Def Leppard have gone back into the studio to rerecord some of their biggest hits in a move to regain control of their music from the record companies.
It’s a move that has been used fairly often over the last few years including a series of CDs by Suzanne Vega covering much of her catalog and the Squeeze project Spot the Difference where they attempted to rerecord their hits so precisely that fans would have trouble knowing if they were listening to the original or the new version.
For Def Leppard, it was because of a fight with their ex-label. Joe Elliott told Billboard magazine “When you’re at loggerheads with an ex-record label who…is not prepared to pay you a fair amount of money and we have the right to say, ‘Well, you’re not doing it,’ that’s the way it’s going to be. Our contract is such that they can’t do anything with our music without our permission, not a thing. So we just sent them a letter saying, ‘No matter what you want, you are going to get “no” as an answer, so don’t ask.’ That’s the way we’ve left it. We’ll just replace our back catalog with brand new, exact same versions of what we did.”
He went on to tell the magazine that they painstakingly studied each of the original tracks so that the recreations were as close as possible.
They have even received approval from original producer Mutt Lange who said that they did an “incredible job.”
Pour Some Sugar On Me and Rock of Ages are already available for digital download. More should be coming in short order.