Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.
Friday, June 17, 2011
Def Leppard - Pyromania (1983)
Note: this release was originally purchased as a cassette tape, later replaced by a CD. My edition is not the 2009 Deluxe Edition.
Cock rock. To be enjoyed at a very high volume. Preferably in a motor vehicle with the windows rolled down. Not really heavy metal, the melodies and smooth production makes this more of a 'pop metal' album. Personally, I think the band owes a great deal of success to producer Mutt Lange who has worked his multi-layered production magic on AC/DC, Def Leppard, Foreigner, The Cars, Bryan Adams, and his ex-wife Shania Twain. At the time of this release, I was more of a new wave kind of guy, but after seeing the video for Photograph on MTV, I figured I'd give the band a shot. I was (and still am) largely unaware of the band's work before this release, but I stuck with them until 1996's Slang. Singer Joe Elliot has a great rock voice and the mix on this album brings it right up front. In 2004, the album ranked number 384 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #2
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #3
Tracks: We start off with the great 1-2 punch of Rock Rock (Till You Drop) followed by Photograph. The rest of what was side one (tracks 3-5) I consider good, but not great although Phil Collen's solo on Die Hard The Hunter is pretty awesome. Foolin' is a good (albeit gloomy) ballad-ish track, but then comes Rock Of Ages, probably the best song on the album. You betcha. Listening to the stomp of Rock Of Ages, you can hear the seeds being sown for the writing of my all-time favorite Def Leppard song that would come 4 years later: Pour Some Sugar On Me. Rock Of Ages is followed by the bland Comin' Under Fire, but the album ends with two good rockers: Action! Not Words and Billy's Got A Gun. Finally tally: 10 tracks, 3 great songs, 6 solid efforts, and a stinker. Not bad.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: This music reminds me of the typing(!) class I took my junior year of high school. Carla, a classmate that sat near me during that class, saw the band in concert in Houston and spent the entire class period the next day telling us all about it (while wearing her baseball jersey concert shirt, natch). Also, at some point during that year, the typing teacher asked to borrow my car to go run an errand. While that is strange enough in itself, what makes the story more unbelievable is that she ran the errand DURING our class period. What is even more unbelievable is that I agreed, gave the woman my keys, and didn't think much about it. I'd like to say that sort of behavior wouldn't be seen in today's school, but I'm pretty sure it does. Anyway, my Pyromania cassette was in my car stereo, so I'm sure my teacher got a loud blast of Def Leppard when sure turned the ignition. One final note about that typing class unrelated to Def Leppard: my teacher didn't really care if we looked at the keys on our typewriters when we typed, so to this day, I still look at the keys on my keyboard. Almost 30 years later, I'm angry about that.
Previously revisited for the blog:
Tales From The Sparkle Lounge (2008)