Tuesday, 28th February 2017
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34 Years Ago Def Leppard Release Photograph Single In USA

Photograph 1983.

Def Leppard released their classic Photograph single 34 years ago on this day in 1983 in the USA.

The Marilyn Monroe-inspired song was the first single to be released from the 'Pyromania' album.

It had already been released on 3rd February in the UK.

It was released on 28th February 1983 in North America where it peaked at Number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The first Def Leppard single to reach the main Hot 100 chart.

It also became their first single to reach Number 1 on the US Rock chart.

The single was issued as a radio DJ promo 7" with 'Action! Not Words' as the B-Side and without the UK picture sleeve.

Heavy radio airplay together with the promo video being shown constantly by MTV meant the song would become the band's first major hit single.

Its success helped the album to go Platinum by the time they started their own US headline tour in late April 1983 following a support tour with Billy Squier.

Read some comments 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 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."

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Phil Collen - Guitar
Phil Collen - Guitar
Phil Collen - Guitar
Phil Collen - Guitar