Such a dramatic change from "High and Dry."
It is no secret they're my favorite band. However, when you listen to "On Through the Night" - it was clear they were just kids. "High and Dry" (Mutt Lange's influence) could have just as easily been an AC/DC album, and they were 10 years younger. That was originally recorded with Clark/Willis as the guitar duo and clearly had a much harder edge than the Leps would maintain.
"Pyromania" remains my favorite album, and "Photograph" my favorite song - the album has much to offer a hard rock fan, but had that melodic balance that is so often absent in heavy music.
"Hysteria" showed a level of maturity and meticulous production value for kids who were just approaching 30 (again, Mutt as the perfectionist) - however, a certain amount of the energy from those earlier albums - particularly the previous 2, seems to have left them as well. Allen had lost an arm and Clark was in the process of losing his life, but the band's core influences of early 70s glam, mixed with a little Queen and Zeppelin had glossed over their earlier NWOBHM sound.
I like all their stuff (except that terrible song "All Night), but I like the guys, their stories and they remain an outstanding live act - I saw them in 2011 with Heart in New Orleans, they were as good they were 20 years previously.