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Def Leppard - Animal (1987)

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  • 80's Score80's Score 80's score: 1.57

"Animal" is a song recorded by English hard rock band Def Leppard in 1987 from the album Hysteria. It was the second single ...

"Animal" is a song recorded by English hard rock band Def Leppard in 1987 from the album Hysteria. It was the second single release off the album, and became the band's first Top 10 hit in their native UK, reaching No. 6 on the UK Singles Chart.

"Animal" is usually noted by the band as having been the most difficult track to record for Hysteria. Although it was one of the first songs developed in early 1984, neither the band nor the producers who came and went (Jim Steinman, Nigel Green, & Mutt Lange) were able to produce the desired sound until two and a half painstaking years later. Due to its early beginnings, it was the only Hysteria track demoed by Rick Allen on an acoustic drum kit prior to his car accident, Allen having recorded a drum beat for the song onto a four track tape during early sessions. A later studio demo version, tracked to a drum machine, remained largely the same as the earlier demo, which the band felt was starting to sound dated, until after Joe Elliot recorded a lead vocal over it in Paris in July 1985. Lange and the band were so impressed with the lead vocal that they consequently re-wrote and re-recorded the backing track around the vocal.

The effort paid off when "Animal" was released as the lead single off the album in July 1987. In the UK, where the band was all but ignored during the Pyromania era, the song hit #6 on the singles chart and broke Def Leppard into the pop mainstream across Europe.

Over in America, the lead single "Women" performed poorly on the pop charts, which did not give the band much momentum when "Animal" was released afterwards in October 1987. It did reach a respectable #19, though, starting their run of ten consecutive U. S. Billboard Top 40 singles, and is still one of the most popular numbers at Def Leppard concerts today. The line in the song, "Like the restless rust, I never sleep", is a reference to Neil Young's album Rust Never Sleeps.