Pyromania (album)

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Def Leppard - Pyromania.jpg
Studio album by Def Leppard
Released 20 January 1983 (1983-01-20)
Recorded January–November 1982
Studio Park Gates Studios, Battle, East Sussex, England; Battery Studios, London
Genre Hard rock, heavy metal, glam metal,[1][2]
Length 44:57
Label Vertigo (UK and Europe)
Mercury (USA)
Producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange
Def Leppard chronology
High 'n' Dry
Singles from Pyromania
  1. "Photograph" / "Bringin' On the Heartbreak"
    Released: 3 February 1983
  2. "Rock of Ages" / "Action! Not Words"
    Released: May 1983[3]
  3. "Foolin'" / "Comin' Under Fire"
    Released: September 1983 (North America only)[3]
  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. It is the first album to feature guitarist Phil Collen and was produced by Robert John "Mutt" Lange. The album was a huge success, charting at No. 2 on the Billboard 200[4] and No. 18 on the UK Albums Chart[5] and selling over ten million copies in the US, and thus being certified diamond by the RIAA.[6]


The album was partially recorded with original guitarist Pete Willis, whose rhythm guitar tracks appear on all songs. Midway through the recording sessions, Willis was fired for excessive alcohol abuse and replaced by Phil Collen, who contributed guitar solos and other parts that had not yet been recorded by Willis.[7] On the original LP release, Willis is visible in the background of the photograph of singer Joe Elliott, while Collen is given his own personal photo as the new full-time member of the group.

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.[8] 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'".[9]


The album caused controversy with its cover artwork, which shows an animated picture of a skyscraper building with a large flame and black smoke coming out from the top floor, and a bullseye pointed at the flame. Many[which?] stores were offended by this cover and refused to sell the album.[citation needed]

Reception and legacy[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[10]
CD Guide to Pop & Rock 3/5 stars[11]
Collector's Guide to Heavy Metal 7/10[8]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5 stars[11]
The Great Rock Discography 7/10[11]
MusicHound 3.5/5[11]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[12]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 4.5/5 stars[11]
Sputnikmusic 4.5/5[13]
The Village Voice C[14]

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 magazine praised Def Leppard for putting "some 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; he added 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.[12] AllMusic reviewer Steve Huey stated that Pyromania was "where the band's vision coalesced and gelled into something more." He also 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."[10] Sputnikmusic staff reviewer is equally enthusiastic and thoroughly recommends the album "filled with tight musicianship, infectious melodies and anthemic choruses" "to pretty much anyone… No matter what their taste in music is."[13] On the contrary, Canadian journalist Martin Popoff considers Pyromania the beginning of Def Leppard's "creative degeneration" and criticizes Lange's "painstaking approach to detail" which strips the album "of its sweat and grit" to the level of making it sound "phony".[8]

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.[10] The album sold six million copies in the US in its original release (about 100,000 copies were sold per week for much of the year). It has since sold over ten million copies there and was certified diamond.[6] Three songs, "Photograph", "Rock of Ages" and "Foolin'", became top 40 singles in the US.[9] In 2004, the album was ranked No. 384 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.[15] In 2006, Q magazine placed the album at No. 35 in its list of "40 Best Albums of the '80s".[16]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)"   Steve Clark, Rick Savage, Mutt Lange, Joe Elliott 3:52
2. "Photograph"   Clark, Pete Willis, Savage, Lange, Elliott 4:12
3. "Stagefright"   Savage, Elliott, Lange 3:46
4. "Too Late for Love"   Clark, Lange, Willis, Savage, Elliott 4:30
5. "Die Hard the Hunter"   Lange, Clark, Savage, Elliott 6:17
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
6. "Foolin'"   Clark, Lange, Elliott 4:32
7. "Rock of Ages"   Clark, Lange, Elliott 4:09
8. "Comin' Under Fire"   Lange, Clark, Willis, Elliott 4:20
9. "Action! Not Words"   Lange, Clark, Elliott 3:49
10. "Billy's Got a Gun"   Clark, Savage, Willis, Elliott, Lange 5:56

Deluxe edition bonus CD[edit]


Def Leppard[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]




Country Organization Year Sales
USA RIAA 2004 10x Platinum (+ 10,000,000)[6]
Canada CRIA 1991 7x Platinum (+ 700,000)[23]
UK BPI 1985 Silver (+ 60,000)[24]

Catalog numbers[edit]

  • USA: Mercury Records 810-308-1/2/4
  • UK: Vertigo Records 6359 119 [LP]/7150 119 [Cassette]/810,308-2 [CD]
  • USA: Mercury Records/Island Records/UMe B0012491-02 (Eco Friendly packaging of Mercury Records 810-308-2)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Def Leppard -Biography, Discography, History". MetalDescent. Retrieved 2 November 2015. Their 1983 album Pyromania helped establish a virtual blueprint for glam metal bands to work with throughout the 80′s. 
  2. ^ "Top 50 Glam Metal Albums". Retrieved 2 November 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Senff, Mark. "Def Leppard Online Discography – 7" vinyl". Archived from the original on 8 December 2008. Retrieved 2 April 2011. 
  4. ^ a b "Pyromania Billboard Albums". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Def Leppard Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 8 September 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c "RIAA Searchable Database: search for "Def Leppard"". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  7. ^ Fricke, David (1987). Animal Instinct: The Def Leppard Story. London, UK: Zomba Books. pp. 75–77. ISBN 0-946391-55-6. 
  8. ^ a b c 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. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Pyromania Billboard Singles". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c Huey, Steve. "Def Leppard - Pyromania review". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 13 September 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c d e "Pyromania". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  12. ^ a b Fricke, David (31 March 1983). "Pyromania - Def Leppard". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 13 September 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Boy, Davey (6 January 2009). "Def Leppard - Pyromania". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 13 September 2015. 
  14. ^ Christgau, Robert (26 July 1983). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice (New York). Retrieved 14 November 2015. 
  15. ^ 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Pyromania – Def Leppard Rolling Stone. Retrieved 17 November 2011
  16. ^ Q August 2006, Issue 241
  17. ^ "Top Albums/CDs - Volume 39, No. 3, September 17 1983". Library and Archives Canada. 17 September 1983. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  18. ^ "Def Leppard – Pyromania (Album)". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  19. ^ "Def Leppard – Pyromania (Album)". Media Control Charts. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  20. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 38, No. 11, May 14 1983". Library and Archives Canada. 14 May 1983. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  21. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 39, No. 1, September 3 1983". Library and Archives Canada. 3 September 1983. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  22. ^ "Top Singles - Volume 39, No. 11, November 12 1983". Library and Archives Canada. 12 November 1983. Retrieved 14 September 2015. 
  23. ^ "Gold Platinum Search for Def Leppard". Music Canada. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  24. ^ "Search for Artist Def Leppard". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 14 September 2015.