Song of the Day #4,294: ‘Rock of Ages’ – Def Leppard

In terms of album sales, 1983 belonged to one man: Michael Jackson. Though his Thriller was technically released in late 1982, it picked up steam in the early months of ’83 and became an unstoppable juggernaut by March. Thriller dominated the albums chart all year, stepping aside occasionally to allow other artists a brief moment in the sun.

The Police, too, had a hell of a showing. Between them, Synchronicity and Thriller owned the #1 spot in 38 of the 52 weeks. In third place was Men at Work’s debut album, Business As Usual, which was released in the U.S. in June of 1982 but spent 15 weeks at #1 between late ’82 and early ’83. Fourth… Lionel Richie, whose Can’t Slow Down claimed the top spot for three weeks at the end of the year.

The only other albums to reach #1 on the Billboard 200 were the Flashdance soundtrack, for two weeks over the summer, and Quiet Riot’s Mental Health, which spent a week there over Thanksgiving.

Today’s featured album never hit #1 (it peaked at #2), but Def Leppard’s Pyromania sold five million copies in its year of release and is over 10 million total sales today, making it one of the 100 top-selling albums of all-time.

Best known for the hard rock classics ‘Photograph,’ ‘Foolin’,’ and ‘Rock of Ages,’ Pyromania has a glossy veneer that makes it far more listenable than typical hair metal output. Much of that credit belongs to producer “Mutt” Lange, who worked similar magic for AC/DC.

The rest of Pyromania fails to reach the heights of its three standout tracks, but it’s hard to deny the enduring brilliance of those songs.

Gunter glieben glauchen globen

Hm hm hm, tsk, tsk, tsk
All right, yeah
I got something to say
Yeah, it’s better to burn out
Yeah, than fade away
All right
Ow
Gonna start a fire
C’mon

Rise up, gather round
Rock this place to the ground
Burn it up, let’s go for broke
Watch the night go up in smoke

Rock on, rock on
Drive me crazier
No serenade, no fire brigade
Just the pyromania, come on

(What do ya want) What do ya want
(I want rock ‘n’ roll) Yes, I do
(Long live rock ‘n’ roll)

Oh, let’s go let’s strike a light
We’re gonna blow like dynamite
I don’t care if it takes all night
Gonna set this town alight, c’mon

(What do ya want) What do ya want
(I want rock ‘n’ roll) All right
(Long live rock ‘n’ roll) Oh, yeah, yeah

Rock of ages, rock of ages
Still rollin’, keep a-rollin’
Rock of ages, rock of ages
Still rollin’, rock ‘n’ rollin’

We got the power, got the glory
Just say you need it
And if you need it say yeah
Oh, yeah, heh heh heh heh
Now listen to me

I’m burnin’, burnin’, I got the fever
I know for sure, there ain’t no cure
So feel it, don’t fight it, go with the flow
And gimme gimme gimme gimme one more for the road, yeah

(What do ya want) What do ya want
(I want rock ‘n’ roll) You betcha
(Long live rock ‘n’ roll) Now hit it

Rock of ages, rock of ages
Still rollin’, keep a-rollin’
Rock of ages, rock of ages
Still rollin’, rock ‘n’ rollin’

We got the power, got the glory
Just say you need it
And if you need it say yeah
Say yeah

We’re gonna burn this damn place down, woo-hoo
Down to the ground

Heh heh heh heh heh heh heh heh

One thought on “Song of the Day #4,294: ‘Rock of Ages’ – Def Leppard

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Def Leppard was another MTV staple in 1983. I was never much of a fan, though I admit their hits would get stuck in my head.

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