This section looks at the 'Women' single release. The first of seven North American singles to be released from 1987 to 1989.
"Mutt said we need an ending on this song that's different."
Def Leppard released their classic Women single 33 years ago on this day in 1987 in the USA and Canada.
The first single to be released from the 'Hysteria' album in North America.
It was released on 11th August 1987 reaching Number 80 and spent only five weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
The mainalbum had been issued there (as in the rest of the world) on 3rd August.
The following six singles would go on to fair a little better over the next 18 months producing six Top 20 hits including a Number One, two and three with 'Love Bites', 'PSSOM' and Armageddon It.
It wasn't until late November that the follow up single 'Animal' cracked the Top 40 with third single 'Hysteria' entering the Top Ten in March 1988.
The song was chosen to be the lead single in the USA because they wanted to let the hardcore fan base from the 'High 'n' Dry' and 'Pyromania' days know they were back after the four year gap.
Like the UK single 'Animal', the cover art was one of nine segments taken from the main album cover.
This one being the middle right section which was only used for this single in the USA, Canada and Australia.
Despite Joe's comments before this song was issued as a 7" single.
A few other editions were promo only releases and not for sale.
They included a 12" and a CD single that featured a shorter radio edit version of the song, the full album version and the B-Side of 'Tear It Down' .
Read some quotes about the song below.
Def Leppard Women - Band Quotes
Steve Clark (on the song's outro section)
"It wasn't part of the song at all originally. That developed in the studio. Basically we had half a song and then went in and totally redid the end bit. There is an E after the D which didn't make it."
Phil Collen (on the song's outro section)
"Mutt said we need an ending on this song that's different. We sat down and worked out a climactic bit. To be quite honest, the end is a bit of a goof off and it got left on."
"We wanted the 'Hysteria' album to become the blueprint for rock albums in the late 1980s and early 1990s. 'Women' was one of the best songs we came up with for it."
"As the lead-off track to 'Hysteria' it was crucial. Mutt suggested we write a song about women. We went with his idea and it really worked."
Women Single - Back Sleeve Photo Trivia
The photo was taken at The Point Depot in Dublin, Ireland in late 1985/early 1986 by Laurie Lewis. He also shot the 'Hysteria' album back sleeve/insert photos. At that time it was still an old train depot. By 1988 U2 used it to record audio and footage for their 'Rattle And Hum' live album/concert film. By late 1989 it was opened as a concert venue with four U2 concerts. The 31st December 1989 show was attended by Joe.
The three arches shown in the 1985 photo can be seen in the new photo of 3Arena from April 2017, located at the back of the venue and kept in the original style. Inthe venue was the first to host an In The Round show outside of the USA and Canada at the start of the 'Adrenalize' tour.
Photo #2 Courtesy of -
"Especially memorable for being one of the first songs I worked on after my accident. It helped that it didn't have a frantic tempo. When Phil starts it off live. The place still goes nuts."
"The video was sent to MTV and purely because of that it began picking up airplay. It was bizarre, because you couldn't buy it as a single - it wasn't one! Like Foreigner's 'Jukebox Hero' It has that low, looping bass."
"My favourite part is at the end. The modulating key changes as Phil solos away. It's a magical moment that one day you hope your band will find themselves doing."
Joe Elliott - 1989 Interview Quote
"We never expected 'Women' to be a big hit, we put it out because it was the heaviest thing on the album and we wanted the hardcore fans to be the first to know we were back. Otherwise you end up with a 95 per cent female audience who aren't going to be there next year."
Rick Savage - August 2017 Interview Quotes
“I’m going to have to go back in a time machine for 30 years, even longer than that because we actually started making the record in 1984 as far as writing goes.
"Women was originally an idea that [producer] ‘Mutt’ Lange came up with, just a very standard three-minute song with very definite verses, choruses and a bridge."
“Then when we started working on it, we wanted to extend it and make it a big epic sort of track. The guitar solo came after the song was written, that’s when we thought we’d want more of an album track feel with this long instrumental bit. Mutt’s original idea was almost more like a pop song…"
Phil Collen - December 2013 Interview Quotes
"I start that song; it’s the lead-off track. We did the demo with Mutt, and when he came back in, then we redid a lot of it. We redid the solo section. There is something really interesting about it. We wrote the song with Mutt initially when we were in Dublin. It really stayed close to form. It was a traditional Def Leppard-style song. By the time the album was released, it had been over three years since we had released an album; we wanted to start off with something that was kind of similar to the album before, which was “Pyromania.” The rest of the tracks were way off. There was pop stuff on there, like “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” “Animal” and “Love Bites.” There were no songs like that at all on “Pyromania.” I think that was part of the reason we released “Woman” first. Overseas, it didn’t work. It actually died a quick death."
Phil Collen - July 2012 Interview Quotes
“Mutt came in with the idea. He wanted to do a song that was pro-women and didn’t say all the usual misogynistic things. It would be a celebration of women. That was mainly his song, and we worked around that."
“On the intro part, for that sort of riffy guitar line, I used a Les Paul Custom. My main rhythm guitar was a Fender Strat that I called Felix. It was something of a hybrid. It had two single-coil pickups and a DiMarzio Super Distortion in the bridge position. Actually, it had a Kahler on it. It was a great-sounding guitar that got broken, unfortunately. Nowadays it’s at the Fender Rock ‘N’ Roll Museum in Corona."
“The Strat was pretty much the rhythm guitar for everything. All the guitars on Women went through a Rockman.”
The Point Depot site (Now the 3Arena)
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