Def Leppard’s Interesting Way of Getting Out of Their Record Deal

Many artists hate their label.  Lou Reed, Trent Reznor, George Michael, Prince and many others have had epic contract battles.  In the end, they got what they wanted.  But the price was very, very high.

Def Leppard is currently waging their own battle.  They’re tied to their label for a certain number of releases.  Until they fulfill those obligations, the contract remains in place.

Meanwhile, the band is greatly annoyed at what’s going on as far as their digital rights are concerned. They feel that they’re not being properly compensated, especially for downloads.  Bascially, they have no control over their biggest hits like “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and “Rock of Ages.”

So are they just going to sit it out?  Slug things out in court?  Nope.  They’re going to re-record “forgeries” of their biggest hits, release them to the public and collect the cash.  

Their label owns the original masters to the original versions of those songs.  Re-recording them creates new masters to which the label has no claim.  Sneaky, no?


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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