This section looks at the 'Rocket' UK single reaching Number 12 in the USA. The 7th and final single to be released from the 'Hysteria' album in the USA.
"It sums us up in a nutshell: massive drums, massive guitars, big choruses."
Def Leppard's classic single Rocket hit Number 12 in the US singles chart on this day in 1989.
The 7th and final US single to be taken from the 'Hysteria' album was released on 31st March.
It entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart at 61.
The song spent 13 weeks on the chart in all (four inside the Top 20). The fifth Top 20 hit from the album in the USA.
The 'Hysteria' album was at Number 19 in the Billboard Top 200 chart having ended it's long run in the Top 10 a few weeks earlier.
On the same day Madonna was at Number 1 with 'Like A Prayer'.
Fellow rockers Bon Jovi were at Number 2 with the third single from their 'New Jersey' album. 'I'll Be There For You', which went on to reach Number 1.
Other rock bands in the same chart were Guns N' Roses, Winger, Poison, Cinderella, Metallica, Warrant and Van Halen.
Read some quotes about 'Rocket' from the band below.
This single followed on from 'Armageddon It' which peaked at Number 3 on 21st January 1989.
US Hot 100 Chart - 29th April 1989
- 01 - Madonna - Like A Prayer
- 02 - Bon Jovi - I'll Be There For You
- 03 - Tone-Loc - Funky Cold Medina
- 04 - Fine Young Cannibals - She Drives Me Crazy
- 05 - Deon Estus - Heaven Help Me
- 12 - Def Leppard - Rocket - (Peak Position)
Canadian Rocket EP - Band Message
"January 1989 - In your hands is Def Leppard single #7 from 'Hysteria'. You gotta hand it to the Brits for this one 'cause they thought it would be a great follow up to their last single, which was either "Sugar" or "Love Bites" (I've lost track). They wanted a video for the track and since we had such a good time making the "Rocket" video (our childhood, what can we say!), why not give everybody a chance to play and watch "Rocket".
Right now we're back making the 5th album, thrilled to bits with everything that's gone on and looking forward to putting out our live concert video; In The Round-In Your face (something like that). One track on this piece of vinyl/plastic/whatever comes from that live video. I believe it was song number 3 in the show: "Women".
"Thank you and goodnight."
Phil Collen - Vault Inner Sleeve Quote
"Probably our most adventurous song from 'Hysteria'. A cool video and my favourite live song."
Rick Savage - Interview Quote
"The whole point of the lyric in Rocket is a tip of the hat to all the 70's band's whether it be Gary Glitter, Sweet, David Bowie, Queen It was like the feeling that we had when we were 14 and 15 and it was like just being encapsulated in this piece of energy that was all those groups you know."
Phil Collen - 27th July 2011 Interview Quote
"My favorite song to play is "Rocket." I think that kind of represents Def Leppard in one sentence, you know? Big guitars, big drums, a tribal song, actually. It's what the song is about, our heroes and the whole thing."
Phil Collen - 5th July 2012 Interview Quotes
"Even in demo form, Joe said, 'I've got an idea to use the rhythm from this African Burundi tribe.' There was a song in the '70s called Burundi Black, and I remembered it, and so the idea was to use that feel and turn it into a real rock anthem. It was a little weird and quirky, but it really came together.
"I feel that Rocket is the absolute pinnacle of Def Leppard. It sums us up in a nutshell: massive drums, massive guitars, big choruses, and lyrically, it's what the Yeah! album was. So you've got all of our influences and elements right there.
"I used the Strat on all the jangle parts and the rhythms. We had a lot of fun making that Star Wars bit in the middle - you know, 'Countdown commencing' and all that. It was an absolute blast. It's Star Wars for the ears. And again, what was great was to not be restricted by your genre. We knew what we were doing was different and it sounded great.
"We had started taking weekends off, and I remember Nigel Green, the engineer, sitting in the studio with an AMS delay machine, and he was delaying all the stuff by hand. 'Ahh-ahh-ahhh…' Now you can do that so easily, but he had to do it the hard way - physically."
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