In the new Hollywood blockbuster “Rock of Ages” that revisits the glam rock scene of the 1980s, Tom Cruise plays the nearly past his prime rocker Stacee Jaxx. In the musical he sings a rendition of the smash hit ‘Pour Some Sugar On Me’ by British rockers Def Leppard, they are also responsible for the song ‘Rock of Ages’ that gives the film its name.
Unlike the majority of the other classic rock bands out there, until very recently, the majority of Def Leppard’s songs were not available to digitally download. Meaning that new-age fans for whom the word music is synonymous with iTunes were unable to get their hands on these timeless hits.
The reason behind this strange phenomenon is that Def Leppard has fallen out with their former record label the Universal Music Group. Basically, they still have the rights to the recordings, but they are not allowed to do anything with the band’s music – hence their glaring absence from iTunes.
The dispute between the label and the 80s rockers continues, but in the meantime, Def Leppard may have just found a very intriguing way around the situation. Yesterday we brought you the fascinating story of Hans-Jurgen Kuhl, for whom the act of forging notes became about art, and now we bring you the story of a group of artists who are having to ‘forge’ their own songs in a bid to defeat a record labels constraints!! It really is a crazy world we live in!
Determined not to lose the new found popularity that the ‘Rock of Ages’ movie is likely to bring to their music, they went about re-recording exact replicas of certain hits and have so far completed near identical versions of ‘Poor Some Sugar On Me’ and ‘Rock of Ages’. These ‘forgeries’ have been downloaded thousands of times since their release into the digital world!
Forging your own songs might sound fairly simple, but frontman Joe Elliot explained to Billboard.com that it was not as easy as it sounds, he said: “You just don’t go in and say, ‘Hey guys, let’s record it,’ and it’s done in three minutes…We had to study those songs, I mean down to the umpteenth degree of detail, and make complete forgeries of them.”
He also mentioned that he had to train really hard to rediscover the ’22-year-old’ voice that he had when he recorded the originals but said that overall the band were pleased with the way the songs turned out.
Def Leppard are currently on a ‘Rock of Ages’ tour with Poison and Lita Ford and when this tour wraps up they will be record other songs to add to their repertoire of forgeries. Fans of the band will be pleased to hear that they are also thinking about writing some new songs too!
Def Leppard Recording ‘Forgeries’ of Old Hits To Spite Label (Via Billboard)