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Def Leppard Frontman Talks About Recording ‘Intentional Forgeries’ of Hits

Joe Elliott
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

The next time you go to download ‘Pour Some Sugar on Me’ or ‘Rock of Ages’ from your favorite online music retailer, you might not get the original version — and as Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott revealed during a recent interview, that’s exactly how the band wants it.

“How can I put this politely?” responded Elliott when MTV asked why Def Leppard has been re-recording some of its most popular songs. “We were having a major disagreement with our ex-record label about the digital rights for our back catalog. We couldn’t come to a mutual understanding that seemed fair for both sides. So we finally just decided to re-record all our hits.

“We started with ‘Sugar’ and ‘Rock Of Ages,’ and I think we did a pretty good job,” continued Elliott. “It’s hard work trying to recreate something you did 30 years ago.”

When the interviewer pointed out that it never sounds quite the same when bands cover their own material, Elliott responded, “We got the same sounds, the same key, the same tempo. It was a 100% forgery. That was the idea, anyway.” The band, he insists, was “very conscious of the fact that when people download our songs from iTunes, they want it to sound like they remember it.”

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