JOE ELLIOTT Explains Delay In Making DEF LEPPARD's Classic Albums Available On Streaming Services

January 22, 2018

DEF LEPPARD has finally made its entire catalog available for downloading and streaming. The band, which had been a longtime holdout to having the its music available digitally, even went so far as to re-record its classic hits in note-for-note replications rather than cave to a deal that didn't serve them well. Now, the group's work — from its 1979 debut, "The Def Leppard EP" through 2015's self-titled album — can all be found online.

Lead singer Joe Elliott told the BUILD Series that "various different reasons" caused a delay in getting DEF LEPPARD's entire catalog up on all major streaming and download platforms. "Most of them were nothing to do with technology; they were just down to practicality and the fact that there was no deal in place," he said (see video below). "You can't just meet up with somebody on Monday and put a deal in place so that they're ready to go Monday evening. It took a long time to get both parties, which is Universal and LEPPARD, to the table and meet in the middle, where we were both happy with, basically, the compromise of what it was gonna be. They were gonna make offers and we were either gonna accept them or not. We wanted to get everything under the one umbrella as well, so instead of it all coming out in dribs and drabs, we wanted it to all be there, from '79, 'The Def Leppard EP', right up to the last album, we wanted everything together. And to do that just takes a long time, and the negotiations take a long time."

Further complicating matters was the fact that DEF LEPPARD's touring obligations kept the group's focus elsewhere, making it difficult for Elliott and his bandmates to find the time and the energy to ensure the roll-out of the catalog online was just right. "We didn't wanna do it while we were out on the road, 'cause your head's not in it," he explained. "You've gotta sit down and go through everything. And when somebody's tapping you, going, 'Soundcheck. Photo session. Meet-and-greet. Gig,' you can't really concentrate on doing stuff. So we waited until the tour was over, and we really got into it. The tour finished towards the end of June, and all the negotiations were well underway by then. We really went to town once everybody got home and settled down and everybody just got time to breathe and concentrate on nothing but this, go through all the archive stuff. Then once we'd done that, we had to go in and remaster everything. We had to get everything to match. It was sitting down with Ronan [McHugh], our sound guru, as we like to call him, and going through everything and making sure that all the levels were [where they should be], so it's technically all settled for digital. 'Cause before, everything was just settled for CD or whatever, vinyl. This gave us the opportunity to go through everything with a fine-tooth comb — from the EP, all the way through 'On Through The Night', right up to the last album. And again, it doesn't happen overnight."

Although the returns for artists with music in the streaming realm hardly lines musicians' bank account these days, Elliott told Rolling Stone that he was able to look beyond the dollars and cents. "We came to the conclusion that it's not going to do us any harm, but the deal had to be right," he said. "These things just don't happen overnight. We didn't want certain albums on one service and others through another one. So negotiating everything with different places just takes time. It's not like a make-or-break thing, whether we do it or not. So we didn't and just went off on our own."

DEF LEPPARD titles now available across all streaming and download platforms include:

* The Def Leppard EP (1979)
* On Through The Night (1980)
* High 'N' Dry (1981)
* Pyromania (1983)
* Hysteria (1987)
* Adrenalize (1992)
* Retro Active (1993)
* Vault (1995)
* Slang (1996)
* Euphoria (1999)
* X (2002)
* Yeah! (2006)
* Songs From The Sparkle Lounge (2008)
* Mirror Ball - Live & More (2011)
* Def Leppard (2015)

DEF LEPPARD and JOURNEY will join forces for a massive co-headlining tour of North American stadiums and arenas. The 58-city trek will kick off on May 21 in Hartford, Connecticut and run through October 6 in Los Angeles. Tickets go on sale beginning Saturday, February 3 at

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