Year Released: 1983

Notable Songs: “Photograph”, “Rock of Ages”, “Foolin”, “Too Late for Love”

Album MVP: “Rock of Ages”

Why I Loved It: First and foremost when I recall this album I instantly think of its unforgettable cover. I was only around 12 years old when Pyromania came out and I vividly remember going with my parents to a neighborhood carnival that summer. My father had a borderline obsession and in hindsight a tacky one of collecting rock music mirrors by hitting a balloon with a dart at one of the carnival games, to hang on the dining room wall.  My father was an oldies fan (by that I mean music from the 50’s and 60s—by now I suppose 80’s music is oldies too) but despite probably not knowing two Def Leppard songs, he insatiably wanted their mirror. That’s because it was a mirror of their Pyromania album cover, which was simply that fuckin’ cool.   As for the actual music accompanying it I was a fan and remember Def Leppard as one of my first favorite rock bands. “Photograph” and “Rock of Ages” were the shit. 

Along with ultra-heavy guitar riffs most the singles on Pyromania are propelled by catchy hooks that made them bar jukebox legends. Nothing about this album would be mistaken for original, but the group did rock music better than most and Pyromania was its crowning achievement.

By the way this is Def Leppard’s second (of two) appearances on this countdown. They also came in at No. 90 with Hysteria.

Commercial Success: It was the band’s third studio album and far and away was their most successful. Pyromania reached number-two on the Billboard Top 200 and would go on to sell more than 10 million copies in the United States alone. It would’ve hit number one had it not been on the shelves at the same time of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. “Photograph” and “Rock of Ages” both hit the top of the U.S. Mainstream Charts with the former reaching No. 12 and the latter No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 respectively.  “Foolin” hit nine on the Mainstream Rock chart and No. 28 on the Billboard Hot 100.  “Too Late For Love” reached nine on the Mainstream Rock chart.  “Coming Under Fire’, “Billy’s Got a Gun” and “Action! Not Words” also charted on the Mainstream Rock charts. 

Fun Facts: From the never ceasing to amaze regarding their hit single “Photograph”

“The Pyromania album was produced by Mutt Lange, who came up with the line, “All I’ve got is a photograph.” This gave them the idea to write a song about a guy who’s crazy about a girl, but all he has of her is a photograph. Lange, whose first work with the band was producing their previous album High ‘n’ Dry, was so integral to the band’s sound that he got songwriter credits on every Pyromania track.

he band would sometimes dedicate this song to Marilyn Monroe when they performed it live, and the video featured a Monroe look-a-like. This drew many listeners to the conclusion that the song is about the actress, but the Monroe association was constructed for the sake of a good story. The band didn’t have a specific inspiration for the lyrics, but wanted to express their young lust in an anthemic song – what guy hasn’t found himself so infatuated with a girl that every photograph he sees reminds him of her?


 100.  Van Halen – OU812 

99. Stevie Wonder – In Squared Circle

98. Taylor Dayne – Can’t Fight Fate

97. Kool & The Gang – Emergency 

96. Stevie B – In My Eyes 

95. Keith Sweat – Make It Last Forever 

94. Michael Bolton – Soul Provider 

93. Go Go’s – Beauty & The Beast 

92. LL Cool J – Bigger And Deffer (Bad) 

91. Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry 

90. Def Leppard – Hysteria

89. New Edition – Heartbreak

88. Don Henley – Building A Perfect Beast

87. Beverly Hills Cop – Movie Soundtrack

86. Culture Club – Kissing To Be Clever 

85. Rolling Stones – Tattoo You

84. Asia – Asia 

83. Tiffany – Tiffany 

82. Lionel Richie – Dancing on the Ceiling

81. Barbara Streisand – Guilty 

80. Phil Collins – …But Seriously 

79. Air Supply – The One That You Love

78. J. Geils Band – Freeze Frame

77. Duran Duran – Rio 

76. Billy Ocean – Suddenly 

75. Run DMC – Raising Hell

74. Pat Benatar – Crimes of Passion

73. John Cougar – American Fool

72. Huey Lewis and The News – Picture This

71. Top Gun – Movie Soundtrack

70. Steve Winwood – Back In The High Life

69. Air Supply – Lost In Love

68. LL Cool J – Radio

67. Journey – Frontiers 

66. Styxx – Paradise Theater

65. Madonna – Like A Prayer

64. Eric B & Rakim – Paid In Full 

63. Tears for Fears – Songs From The Big Chair

62. Tina Turner – Private Dancer 

61. Steve Nicks – Bella Donna

60. U2 – The Joshua Tree

59. Bon Jovi – New Jersey 

58. Huey Lewis and the News – Fore!

57. Janet Jackson – Rhythm Nation 1814

56. Prince – 1999

55. ZZ Top – Eliminator 

54. Survivor – Vital Signs

53. New Edition – New Edition 

52. Dirty Dancing – Movie Soundtrack

51. Foreigner – 4

50. Public Enemy – It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

49. Lionel Richie – Lionel Richie 

48. Men at Work – Business As Usual

47. Run DMC – Run DMC

46. Richard Marx – Richard Marx

45. Paula Abdul – Forever Your Girl 

44. Rocky IV – Movie Soundtrack 

43. Tom Petty – Full Moon River 

42. Whitney Houston – Whitney 

41, REO Speedwagon – Hi Infidelity 

40. Christopher Cross – Christopher Cross

39. Culture Club – Colour By Numbers 

38. Chicago – Chicago 17

37. Bryan Adams – Reckless

36. Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet

35. Heart – Heart