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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 3 February 2005
Often overlooked by the music press, who seem to prefer Hysteria, I think that Pyromania may be the best thing Def Leppard ever did. Don't get me wrong, Hysteria is amazing but this, for me just steals it by a shade. At this stage Steve Clarke was still alive and Rick Allen still had not had that awful car crash. During the making of this album second guitarist Pete Willis was to leave to be replaced by the dazzling talents of Phil Collen.
This is the album that said "Hello world, we are Def Leppard, take notice!", especially in America where "Photograph" made them household names. Produced by Mr. Shania Twain, (Mutt Lange)it features the excellent rockers Comin' Under Fire, Foolin' Rock Rock Til You Drop, Billy's Got A Gun and Stagefright. All these tracks are mint and sadly apart from Foolin' seldom seem to feature in the live sets nowadays. Photograph is up there with Love Bites as one of the only songs to start me blubbing.
Action Not words, Die Hard and of course Rock of Ages (unter glieben glauben globen, what an intro!)add to the rockers making this one of the few albums in the world to not have any bad tracks. Guitar playing, singing, everything about this album is spot on. If you do not own this and like classic rock you need your head examined! If you want to get into Def Leppard start here, buy everything but Slang and be hooked for life!
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on 8 March 2004
What more can be said? This is the canine's nadgers of metal albums. It contains 'Photograph' a record so perfect that it makes me weep to hear it. Lock the door, plug in the air guitar and attain musical nirvana.
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on 11 June 2009
Not before time that the original 1983 (and that's when it was actually issued on CD) is finally updated. For an album that's sold over 10 million copies it's pretty shoddy that it's taken this long for Mercury to finally get around to revamping it. But here it is at last and it's a nice package too. The original Pyromania CD sounded horrible. This remastered version still sounds horrible. Not Bob Ludwig's fault but the fault of a crap recording and mixing. Harsh, compressed and tinny, typical of a Mutt Lange production where layer upon layer of detail saturates the sound to breaking point. Hysteria was little better. Doesn't hide the fact that it's still a brilliant album - a real rock album back when rock music was believable. The good time sounds of Rock Rock Til You Drop and Rock Of Ages sit beside melodic gems like Photograph and Too Late For Love which in turn are happily placed next to more epic titles such as Die Hard The Hunter and Billy's Got A Gun. Sheer brilliance and when you listen to their first 2 albums you can tell it's the culmination of their abilities. Incredibly they topped this with Hysteria, one of THE best albums EVER!!
Disc 2 is where the real value comes in. Not having officially released a proper live album in their entire career (!!) to get a full disc of an early live show is about as good as it gets. It shows they didn't need the studio technology to hide behind - they really COULD cut it live too. Back in the day Joe Elliott had a terrific range in his voice and it's apparent here. The amazing twin guitar assault and Rick Allen's powerhouse drumming before the accident that cast the first bad spell upon the band. Possibly better than the studio versions because they're natural.
Informative notes by ace journalist David Fricke as well as additional photography make up the booklet and the fold out Deluxe Edition packaging is colourful and pleasing to the eye which enforces the fact that physical media is still way superior to downloads and must never be allowed to die.
So, don't expect sonic revelations with the remastering. It's better and it doesn't resort to compressing the sound to appease low-fi Ipod dwellers but it proves that there are limitations to what technology can do.
Now, how about remasters of On Through The Night and High N Dry. Let's not forget these exist because they're flippin' great!!
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on 9 May 2014
While High N’ Dry took Def Leppard from being a standard British rock band who were fans of Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy and the 70’s Glam scene they grew up with and a debut album lumped into the NWOBHM scene they neither fitted easily or wanted to be associated with, Pyromania launched the band to a whole new level of both artistic integrity and popularity. Whilst High N’ Dry had them competing with contemporaries like AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, Gillan, Billy Squier and Judas Priest, Pyromania had them facing the emerging arena rock bands from the States like Motley Crue, Van Halen & Whitesnake as well as pop artists like Madonna, Duran Duran and Michael Jackson. Such was the huge leap in Def Leppards rise from young wannabe’s to one of the biggest rocks acts of the time (little did they know that in another 4 years they would even surpass this and literally become the biggest band in the world).

The songs on Pyromania were written to within an inch of their life. There was no room for filler and with producer Mutt Lange back on board, they made a decision to appease the AC/DC crowd but infringe upon the hooks and production tricks utilised on Thriller. And they nailed it.

Not without a few niggles along the way. Guitarist and strong riff writer Pete Willis was shown the door; both band and producer fed up with carrying the weight of an antagonistic personality made worse by alcohol issues. They knew they were about to hit the big time and didn’t want anyone scuppering their plans. Whilst Willis can be heard throughout the album and is credited on four of the ten tracks, the band hired Phil Collen, an exceptional guitarist with a keen ear for melody and pop hooks to replace him. Whilst Def Leppard had always had a twin guitar line-up with no clear lead player, they now had two lead guitarists with very different styles which complimented each other wonderfully. Phil’s first job was to solo on Stagefright and it’s his first take that’s on the album.

Every track is good enough to be a single. Too Late For Love, Die Hard The Hunter and Foolin’ go for the epic, Rock Of Ages, Billy’s Got A Gun and Rock Rock (Till You Drop) go for the melodic edge aimed at the MTV generation. However it was Photograph which was head and shoulders above anything else on this record and practically everything else on the radio in 1983. A track that at once became the highpoint of their live show and has hardly been absent since. Coupled with a great video (for the time), Photograph and a remixed Bringin’ On The Heartbreak ensured Def Leppard remained in rock fans minds, sights and ears over the four years it took to come up with a follow up.

For many, Pyromania remains the high point of a career with many high points but for the band a big low point was just around the corner.

The Deluxe Edition has a crisper sound and launches itself from your speakers. The main reason for getting this though is the second disc containing an LA gig from 1983. Whilst Viva Hysteria and Mirrorball have shown DL as still great musicians producing well polished shows, this is them raw, hungry and loud. This live CD deserves it's own release as it's nothing short of proof that even before Hysteria and Rick Allens tragic accident, Def Leppard were the best band on the planet. Truth!
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on 6 November 2014
Brilliant record, glossy, looks very well presented and complete with great live album. Standout tracks Too Late for Love (favourite song of all time), Photograph and Die Hard The Hunter. Great performance from Steve Clark, doing most of the guitars apart from backing tracks performed by former guitarist Pete Willis and 3 solos performed by Phil Collen.

What I do have an issue with is - Where is the picture of Pete Willis? It was featured in the insert on both the vinyl and CD albums, he performed backing tracks on all songs and co-wrote 4 of the tracks, Too Late for Love,Photograph - 2 of the 3 best songs on the album and also Coming Under Fire and Billy's Got A Gun. Steve Clark (my favourite musician of all time) did all the other guitars apart from 3 solos performed by Phil Collen - Photograph, Foolin' and Rock of Ages. As great as Phil Collen is and he is a very talented musician, Steve Clark should have at least been first on the insert (as Phil did not write any of the music or lyrics for the album) and it should have featured Pete's photograph like on the other formats.
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on 8 September 2009
Pyromania was a tough choice for a heavy metal fan like me in the beginning of the 80's. NWOBHM was big then. I loved the first Def Lep LP. The second was OK, but quite, eh, commercial, and then, in the 1983, came thrash and speed metal... It was a crime to admit that Pyromania was actually brilliant; catchy, but very powerfull. Well, those drums sounded like 100% plastic.

On this remastered version the drums still sound like plastic, but after all, this isn't a remixed version. Remastering is excellent: clear, energetic, wide range of dynamics and no digital distortion at all, loudness war is forgotten here. This sounds million times better than the old CD version, although I still think Japanese vinyl LP has the best sound of them all.

The gem - or the other gem - in this Deluxe Edition is the second CD, a live concert recorded in '83. The band is red, hot and kickin'. Wonderful sound quality and what a set list! Material is from their first 3 albums plus a CCR cover with Brian May as a guest guitarist.

A fantastic package.
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on 9 September 2011
A must have because of the amazing live performance from 1983. It captures DL at their raw and energetic best. It has a number of songs from their first 2 albums which is why it is so special. I also (off the back of his live second Cd) bought their new mirrorball live album which is also fantastic. Both Cds well worth the money.
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on 20 October 2002
The naivety of 'On Through The Night' promised nothing like this, while the excellent 'High 'N' Dry' layed the foundations but...Jeezus, this album was amazing. Probably the one that made stadium (or poodle) rock the monster that it became. Opener Rock rock (till you drop) showed no compromise and kept the Leps true to their metal roots. However, this was a band determined to show that they could leap way beyond the NWOBHM from where they came.
Photograph took the world by storm, and rightly so. A gorgeous, melodic rock homage to one of the century's most beautiful icons.
Stagefright was to start the live set for many years to come, while the stunning Too late for love would leave the audience gagging for more. One of hard rock's greatest tracks, both on vinyl (or disc) and espcially live. Together with Bringin' on the heartbreak (from High 'N' Dry), the Leps would never sound this good again. Die hard the hunter became a classic, while Foolin' was an (almost) over-produced piece of stadium rock genius. It's an orgasmic statement of intent that Leppard have struggled to match in the years since.
A similar theme continues as the Leps churn out more rock classics until the incredible Billy's got a gun brings the amazing experience to a dramatic close.
Like many of the Leps' earlier and later lyrics, this might sound like a cliche, but they really don't make 'em like this anymore. Which really is a great shame.
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on 10 June 2015
This is one of the bast rock albums ever recorded.
Standout tracks are "Rock, Rock (Till You Drop)" "Photograph", "Foolin'" "Rock Of Ages" and "Billy's Got A Gun."

If you like Def Leppard you must have this in your collection, if you like rock music, this is a classic album full of legendary rock songs.
Truly ageless, this has to be in your collection.
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on 28 July 2013
I grew up on eighties metal and hard rock but never had any Def Leppard back then. I just bought this album as my first Leppard album and I'm certainly not disappointed!

The vocals are really good, the guitars are fantastic and there's not a bad track on the whole thing.

I think every song is a 4 star song but for me there wasn't a 5 star song after about 4-5 listens so far.

I'm definitely going to buy the rest of their back catalogue, or at least up until the 90's started.
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