Def Leppard's iconic ‘Pyromania’ turned 40 years old last Friday. It was the third album from the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, and their first to feature guitarist Phil Collen, who joined late in the during the album’s recording after Pete Willis was fired.
It was the second album the band made with legendary producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange, who co-wrote all the songs and pushed them to bring out a pop side to their style of hard rock.
The album had two famous keyboardists play on it -- Thomas Dolby was listed as "Booker T. Bofffin" in the credits, while Tony Kaye of Yes didn’t get album credit for his brief work during the sessions.
Pyromania had six songs make the Top 40 on Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart "Photograph" and "Rock of Ages," "Too Late for Love" and "Foolin'," "Coming Under Fire" and "Billy's Got a Gun."
The album also gave the band its first pop success, with "Photograph," "Rock of Ages" and "Foolin'."
Pyromania hit #2 on the Billboard 200 for two weeks in May 1983, stuck behind Michael Jackson's Thriller. The album wound up spending 35 consecutive weeks in the Top 10.
Leppard vocals Joe Elliott talked about the album’s impact in the U.S. He said, "You look at things like the 'Photograph' video where what became apparent in the whole summer of 1983 was the amount of Union Jack shirts that got bought around America. Because I'd worn one in the video. I only bought it because of the 25 pounds allowance I had to dress myself for that video, I had eight pounds left after the trousers and the belt. And the shirt was 7.99 in the punk shop on King's Road in London. It was literally down to finances. But it just became such an iconic thing for the band at the time when we were breaking through. It resonated with people."
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[Source: Classic Hits Today]