Saturday, February 5, 1983

Def Leppard “Photograph” charted


Def Leppard

Writer(s): Joe Elliott, Pete Willis, Rick Savage, Robert John "Mutt" Lange, Steve Clark (see lyrics here)

Released: February 3, 1983

First Charted: February 5, 1983

Peak: 12 US, 13 CB, 23 GR, 16 RR, 16 AR, 66 UK, 32 CN, 4 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 22.61 video, 67.14 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Def Leppard formed in Sheffield, England, in 1976. Their first two albums generated three entries on the UK charts, none reaching higher than #45. 1983’s Pyromania, however, was a huge success in the United States, reaching #2 on the album chart and selling more than ten million copies. The album generated three top-40 hits and four top-10 hits on the album rock chart. Two songs, “Photograph” and “Rock of Ages,” went all the way to #1 on the latter chart.

“Photograph” was the lead single from the album and the band’s first chart entry in the United States, going all the way to #12. It had “all the makings of a crossover hit,” SF owing a debt to producer Mutt Lange, who’d previously worked on the band’s High N’ Dry album as well as the blockbuster albums Back in Black by AC/DC and Foreigner 4 by Foreigner. It featured his trademark sound of big, polished guitars alongside layered vocals.

“Nothing about ‘Photograph’ is second rate – this was the first time Def Leppard had finally utilized all their talent in creating a truly inescapable, infectious rock anthem.” AMG “The Marilyn Monroe-influenced lyrics are sleazy, and the vocals are filled with Joe Elliot's raw screeches.” AMG “This was the song that truly began and defined the pop-metal craze that would dominate the rock scene for the entire decade.” AMG

The video – which featured a Marilyn Monroe lookalike – became a phenom on MTV, wrangling its way to the all-time champion in the network’s Friday Night Video Fights, which pitted two videos against each other every Friday night and then allowing viewers to vote for their favorite. While lead singer Joe Elliott suggested the song was also about Monroe, WK the song is really about a more generic experience about young lust in which the song’s protagonist is crazy about this girl, but all he has is a photograph to remind him of her. WK


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First posted 12/28/2022.

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