Photograph (Def Leppard song)

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Single by Def Leppard
from the album Pyromania
Released3 February 1983
Format7-inch single
  • 4:12
  • 3:55 (single edit)
Producer(s)Robert John "Mutt" Lange
Def Leppard singles chronology
"Bringin' On the Heartbreak"
"Rock of Ages"
UK Cover

"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".[3] 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.[4] 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.[5] It was also listed as the No. 17 greatest song of the past 25 years by VH1.[6]

In 2008, they performed the song with country pop singer Taylor Swift on CMT Crossroads.

In 2013, the song featured on video games Grand Theft Auto V in station Los Santos Rock Radio.

Music video[edit]

There are two slightly different versions of the music video. The uncensored version shows a knife scene at the beginning, and on the censored version of the video, it is almost the same except the knife scene is replaced with a stationary black cat among other minor bits removed.[citation needed] There are several appearances of a look alike impersonating Marilyn Monroe in the video, as the song is actually about the star and lead singer Joe Elliott's declaration that he does not just "want [her] photograph" but that is all he has of her, and he must admire her from afar.

The music video was directed by David Mallet[7] and was shot on 2 December 1982 (bassist Rick Savage's 22nd birthday), in Battersea, London, England. It featured the video debut of their co-lead guitarist Phil Collen.

Track listing[edit]

7": Vertigo / Phonogram Ltd / VER 5 (UK)[edit]

This version of the 7" single has a standard cover.

  1. "Photograph"
  2. "Bringin' On the Heartbreak"

7": Vertigo / Phonogram Ltd / VERP 5 / Photograph pop-up cover (UK)[edit]

This version of the 7" single has a camera on the cover, that pops up and you can see a picture of Marilyn Monroe.

  1. "Photograph"
  2. "Bringin' On the Heartbreak"

7": Vertigo / Phonogram / Ver 9 – 605 960-8 (UK)[edit]

This version of the 7" single resembles a wallet.

  1. "Photograph"
  2. "Bringin' On the Heartbreak"

7": Mercury / PolyGram / 811-215-7 (US)[edit]

This is the US version. The front cover is the same as the UK version

  1. "Photograph"
  2. "Action! Not Words"

Cover versions[edit]

British band Oval recorded a cover of "Photograph" for their 1992 EP on Icerink Records.[8]

Jani Lane recorded a version of this song back in 2000 for a Def Leppard tribute album entitled Leppardmania.

The All-American Rejects performed a cover version of this song live on VH1 Rock Honors.[9]

The band Santana covered the song for their 2010 album Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time. The song features Daughtry frontman Chris Daughtry on lead vocals.

The Swedish/Greek Melodic Death Metal band Nightrage covered the song along with Firewind singer Apollo Papathanasio providing clean vocals. The song appears as the Japanese bonus track to their 2011 album Insidious.



Original version

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1983-84) Peak position
Canada 50 Singles (RPM)[10] 32
UK Singles Chart 68[citation needed]
US Billboard Hot 100 12[citation needed]
US Album Rock Tracks (Billboard)[11] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1983) Peak
US Hot 100 (Billboard)[12] 90
Santana featuring Chris Daughtry
Chart (2011–12) Peak position
US Mainstream Rock Tracks (Billboard)[13] 30

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stosuy, Brandon (January 5, 2009). "VH1's 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs". Stereogum. VH1. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
  2. ^ "Photograph" at AllMusic
  3. ^ "Joe Elliott: We Didn't Start the Fire". Archived from the original on 2013-10-17. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 170.
  5. ^ " music". Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Retrieved 7 February 2009.
  6. ^ "VH1's 100 Greatest Songs". February 11, 2009. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
  7. ^ ((( Def Leppard ))) :: Def Video 2 Pyromania 1983/High 'n' Dry 1984:
  8. ^ "Oval – Photograph". Discogs. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  9. ^ "Rock Honors 2006 Live Performances – All-American Rejects – Photograph". VH1 Classic. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
  10. ^ "RPM 50 Singles" (PDF). RPM. Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada. 38 (11). May 14, 1983. OCLC 352936026. Retrieved August 25, 2008.
  11. ^ "Def Leppard – Chart history". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  12. ^ "Talent Almanac 1984" (PDF). Billboard. 95 (52). Billboard Publications, Inc. December 24, 1983. p. TA-18. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
  13. ^ "Santana – Chart history". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved February 23, 2017.

External links[edit]