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Def Leppard Tour History Fan Archive.
34 Years Ago Def Leppard's PHOTOGRAPH Hits Number 12 In The USA

Sunday, 21st May 2017

Photograph 1983.

Def Leppard's classic single Photograph reached Number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart on this day in 1983.

The single was the first to be released from the 'Pyromania' album.

The first hit single of the band's career at that point.

It reached Number 12 on the main Billboard Top 100 singles chart spending 17 weeks on there in total.

It spent six weeks inside the Top 20 in all.

The first major hit single for the band and first inside the Top 20.

The single had been released on 28th February in the USA.

On the same day the Pyromania album spent its second week at Number 2 on the Top 200 chart.

Read some comments below on the song by Joe from various interviews.

Photograph 1983.
Screenshot by dltourhistory

David Bowie was at Number One with his single 'Let's Dance'.

Michael Jackson was also a #2 with 'Beat It' from the 'Thriller' album which was currently at Number 1 with 'Pyromania' still at #2.

Thomas Dolby who played keyboards on various 'Pyromania' album tracks as 'Booker T. Boffin' was at Number 5.

US Singles Chart - 21st May 1983

  • 01 - David Bowie - Let's Dance
  • 02 - Michael Jackson - Beat It
  • 03 - Irene Cara - Flashdance...What A Feeling
  • 04 - Men At Work - Overkill
  • 05 - Thomas Dolby - She Blinded Me With Science
  • 12 - Def Leppard - Photograph - (Peak Position)

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 anymore." 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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