Sheffield rockers Def Leppard back in studio after fees row

Back in the recording studio: Def Leppard members, from left, Rick Allen, Phil Collen, Rick Savage, Joe Elliott and Vivian Campbell. Photo: Matt Sayles/Invision/AP.

Back in the recording studio: Def Leppard members, from left, Rick Allen, Phil Collen, Rick Savage, Joe Elliott and Vivian Campbell. Photo: Matt Sayles/Invision/AP.

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LEGENDARY Sheffield rockers Def Leppard have begun re-recording some of their older hits - in a bid to ‘wrestle back control’ from a record company.

Newly-recorded ‘forgeries’ of Pour Some Sugar on Me and Rock of Ages are already available as the quintet re-record their back catalogue following a dispute with Universal Music Group.

Frontman Joe Elliott, a former pupil of King Edward VII School in Broomhill, told US-based Billboard.com that the band refuses to deal with Universal ‘until we come up with some kind of arrangement’ over compensation, especially for digital downloads.

He said: “When you’re at loggerheads with an ex-record label who is not prepared to pay you a fair amount of money and we have the right to say ‘well, you’re not doing it’.

“Our contract is such that they can’t do anything with our music without our permission, not a thing.

“So we just sent them a letter saying ‘no matter what you want, you are going to get no as an answer, so don’t ask’. That’s the way we’ve left it.

“We’ll just replace our back catalogue with new, exact-same versions of what we did.”

However, he admitted it was not easy going back to songs dating back 25 years.

The 52-year-old 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.

“Time-wise it probably took as long to do as the originals, but because of the technology it actually got done quicker as we got going.

“But trying to find all those sounds, where am I going to find a 22-year-old voice?

“I had to sing myself into a certain throat shape to be able to sing that way again.

“It was hard work, it was challenging, but we did have a good laugh over it here and there.”