Album Review: Def Leppard – Pyromania (40th Anniversary Edition)

This is going to be more of a “what’s on it” than a review because, let’s face it, everyone knows Pyromania. While Hysteria launched Def Leppard into the stratosphere, it was its precursor that really set them up for success and, arguably, contains a better collection of songs.

Pyromania was “Mutt” Lange’s second outing with the Sheffield lads, and he’s one of those producers some would accuse of, well, over-producing. However, this really worked with Def Leppard’s sound, and by the time we hit Hysteria, this was essentially their multi-layered trademark. With ten absolutely great rock tracks, Pyromania is a very strong album and has stood the test of time well. And that time is now hitting forty years!

The 40th Anniversary Expanded Edition hits the shelves on April 28th and there are a few versions you can pick up (4-CD / Blu Ray Box, 1LP Half Speed Master, 2LP Black Vinyl, 2LP Coloured Vinyl, 2CD and digitally), chock full of extras which may or may not appeal. I’ve had a chance to listen to the whole flipping not – I dipped in and out of the 40+ tracks – and it’s a varied collection. There are more curios that anything else. Demos, rough mixes and instrumentals in the main with some versions also including two live performances from 1983. As such, it may well be a “real fans and completionists only” kind of affair.

I can take or leave the demos and so on, in honesty, but the live material is worth a listen. The band definitely sound a bit younger and more raw back then!

The full list of contents is below. Pyromania remains a hard rock classic and I’m sure it will remain so for another forty years. For those mega-fans, this is a great collection of stuff to wade through. For the rest of us, I’m sure we’ll continue to whack the original (or the remastered versions) on for a belt now and again.

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Pyromania 40 is out on April 28th

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The 4-CD / Blu Ray Box tracklisting is as below:

CD One: Album Re-Mastered

  • Rock Rock (Til You Drop)
  • Photograph
  • Stagefright
  • Too Late for Love
  • Die Hard the Hunter
  • Foolin’
  • Rock Of Ages
  • Comin’ Under Fire
  • Action! Not Words
  • Billy’s Got a Gun

CD Two: Rarities

  • No You Can’t Do That – Out-Take
  • Untitled 1 – Demo
  • Untitled 2 – Demo
  • Untitled 3 – Demo
  • Untitled 4 – Demo
  • Untitled 5 – Demo
  • Untitled 6 – Demo
  • Rock Rock Till You Drop – Demo
  • Too Late for Love – Demo
  • Comin’ Under Fire – Demo
  • Billy’s Got a Gun – Demo
  • No You Can’t Do That – Demo
  • Rock Rock (Til You Drop) – Rough Mix Version
  • Photograph – Rough Mix Version (Unfinished Vocal)
  • Stagefright – Rough Mix Version
  • Too Late for Love – Rough Mix Version
  • Die Hard the Hunter – Rough Mix Version
  • Foolin’ – Rough Mix Version
  • Rock Of Ages – Rough Mix Version
  • Comin’ Under Fire – Rough Mix Version
  • Action! Not Words – Rough Mix Version (Chorus Only)
  • Billy’s Got a Gun – Rough Mix Version

CD Three: Live Westfalen Halle, Dortmund, Germany / 18th December 1983

  • Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop)
  • Billy’s Got a Gun
  • Foolin’
  • Rock of Ages
  • Let It Go
  • Wasted

CD Four: Live at the LA Forum / 11th September 1983

  • Rock! Rock!! (Til You Drop)
  • Rock Brigade
  • High And Dry (Saturday Night)
  • Another Hit and Run
  • Billy’s Got a Gun
  • Mirror Mirror (Look into My Eyes)
  • Foolin’
  • Photograph
  • Rock Of Ages
  • Bringing Back the Heartache
  • Switch 625
  • Let It Go
  • Wasted
  • Stage Fright
  • Travellin’ Band

Blu Ray: Atmos / 5.1 / New Stereo / Instrumental

  • Rock Rock (Til You Drop)
  • Photograph
  • Stagefright
  • Too Late for Love
  • Die Hard the Hunter
  • Foolin’
  • Rock Of Ages
  • Comin’ Under Fire
  • Action! Not Words
  • Billy’s Got a Gun

Videos

  • Photograph – Official Video
  • Rock Of Ages – Official Video
  • Foolin’ – Official Video
  • Too Late for Love – Official Video / Supersonic (Historia)
  • Rock! Rock! (Till You Drop) – Official Video / Japanese Show (Historia)

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