It seems like pretty much every week brings along some 30th or 40th anniversary of some event that makes us children of the 80s feel awfully old.
This week’s anniversary was the 30th of the release of Def Leppard’s Hysteria. Over at The Ringer, Rob Harvilla gives the album its proper due.
Def Leppard’s ‘Hysteria’ Is Still the Greatest Hair-Metal Album Ever Made
Man, was that album unescapable. And seemingly forever, as it really wasn’t until nearly a year later, in the summer of ’88, when the album really took off and “Pour Some Sugar On Me” was played approximately every 15 seconds. As much as I was listening to hip hop and New Jack Swing-era R&B my senior year of high school, Hysteria was just about always in my personal rotation, too.
Harvilla’s article is great: it’s equally tongue-in-cheek and serious. But I must lodge one objection: Pyromania was a better album. As shiny as Pyromania was, it still had an edge and roughness to it. On Hysteria every single rough edge has been polished away. If that album was represented visually, it would be an immaculate sheet of glass. I will still listen to Pyromania a few times a year. I never listen to Hysteria, other than its title track or “Animal” if I come across them. “Sugar” is an instant skip if I come across it on the radio.
One of my prouder blog posts ever was this breakdown of Pyromania from almost seven years ago. Really not sure how I didn’t win all the blog awards for this one.
Pyromania 27 Years Later
By the way, worth noting that shortly after I bought the Pyromania CD back in 2010, I found a copy I had purchased like two years before. I sent about 95% of my old CD collection to a yard sale a couple years ago. I hung onto one copy of Pyromania though.
Fufjifilm X-T2, 23.3mm, 1/75 second at f/3.2, ISO 3200
In general I’m quite pleased with our home. There are small things I would tweak here and there, one major structural change I would have liked the builders to have considered. But those are minor quibbles, and we have no desire to move any time soon.
Still, from a photographic point of view, our house frustrates me. Or actually our lot frustrates me. Our property is filled with trees, almost all to the west side of the house. So we never see the sun set. In fact, it gets dark at our house about an hour earlier than actual sunset thanks to our grove of 30-40 foot trees.
Every night the local weather folks post pictures gorgeous sunsets around Indiana and I sit on my couch and grumble. Sure, I could walk, bike, or drive a couple blocks away if I really wanted to catch a good sunset. But that’s usually not the first thing on my mind at that time of day.
Thus I was thrilled to snap this pic last Friday when we were at the local church festival. It’s not an A+ sunset pic. But I was still glad to get some range of colors from the final oranges of the day to the gradual shift to the dark blues of night.
“Valley Boy” – Wolf Parade. Wolf Parade’s absence hasn’t been quite as long as some other bands that have returned this year; their last album was just seven years ago. And in the interim, its members were still active in other groups, most notably Dan Boeckner in the Handsome Furs and Divine Fits. Based on this song, it’s like they never went away.
“Living On the 110″ – Prophets of Rage. The idea of Prophets of Rage held some appeal to me. Tom Morello, Chuck D, and B-Real combining to form a rap-rock super group? Sounded awesome. The early songs I heard from them last year were not great, though. However, this one connects and is pretty solid.
“Eastwick” – Julia Jacklin. It seems like there’s a long list of young, female artists who write their own songs and make amazing, affecting music in the process. Courtney Barnett, Lydia Loveless, and Nadia Reid to name just three. Jacklin continues to prove that she belongs near the top of that list, too.
“Spring And By Summer Fall” – Blonde Redhead. Wow, this song, and the album it comes from – 23 – are 10 years old! A perfect track for a morning that feels more like late September than the first week of August.
“Regional Echo” – Jen Cloher. Cloher is getting attention as much for who she is married to – Courtney Barnett – as for her music. Don’t get distracted by her spouse’s identity, though. This is an outstanding song that proves Cloher is a musical force all on her own. This is a wonderful song, complimented perfectly by this video, which appeals to my photographic eye.