Well, this makes a lot more sense.
Def Leppard recently re-recorded new versions of “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and “Rock of Ages” for the soundtrack of film version of the “Rock of Ages” musical and that seemed like a neat gift for fans who want to download the originals but can’t – Leppard’s back catalogue is a notable absentee from the iTunes store and other music download stores. There is, of course, a good reason for the prolonged absence of Steel City’s favourite sons – and wouldn’t you know it? Dirty cash is involved.
Leppard leader Joe Elliott explains the band’s stance on re-releasing their classic songs in an interview with MTV Hive (which is a thing, apparently) by explaining that the reason for a Leppard-free iTunes is down to disagreements between band and former record label on the value of their catalogue. Elliott is diplomatic but I don’t have to be – even though record companies are increasingly becoming as necessary as an umbrella in the Sahara, trying to rip-off artists by quibbling about how much they get paid for downloads is really quite cheap and a good way of ensuring that this tick on the back of musicians will soon hopefully be a thing of the past.
The plan appears to be that Leppard will be re-creating their songs for future release in a similar way to the two “Rock of Ages” songs – engaging in a programme of re-recording the material in what Elliott brilliantly describes as ‘100% forgeries’ of their hits,reaping the entirety of the financial reward from distributing them on Amazon, et al.
There are so many tinny, 80’s-sounding CDs in my collection which might benefit from this approach – though it’s not always the best idea. I do have what turned out to be a re-recording of an old 80’s House of Lords track which I bought in haste on iTunes and now rarely play – singer’s voices don’t exactly improve with age and can be downright horrible to listen to, as I found out.
Leppard are currently on tour in the States on a jaunt with fellow 80’s survivors Lita Ford and Poison – a bill nearly the equal of the Lep/Motley Crue/Steel Panther show I saw last December – and still one of my favourite bands. A rock, clearly, will never be out of the question for these fine gents…
- DEF LEPPARD’s Joe Elliott, Rick Savage Talk Rock Of Ages, First Songs Available In The Digital Domain (bravewords.com)
- Def Leppard Talk “Rock Of Ages”: The Song, The Film, The Tour (929dave.radio.com)