On this day in music history: January 20, 1983…

On this day in music history: January 20, 1983 – “Pyromania”, the third album by Def Leppard is released. Produced by Robert John “Mutt” Lange", it is recorded at Park Gates Studios in Battle, East Sussex, UK and Battery Studios in London from January – November 1982. Following the modest sucess of their “High ‘n’ Dry” album, the hard rock band from Sheffield, UK take a quantum leap forward with their third release. Once again working with South African born producer “Mutt” Lange, the producer drives the band relentlessly to come up with first rate material, and to deliver the best performances possible during the recording process. Guitarist Phil Collen replaces original member Pete Willis midway through the sessions when Willis’ drinking problem comes to a head, effectively forcing him out of the band. The end result of the sessions yield an album, highly polished and radio friendly, but with plenty of edginess to please the bands’ hardcore fan base. It proves to be their major commercial breakthrough, spinning off three singles including “Photograph” (#12 Pop), “Rock Of Ages” (#16 Pop) and “Foolin’” (#28 Pop), all accompanied by music videos which garner heavy MTV airplay. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2009 as a two CD Deluxe Edition. Disc one contains the original ten song album, with the second disc featuring a live concert performance recorded at The Forum in Inglewood, CA during the Pyromania Tour in 1983. The set also comes packaged with a twenty four page booklet with extensive liner notes and photos. Out of print on vinyl since 1989, it is reissued as a 180 gram LP in 2008 as part of Universal’s “Back To Black” vinyl reissue series. “Pyromania” spends two weeks at number two on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 10x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, receiving a Diamond certification.