Not surprisingly, considering his wide-ranging, kaleidoscopic and often experimental output, singer-guitarist-producer Devin Townsend has been shaped by all kinds of music over his lifetime and career — from Jane's Addiction to Enya. Count among that list U.K. hard-rock hit-makers Def Leppard and particularly their 1987 smash album Hysteria. When we talked to Townsend about the five albums that have shaped him as a person and an artist, he included that iconic LP among his picks. Below are his thoughts on its profound impact on him.
"It wasn't the lyrics, it wasn't the music — well, I mean, partly, it was those things, of course — but more it was the production. When this album came out, it just legitimately sounded 10 times better than all the other records in my collection. It was big, full, had amazing depth and had a type of fidelity that I have sought ever since. I believe I lost my virginity to the song 'Hysteria,' as well, which didn't hurt ..."