Following a lengthy battle with Universal Records over royalties, Def Leppard are planning to take rather unusual measures to ensure that they get the upper hand over their record label. The Guardian reports today (July 4, 2012) that the band are planning on re-recording all of their back catalogue, creating "faithful forgeries" as an act of rebellion against the major label. The Sheffield rockers have reportedly been feuding with Universal over royalty payments, specifically regarding compensation for digital downloads.
Frontman Joe Elliot explained "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.'" He added "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." The band have already recorded new versions of Rock of Ages and Pour Some Sugar On Me, to coincide with the Tom Cruise-starring movie adaptation of the musical, which features those songs. Elliott explained to the Associated Press "Our work is not available on any digital domain, except for the last [live] album . because [of] a catalogue issue with the record label. We just wanted studio versions of those songs available for this summer."
He does admit, though, that it will not be easy for the band to recreate the vintage sounds of old. "Where am I going to find a 22 year old voice," he ponders. "I had to sing myself into a certain throat shape to be able to sing that way again."