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Cut the Fat - Number 5

We've been having fun cutting the fat from classic Glam albums, haven't we? So far, we've cut down some Motley Crue and Slaughter. Today, let's cut Def Leppard. Pyromania is one of the best rock albums of the 80s. The tunes on Pyromania made Def Leppard a household name and the album is perfect - almost. In my opinion, there's one tune on Pyromania that's always seemed a little out of place.

The dud? "Action! Not Words" of course.

I don't get it. There's all these iconic Lep tunes like "Photograph," "Too Late for Love" and "Billy's Got a Gun" and then there's "Action! Not Words." The song's pace is nutty, the gang vocals are annoying and it just doesn't match the rest of the record in terms of quality. Plus the lyrics are annoying and I think Joe Elliott sounds over produced.  Maybe if the track wasn't placed after "Comin' Under Fire" it would work, but even alone, "Action! Not Words" sort of stinks up side 2 of Pyromania. The song actually charted in America which is baffling and truly shows just how big the Leps were in the 80s. Still, I say delete "Action! Not Words" from Pyromania and it's a keeper - a true Glam gem.

Pyromania track listing:

Rock Rock (Till You Drop)
Too Late For Love
Die Hard The Hunter
Rock Of Ages
Comin' Under Fire
Action! Not Words
Billy's Got A Gun


Agree? Disagree? Thoughts?

Reader Comments (16)

This is so true. I LOVE this album, even more than Hysteria, but that is the one track I will skip.
August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChristian
Joe Elliott sounds over produced? He was just getting ready for every thing Def Lep would do after this album.
August 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbiggeok
Sorry - but a I'll be the hero, and you'll be the star.... any song about with the innuendos about getting laid when I was a teen was a win in my book. There is no FAT on this album. Hard to find FAT when there is only 10 tracks. This album just rocks !!!
August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGNR
And for those that want to hear it now
August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGNR
This is one of those "perfect" records where there is no fat. As someone mentioned, there's only 10 tracks already.

In fact, I'd like to have seen them add "I Am Your Child" as an 11th track to this masterpiece.
August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAce Steele

Are you just pulling our Hot Legz or something, Ms. Allyson?!

Or maybe you're just trying to P*ss me off!

This is a killer cover of The Sweet's "Action".

Elliot and the boyz will tell ya they are major Glam freax (Mott The Hoople, Bowie, Slade, Sweet, etc.) and this was an early indication of their adoration for the genre, as eventually, "Rockit", would also pay homage with it's name dropping lyrix of all their Glam idols.

However, is it the strongest track on the album? No. But this album is perfect. I'm with G'n'R and Ace. I wouldn't touch it.

For the hell of it, check out the YouTube clip of The Sweet doing "Action" on some TV show. The footage is crystal clear and the outfits are so killer... and what about (RIP) Brian Connolly's Hair? Mrs. Brady meets 70's era Keith Richardz. Priceless.

After all this, tho, I say Steve Steven's version of "Action" is even better. Check it out on his "Atomic Playboys" album. And the video for this on YouTube is absolutely killarious. What a monster he was at that point in his career!

If you need some "Action", there's plenty to choose from!

p.s. Didn't we go over this back when there was a post about The Sweet playing Rock'n America, or somewhere? Oh, I get it, right... Bring Back Glam!
August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Hey Metalboy - the Leps cover of "Action" by Sweet was released as a B-side in 1992. "Action! Not Words" from Pyromania (1983) is a completely different (and original) song.

And as a Leppard nut, I disagree that it's fat that needs to be trimmed away. It's a solid album track - and different enough in style from the rest of Pyromania that I enjoy listening to it to this day. Especially after having heard "Photograph" a few too many times over the last 25+ years.
August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKen
No fat, consecutive days of incorrect assessments. This is damn near perfect and I am NOT a huge Def Lep fan.
August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSMK not SMF
Have to disagree.This album is perfect start to finish.Of course I feel the same about High N Dry too.
August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBill
I'm an ignoramous! Once again I have proven I do not know what the hell I am talking about half the time on here! Sheeez!

I have the original vinyl of "Pyromania" in VG+ condition (it's a little played) I bought when it first came out back in the day. And I have the the fairly recently remastered Deluxe Edition with the added Live Disc which includes their scorching cover of "Travellin' Band" with Brian May joining them onstage on guitar, yet I played this album to death all through the 80's (it's easily my fave Def album).

And when CD became the industry standard, it was one of the first 10 albums I bought in that format. But I'm such a fry-case I couldn't even remember "Action (Not Words)".

Once again, I've been caught with my black velvet bell bottoms down.

So, I haven't even listened to "Pyromania" in it's entirety in over 23 years! The only thing I've listened to off of "Pyromania" is "Photograph" which is the 2nd tune on my "Mooshy Metal" iTunes playlist (over 24 hours long, no repeats of bands unless they get a new singer, hahaha!!!) and one of my Top 10 Fave Glam Metal Singles of All Time!

I love this song so much, I just recently purchased it as a UK 12" vinyl single because of the cool "Wallet" picture sleeve design and I don't even have a turntable set up right now!

Epilogue of this trainwreck of a Metal Faux Pas of Mammoth Proportions: I just listened to "Action (Not Words)", and it's frickin' awesome! I stand by my conclusion that this is a perfect album, the song in question included.

I may be a horse's a*s when it comes to my ridiculous comments half the time (some may think, maybe more), I still wind up where I was before, but because of a different song, just went the long way around, is all.

May you enjoy Def Lep's cover of "Action", anyway! - I gotta go fix this in my iTunes where I have it listed as "Action (Not Words)", which is what got me in trouble in the first place, Gene Simmon's snake faced (or whatever the hell it is) boot firmly in mouth!

p.s. Sorry, Al!

What an A-D-D I-D-I-O-T!
August 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Even though I think Pyromania is a brilliant album all the way through, I agree that Action is probably the weakest track.
August 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBryon
Weakest track on one of the best albums ever made, but not fat. That is a great song. Maybe boys like it more than girls, though. Agree that as a teenage boy, singing along to those lyrics was fun, and who doesn't need a little more action? Leave it be.
August 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenternirVrana
Oh the irony of a comment like " I think Joe Elliott sounds over produced." Look, I'm a big Leppard fan, and Pyromania is a great record, although not quite on par with High n Dry. But the fact is that Joe Elliott is really not much of a singer, and Mutt was doing what he could to make Joe sound good on the record. Of course, the band then went into "overproduction hell" on their subsequent releases, and Def Leppard became more of a pop band than a rock band, which is really too bad. I frankly can't listen to anything that they put out after Pyromania. After that, too much glitz and slick production and not nearly enough balls out rock n roll (see High and Dry for that). What a shame.
August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRich
Rich! Brace yourself! You are SO right!

The rest of it truly was shite, in all reality.

Maybe that's what really killed Clarke!

There's a joke in the film biz that what really killed Stanley Kubrick was watching the dailies of "Eyes Wide Shut". Kidman and Cruise were so bad, he had a heart attack.

Of course, it's not true, but I'm sure you see my point.
August 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
i love pyromania more than hysteria, Action! not words, i cant listen to though haha.
September 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDj

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