Music Video Of The Day: Animal by Def Leppard (1987, directed by Doug Freel and Jean Pellerin)

Animal is a song that took three years for Def Leppard to complete.  The band started work on the song in 1984 with producer Jim Steinman, who is best known for his collaborations with musicians like Meat Loaf and Bonnie Tyler.  Steinman’s orchestral style proved to be a poor fit with Def Leppard’s more straight forward sound.  After realizing that Steinman wasn’t going to work out, the band brought in Mutt Lange, who was able to get the sound that the band wanted.

Though the band had already found success in the United States, Animal was the first Def Leppard song to became a hit in the UK.  Not only did it reach No. 6 on the UK Single Chart but it also scored the band their first invitation to perform on Top of the Pops.  (For the benefit of our American readers, that was, back in the day, a big effing deal.)

The video finds the band working and performing in a traveling circus.  The video was directed by Doug Freel and Jean Pellerin, both of whom have directed videos for several different artists.  Along with directing several other videos for Def Leppard, Freel and Pellerin have also worked with Metallica.  On his own, Freel has done videos for Roxette and Faith No More.  Pellerin, meanwhile, directed the films, Laserhawk, For Hire, Daybreak, and The Clown At Midnight.