1988 Numbered Limited Edition 12 inch with final four sections of Hysteria sleeve
This was the ultimate addition to any Def Leppard fan’s collection – at least it was for those Lepps die-hards who had been collecting every single culled from the massive selling Hysteria album.
Each of the previous singles had featured a section of Andy Airfix’s Hysteria album artwork and, combined with this lavish package, made up the full sleeve in all its glory.
But what about the music? Love Bites showcased the best and worst of the Leppard/Lange era – a lighter-waving ballad which, even by the Americanised MTV standards of Sheffield’s finest, was pretty tame pop rock. About as far removed from the band’s NWOBHM roots as possible it was, nevertheless, another chart-busting tune on both sides of the Atlantic.
Backed with a punchy live version of the Pete Willis-era Billy’s Got A Gun – recorded in Tilburg at a time when Hysteria was still bubbling under on the rock radar – and the Orgasmic mix (!) of album filler Excitable there’s a feeling the band could have added at least one more tune for good measure.
But with a neat fold-out box, a supreme hair metal ballad and those final pieces of the Hysteria sleeve maybe we’re being too greedy asking for more.