Def Leppard Re-Recording Old Songs

A young Joe Elliott

For some reason, they think this is a stellar idea.

Not sure I agree. I was in the car the other day, Sirius-free, listening to classic rock on the FM, and fucking “Hysteria” came on and I fucking rocked out hard.

National Public Radio spoke with Joe Elliott of the band recently, and it was an interesting conversation.

When asked why Def Leppard songs are not on iTunes, Joe says, “When we signed our record contracts, Noah was still sailing the arc off into foreign climes. It was 1979 and there was no such thing as ‘digitally.’ It wasn’t written into the deal and consequently [Universal Records] have no rights for a digital release.”

Interesting.

“They can only release them digitally with our permission because that’s written into our contract. We’re trying to wrestle back all control or as much as possible. We’re not enjoying it — but they’ve got to come to the table with some kind of reasonable proposal, which they haven’t done, so we shall go in the studio and have a bit of fun.”

That’s why they are re-recording their old songs…to be able to release them online.

“That’s about 180 songs. There are some strange Japanese B-sides that really aren’t worth the effort, but when it comes to the ‘Bringin’ On The Heartbreaks,’ the ‘Photographs,’ the ‘Hysterias,’ ‘Love Bites’ — I can name 20 Top-20 hits — some of those are well worth the effort.

“We’re just basically doing re-records — it’s as simple as that. We’re making them available on iTunes, but what we’re trying to attempt to do — and it’s down to the listeners to decide whether we achieve it or not — is give them something that sounds like the original. We don’t want them to say it’s better or it’s worse, we want them to say it’s the same. I’ve done it myself where I’ve gone in iTunes where I’ve looked for a certain song where I accidentally bought the re-record and it’s been awful. It’s just been lousily, quickly done for a quick buck. We’re not trying to make a quick buck, we’re actually trying to maintain some kind of dignity in this. ‘Cause we don’t want other people making a shitload of cash out of our work and not pay us for it.”

OK, I change my mind. Proceed with my blessing.

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