working directly with an orchestra at Abbey Road on some of our more orchestrated songs seemed too good of an opportunity to pass up.”

Guitarist Phil Collen said the band didn’t just want “an orchestra plonked over our previous recordings” when reimagining their songs. 

“We decided to create something special where we would have something classic, but present it in a brand-new way … recording new parts, remixing previous sounds, taking some of our instruments out so the orchestra could breathe, and literally making a new album,” said Collen. “It was an amazingly inspirational process culminating in the live recording of the RPO at Abbey Road studios in London. An absolute team effort that took a good part of a year. It’s a new Def Leppard album. It’s a greatest hits plus album with some songs rarely heard before.

Collen added, “We’re so proud of how ‘Drastic Symphonies’ turned out and can’t wait to share it to the world.”

Def Leppard released their 12th album, Diamond Star Halosin 2022, which featured a number of classic covers and original songs, featuring Alison Krauss and David Bowie pianist Mike Garson. 

The release of Drastic Symphonies will also coincide with the band’s book, Definitely: The Official Story of Def Leppard, a partial memoir and scrapbook of Def Leppard’s more than four-decade career, featuring an introduction by music journalist David Fricke and Queen guitarist Brian May, who also inducted the band into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2019.

Drastic Symphonies track list:

  • “Turn to Dust”
  • “Paper Sun”
  • “Animal”
  • “Pour Some Sugar on Me” (Stripped version)
  • “Hysteria”
  • “Love Bites”
  • “Goodbye for Good This Time”
  • “Love”
  • “Gods of War”
  • “Angels (Can’t Help You Now)”
  • “Bringin’ on the Heartbreak”
  • “Switch 625”
  • “Too Late for Love”
  • “When Love & Hate Collide”
  • “Kings of the World”
  • “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad” (vinyl & Atmos versions)

Read our interview with all five members of Def Leppard in the American Songwriter 2023 Legends issue HERE.

Photo by Anton Corbijn / Oriel PR

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