Def Leppard - Pyromania (40th Anniversary: Deluxe 2xLP)

Regular price $ 48.99

Def Leppard were one of the shining lights of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal that brought an exciting, raw energy and stripped-down sound to metal in the late '70s and early '80s, and their first two albums, 1980's On Through the Night and 1981's High 'N' Dry, showcased a band who knew how to combine hooks, swagger, and guitar crunch with the best of them. By the time they went into the studio to record their third album, they had gained some success but were ready to aim for the upper rungs of charts. To that end, the band and producer Mutt Lange began the process of sanding off most of the metallic edges left in Def Leppard's sound and replacing them with a gleaming, studio-concocted sheen that was all high-end shimmer, stacked vocal harmonies, processed drums, and guitars that whooshed and soared like jet planes. 1983's Pyromania was the group's blatant grab for success, and it worked beyond their wildest dreams, with a parade of singles nearing the top of the charts and the album becoming a huge seller that helped define the era and inspired so many other bands to combine metal and pop. Only the most die-hard metal fans would begrudge the band their success since they made such a catchy, fun, and exciting album. Songs like "Photograph," "Foolin'," Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)," and "Rock of Ages" are pop music at its best, tightly packed with hooks, spiced with guitar riffs, powered by tightly coiled energy, and topped by Joe Elliott's perfect yowl. "Too Late for Love" is another great ballad in the vein of their previous "Bringin' on the Heartbreak," that shows the slightly more tender side of the group; on the flipside, "Die Hard the Hunter" and Billy's Got a Gun," delve into more dramatic territory that's fantastic and dramatic, respectively. It's a rare case of a band selling off any of the cred they may have built up in their early years and totally buying into the pop music game, but instead of becoming yet another foolish casualty, they somehow beat the system instead. Pyromania is over-produced, over-polished, over-cooked, and brilliant from beginning to end. Because it's such a daring tightrope act, almost every band that followed in their footsteps got it laughably wrong. Def Lep themselves were rarely able to reconstruct the formula correctly, which shows just how difficult it was to combine committed, energetic performances with meaningful, perfectly constructed songs, and to deliver them in a super slick metal-meets-rock-meets-pop fashion that somehow pleased so many people Goldilocks-style at the time, and continues to sound magical decades later.

A1        Rock Rock (Till You Drop)    3:52
A2        Photograph    4:12
A3        Stagefright    3:46
A4        Too Late For Love    4:30
A5        Die Hard The Hunter    6:17
B1        Foolin'    4:32
B2        Rock Of Ages    4:09
B3        Comin' Under Fire    4:20
B4        Action! Not Words    3:52
B5        Billy's Got A Gun    5:27

C1        No You Can't Do That (Unreleased Out-Take)
C2        Rock Rock (Til You Drop) (Rough Mix Version)
C3        Photograph (Rough Mix Version - Unfinished Vocal)
C4        Stagefright (Rough Mix Version)
C5        Too Late for Love (Rough Mix Version)
C6        Die Hard the Hunter (Rough Mix Version)
D1        Foolin' (Rough Mix Version)
D2        Rock Of Ages (Rough Mix Version)
D3        Comin' Under Fire (Rough Mix Version)
D4        Action! Not Words (Rough Mix Version - Chorus Only)
D5        Billy's Got a Gun (Rough Mix Version)