Def Leppard is one of the most creatively and commercially successful rock acts of the last thirty years. Thanks to selling over 60 million albums worldwide and remaining a popular touring act to this day, they’ve earned themselves way more money than they’ll ever be able to spend. However, they have become increasingly irritated with their business associates at the Universal Music Group of late, mainly due to the fact that they feel like they haven’t been paid their fair share of royalties generated from past digital music sales. This is hardly a novel problem, but Joe Elliott and the rest of the Def Leppard camp have come up with a fairly novel approach to solving it: Instead of letting their lawyers haggle in court over fractions of a penny that they should be paid per download or stream of their catalog, Billboard is reporting that they have gone into the studio to re-record new versions of their old songs so that they’ll earn ALL of the money from future purchases of their music.
Yes, you read that right. Instead of being able to hear albums like Hysteria or Pyromania in their original form as recorded by legendary superproducer Robert “Mutt” Lange, newcomers to the Def Leppard fold will instead hear the 2012 incarnation of the band’s re-recordings of their hits. Singer Joe Elliott admits to Billboard that the process wasn’t exactly easy, either. “You just don’t go in and say: ‘Hey guys, let’s record it,’ and it’s done in three minutes. I had to sing myself into a certain throat shape to be able to sing that way again. It was really hard work, but we did have a good laugh over it here and there.”
Well, their hard work notwithstanding, how do the songs measure up? Take a listen to a :30 snippet of the 2012 version of their 1987 anthem, “Pour Some Sugar On Me.”
On that note…