They recently rolled out new versions of Pour Some Sugar on Me and Rock of Ages, but singer Joe Elliott says that’s just the start.
He calls the move is a “sensible business decision” – but admits trying to make accurate reproductions is hard work.
Elliott tells MTV Hive: “How can I put this politely? We were having a major disagreement with out ex record label about the digital rights for our back catalogue. We couldn’t come to a mutual understanding that seemed fair for both sides.
“So we finally decided to re-record all our hits. We started with Sugar and Rock of Ages and I think we did a pretty good job – but it’s hard work trying to recreate something you did 30 years ago.
Def Lep’s aim is to create “100% forgeries” of their originals, and the singer insists it would be a mistake to try changing any aspect of the tracks.
“It’s not like a live version where everything a bit looser and you’ve got the ad libs, the longer guitar solos and the crowd 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.
“There’s nothing worse than being let down by an artist you love. There’s a guy called Andrew Gold – back in the seventies he had a song called Lonely Boy that’s just wonderful. When we were on tour it popped into my head, so I went to download what I thought was the original. I ended up getting a re-recording. It was like a crappy karaoke version.”
Elliott maintains it would be “pretty sad” to try reshooting videos to go with the new tracks. He says: “It’s easy to reproduce the sound and get it to match – but we can’t go in a time machine and get rid of the wrinkles. We are what we are. I’m 52; I’ll be 53 in a few months. It would be ridiculous.”
-Classic Rock Magazine