Album Reviews of the 80s

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Def Leppard, "Pyromania" / 1983 Review by: Jarret McCaw
The album tha got many a pre-pubescent boy into heavy metal (including me) is a magical blend of power-pop and driving riffs. It didn't hurt that Def Leppard got John "Mutt" Lange to produce this head banging masterpiece. After his work with AC/DC and Foreigner, it's no accident he made this band leap from half-decent to world famous. "Photograph", "Foolin'" and "Rock of Ages" are musical dynamite ready to blow off your speakers and "Billy's got Gun is seven minutes of heaven. They did go onto sell a gazillion more copies of "Hysteria", but this one sold just fine thank you, and it built them a fan base that was hungry enough to wait FOUR years for each of their two followups. By the Nineties they were burnt out and boring, but at the time of Pyromania, some of them were still teenagers and it shows gloriously on this album. There's nothing wrong with Hysteria having sold into the 20 millions, but a metal band needs a drummer that can thrash out songs, (Rick Allen still had two arms when Pyromania was recorded) not pump out a steady beat reminiscent of worn out disco. It's the kick ass attack that makes Pyromania burn with excitement.

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