Photograph (Def Leppard song)

"Photograph" is a song performed by English hard rock band Def Leppard and produced by Robert John "Mutt" Lange. It is the lead single from the band's third studio album, Pyromania (1983). Their lead vocalist Joe Elliott has described the song as generally about "something you can't ever get your hands on".[4] When released as a single it reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top Tracks chart, where it stayed for six weeks, and No. 12 on the Pop Singles chart.[5] In 2006 the song was used in promotional adverts for the DVD release of Blades of Glory. In 2009 it was named the 13th greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1.[6] It was also listed as the No. 17 greatest song of the past 25 years by VH1.[7]

Single by Def Leppard
from the album Pyromania
Released3 February 1983
Format7-inch single
  • 4:12
  • 3:55 (single edit)
Producer(s)Robert John "Mutt" Lange
Def Leppard singles chronology
"Bringin' On the Heartbreak"
"Rock of Ages"
UK Cover

In 2008, they performed the song with country pop singer Taylor Swift on CMT Crossroads. The performance was nominated for both Wide Open Country Video of the Year and CMT Performance of the Year at the 2009 CMT Music Awards.

In 2013, the song was featured in the Grand Theft Auto V video game, on the Los Santos Rock Radio station.

Music videoEdit

There are two slightly different versions of the music video. The uncensored version shows a knife scene at the beginning, and on the censored version of the video, it is almost the same except the knife scene is replaced with a stationary black cat among other minor bits removed.[citation needed] There are several appearances of a look alike impersonating Marilyn Monroe in the video, as the song is actually about the star and lead singer Joe Elliott's declaration that he does not just "want [her] photograph" but that is all he has of her, and he must admire her from afar.

The music video was directed by David Mallet[8] and was shot on 2 December 1982 (bassist Rick Savage's 22nd birthday), in Battersea, London, England. It featured the video debut of their co-lead guitarist Phil Collen.

Live performancesEdit

"Photograph" has been performed at every Def Leppard concert tour since its release. The song is traditionally the final song of the concert, often used during the encore (as well as fellow Pyromania track Rock of Ages). During these performances, Elliott attempts to rile the crowd into singing along by saying "Come on, sing it" before the first chorus. "Photograph", however, is harsh on the singer's vocals (especially as time wears on) due to the song's high notes.



Original version

Weekly chartsEdit

Chart (1983-84) Peak position
Canada 50 Singles (RPM)[9] 32
UK Singles Chart 68[citation needed]
US Billboard Hot 100[10] 12
US Album Rock Tracks (Billboard)[11] 1

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (1983) Peak
US Hot 100 (Billboard)[12] 90
Santana featuring Chris Daughtry
Chart (2011–12) Peak position
US Mainstream Rock Tracks (Billboard)[13] 30
Chart (2019) Peak
US Hot Rock Songs (Billboard)[14] 23

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Stosuy, Brandon (5 January 2009). "VH1's 100 Greatest Hard Rock Songs". Stereogum. VH1. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  2. ^ "Photograph" at AllMusic
  3. ^ "50 Greatest Hair Metal Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. 13 October 2015. Retrieved 24 July 2019. pretty power-popper 'Photograph,'
  4. ^ "Joe Elliott: We Didn't Start the Fire". Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
  5. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 170.
  6. ^ " music". Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Retrieved 7 February 2009.
  7. ^ "VH1's 100 Greatest Songs". 11 February 2009. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
  8. ^ ((( Def Leppard ))) :: Def Video 2 Pyromania 1983/High 'n' Dry 1984:
  9. ^ "RPM 50 Singles" (PDF). RPM. Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada. 38 (11). 14 May 1983. OCLC 352936026. Retrieved 25 August 2008.
  10. ^ "Billboard Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  11. ^ "Def Leppard – Chart history". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  12. ^ "Talent Almanac 1984" (PDF). Billboard. 95 (52). Billboard Publications, Inc. 24 December 1983. p. TA-18. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 25 February 2017.
  13. ^ "Santana – Chart history". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  14. ^ "Def Leppard Chart History (Hot Rock Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 7 May 2019.

External linksEdit