Photograph (Def Leppard song)

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Single by Def Leppard
from the album Pyromania
Released 3 February 1983
Format 7"
Recorded 1982 at Park Gates Studios in Battle, East Sussex, England, and Battery Studios in London, England
Length 4:12
3:55 (7")
Label Mercury
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".[1] When released as a single it reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top Tracks chart and No. 12 on the Pop Singles chart.[2] 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.[3] It was also listed as the No. 17 greatest song of the past 25 years by VH1.[4]

The 1993 live recording of the song in Sheffield, England appeared in the music video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock as part of a Def Leppard downloadable track pack, as did the 1993 live recording of "Rock of Ages". The song was also included in the tracklisting of the rhythm music video game Battle of the Bands. In 2008 they performed the song with country pop singer Taylor Swift on CMT Crossroads. The studio recording of the song appears in the video game Grand Theft Auto V on the Los Santos Rock Radio station.

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 doesn't 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[5] 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.[6]

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.[7]

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.

Popular culture[edit]

The song is a part of Grand Theft Auto V's soundtrack, played in-game on Los Santos Rock Radio, and is featured as downloadable content for Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock and Rock Band 3.

Chart performance[edit]

Def Leppard[edit]

Chart (1983–84) Peak
Canadian RPM Top Singles[8] 32
UK Singles Chart[9] 66
US Billboard Hot 100[10] 12
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks[11] 1

Year-End charts[edit]

Chart (1983) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 90

Santana featuring Chris Daughtry[edit]

Chart (2011–12) Peak
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 30

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Joe Elliott: We Didn't Start the Fire". Retrieved 2 April 2012. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 170.
  3. ^ " music". Retrieved 7 February 2009. 
  4. ^ "VH1's 100 Greatest Songs". February 11, 2009. Retrieved 13 March 2012. 
  5. ^ ((( Def Leppard ))) :: Def Video 2 Pyromania 1983/High 'n' Dry 1984:
  6. ^ "Oval – Photograph". Discogs. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  7. ^ "Rock Honors 2006 Live Performances – All-American Rejects – Photograph". VH1 Classic. Retrieved 24 April 2011. 
  8. ^ "Canadian Singles Chart". RPM. Retrieved 2008-08-25. 
  9. ^ "British Album/Single Chart". Chart Stats. Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  10. ^ "Artist Chart History - Def Leppard". Billboard. Retrieved 2008-02-19. 
  11. ^

External links[edit]