Def Leppard have been milking the Hysteria album for years and why not as it is their most popular album. It was an album that would reach Diamond status with well over 10 million copies sold. It would produce 7 singles in the US and even 6 in it’s home country of the UK.
In celebration of the albums 30 years, they released a beautiful box set of the full album which I reviewed a long while back (Hysteria). Now, they have decided to release the Singles Box set to celebrate those 7 singles and for fun they released two more singles plus gave us an extra Spanish Version of one of their singles (Spanish cover, not sung in Spanish although that would’ve been cool). This gives us a nice set of 10 singles plus their B-Sides.
There were two things that made the Hysteria Singles so special. One was the cover of those singles were a puzzle piece that when put together, they created the album artwork. The second thing was that the B-Sides were all unreleased tracks. As a collector, they were awesome.
The set comes in a very sturdy box with the Hysteria cover on the front and the list of singles on the back as pictured above. Plus, the 10 singles and a booklet with the Singles Discography of the album and all the releases around the world. It is pretty extensive.
Let’s go ahead an piece together the singles to make the full album cover because isn’t that why I really bought the set for anyway…I should frame it.
Now what sucks is growing up I had all 7 of the singles, and I decided to sell them years ago and make a little money, which I did. However, I never had the full picture and that is why I had to have this in my collection. So, thanks to the wife and kids for the Christmas/Birthday present.
Let’s go through the singles (in no particular order):
The first single was “Women” and the B-Side was the song “Tear It Down” which was later released on the album ‘Adrenalize’ in a different mix.
“Armageddon It” was the A-Side and the B-Side was one of the only songs the band has done without Joe on lead vocals. The song was “Release Me” and it was sung by Stumpus Maximus and the Good Ol’ Boys. It was an unusual song to say the least. But great at the same time.
The song that really took the band to the next level was “Pour Some Sugar On Me”. When this came out, everything exploded and nothing has been the same since. The B-Side was a great song called “Ring of Fire”. One of my favorite B-Sides they have done.
On the “Animal” single we get another great B-Side original with the ballad “I Wanna Be Your Hero”. It is good, but not as good as the ballads that were on the album which is why it was a B-Side. But it is still great nonetheless.
“Love Bites” was one of the 2 ballads released as singles. And the video for this one was really sensational. The B-Side on this one was a live version of the ‘Pyromania’ song “Billy’s Got a Gun”. Hey, I will take live songs of deep cuts anytime. Thank you very much.
One of my favorite Def Leppard songs is “Hysteria”. Some of their finest songwriting in my book. And the B-Side was a song off their debut E.P. called “Ride into the Sun”. At the time, you couldn’t get this song anywhere other than that really hard to find E.P. And I didn’t have it…I do now that they have re-released that E.P. on vinyl in both a 12″ form and 7″.
With the single “Rocket”, the B-Side was a live version of their debut single off this album “Women”. It is a good live version and different than the studio track which is always good.
Since the band only had 7 singles (only like 7 is not that many, that was unheard of at the time and still today) they created 2 new singles for this box set. The first being “Love and Affection” with the B-Side as the album track “Don’t Shoot Shotgun”. I love how they stuck to the them of the others. Great job.
The second created single was “Excitable” with the B-Side being “Run Riot” from the album. With all these, that makes “Gods of War” as the only song on the album not released in this box set.
As a Bonus, they gave us the Spanish release of the single “Animal” with the B-Side being “Tear It Down” which was the B-Side off of “Women” in the American release. As nice as this is, I think they should have created a single for “Gods of War” with a brand new unreleased track (even if a live version of something from that album). That would have put this over-the-top.
And here are all the singles…
And the last thing in the box set was the booklet of the Vinyl 7″ Discography of all the singles from this album. Let me tell you, if you were a serious collector, you would go broke trying to track down all these. Damn, there were a lot. The booklet also opens with some words from Joe Elliott about the set. It is a nice little booklet.
And that is the set. I have to say that Def Leppard always puts together a nice set when they put a box set together. I love having this and have enjoyed playing the singles like I would have over 30 years ago. The B-Sides were something special back in the day and I still love listening to them today even though I have them in so many other versions as well. As a fan, this is a must have and it gets a 4.75 out of 5.0 Stars for me. It is dinged because of my comment about “Gods of War” above.
And as always, I keep the little sticker on the front of the box and store that with the set…I am weird that way…
I hope you enjoyed going through the set with me and let me know what you think. Thanks and have a great day!