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their best - 89%

morbert, May 21st, 2012

If I were to make a list with the best and most influential rock albums of the eighties (I say rock, not metal, obviously), Pyromania would definitely be in it. This album is way up there together with Slippery When Wet, 1984, Appetite for Destruction, Back in Black and Stay Hungry.

Even though I have to admit all my favourite songs are on the A side of the album, as a whole the album is one trip through memory lane which still stands firm. ‘Rock Rock 'Till You Drop’ is a song that could fit any classic eighties rock album. A song that would sound good in the hands of almost anybody which only adds to the intrinsic quality of the song.

The pounding verses on ‘Stagefright’ are on the edge of becoming classic metal but the chorus takes it into poprock history. Also ‘Photograph’ is a superb example how Def Leppard could mix rock with slick vocals and melodies into working, catchy songs. It’s not without reason this is a staple eighties rock song.

On B-side tracks like ‘Rock On ages’, ‘Comin' Under Fire’ and ‘Billy's Got a Gun’ we can already clearly hear what the Hysteria album would sound like 4 years later. Not a bad thing obviously and it show’s even more how this album was the transition from High ‘n Dry to Hysteria.

The power/semi ballad ‘Too Late for Love’ is a personal favourite. Not only is it a strong track which gets to me everytime. It also shows great vocal performance including the backing, good clean section and some riffing which could almost be called classic metal.
Same could be said about ‘Die Hard the Hunter’ which in a way is also one of the best written/constructed songs here and the long instrumental middle section just sheer beauty.

On Pyromania Def Leppard had the perfect balance between the metallic rock from their first two albums and the perfect sleeze and catchiness of their next effort, the bestseller Hysteria. A combination which results in pretty much Def Leppard’s best album.