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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Def Leppard - "Pyromania" (Mercury, 1983) [key tracks: Foolin', Photograph, Rock of Ages]
"Lady luck never smiles, so lend your love to me awhile. Do with me what you will; break the spell, take your fill. On and on we rode the storm... the flame has died and the fire has gone. Oh, this empty bed is a night alone, I realized that long ago..."
I guess Shock Week is over. I didn't want to dig too deeply into my recently alphabetized record boxes, so you get this album today. Not that I wasn't going to write about it eventually anyway! So, what else have I been up to? Reading. A lot. And trying to finish up this semester. I won't lie, I have been having a very hard time with the fact that my classmates are moving on and I am left behind. Been a rough week for me. So what a great week to review an LP that has served me well for many, many years.
Carl's Favorite Songs - #43 - Raspberry Beret by Prince
"Pyromania" is by far Def Leppard's best LP. It is hard to believe now, but they were once considered part of the almighty NWOBHM (new wave of British heavy metal), which was supposedly rewriting rock and roll in the wake of Zepplin and Sabbath's decent into self-indulgence and inner strife. Iron Maiden was the biggest representative of the NWOBHM, so when you think of the band who sang "Pour Some Sugar On Me," you tend to giggle. But back in the day, they were metal. Their first couple LPs weren't much to hear, but when they infused just a taste of pop, it resulted in an epic rock and roll LP. "Pyromania" is one of those albums that stands as a unit, not a collection of hits and misses. Of the 10 tracks on the LP, 8 are bona fide rock standards. It wouldn't be, in my opinion, until "Appetite for Destruction" that metal offered such a fantastic LP. The LP is almost 25 years old and I still head bang and lift the mighty mano cornuto as I drive around CB. It sold an impressive 6 million copies in 1983 alone, and that is just in the States. At the height of their popularity, Def Leppard was standing for what was right (and wrong) with metal. The problem was this; the trade-off for the nod to pop was not that metal-heads left, it was that the mall crowd came. Suddenly they were a household name, and the fan base swelled. Nothing kills a genre band more than crossing-over. So what do you do? Swing back into obscurity, give up, or sell out? Leppard sold out. But at least they left one massive metal LP behind. Along with Motley Crue's "Shout at the Devil," Venom's "At War With Satan," Metallica's "Kill 'em All," Slayer's "Show No Mercy," Dio's "Holy Diver," and Iron Maiden's "Piece of Mind", 1983 was one epic year to be a metal fan. Let's remember, 1983 was the year for Huey Lewis' "Sports" after all...
That's it. That's all I got. Go buy the "new" JRR Tolkein book if you haven't. It will be the last thing (allegedly) ever published under his name. Christopher (his son) has done a pretty good job as literary executor, unlike Frank Herbert's no-talent son. If any of this makes sense to you, you are a huge nerd... like me. Horns way up.

1 comment:

dana said...

I love Def Leppard. Great music.