This section looks at the 'Photograph' UK single re-release. The first song to be released from the 'Pyromania' album was re-released as the fourth single.
"It sounds brilliant on the radio."
Def Leppard reissued their classic Photograph single on this day in 1984 in the UK.
The Marilyn Monroe-inspired song had been released on 28th January 1983 as the first single from the 'Pyromania' album.
The original reached Number 66 on the UK Top 100 chart but this re-release did not chart.
It was reissued to capitalise on the band's American success and their increased profile in the UK after the second UK tour in December 1983.
The first of two singles released by the band in 1984. The second being the new remixed version of 'BOTH' which would be released in North America in May 1984.
The cover art for this single featured a new design by artist Peter Hill. It was made to look like a wallet stuffed with British one and five pound notes.
The single was issued on regular 7" and two different 12"'s with 'Bringin' On The Heartbreak' and 'Mirror, Mirror (Look Into My Eyes)' and 'BOTH', 'NO NO NO' as B-Sides.
A special 7" version limited to 500 copies featured a gatefold sleeve. The wallet design of the regular 7" was reflected on the inside segments making it look like an opened wallet.
Containing an archive photo of Marilyn Monroe on the left side (shown on the advert below) and a live band photo on the right made to look like a Polaroid poking out of the wallet along with UK bank notes and an American Express card.
Read some comments below on the song by Joe from various interviews.
Photograph - Joe Elliott 2003 Interview Quote
"One day Mutt had the line "All I've got is a photograph." I said, "That's a Ringo Starr song." He went, "Nobody will ever notice." I said, "It's a photograph of something you can't ever get your hands on, somebody that's not here any more." Over the years it's become exaggerated to Biblical proportions that "Photograph" was written about Marilyn Monroe, because she was in the video. I don't want to break anybody's heart here but Marilyn Monroe was just another average actress to me. The song was about somebody that's out of the picture. All I've got is a photograph, but it's not enough."
Photograph - Joe Elliott March 2018 Interview Video Quotes
"There's a lot of good songs on Pyromania, it's hard to pick one. It's harder to pick the worst one than the best."
"But I'd say Photograph because I'm a fan. I mean I'm a music fan. So I get why if you looked at it on a digital thing, it's the one that would have more bars on it."
"For downloads and purchases and what have ya because it's the one songs the majority, most of the people get you know."
"It had everything that we wanted in a song. I remember when Boston released More Than A Feeling and we were all like going; 'This is just killer' because it's got everything."
2004 Best Of Def Leppard Song Quotes
"A leftover from ‘High ‘N’ Dry'. A real Thin Lizzy thing. Mutt suggested we give it another try - a great example of never throwing away an idea because it broke us in the States."
"We were trying to think of a subject. I had a big poster of Marilyn Monroe covering a hole in the wall of the toilet of my Isleworth apartment - and because she was dead it ended up being about the ultimate example of something you can’t possibly have."
"My strongest memory is filming the video in London’s Battersea. Down by the power station."
"It was a radio-friendly song. But the medium of video was just taking off and it really helped us. We were a new, young rock band and some of the older ones, such as Zeppelin and Journey, hadn’t embraced the concept of video straight away."
"To a certain extent it robbed bands of their mystique. But it was perfect for us because we were positioned somewhere between Duran Duran and heavy metal."
Photograph - Joe Elliott 2011 Interview Quotes
"It sounds brilliant on the radio. At the time we made Pyromania, we were actually trying to create songs that would sound great on the radio. That was the whole point. By then we had vaulted to another gear. We got the High ’N’ Dry thing out of our system, which was kind of like the homage to AC/DC. Now we were starting to bring in the pop elements. We did them on High ’N’ Dry, but they didn’t get noticed. People picked up on the title track, they picked up on “Let It Go,” and things like “Another Hit And Run.” They didn’t pick up on things like “You Got Me Running” off side two, which is a total pop song-precursor to "Photograph," maybe."
"But when we did “Photograph,” we just knew the way that that riff sounded, and the way that the drums sounded, and the melody, and the lyrical content, we knew that this was what it took to make a hit single. The rest is up to the people whether it’s a hit or not. There’s nothing else we can do. We can advertise it, which is what we did with the video. We can get it to radio and hope that they’ll play it, which they did."
"It took on a life of its own, then, because all of a sudden we’re now in there with your Elton Johns and everybody else who’s established. They’re now peers, if you like, as opposed to heroes. They’re always heroes, but you know what I mean. All of a sudden, we’re on the same playing field and given the same opportunities. We used to go out and buy their albums, Queen, all that kind of stuff. We were there. It’s not that we’d made it, but we were at least now through the door, and it was a different battle that you were going to be fighting, trying to stay in there."
UK Single Advert Quote
"Some like it hot. Some like it heavy. The new Def Leppard single PHOTOGRAPH is both, and their hottest and heaviest yet. 12" available with extra track. Produced and Mixed by Robert John 'Mutt' Lange."
Joe Elliott - February 1983 Interview Quotes
On Marilyn Monroe
"She's always been my dream. I used to stare at a poster of her in a shop for hours."
"Probably in those days I couldn't afford to buy it."
"I've got her film 'Some Like It Hot', and I can watch it over, and over again."
"Marilyn could act dumb, but she'd always win through, she was a great actress."
"And then there's the great mystery that surrounds her death."
"It's still not really known how she died, perhaps it will never be cleared up."
Photograph - Joe Elliott The Guardian August 2018 Interview Quotes
“We always had this inner demon of pop wanting to come out.”
“Rick Savage loved bands like Queen and T Rex; I loved T Rex and Bowie and Sweet and Slade. We were always aiming to do something like that, but we could never really pull it together until Photograph."
"I remember the first time I heard the riff through the studio wall: me and a couple of the crew went - (amazed face) - and when that happens collectively, you know somebody’s hit on something.”
Photograph - Joe Elliott Rolling Stone March 2016 Interview Quotes
"It was a leftover from High 'n' Dry that never got finished. By 1982 we had gotten back together to do Pyromania and we said, "Remember that thing we were doing …" Originally, it had more of a twin-guitar thing at the beginning, but it sounded too much like Thin Lizzy. So Steve came up with the new intro part. He started playing it, and we all looked at each other in the control room, like, "What the fuck is that?"
"When it came time for the lyrics, Mutt said, "Well, what d'ya got?" And I told him, "I don't have any words, but I have an idea that's been percolating in my head." I used to live in a little basement apartment on the outskirts of London, toward Heathrow. It was a real dump — there was a hole in the wall with a poster covering it up, kind of like in The Shawshank Redemption. It wasn't an escape hatch, but it looked like one! And the poster that was over this hole was Marilyn Monroe. So I said to Mutt, "Wouldn't it be great to write a song about a woman who's the ultimate woman, but also a woman you could never have?" He said, "What do you mean, never?" And I said, "Because she's f**king dead!"
"For the video, we stuck with the Marilyn Monroe theme all the way through. But the fact is, the song wasn't actually about her. It wasn't a "Candle in the Wind" type of thing. It just happened to be her on the poster. It could have just as easily been Jayne Mansfield. It could have been any iconic, tragic female.
"It's got everything. You can hear how much more it has over other bands trying to write songs like this."
"They just nailed it you know. Same thing with Photograph. It had every element."
"It had a great intro. It had a really cool lyric. Which led very nicely into the video."
"And it sounded like a young hungry band."
1987 Animal Instinct Biography Quotes
Leppard's nightly soccer vigils inadvertently had a lot to do with the later success of Photograph.
According to Joe, the song had a great bridge, a good chorus and a limp verse riff. Steve Clark changed that.
"Steve was the only one not interested in the games,' Joe points out. 'He'd sit around with us if England was playing, but he couldn't be bothered if it was Uruguay vs. Argentina."
"One night, we were watching the game when the announcer suddenly got quiet and we heard this loud guitar blasting from the room next door."
"It sounded great, so we got up and ran over to see what was going on. Steve sat there beaming, saying 'I fixed it.'"
"And that was it. Photograph was born."
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