Def Leppard – Pyromania

This is total nostalgia. I had this album on cassette, as a kid – probably from Columbia House. To call this album formative for me might be a bit of a stretch, as I was (mostly) the jazz kid. But I know that I played this record a million times, so maybe it’s more to me than I’s originally credited.

Rock Rock (Till You Drop) fakes us out with a slower intro, but it quickly becomes a full-on belter. Loved it.

Photograph was a huge song. And you know what, it still is. It has that pure Def Leppard sound. Fantastic. Just try not to sing along. Bet you can’t not so it.

Stagefright starts out with a ‘recorded live’ conceit before turning into a studio track. This usually leaves me cold, but in this case it’s alright, since it’s the point of this song, in this case, right? Besides, it’s a real cool rocker. Elliott shreds his vocals, here.

Too Late For Love has a blowing wind intro, and becomes a slow chug of a track. It hits hard. Honestly, it sounds like it could have been an early Bon Jovi track (picture him singing it, and with a normal snare sound). It works, right? Or maybe it’s just typical of its age and era. Whatever. Solid song.

Die Hard The Hunter starts out with helicopters and air raid sirens in an arpeggiated intro. After a minute and a half, it blasts into another straight-on DL rocker. Nice. At almost 6.5 minutes, though, this one goes one quite a bit too long.

Foolin’ is classic. More cowbell! If you don’t know this track inside and out, you’ve been living under a rock since 1982. Huge hit. Right on.

Rock Of Ages’ weirdo intro always cracked me up, as a kid, and it’s another stone cold hit. Huge. It was everywhere. Deservedly so.

Comin’ Under Fire is another shoulda-been in an album full of them. If I played you this one, you’d swear it was a DL radio hit.

Action! Not Words is one I really liked. It’s a full-out concert fist-pumper rawk song, and completely unashamed about it, to boot. A pure air guitar track. Fun!

And finally, Billy’s Got A Gun is a bluesy chugger with a sinister edge. It’s still classic DL, but I could do without the weirdo outro. And I was thinking, if Billy’s Got A Gun and Aerosmith says Janie’s Got a Gun, maybe Billy and Janie should hook up…

In sum, honestly, what an album. It’s huge. Every song was built to be a hit. I should mention the production, good old Mutt Lange made it sound perfect. Almost too perfect, maybe. But that’s the point, isn’t it, when you’re aiming for engineering an album built to spit out #1s. All killer, no filler.

And I was pleasantly surprised, after all these years, how much of this record came back to me instantly. And yet it’s exciting that there was still some of it wasn’t right there in my mind, yet it was so familiar. A pleasant surpise.

Will I rock this again? Oh hell yes, I will! This is greatness.

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Posted on April 21, 2014, in posts by aaron and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Yep,30 yrs plus and this is still a scorcher….
    No duds on this puppy…..
    The cover set the tone……
    Pyromania is balls out a classic…
    Great review Nuthin to add man….

    Like

    • Thanks Deke! I’ve gotta admit, I was nervous posting this one. Even though it’s a great record, I wondered if I was gonna get it right. I know you guys take this band (and this record) very seriously!

      Like

  2. Here’s the elusive Pyromania review that wouldn’t appear in my review!

    I no longer have my original cassette of this, but I do have the one YOU got me that was made in India! I do have my original vinyl (given to me in 1995 from an ex, thank you). I have my original gold CD. And I now have the deluxe. That’s a lot of Pyromania.

    I concur with your review, this is exactly how I feel too.

    Like

  3. Fully concur with the review and Deke and Mike ‘s comments. Awesome album. I think Die Hard the Hunter is perfect though. The instrumental section in the middle is the peak of the album for me!

    Like

    • Mmmm yeah, that was a great part in an album full of them! I did find that song went on a bit too long, though, but that’s probably just my inner punk getting confused by anything over 3 minutes long.

      Like

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