Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Def Leppard - Pyromania

One of the joys of the Every Album Challenge is re-discovering an amazing record. Although I was a huge fan of Def Leppard’s Pyromania when it was first released, I cataloged it and forgot about it after the release of Hysteria. While I would listen to songs from the album here and there (mostly those that were captured on the greatest hits record), I rarely played the entire album. Recently, that changed when I decided to give the record a spin as part of the Every Album Challenge.

What the hell is wrong with me? Pyromania is an album that I should have been listening to regularly as part of my “go to” rotation. I had forgotten how exceptional this entire album is. Pyromania could be one of the greatest rock records ever released. This is an exciting record that has energy, top hits, and passion. Pyromania was Def Leppard at their finest---before their huge fame when they were hungry for success. The hunger they had shows on this release and translates into a magnificent work of art.

From the opening notes of “Rock! Rock! (Til You Drop)” to the closing moments of “Billy’s Got A Gun,” this is a perfect album. Joe Elliot’s voice was at its peak during the recording of Pyromania. The guitar work is genius, and Rick Allen’s drumming is spectacular. Every song on this record is a classic that should be celebrated over and over again.

Side one contains five amazing rock songs, including the smash hit, “Photograph,” which follows “Rock! Rock! (Til You Drop). “Photograph” is an incredible Def Leppard song (as well as an incredible rock song) that got much attention from the day it was released. The song still gets a lot of attention to this day, and rightfully so. It is pure bliss for the ears.

Side two delivers two of Def Leppard’s best known songs in “Foolin’” and “Rock Of Ages.” Still staples of the band’s live show to this day, both “Foolin’” and “Rock Of Ages” have stood the test of time. Those songs along with “Photograph” helped to put Def Leppard on the map. However, it’s the remaining seven songs that pull the album together and push it over the top. Songs like “Too Late For Love,” “Action! Not Words,” and “Comin’ Under Fire,” are incredible heavy metal tunes that find Leppard at their rocking hardest.

I don’t know why I didn’t blow the dust off of this cassette sooner (that’s right, I said cassette, my copy of Pyromania is a tape---and it still works), and now I am just disappointed. After rediscovering such a masterpiece of an album, how in the world am I going to be able to wait until the end of this challenge to listen to Pyromania again? This is yet another reason why the Every Album Challenge is both a blessing and a curse.

Pyromania…you rock!

Track Listing
Rock! Rock! (Til You Drop)
Too Late For Love
Die Hard The Hunter
Rock Of Ages
Comin’ Under Fire
Action! Not Words
Billy’s Got A Gun

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