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.”
Looks like it’s going to be a Cruel Summer, and then straight back to work for Kanye West! Speaking with MTV News, Def Jam VP and long time Kanye collaborator No I.D. let slip that he has been working with Kanye on a new solo project that is slated to follow-up the G.O.O.D. crew project. “It’s what you expect and everything you don’t expect,” he teased, reminding also that Kanye “hasn’t missed yet.” Besides greatness, though, what exactly do we expect?
Of course, every breathe Kanye starts a rumor. Based on a few of the things we know, and a few of the things we have heard, a few things you might considered when deciding what to expect of this sixth studio album:
BIG BOI IS LAUNCHING A NEW SOCK LINE
Andre 3000 might be the Outkast member better known for his style, but does has he ever designed a sock line of his own? We don’t think so. It’s also worth mentioning that his new album is “coming good.” [Complex]
ELECTRONIC MUSICIAN DAN DEACON LAYERS ‘CALL ME MAYBE’ 147 TIMES
This is what we imagine it would sound like if everyone on the subway/airplane/gym unplugged their headphones all at once. [HuffPost]
NORAH JONES GETS THAT “EVERYONE NEEDS A BEST FRIEND”
Jones lent Family Guy creator Seth McFarlane this brassy, big-band number for his debut movie, Ted. No ticket stub required to enjoy this one. [Stereogum]
MAN SINGS “KISS FROM A ROSE” TO HIS CAT
Watch as an eager feline lover serenades his cat with a Seal classic. What say you: the most lucky or the least lucky cat in the world?
In a battle of rock versus pop, the rock won this week with Linkin Park edging Maroon 5 out for the top spot on Billboard‘s Top 200 chart. But just barely.
According to Nielsen SoundScan numbers, Linkin Park’s Living Things sold 223,000 copies in its first week on the shelves, just more than the 222,000 that Maroon 5′s Overexposed sold. Accordingly, Linkin Park will enter the charts at No. 1 for the fourth consecutive album. And like they did with 2010′s Hands All Over, Maroon 5 will take the runners-up spot.
The stars, they are just like us! Sometimes they, too, are moved to tears by Madonna — oh, wait.
In Berlin over the weekend, a dramatic rework of “Like a Virgin” had the 53-year-old Queen of Pop herself reaching for her deepest vocal registers, and then the tissues. About three minutes into the video above, Madge loses herself to tears. Kneeling down at the edge of the stage, she took a beat or two to regain herself before she was raised to her feet by a shirtless back-up dancer so that she could finish the number.
Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, celebrated the Fourth of July by releasing a new mixtape called Royalty. This new tape really shows of the strides he has taken since his freshman album, Camp, as a rapper and a rapper who can snag big-time guests. The hour long affair features high-profile appearances from hip hop heavy-weights like Bun B, RZA and Ghostface Killa; hip hop up-and-comers like Danny Brown, Ab-Soul, and Kilo Kish; and, um, Tina Fey, who closes the tape with a verse of her own. And it’s as that less-than-likely, last-but-not-least guest that she has managed to steal the show. Because who says rap can’t be funny?
This 33 second announcement video is everything we love about P!nk. Posted as an announcement for her upcoming album, she is sure to includes all vitals: that the new album is out September 18th, and that it will be called The Truth About Love. She does it, though, in classic, sassy P!nk style. “I want to tell you something really important,” she begins, clearly struggling to keep a straight face. Cracking, she asks through her hearty laugh, “What am I supposed to say?” Nothing more was necessary! Her playful attitude toward the announcement tells us everything we need to know about the album, namely that it will be a return of the feisty star we love.
Rocking platinum hair streaked with her namesake pink and her eyes caked in neon blue eyeliner, this quick clip reminds us how much we’ve missed P!nk. It’s been four years since Funhouse, but she’s still got that color and feistiness that make her a standout amongst her fellow pop stars. And as we noted earlier this week, new album’s catchy first single “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” is a refreshing reminder of this. Consider our calendars marked: September 18th, The Truth About Love.
Mr. Nas Jones comes again with a second posthumous collaboration with his late and great friend Amy Winehouse. Last fall we got a haunting first listen to what the two could do together with “Like Smoke,” off of Winehouse’s posthumous album Lioness: Hidden Treasures. And today, we get a second go with “Cherry Wine,” off of Nas’s upcoming Life Is Good.
The six-minute track is a jazzy and somewhat melancholic affair. It opens with Winehouse singing longingly of the man of her dreams. “Where is he, the man who is just like me? I heard he is hiding somewhere where I can see,” she wallows, her voice as sweet and soulful as ever. Her Mr. Jones, too, is looking for the woman of his dreams, a someone who can “teach me how to life, she’s not afraid of life.” Even though Nas’s verses were recorded after Winehouse’s passing, there is chemistry between the two. Thanks for this is perhaps due to the song’s producer Salaam Remi, a longtime collaborator of both vocalists. It’s hard not to wonder what — as successful as their posthumous collaborations have been — the two might have accomplished together in Winehouse’s prime. But alas this will have to do, and it does well. “Everything is good, everything is fine, pour a little cherry wine,” Nas reminds at the end of his verse. “Life is good, no matter what, life is good.”
R. KELLY BLAMES RYAN GOSLING FOR HIS DIVORCE
“As the film credits started to roll, I couldn’t move,” he writes in his new book Soulacoaster. “I burst into tears. People walking past me patted me on the back, trying to console me. The Notebook was beautiful, and I was crying because its hero and heroine had died together. But I was also crying because … my marriage had died. And there was nothing I could do to bring it back.” Perfect. [MTV]
Just a day after he debuted his verse a capella at the BET awards, Kanye has graced us with the full “New God Flow” track. The song builds a sample of Ghostface Killah‘s “Mighty Healthy” to a piano-driven beat that is about as spare as the one Ye banged out on the BET stage with his foot. It’s patient, too, providing plenty enough space within for West and his guest Pusha T to stack their boasts high while dreaming of piles higher. For these two, G.O.O.D.’s not enough — they want that new god flow. The track is available for full stream or download on West’s website. Read more…