“When Love & Hate Collide” is a power ballad by British rock band Def Leppard from their 1995 greatest hits album Vault, written by Joe Elliott and Rick Savage. It was originally written and demoed for Adrenalize, but not finalized until 1995 for its inclusion on Vault. The demo version is much more heavily produced in the signature style of Hysteria and Adrenalize, and the final version is more stripped down, supposedly toward the style of the following studio album Slang. The original demo version contains the final recorded guitar solo by late original guitarist Steve Clark. “When Love & Hate Collide” became one of the most successful singles in their homeland, where it reached No. 2 in the UK Singles Charts, but it failed to make a significant impact in the U.S. charts, reaching #58 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In 2008, the song was re-recorded this time with featured vocals of American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. The original version was re-released as a digital download on 12 February 2013.
“When Love & Hate Collide” was written by lead singer Joe Elliott and bassist Rick Savage in 1990 during the composition and recording sessions for the band’s fifth studio album Adrenalize. According to Elliott on the liner notes on the band’s Best of compilation, the song was written when guitarist Steve Clark was in rehab. The band then went into the studio and recorded a rough demo of the song, which turned out to feature Clark’s final recorded guitar solo before he died in 1991.
The song was ultimately left off the track listing for Adrenalize with the band preferring newly-written and recorded “Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad” according to guitarist Phil Collen. According to Elliott on the Adrenalize Deluxe Edition liner notes, the inclusion of the song would’ve been “one ballad too many.”
The song resurfaced whilst the band were recording their sixth studio album Slang in 1994. According to new guitarist Vivian Campbell on the Best of liner notes, their record label wanted a “syrupy-sounding” single for a possible compilation album, but they had “nothing at all in that vein”. So the band sent the demo to the label. As “the suits at the label really loved it”, the band took a break from the production of Slang to record a new version of the song. According to Collen, the new recording took two weeks to complete, “which was really good for us”.
Elliott said to a fan question “Why did it take so long to release Vault?” during a late 1995 promotional appearance on the MuchMusic programme Unplugged and Unshavedthat the band had not come to fully agreeing to that decision until July of that year. Before the decision had come, “When Love & Hate Collide” was in consideration for Slang and the possibility of being its lead single. The decision to release Vault instead allowed the band to fully “close the door” on the Steve Clark era and to continue working on Slang.