Def Lep will re-record with dignity
Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott insists the band’s plan to re-record all their hits is not an attempt to make a fast buck.
And he wants to make the “forgeries” so good that fans won’t notice the difference between the new versions and the originals.
Last month he revealed the band had decided to retrack as much of their back catalogue as possible after failing to reach an agreement with their former record label over digital releases.
They’ve already released their 21st-century takes on Pour Some Sugar on Me and Rock of Ages – and the singer says there’s much more to come.
Elliott tells NPR: “What we’re trying to attempt to do – and it’s down to the listeners to decide whether we achieve it or not – is give them something that sounds like the original.
“We don’t want them to say ‘It’s better’ or ‘It’s worse’. We want them to say ‘It’s the same’.
“I’ve done it myself: I’ve looked for a certain song where I accidentally bought the re-record and it’s been awful. It’s just been lousily, quickly done for a quick buck. We’re not trying to make a quick buck – we’re actually trying to maintain some kind of dignity in this.”
Elliott says one of their main motivations is “we don’t want other people making a shitload of cash out of our work and not pay us for it.” But he doesn’t believe Def Leppard will manage to create new versions of every track they ever recorded.
“That’s about 180 songs,” he says. “There are some strange Japanese B-sides that really aren’t worth the effort, but when it comes to Bringin’ on the Heartbreak, Photograph, Hysteria, Love Bites – I can name twenty top twenty hits – some of those are well worth the effort.”