Def Leppard is waging a war with its former record label, and the ammunition is re-recordings of the band’s classic hits. “Forgeries,” are what frontman Joe Elliott calls the new recordings in an interview with Billboard.com.
None of the band’s albums are available as digital downloads and haven’t been for years, Billboard.com reports, because the band has not been happy with its deal with Universal Music.
“Our contract is such that they can’t do anything with our music without our permission, not a thing,” Elliott tells Billboard.com. “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.’…We’ll just replace our back catalog with brand new, exact same versions of what we did.”
Earlier this year Def Leppard released remakes of 1987′s “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and 1983′s “Rock of Ages.” The 2012 “Pour Some Sugar On Me” has sold 21,000 downloads in the U.S. according to Nielsen SoundScan, while the new “Rock of Ages” has sold 5,000 copies.
Elliott says recreating music from more than 25 years ago has been a tremendous challenge. “We had to study those songs, I mean down to the umpteenth degree of detail, and make complete forgeries of them,” he says. “Time-wise it probably took as long to do as the originals, but because of the technology it actually got done quicker as we got going,” he states.
Still, some things became even harder with time. “But trying to find all those sounds…like where am I gonna find a 22-year-old voice?” he says. “It was really hard work, but it was challenging, and we did have a good laugh over it here and there.”
Def Leppard is continuing its Rock of Ages tour with Poison and Lita Ford through mid-September. The band is deciding which additional songs to re-record while still planning to release new music. Elliott says he anticipates “just releasing a song or two and then put an album out when we’ve got 10 or 11 songs we’ve been releasing over time.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio