Way Back Wednesday: The Top Music of May 20th, 1983

This Week In 1983: The Top Music of May 20th, 1983

Last weeks highlight song, “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie, knocks “Beat It” out of the top spot after a three week run. “She Blinded Me With Science” peaks out at #5 where he’ll stay for two weeks. Culture Club jumps seven spots to land in the Top Ten with “Time (Clock Of The Heart)” and Kajagoogoo jumps eleven spots into the Top 40 landing at number 30 with “Too Shy”. Dexys Midnight Runner tumbles out of the Top Ten as “Come On Eileen” drops eleven spots to #17. Peaking at #12 this week our highlight song of the week, “Photograph” by Def Leppard.

Song Story: “Photograph” by Def Leppard

‘Photograph’ is the lead single from Def Leppard’s third album, Pyromania. The album was produced by super producer, Mutt Lange (who also goes on to produce the bands mega album Hysteria), who is also credited for being the line “all I’ve got is a photograph” which gave the band the idea for the song. Lange was so instrumental to the recording and sound of the album that the band gave him a writing credit on all the songs. Thomas Dolby (of “She Blinded Me With Science” fame) plays keyboards on the album. As a solo artist, Dolby feared that seeing his name on a rock record might confuse some people and mistake him for part of the band so he’s credited as Booker T. Boffin.

This is the band’s first hit. Singer Joe Elliot refers to it as the band’s version of “We Will Rock You” or “I Love Rock And Roll”. It went into heavy rotation on MTV and because of that went into heavy rotation on the radio. The video is also the debut of their new guitarist, Phil Collen. Collen replaced founding member Pete Willis midway through the recording session. Willis, however had already recorded guitar tracks for the album so, for this song, you’ll see all three guitarists, (including Steve Clark) credited on the song. At the time the song was released, all the band members were in their early 20’s except for drummer, Rick Savage, who was just nineteen. Later in the year, they’ll score another Top 20 hit with their song “Rock of Ages”.

About Eric Vardeman 114 Articles
80's lover. Screenwriter. Cohost of The Greatest Lists podcast. Christmas enthusiast. Tulsa Curling Club founder. Cherokee. Guitar player. Boomer Sooner. Curator of 80's playlists (https://open.spotify.com/user/127168733)

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