“It was, well, let’s just say a sensible business decision on our part,” Joe Elliott tells MTVHive. “How can I put this politely? 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. It’s hard work trying to recreate something you did 30 years ago.”
Elliott insists Leppard didn’t attempt to update or amend their original recordings for a new generation: “We tried to do it as closely as we could,” said Elliott. “We got the same sounds, the same key, the same tempo. It was a 100% forgery. That was the idea, anyway. It’s not like a live version, where everything’s a bit looser and you’ve got the ad-libs and the slightly longer guitar solos and the crowd screaming in the background. We were very conscious of the fact that when people download our songs from iTunes, they want it to sound like they remember it.”
Def Leppard have no beef with Rock of Ages movie star Tom Cruise. A year ago, Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen gave the project his approval.