Def Leppard - Def Leppard Re-record Back Catalogue To Claim Back Ownership
Def Leppard are trying to get out of a deal that sees them loosen the grip by Universal Music Group on their royalties, and are doing so by re-recording new versions of their old songs which they can then claim as 100 per cent theirs.
The ruse was explained by vocalist Joe Elliott in an interview with Billboard, saying the decision came after endless battles with Universal over an agreement in the money split from download sales. "When you're at loggerheads with an ex-record label who... is not prepared to pay you a fair amount of money and we have the right to say, 'Well, you're not doing it,' that's the way it's going to be."
Continuing, he added "Our contract is such that they can't do anything with our music without our permission, not a thing. 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.' That's the way we've left it. We'll just replace our back catalogue with brand new, exact same versions of what we did." He said that re-recording the tracks hadn't been an easy process though, saying "We had to study those songs, I mean down to the umpteenth degree of detail, and make complete forgeries of them. I had to sing myself into a certain throat shape to be able to sing that way again. It was really hard work, but it was challenging, and we did have a good laugh over it here and there."