They conquered America with Pyromania before they even set foot in the country to tour!
I love reading band autobiographies. There’s something compelling about in reveling in the achievements of others. Sometimes success as a whole can be attributed to a single moment. In the case of Def Leppard it was the decision to make videos for the songs “Rock of Ages” and “Photograph”.
In 1983 America was in the infancy of a video revolution and MTV was the latest fad. Artists were scrambling to put product on the air and Def Leppard ‘arrived’ at the perfect time. A hard rock band featuring ‘pop’ structures made the group accessible to mainstream audiences. MTV video rotations did the rest, the new media platform catapulted Def Leppard to superstardom. They conquered America with Pyromania before they even set foot in the country to tour!
Of these two visual offerings I think the video for “Photograph” is more memorable. It was shot on bassist Rick Savage’s 22nd birthday and was the video debut of guitarist Phil Collen.
“Photograph” produced in 1982, actually had two versions. An uncensored version containing a ‘knife scene’ apparently replaced by a black cat sequence. The video follows a loosely based storyline where vocalist, Joe Elliot, fantasies about a relationship with a possibly deceased starlet who has an uncanny resemblance to Marilyn Monroe. A photograph is all he has and laments his admiration from afar.
Def Leppard could not have come along at a better time. I vividly remember this video in ‘heavy’ rotation on MTV back in the day and for good reason, the song fucking rocked! It was one of the first ‘power ballads’ and it appealed to both genders. It was an anthem that spearheaded the dominance of hard rock and heavy metal in mainstream music. Check out these classic videos and relive the glory days of heavy metal on MTV!! \m/
Def Leppard (1982):
- Phill Collen / Pete Willis – Guitars
- Rick Allen – Drums
- Joe Elliot – Vocals
- Steve Clark – Guitars
- Rick “Sav” Savage – Bass