Great Metal Albums of 1983: Def Leppard- Pyromania
Here’s the album that was said to have gone multi-platinum in the US while only selling 17 copies in the UK, “Pyromaina” by Def Leppard. At first, I might have been inclined to believe that. When I went to the UK for four weeks in the summer of 1983, many English people I spoke to could only say they had heard of the band and some couldn’t even say that. Furthermore, none of their singles made the Top 40 in the UK charts so wouldn’t have gotten a mention on Top of the Pops. However, thanks to a tiny bit of research, I do know that “Pyromania” did get to 18 in the UK album charts.
Lots of exposure on MTV helped get Def Leppard the notice they deserved from American audiences. The videos to the first two singles “Rock of Ages” and “Photograph” were really cool. In fact, the latter retained the all time MTV Friday Night Video Fight Championship for well over a year. Does anyone remember the Friday Night Video Fights? That’s for another time I guess. Video aside, “Photograph” is my all time second Def Leppard song, (number one hadn’t appeared by this time.) It’s just a great song in so many ways: the power chords, the harmonizing at the chorus and the guitar solo making a great concoction of a killer tune.
While released as singles, “Foolin'” and “Too Late For Love” didn’t achieve the chart status as the other two but they are also brilliant songs. I was gutted when I saw Def Leppard in 1986 and they didn’t play “Foolin.'” Like the Iron Maiden album I reviewed in the last post, the rest of “Pyromania” isn’t filler. “Rock, Rock til You Drop” is as good an opener as any. I also have a very warm spot for “Die Hard the Hunter” and think it could have been released as a fifth single. Love the guitar solo on it. With all this, it is no wonder why many people on both sides of the Atlantic considered “Pyromania” the album of 1983.
In spite of all the success the album has enjoyed, Def Leppard did have some challenges while recording it. During the recording, the rest of the band decided they had enough of guitarist Pete Willis’s alcohol problems and fired him. While Willis recorded all the rhythm guitar tracks on the album, Phil Collen was brought in to replace him and he recorded all the solos on the songs Willis was supposed to. Listening to the efforts on this album, I have to ask if we should include the guitar duo of Clark and Collen along with the greats of Tipton and Downing, Hanneman and King, Watson and Gillis to name a few.
- Rock Rock Til You Drop
- Too Late for Love
- Die Hard the Hunter
- Rock of Ages
- Comin’ Under Fire
- Action! Not Words
- Billy’s Got a Gun
Joe Elliot- lead vocals
Steve Clark- guitar
Phil Collen- guitar
Rick Savage- bass
Rick Allen- drums
Pete Willis- rhythm guitar
On amusing story I heard that when Def Leppard supported Billy Squier on tour in the States in 1983, many people left after Def Leppard’s set, leaving Billy Squier to play to a half empty arena. I’m not sure if this is true or not. My sister saw them both, maybe she can shed some light on it. What I do know that “Pyromania” put Def Leppard on the world music stage in this year and rightly so.
Next post: Rainbow- Bent Out of Shape
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This entry was posted on October 7, 2016 at 8:09 pm and is filed under 1980s, Heavy Metal, Heavy Metal and the 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags Billy Squier, British, Classic Rock, Def Leppard, hard rock, Heavy Metal, Heavy Rock, Iron Maiden, MTV, Pyromania, The 1980s, top of the pops. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.