Why was "Pyromania" a breakthrough album for heavy metal in 1983? What was there about it that made it palatable to the masses when other heavy metal wasn't? It's still not totally clear.
However, the album got a big boost from MTV, which was red hot back then. For that image-conscious channel, it helped that the five members of the band are good-looking. Also, unlike some heavy-metal music, Def Leppard's isn't sinister and threatening.
Accompanying those deafening "Pyromania" instrumentals were lyrics that were a cut above the genre's low-level norm. The album featured thunderous party songs slick and commercial enough to please the pop radio audience while at the same time being raunchy enough to rev up the hard-core head-bangers.
There was some industry speculation that the emergence of Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, Cinderella and Poison might leave Def Leppard out in the cold after its extended layoff.
But, blowing the band's horn a bit, Elliott noted: "There's always room for a band that has good songs."