Pyromania (album)

Last updated

Def Leppard - Pyromania.jpg
Studio album by
Released20 January 1983 (1983-01-20)
RecordedJanuary–November 1982
StudioPark Gates Studios, Battle, East Sussex, England; Battery Studios, London
Label Vertigo (UK and Europe)
Mercury (US)
Producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange
Def Leppard chronology
High 'n' Dry
Singles from Pyromania
  1. "Photograph"
    Released: 3 February 1983
  2. "Rock of Ages" / "Action! Not Words"
    Released: May 1983 [6]
  3. "Foolin'" / "Comin' Under Fire"
    Released: September 1983 (North America only) [6]
  4. "Too Late for Love" / "Foolin'"
    Released: 25 November 1983 (UK only)

Pyromania is the third studio album by English rock band Def Leppard, released on 20 January 1983 through Vertigo Records in UK and Europe and through Mercury Records in the US. The first album to feature guitarist Phil Collen who replaced founding member Pete Willis, Pyromania was produced by Robert John "Mutt" Lange. The album was a shift away from the band's traditional heavy metal roots toward more radio-friendly glam metal and hard rock, finding massive mainstream success. Pyromania charted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, [7] No. 4 on the Canadian RPM Album chart and No. 18 on the UK Albums Chart [8] selling over ten million copies in the US, thus being certified diamond by the RIAA. [9]

Def Leppard British rock band

Def Leppard are an English rock band formed in 1977 in Sheffield as part of the new wave of British heavy metal movement. Since 1992, the band has consisted of Joe Elliott, Rick Savage, Rick Allen, Phil Collen, and Vivian Campbell. This is the band's longest lasting line-up.

Vertigo Records British record label

Vertigo Records is a record company, which originated in the United Kingdom. It was a subsidiary of the Philips/Phonogram record label, launched in 1969 to specialise in progressive rock and other non-mainstream musical styles. Today it is operated by Universal Music UK.

Europe Continent in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere

Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Asia to the east, and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.



The album was partially recorded with original guitarist Pete Willis, whose rhythm guitar tracks appear on all songs. Toward the end of the recording sessions, Willis was fired for excessive alcohol abuse, and was replaced by guitarist Phil Collen, who contributed a few guitar solos as well as additional guitar parts that had not yet been recorded by Willis. [10] On the original LP release, Willis is visible in the background of the photograph of lead singer Joe Elliott, while Collen is given his own personal photo as the new full-time member of the group.

Peter Andrew Willis is a retired English musician, best known as a founding member of the band Def Leppard. He co-wrote many tracks and played guitar on the band's first three albums: On Through the Night, High 'n' Dry, and Pyromania, which was being recorded at the time of his departure. He was fired from Def Leppard in 1982 and replaced by Phil Collen. In 2019, Willis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Def Leppard.

Phil Collen British musician

Philip Kenneth Collen is an English musician. He is the lead guitarist for the rock band Def Leppard, joining the band in 1982 during the recording of the Pyromania album.

Joe Elliott British singer; lead singer of Def Leppard

Joseph Thomas Elliott, Jr. is an English singer-songwriter, musician and actor, best known as the lead singer of the English rock band Def Leppard. He has also been the lead singer of the David Bowie tribute band the Cybernauts and the Mott the Hoople cover band Down 'n' Outz. He is one of the two original members of Def Leppard and one of the three to perform on every Def Leppard album. Elliott is known for his distinctive and wide ranging raspy singing voice.

The album can also be seen as a transitional one between the heavy metal sound of their first two albums and the beginning of the radio-friendly direction of later releases. [11] The album featured heavy metal rockers such as "Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)", "Stagefright" and "Die Hard the Hunter" as well as Top-40 hits "Photograph", "Rock of Ages" and "Foolin'". [12]

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s, largely in the United Kingdom. With roots in blues rock, psychedelic rock, and acid rock, the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, massive sound, characterized by highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. The genre's lyrics and performance styles are sometimes associated with aggression and machismo.

"Rock! Rock! " is a track by British hard rock band Def Leppard from their 1983 album, Pyromania. An edited version was released as a single in Mexico that same year. The song was originally titled "Medicine Man" and contained different lyrics.

Photograph (Def Leppard song) Def Leppard song

"Photograph" is a song performed by English hard rock band Def Leppard and produced by Robert John "Mutt" Lange. It is the lead single from the band's third studio album, Pyromania (1983). Their lead vocalist Joe Elliott has described the song as generally about "something you can't ever get your hands on". When released as a single it reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top Tracks chart, where it stayed for six weeks, and No. 12 on the Pop Singles chart. In 2006 the song was used in promotional adverts for the DVD release of Blades of Glory. In 2009 it was named the 13th greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1. It was also listed as the No. 17 greatest song of the past 25 years by VH1.

Reception and legacy

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svg [13]
CD Guide to Pop & Rock Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [14]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal 7/10 [11]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [14]
The Great Rock Discography 7/10 [14]
MusicHound 3.5/5 [14]
Rolling Stone Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [15]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar half.svg [14]
Sputnikmusic 4.5/5 [16]
The Village Voice C [17]

Pyromania has received mostly positive reviews, being commonly considered, along with its follow-up, Hysteria , one of the band's finest efforts to date, and one of "Mutt" Lange's best productions. David Fricke of Rolling Stone praised Leppard for putting "much-needed fire back on the radio", producing sophisticated music "more emotionally charged than most of the synthesized disco that passes for 'modern music'" over the airwaves; adding that the band "may not be highly original, but they mean what they play" and "Lange's artfully busy mix" easily covers up any fault. [15] AllMusic reviewer Steve Huey stated that Pyromania was "where the band's vision coalesced and gelled into something more." He described the songs as "driven by catchy, shiny melodic hooks instead of heavy guitar riffs, although the latter do pop up once in a while", and added that "transcendent hard rock perfection on Pyromania was surprisingly successful; their reach never exceeded their grasp, which makes the album an enduring (and massively influential) classic." [13] Sputnikmusic staff reviewer, equally enthusiastic, thoroughly recommended the album, "filled with tight musicianship, infectious melodies and anthemic choruses" "to pretty much anyone… No matter what their taste in music is." [16]

<i>Hysteria</i> (Def Leppard album) 1987 studio album by Def Leppard

Hysteria is the fourth studio album by English hard rock band Def Leppard, released on 3 August 1987 through Mercury Records and reissued on 1 January 2000. It is Def Leppard's best-selling album to date, selling over 25 million copies worldwide, including 12 million in the US, and spawning seven hit singles. The album charted at number one on both the Billboard 200 and the UK Albums Chart.

David Fricke is a senior editor at Rolling Stone magazine, where he writes predominantly on rock music. His career has spanned over 30 years. In the 1990s, he was the magazine's music editor before stepping down.

<i>Rolling Stone</i> American magazine focusing on popular culture, based in New York City

Rolling Stone is an American monthly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco, California in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the magazine's publisher, and music critic Ralph J. Gleason, which became famous for its coverage of rock music, and for political reporting by authors such as Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine broadened and shifted its focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. In recent years, it has resumed its traditional mix of content.

In contrast, Canadian journalist Martin Popoff considers Pyromania the beginning of Leppard's "creative degeneration" and criticizes Lange's "painstaking approach to detail" that strips the album "of its sweat and grit", making it sound "phony". [11]

Martin Popoff is a Canadian music journalist, critic and author. He is mainly known for writing about the genre of heavy metal music. The senior editor and co-founder of Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles, he has additionally written over twenty books that both critically evaluate heavy metal and document its history. He has been called "heavy metal's most widely recognized journalist" by his publisher. Popoff presently lives in Toronto, Ontario.

"I remember meeting Phil Lynott…" recalled Joe Elliott. "We'd delivered Pyromania and, with us sharing a label with Lizzy, he'd heard it. He put his hand on my shoulder and said, 'I heard your album – it's the reason I've split the band. I can't compete with that.' The crappiest backhand compliment I've ever had. I wish I had been brave enough to shove him up against the wall and say, 'Well, make a better album then!' But I just said, 'Oh,' and scuttled off." [18]

Phil Lynott Irish singer-songwriter and musician, founding member of Thin Lizzy

Philip Parris Lynott was an Irish musician and songwriter. His most commercially successful group was Thin Lizzy, of which he was a founder member, the principal songwriter, lead vocalist and bassist. He was known for his distinctive plectrum-based style on the bass, and for his imaginative lyrical contributions including working class tales and numerous characters drawn from personal influences and Celtic culture.

Thin Lizzy Irish rock band

Thin Lizzy are a hard rock band formed in Dublin, Ireland in 1969. Two of the founding members, drummer Brian Downey and bass guitarist and lead vocalist Phil Lynott, met while still in school. Lynott led the group throughout their recording career of twelve studio albums, writing most of the material. The singles "Whiskey in the Jar", "Jailbreak", and "The Boys Are Back in Town" were major international hits. After Lynott's death in 1986, various incarnations of the band emerged over the years based initially around guitarists Scott Gorham and John Sykes, though Sykes left the band in 2009. Gorham later continued with a new line-up including Downey.

With its melodic hooks and heavy MTV exposure, Pyromania became a massive success, and was a major catalyst for the 1980s melodic hard rock movement. [13] The album sold six million copies in the US in its original release (about 100,000 copies per week for much of the year). It has since sold over ten million there and been certified diamond. [9] In 1989, it was re-released by audio fidelity company Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs as part of their Ultradisc series. [19]

"Photograph", "Rock of Ages" and "Foolin'" became top 40 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, with the first two reaching the top 20. [12] "Photograph" (6 weeks) and "Rock of Ages" (1 week) both topped the Billboard Top Rock Tracks while "Foolin'" and "Too Late for Love" made the Top 10. "Comin' Under Fire", "Billy's Got a Gun" and "Action! Not Words" made the top 40 of the Top Rock Tracks chart.

In Canada, "Rock of Ages" charted highest at No. 24, while "Photograph" and "Foolin'" reached 32 and 39, respectively. The hard rock nature of the songs resulted in some Top 40 radio stations choosing to play only one or two of the singles, rather than all three. At CHUM-AM in Toronto, one of Canada's largest audience Top 40 stations at the time, "Rock of Ages" never reached its Top 30 countdown; whereas down the highway in Hamilton, at the CKOC-AM Top 40 radio station, it peaked at no.2. It also topped the chart at many album-oriented rock stations such as Q107 in Toronto.

In 2004, the album was ranked No. 384 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. [20] In 2006, Q magazine placed the album at No. 35 in its list of "40 Best Albums of the '80s". [21] In 2015 Rolling Stone ranked Pyromania at No. 17 among the 50 Greatest Hair Metal Albums of All Time, [22] and in 2017, the same magazine listed the album at No. 52 on its list of the 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time. [4]

Track listing

Original release

Side one
1."Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)" Steve Clark, Rick Savage, Robert John "Mutt" Lange, Joe Elliott 3:52
2."Photograph"Clark, Pete Willis, Savage, Lange, Elliott4:12
3."Stagefright"Savage, Elliott, Lange3:46
4."Too Late for Love"Clark, Lange, Willis, Savage, Elliott4:30
5."Die Hard the Hunter"Lange, Clark, Savage, Elliott6:17
Side two
6."Foolin'"Clark, Lange, Elliott4:32
7."Rock of Ages"Clark, Lange, Elliott4:09
8."Comin' Under Fire"Lange, Clark, Willis, Elliott4:20
9."Action! Not Words"Lange, Clark, Elliott3:49
10."Billy's Got a Gun"Clark, Savage, Willis, Elliott, Lange5:56

Deluxe edition bonus disc


Def Leppard

Additional musicians




USA RIAA 200410x Platinum (+ 10,000,000) [9]
Canada CRIA 19917x Platinum (+ 700,000) [30]
UK BPI 1985Silver (+ 60,000) [31]

Catalog numbers

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>High n Dry</i> 1981 studio album by Def Leppard

High 'n' Dry is the second studio album by the English rock band Def Leppard, released on July 1981. High 'n' Dry was Pete Willis' last full-time album with Def Leppard. It charted at No. 38 on the Billboard 200 and No. 26 on the UK Albums Chart. "High 'n' Dry ", ranked No. 33 on VH1's 40 Greatest Metal Songs. Following the success of Pyromania, the album re-entered in the US chart and reached No. 72 in 1983.

<i>Adrenalize</i> 1992 studio album by Def Leppard

Adrenalize is the fifth studio album by English rock band Def Leppard, released on 31 March 1992 through Mercury Records. The album was the first by the band following the death of guitarist Steve Clark in 1991. "We had recorded demos on multitrack," recalled fellow guitarist Phil Collen. "I was sitting there with him when he played the original parts. I could relay that. But it was like playing along to a ghost."

<i>Euphoria</i> (Def Leppard album) 1999 studio album by Def Leppard

Euphoria is the seventh studio album by English rock band Def Leppard, released on 8 June 1999 in the United States and on 14 June 1999 in the United Kingdom by Mercury Records. The album aimed to return to their signature sound made famous by the band in the 1980s. It was produced by the band with Pete Woodroffe. The album charted at No. 11 on The Billboard 200 and No. 11 on the UK Albums Chart. The album includes the song "Promises", which hit the number one spot on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart.

<i>Retro Active</i> 1993 compilation album by Def Leppard

Retro Active is a compilation album by the English hard rock band Def Leppard, released in 1993. The album features touched-up versions of B-sides and previously unreleased recordings from the band's recording sessions from 1984 to 1993. The album charted at number 9 on the Billboard 200 and No. 6 on the UK Albums Chart.

Bringin On the Heartbreak 1981 single by Def Leppard

"Bringin' On the Heartbreak" is a ballad originally recorded by British hard rock band Def Leppard. It was the second single from their 1981 album High 'n' Dry. The song was written by three of the band's members: Steve Clark, Pete Willis, and Joe Elliott.

<i>Vault: Def Leppard Greatest Hits (1980–1995)</i> 1995 greatest hits album by Def Leppard

Vault: Def Leppard Greatest Hits (1980–1995) is the first greatest hits album and the second compilation album by English hard rock band Def Leppard. The album was originally released in the band's home country on 23 October 1995 by Mercury Records. It was released in North America a few days later on October 31 by the same label. Vault went on to be certified gold in four countries, platinum in three and multi-platinum in two. In the US, the album is currently certified 4× platinum by the RIAA, and in June 2011 it topped the five million mark in sales there. It won Metal Edge magazine's 1995 Readers' Choice Award for "Best Hits or Compilation Album."

Love Bites (Def Leppard song) song by Def Leppard

"Love Bites" is a power ballad recorded by the English rock band Def Leppard in 1987 on the album Hysteria. It is Def Leppard's only number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100 to date.

Pour Some Sugar on Me Def Leppard song

"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.

Animal (Def Leppard song) Def Leppard song

"Animal" is a song recorded by English hard rock band Def Leppard in 1987 from the album Hysteria. It was the second single release off the album, and became the band's first Top 10 hit in their native UK, reaching No. 6 on the UK Singles Chart.

Rock of Ages (Def Leppard song) 1983 single by Def Leppard

"Rock of Ages" is a hit song by Def Leppard from their Diamond-selling 1983 album Pyromania. When issued as a single in the United States, the song reached #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #19 on the Cash Box Top 100. It also hit #1 on the Top Tracks Rock chart.

Too Late for Love (Def Leppard song) 1983 single by Def Leppard

"Too Late for Love" is a 1983 power ballad by British hard rock band Def Leppard from their multi-platinum album Pyromania. When released as a single, it reached #9 on the Mainstream Rock charts.

Downstage Thrust Tour

The Downstage Thrust Tour was a North American concert tour by English hard rock band Def Leppard. It began in Cincinnati on 27 June 2007 and closed in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on 2 October 2007. Def Leppard played 52 shows in 52 different locations throughout the course of the tour. Members of the Def Leppard Fan Club had the opportunity to purchase tickets for shows via online ticket presales a few days before tickets went on sale to the general public. The tour was produced by Live Nation.

Angelia (song) 1989 single by Richard Marx

"Angelia" is a ballad recorded by Richard Marx and the third released single on his second album, Repeat Offender.

"Pyromania World Tour" was a concert tour by British rock band Def Leppard which was the support tour for their third album, Pyromania. This was the first tour without Pete Willis, who was fired from the band in the middle of the recording sessions of the album because of problems with alcoholism. Phil Collen replaced him in the tour and finish the recording of Pyromania. This was also the first tour of the band as headliners in North America, they played in mid-size arenas, large theaters and stadiums around the United States and Canada. They would also perform at the Rock Pop Festival in Dortmund, Germany on the 17 and 18 December dates with Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden, Scorpions, Judas Priest and Quiet Riot.


  1. "Def Leppard -Biography, Discography, History". MetalDescent. Archived from the original on 13 January 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2015. Their 1983 album Pyromania helped establish a virtual blueprint for glam metal bands to work with throughout the 80s.
  2. "Top 50 Glam Metal Albums". Metal Rules . Archived from the original on 26 November 2017. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  3. Eddy, Chuck (July 2008). Essentials – Hair Metal. SPIN Media LLC. p. 105.
  4. 1 2 "The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone . 21 June 2017.
  5. Wall, Mick (2010). Appetite for Destruction: The Mick Wall Interviews. Orion. p. 83. ISBN   978-1-40911-435-2.
  6. 1 2 Senff, Mark. "Def Leppard Online Discography – 7" vinyl". Archived from the original on 8 December 2008. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
  7. 1 2 3 "Pyromania Billboard Albums". AllMusic . All Media Network . Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 "Def Leppard Official Charts". Official Charts Company . Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  9. 1 2 3 "RIAA Searchable Database: search for "Def Leppard"". Recording Industry Association of America . Retrieved 14 August 2015.
  10. Fricke, David (1987). Animal Instinct: The Def Leppard Story. London, UK: Zomba Books. pp. 75–77. ISBN   0-946391-55-6.
  11. 1 2 3 Popoff, Martin (1 November 2005). The Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal: Volume 2: The Eighties. Burlington, Ontario, Canada: Collector's Guide Publishing. p. 92. ISBN   978-1-894959-31-5.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 "Pyromania Billboard Singles". AllMusic . All Media Network . Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  13. 1 2 3 Huey, Steve. "Def Leppard – Pyromania review". AllMusic . All Media Network . Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  14. 1 2 3 4 5 "Pyromania". Acclaimed Music . Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  15. 1 2 Fricke, David (31 March 1983). "Pyromania – Def Leppard". Rolling Stone . Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  16. 1 2 Boy, Davey (6 January 2009). "Def Leppard – Pyromania". Sputnikmusic . Retrieved 13 September 2015.
  17. Christgau, Robert (26 July 1983). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice . New York. Retrieved 14 November 2015.
  18. Barton, Geoff, Dome, Malcolm, Kendall, Jo, Ling, Dave: "The night I set Phil Lynott's todger on fire and other stories"; Classic Rock #219, February 2016, p55
  20. 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Pyromania – Def Leppard Rolling Stone. Retrieved 17 November 2011
  21. Q August 2006, Issue 241
  22. "50 Greatest Hair Metal Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone . 13 October 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  24. "Top Albums/CDs – Volume 39, No. 3, September 17 1983". Library and Archives Canada. 17 September 1983. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  25. "Def Leppard – Pyromania (Album)". Media Control Charts . Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  26. "Def Leppard – Pyromania (Album)". Media Control Charts . Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  27. "Top Singles – Volume 38, No. 11, May 14 1983". Library and Archives Canada. 14 May 1983. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  28. "Top Singles – Volume 39, No. 1, September 3 1983". Library and Archives Canada. 3 September 1983. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  29. "Top Singles – Volume 39, No. 11, November 12 1983". Library and Archives Canada. 12 November 1983. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  30. "Gold Platinum Search for Def Leppard". Music Canada . Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  31. "Search for Artist Def Leppard". British Phonographic Industry . Retrieved 14 September 2015.