I am product of 80s and 90s rock and Def Leppard is part of my personal history into rock and metal. Whenever I think about that time of my life and the music that helped me survive my pre-pubescent years, Hysteria is front and center. It was the second rock album I ever owned in cassette format, which I still own (some things you can’t let go).
So it’s odd that hits like “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, “Hysteria”, “Photograph”, or “Armageddon” can’t be purchased through any digital source. Search on Amazon MP3, iTunes, MOG, etc. and only newer recordings are available, which seems insane considering today’s hyper-connected, digital consumption habits. For an industry that is losing to digital versus physical distribution, it does seem ridiculous to go against what makes business sense considering the band’s music is experiencing an exposure jolt to new, younger audiences thanks to the film and musical, Rock of Ages.
After fighting with their label, Universal Music Group, Def Leppard has decided the only thing it can do is essentially re-record and cover their own songs to have them sold and made available on places like iTunes. I nice, big fat middle finger to record label. Who can really blame them?
Although the band doesn’t necessarily own the rights to their own songs, the band does have the right to cover their own songs. The question that many fans will surely ask: will updated versions retain the magic the originals recordings have?
Time will tell, but I think the band will make sure the “cover” versions are at least as good as the originals.