In a new interview on The Mike & Carla Morning Show, Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen looked back on the band’s initial struggle.
“Actually, the album came out, ‘Hysteria’ – our biggest album – and it tanked initially.”
“‘Cause we spent so much money on it, and it didn’t make it back. And we were, like, ‘Oh, man.’ We’re on tour, and it’s half-empty arenas. And this song starts getting requested by strippers in Florida, ’cause they’re performing to it.
“So then people are requesting it on the radio, and it kind of snowballs, or fireballs, if you want, from that point on. And then the second place was Canada – a lot of strip bars, apparently.
“And it just went on, and it honestly caught on from there. And then the album went to No. 1 three times and ended up going 13 times platinum in the U.S. So, yeah, it was ’cause of the strippers in Florida.”
Earlier in a different Interview, Phil talked about financial chaos in the band. He said:
“We were in really serious debt, like, $5 million in three years. Studios and everything – shipping, cargo, hotels, and god knows what.
“So we were really in debt, and the first three singles didn’t have absolutely any traction at all. I mean, they were out there…
“But now you look back and you see ‘Hysteria,’ or ‘Women’ – I think ‘Animal’ was the third one – you look at them now, ‘Animal’ is a Top 10 single in England. They caught fire later on, but we were still $3 million dollars in debt when that happened.”