Tag Archives: Rock of Ages

Def Leppard – Old Hits, New Tricks

Def Leppard – Sheffield’s finest, growing old gracefully – well kinda.

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.

I never had hair like Russell Brand does in this film. It was worse…

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…

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Trailered – “Rock of Ages”

It’s almost as though Hollywood has found a way to dig through my brain and stealth-target their product at me:  A musical (well, okay) based around 80’s hair bands (oh, hell yes) starring Tom Cruise (Get out of my head, Hollywood!).

Well, where else are you going to set this movie?

Warner Brothers and New Line posted the trailer for their adaptation of the Broadway musical, “Rock of Ages” today and it seems as though I’ll be going to see a musical in 2012 – who knew?

That's Tom Cruise, as rocker Stacee Jaxx, hair extensions akimbo in "Rock of Ages".

The story follows the time-honoured path of rock songs of the era – in fact, it may be directly inspired by the lyrics of Poison’s 80’s hit “Fallen Angel” – with Julianne Hough’s small-town girl coming to Hollywood in pursuit of her dreams and finding  only unrestrained debauchery, a Sunset Strip rock scene at the peak of its powers and a battle for the soul of  Tinsel Town’s raging around her.

The musical uses classic 80’s anthems from Reo Speedwagon, Journey,Whitesnake, Bon Jovi, Europe, Pat Benatar and a jukebox full of classics and the film has an equally starry cast – Cruise, Julianne Hough, Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin, Mary J. Blige, Paul Giamatti and Catherine Zeta Jones, amongst others.

Catherine Zeta Jones, channelling PMRC founder/Helen Lovejoy-alike Tipper Gore...

The film’s due out in Summer 2012 and the musical is currently in London’s West End at the Shaftesbury Theatre.  

And yes, I am thinking whether I can schedule a visit sometime.  The things I do for Hair Metal…

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