DEF LEPPARD recently joined the long list of rockers who have re-recorded their biggest hits in note-perfect renditions. Frontman Joe Elliott shed some light on the new "2012" versions of "Pour Some Sugar On Me" and "Rock Of Ages" now available at various digital retailers. Elliott told The Hollywood Reporter, "It's about principle. I'd be lying if I didn't say it was about money because the problem we've got is, [our former record company] want to pay us what we think is a ridiculously low rate.
He continued, "It's a well-known fact: Artists throughout the years have always been shafted by record companies. … The reason we're being so sticky about it is because two years ago, we made a deal with a gentleman at Universal who was pretty much on our side — he was a fan, a smart businessman and a fair guy — and we shook hands. Fifteen days later, somebody above his head said the deal's not going through. To an Englishman, when you shake hands, it's a binding contract, and Universal reneged on it. So we dug in our heels and said, 'We're gonna say a blanket no to anything that you ask for."
According to Elliott, DEF LEPPARD is in a unique position because they are one of few bands to have veto power. He said, "[Universal] can't release our back catalog, we're not going to let them put a song on a compilation unless we want it there, and they'll never be able to license. They won't be able to do anything without our permission because that's in our contract."
Asked to explain the crux of the band's argument, Elliott said, "We want to get the same rate for digital as we do when we sell CDs, and they're trying to give us a rate that doesn't even come close. They illegally put up our songs for a while, paying us the rate they chose without even negotiating with us, so we had our lawyer take them down.
He added, "When you do your own recordings, you're making about 85 percent and 15 percent goes to iTunes or whichever particular digital domain you put them up. Something along those lines would be fair. But they were offering us the opposite — a quarter of what we get paid on our CDs. So we thought if we can't get them to pay us a decent rate on the digital, then we're going to go in, re-record them and pay ourselves decently. Because we're not fighting against our own back catalog. If we put rerecords up against the originals, nobody would buy the re-records. So what we're trying to create is what they know by making as close as we can, forgeries of what we did in '83, '81, '87…"
Read the entire interview from The Hollywood Reporter.
"Rock Of Ages" 2012 version audio stream (courtesy of AOL's Noisecreep):
"Pour Some Sugar On Me" 2012 version audio stream (courtesy of AOL's Noisecreep):
institution in the touring industry, as they continue to sell out arenas worldwide.