“Pour Some Sugar on Me” is a song by the English rock band Def Leppard from their 1987 album Hysteria. It reached number 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 on 23 July 1988, behind “Hold On to the Nights” by Richard Marx. “Pour Some Sugar on Me” was ranked #2 on VH1’s “100 Greatest Songs of the 80s” in 2006.
Near the end of recording the album Hysteria, during a production break, lead singer Joe Elliott was jamming with a riff he had come up with two weeks earlier on an acoustic guitar. Producer Mutt Lange, expressing great liking of it, suggested that it be developed into another song.
Although already behind schedule, Lange felt that the album was still missing a strong crossover hit and that this last song had the potential to be one. Within two weeks the song was completed, smoothed out, and included as the twelfth track on Hysteria. By the spring of 1988, Hysteria had sold 3 million copies, but it still was not enough to cover the album’s production costs (the most expensive ever at the time). Thus, the band edited footage from an upcoming concert film to make a new promo clip for “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and finally released it as the fourth single in North America.
The somewhat delayed success of “Pour Some Sugar on Me” (due to the new promo release) sent sales of Hysteria higher than the band ever imagined. It reached number 1 on the Top Pop Albums chart (now the Billboard 200) a year after release and sold four million copies during the single’s run. The song reached number 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 (denied the top spot by “Hold On to the Nights” by Richard Marx), number 18 in the UK Singles Chart and number 26 on the ARIA charts(Australia).
MTV ranked “Pour Some Sugar on Me” number 1 in its “Top 300 Videos of All Time” countdown in May 1991. In 2006, VH1 ranked the song number 2 on its list of the “100 Greatest Songs of the ’80s.” AVN ranked the song as the “#1 song used by strippers during their set” of all time.
In 2012 due to royalty conflicts with their record company regarding profits from online sales, the band re-recorded the song, along with “Rock of Ages”, under the title “Pour Some Sugar on Me 2012” and released both digitally in June 2012 (similarly, a re-recorded version of the single “Hysteria” entitled “Hysteria (2013 Re-Recorded Version)” was also released online the following year).
There are two intros to the song. The studio version which has “Step inside, walk this way, you and me babe, hey hey!” and then cuts right to the guitar; and the single version which has “love is like a bomb” which has a slightly longer progression to it.