Although many music fans were convinced that Def Leppard would become hard rock's next big band, few could have predicted the massive across-the-boards success that its third record, 1983's PYROMANIA, achieved. Many wondered why it was taking the group so long to release a follow-up to 1981's HIGH 'N' DRY, but the finished product was well worth the wait. Not only did it become one of the year's best-selling albums and made the band instant U.S. arena headliners, but it has remained a consistent seller ever since (by 1994, it had reached nine million units in the U.S. alone).
The songwriting and overall sound was more streamlined and succinct this time around--while there are guitar riffs galore, the songs have more of a pop feel. Founding guitarist Pete Willis left during the recording, replaced by Phil Collen, who fit in perfectly with the band. The album features such mega-hits as "Photograph," "Rock of Ages," and "Foolin'," as well as a couple of other tracks that could have easily been singles as well, "Rock Rock (Till You Drop)" and "Too Late for Love." PYROMANIA remains one of the best and most popular hard-rock recordings of the '80s.
Rolling Stone (11/89) - Ranked #62 in Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Albums Of The Eighties survey.
Spin (p.105) - "[T]hey sweeten the sound, mating AC/DC riffs to Journey mall drama, battle-march mythos to lovelorn mooning over photo albums."
Magnet (p.114) - "[O]ne of the biggest, most anthemic albums of an era marked by huge, anthemic albums."
CMJ (1/5/04, p.12) - Ranked #19 in CMJ's "Top 20 Most-Played Albums of 1983".
Record Collector (magazine) (p.80) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "'Photograph' became a signature for the hair metal masses, with its rich harmonies and sweet melody, while the lighters were aloft for the likes of 'Too Late For Love.'"