If you’ve got love in your sights, and it’s Monday, then, well, I guess pick a love song?
“Love Bites” is a single from Dep Leppard’s 1987 album Hysteria. Released in August 1988, the single followed some pretty heavy hitters from the same album – both “Animal” (September 1987) and “Pour Some Sugar on Me” (April 16, 1988) were both on this album (and ironically, the only two other Def Leppard songs I like, besides this one). It was the sixth (out of seven) single to be released from the album, which took almost three years to record due to various incidents that included illnesses and car accidents, one of which cost drummer Rick Allen his left arm.
The song has no specific meaning, and according to guitarist Phil Collen,
“It was just a standard rock ballad but it had something else going for it. Lyrically, it kind of painted a picture, and in a song you always want to do that, paint a picture.” (Source: Songfacts)
I have always liked this song. I’ll never claim to be a Def Leppard fan, but between this song, “Animal,” and “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” they have some pretty good songs on their repertoire. And while I’ve heard this song plenty of times, I’ve never seen the music video…until now.
Looks like everything else on MTV in 1988, don’t you think?
“Love Bites” reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (#30 Year Ending 1988), the only Def Leppard song to do so in the United States, doing so for one week. Hysteria also saw the top spot of the Billboard Hot 200, and even re-charting at #39 in 2017-2018 (upon its 30th anniversary re-release). It was positively received, and holds spot #464 in Hard Rock Magazine’s book The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time. When the song was presented to Def Leppard, it was originally a country song, and nothing like what the group had recorded in the past. But, like any good, successful group, they adapted the song to their own sound.
Def Leppard are still around today, with most of its original members still with the group since 1992. With eleven studio albums (the most recent in 2015), and their induction into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019, it doesn’t look like love – or the music industry – bites.
I love when I can include the song title in some way that makes sense.
Have a great Monday, and enjoy the music!