"Photograph" is a 1983 single by English hard rock band Def Leppard. It is the lead single from their 1983 album Pyromania. It is a tribute to actress Marilyn Monroe,[citation needed] although singer Joe Elliott said in a later interview that the song is more generally about "something you can't ever get your hands on".[1] When released as a single it reached No. 1 on the BillboardTop Tracks chart and No. 12 on the Pop Singles chart.[2] In 2006 the song was used in promotional ads for the DVD release of Blades of Glory. In 2009 it was named the 13th greatest hard rock song of all time by VH1.[3] It was also listed as the No. 17 greatest song of the past 25 years by VH1.[4]

The 1993 live recording of the song in SheffieldEngland appeared in the music video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock as part of a Def Leppard downloadable track pack, as did the 1993 live recording of "Rock of Ages". The song was also included in the tracklisting of the rhythm music video game Battle of the Bands. In 2008 they performed the song with country popsinger Taylor Swift on CMT Crossroads.

Joe Elliott commented on the Vault album that this song was a big hit in the US and that he felt disappointed that it didn't become a hit in the UK.[citation needed] Nationally syndicated sports talk show host Jim Rome commonly refers to "Photograph" as one of the all time great rock songs ever.[citation needed]


 [hide*1 Music video

Music video[edit]Edit

There are two 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 doesn't 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[5] and was shot on 2 December 1982 (bassist Rick Savage's 22nd birthday), in Battersea, London, England. It featured the video debut of guitarist Phil Collen.

Track listing[edit]Edit

7": Vertigo / Phonogram Ltd / VER 5 (UK)[edit]Edit

This version of the 7" single has a standard cover.

  1. "Photograph"
  2. "Bringin' On the Heartbreak"

7": Vertigo / Phonogram Ltd / VERP 5 / Photograph pop-up cover (UK)[edit]Edit

This version of the 7" single has a camera on the cover, that pops up and you can see a picture of Marilyn Monroe.

  1. "Photograph"
  2. "Bringin' On the Heartbreak"

7": Vertigo / Phonogram / Ver 9 – 605 960-8 (UK)[edit]Edit

[1][2]Photograph 7": Vertigo / Phonogram / Ver 9 – 605 960-8 (UK) Cover

This version of the 7" single resembles a wallet.

  1. "Photograph"
  2. "Bringin' On the Heartbreak"

7": Mercury / PolyGram / 811-215-7 (US)[edit]Edit

This is the US version. The front cover is the same as the UK version

  1. "Photograph"
  2. "Action! Not Words"

Cover versions[edit]Edit

British band Oval recorded a cover of "Photograph" for their 1992 EP on Icerink Records.[6]

Jani Lane recorded a version of this song back in 2000 for a Def Leppard tribute album entitled Leppardmania.

The All-American Rejects performed a cover version of this song live on VH1 Rock Honors.[7]

The band Santana covered the song for their 2010 album Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time. The song features Daughtry frontman Chris Daughtry on lead vocals.

The Swedish/Greek Melodic Death Metal band Nightrage covered the song along with Firewind singer Apollo Papathanasio providing clean vocals. The song appears as the Japanese bonus track to their 2011 album Insidious.

Popular culture[edit]Edit

Photograph is featured in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. Photograph is available as a downloadable song for Rock Band 3. Photograph is also featured in 2013's Grand Theft Auto V on Los Santos Rock Radio.

Chart performance[edit]Edit

Def Leppard[edit]Edit

Chart (1983) Peak


Canadian RPM Top Singles 32
UK Singles Chart 66
US Billboard Hot 100 12
US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 1

Year-End charts[edit]Edit

Chart (1983) Position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 90

Santana featuring Chris Daughtry[edit]Edit

Chart (2011) Peak


US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 30
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