Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen recalled their initial fear when their track “Love Bites” became their only No.1 hit single on release in 1987.

The track had been composed in the studio with producer Mutt Lange, and released on blockbuster album Hysteria, but the band had never given thought to how they might perform it live, as Collen told Uncle Joe Benson on the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show.

“We’d done all these overdubs, these crazy guitar parts and vocal harmonies,” he said. “Then the song went to No.1 and we’d never played it live. So we had to take time off an go into a rehearsal room in Vancouver, and we were like, ‘Guys, how are we gonna do this song?’”

Def Leppard – “Love Bites”

He continued: “We’d spent three years on our record; we’d done all this crazy stuff that we can’t play and sing at the same time. it was like staying behind after school, just learning this song, singing while you were playing these crazy things. It was really hard. We’d just rehearse, rehearse, rehearse – and we finally got it. Of course, now we do it in our sleep, but it was a bit scary.”

The success of "Love Bites" helped propel Hysteria to sales of over 12 million in the U.S. alone.

Be sure to listen to Ultimate Classic Rock Nights on more than 50 stations across the U.S. from 7PM until midnight, Monday through Friday. You can see the list of radio stations where it airs here.

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