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Def Leppard celebrates 40th anniversary of ‘Pyromania’

Virgin EMI/Mercury Records

Friday marked the 40th anniversary of the release of Def Leppard’s third album, Pyromania, and the band celebrated by sharing a special message to fans on social media.

“So 40 years ago today, 20 of January 1983, we released Pyromania,” frontman Joe Elliott shares. “It was a breakthrough album for us in the U.S. and Canada, and a little bit in Japan,” adding it was a “hugely important record for our career and in America, it broke us wide open. It became one of the biggest records of the year, only behind Michael Jackson’s Thriller in sales.”

Rick Savage adds, “Wow, 40 years of Pyromania. I can hardly believe it, so many great memories in the making of that record … even back then we kinda knew we were really trying hard to make a groundbreaking metal album. I honestly think we succeeded. It still sounds great to my ears, even 40 years later.”

Phil Collen noted Pyromania was his first album with the band and he was amazed at how it exploded, sharing it was “probably the most exciting period that I can remember of the career … everything about it was amazing.” And drummer Rick Allen said he “learned more about playing drums doing that record working with (producer) Mutt Lange.”

Vivian Campbell, who joined the band in 1992, says of the record, “I was a fan. I bought it way before I was in the band. Now I get to play it onstage and that is terrific.” 

Pyromania featured such hit songs as “Photograph,” “Rock of Ages” and “Foolin,” with the album reaching number two on the U.S. Album charts. It sold 6 million copies in 1983 and went on to be certified Diamond by the RIAA for selling over 10 million copies.

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