I'm a huge Def Leppard fan. For years I have anticipated every release and have all the bands albums from various periods on heavy rotation. I don't understand why a band as big and popular as Def Leppard have to resort to rerecording old hits!
Both Pour Some Sugar On Me and Rock Of Ages have been given the rerecorded treatment and soundwise they are pretty much exactly the same as the originals. I understand the point of this exercise; to get their biggest hits back out into the public to coincide with the Rock Of Ages Movie. Whilst I have no problem with this, why can't the originals be used for this task?
One thing I always admired about Leppard was that apart from their own Hits albums, very rarely is their back catalogue thrown about into various 'Classic Rock' compilations and movie soundtracks, so to get tracks you had to buy the albums. The only other bands I can think of who work similar to this are Metallica and Led Zeppelin. So why now?
Rock music from the 80's has been having a resurgence over recent years with 'classic' acts like Motley Crue, Poison, Europe and others still working and in Motley & Europe's case, still producing good new albums. Newer bands like Work Of Art and Lionville have taken on the Leppard asthetic. In Def Leppards case, the new tracks they released on their Mirrorball album were the best things they have released since Euphoria in 1999. Why start rerecording older hits now? If the digital domain is where the sales are now, work out the legalities and get the original albums available.
I'd like to stress that I have been a fan of Def Leppard for almost 25 years. I've read in various articles that due to the sales slump of the traditional album format, one-off singles and obviously rerecorded versions of their own songs is the way to go. I hope not. For me, Leppard are as valid now in this musical climate as they have ever been and to never get the chance for one more full length well produced long player from them would be very sad and indicative of the poor musical landscape today, where songs are made for quick consumption and left to rot as a digital file in the ether.
With regard to the rating, I would give both new versions 5 out of 5 as they are both still great songs and the new versions do have great production values and Joe Elliott still sounds full of vitality. The reason for the 3 stars is simple: The old adage states 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it'.