DEF LEPPARD — Pyromania (review)

DEF LEPPARD — Pyromania album cover Album · 1983 · Glam Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
This is a bit of an oddity, since when you are listening to it you're hearing a Def Leppard lineup that never actually existed. Pete Willis had already laid down rhythm guitar parts for all of the songs when he was kicked out of the band due to his alcohol problems becoming too much for them to handle. In stepped new guitarist Phil Collen, who performs the lead guitar solos and sections that Willis hadn't recorded yet. Thus, even though Willis and Collen never actually shared a stage or recording studio with each other, you hear them both together on the album.

That's an interesting bit of trivia, but it's one which illustrates the transition the band was going through at this time: the rough and ready NWOBHM stylings of their previous albums was more or less absent at this point, and despite the violent cover art the music presented here is actually fairly middle of the road AC/DC-inspired hard rock with some mild glam metal undercurrents here and there. How much of this was down to Collen is an open question - it's notable that Collen's previous post had been with the glam band Girl, but regardless of whether he brought this new influence with him or whether he was chosen because the lads figured his style would fit with their new direction, the end result is some hard rockin' pop metal which is pleasant enough to listen to but which if you don't have any affection for it as a result of growing up with it won't necessarily win you over.
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