Def Leppard “Pyromania” – An Old School Flashback To 1983
DEF LEPPARD – I remember this scenario vividly. It was 1983 and I was a junior serving boring time in high school. I was hanging out in study hall in the school’s cafeteria, (the school cafeteria was used as a study hall area after the lunch periods ended). Per usual, I wasn’t studying in “study hall”, instead I always opted to chat long and hard with my Metal buddies about… Heavy Metal. That particular day, I made the announcement to my Metal buddies, Rich and Steve, that I bought the new Def Leppard Pyromania album. This was a telling moment in my teen Metalhead life, this was when I realized that the “battle lines” were drawn for Heavy Metal.
“You like that bubble gum stuff”? I couldn’t believe my ears. Did he really say that? Did Rich just refer to Def Leppard and their new Pyromania album as “bubble gum stuff”? My Metal loyalty, regardless of it being only a few years old, was receiving a verbal open hand slap! Rich shook his head at me in disgust. Steve, on the other hand, was always quite diverse in his music interests. I received a “cool” from Steve along with a nodding approval. (Phew), at least one of my Metal buddies was giving me some encouraging signals.
To sum it up best, Rich was anti-commercial Metal. Motörhead, Venom and later that year, Mercyful Fate, were the Metal bands that Rich swore his loyalty to. Who could blame him for being loyal to those iconic bands? From that day forward, I understood there would be “groups” of fans showing their loyalty towards bands they considered “real Metal“. I always listened to whatever band psyched-me-out or moved me and still do to this day. I just remember that rejected feeling, of not getting that sacred Metal mark of “approval” from a fellow Metalhead peer for liking Def Leppard. Fast forward to 2011 and I can give a rat’s ass about receiving anyone else’s approval for the bands I hold Metal allegiance to.
I’ll never forget hearing for the first time, that “big chorus” in Rock Rock (Till You Drop), it was the first song I heard on the radio from Pyromania. Before I bought this album, that song kept me up many nights, as I tried to find it playing on the FM dial. I remember being familiar with just a few songs from the 1981 Def Leppard album High ‘n’ Dry, before I bought Pyromania. Good old FM radio was playing Let It Go, High ‘n’ Dry (Saturday Night) and Bringin’ on the Heartbreak rather consistently before Pyromania’s release. Due to Pyromania’s affect on me, I bought High ‘n’ Dry next and a year or two later the debut Def Leppard album – On Through The Night. Strange how I bought the first three Def Leppard albums in reverse, isn’t it?
Pyromania was/still is loaded with some amazingly potent Heavy Metal songs that are now deemed (by me anyways) Old School. Honestly, is there one “bad” song on this album? I say there isn’t. The MTV exposure that Def Leppard attained from Pyromania is Rock and Heavy Metal history in and of itself. Let’s face it… just like any Heavy Metal article or book written about the history of MTV should attest is: Def Leppard made, if not, helped build MTV into the music video juggernaut it once was.
My favorite song from Pyromania is Foolin’. Metal be thy name, that is a powerful sound of vintage 80’s Heavy Metal that explodes from Pyromania. I always could appreciate the vocals of Joe Elliot, let’s face it, who really sounded like him back then? Phil Collen and (the late) Steve Clark on guitars were not just cool to listen to, they were both damn cool to watch on all of those Def Leppard videos as well. Rick Allen on drums and Rick Savage on bass made me a believer in their booming beats on Pyromania. Just a classic album all around is Pyromania, from a legendary band, in my Metal opinion.
As for those Old School Metal buddies of mine from 1983, well, I’d bet Rich is now listening to Josh Groban and John Tesh now. Um, I doubt it. Then again, who knows? Towards graduation, Steve was getting into Christian Metal a great deal and was still quite diverse as a Metal fan. I don’t know what happened to these two Metal buddies of long ago… I sure hope they are doing well.
* Pyromania was released on Mercury Records and produced by the legendary Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange.
Track Listing For Pyromania:
Rock Rock (Till You Drop)
Too Late For Love
Die Hard the Hunter
Rock of Ages
Comin’ Under Fire
Action! Not Words
Billy’s Got a Gun
LONG LIVE DEF LEPPARD.
Rest In Peace, Steve Clark.
This entry was posted on March 11, 2011 at 9:28 pm and is filed under classic rock, classic rock albums, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags 1980's heavy metal, arena rock, classic rock, classic rock albums, def leppard, Heavy Metal, joe elliot, metal music, metal odyssey, nwobhm, old school heavy metal, pyromania album. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.