When Love Bites hit no.1 we had never played it together

Def Leppard’s Phil Collen looks back at their hit Hysteria single Love Bites and admits that when it hit the top of the charts they’d never played it together in the same room

Def Leppard had never played Love Bites together in the same room when it hit the top of the charts back in 1988, says guitarist Phil Collen.

The song was just one of seven smash hit singles from 1987’s Hysteria – and was their only track to make it to no.1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

But in a new interview with Spotify’s Under Cover podcast, Collen says they struggled to pull the song together following its release as they had recorded it piecemeal in the years before the album’s release.

He says: “We’d never played Love Bites together when we released it. It was a studio song. We did bits and pieces here, and the next year we did some in another studio and tracked crazy vocals.

“We release it and it goes to no.1 on Billboard and we’ve never played it – our only no.1 Billboard single.

Pour Some Sugar On Me was no.2, Armageddon It was two, we’ve had top 10s and all that. This was no.1 and we didn’t know how to play it. It was a real struggle playing guitar and singing at the same time – there’s so many vocals on it, but we finally got it.”

Collen also talks about why they decided to cover Depeche Mode’s Personal Jesus for a Spotify session earlier this year.

He says: “We did a covers album called Yeah! and we made a point to not do Beatles, Stones or Zeppelin – the run of the mill stuff. When this session came up, what was really interesting was that everyone was going, ‘Maybe be could do an Eagles song or an Abba song.’

Read the full story on Louder Sound HERE