I thought this was a sort of intriguing story that I came across very much at random today…
Def Leppard Recording ‘Forgeries’ of Old Hits to Spite Label
Essentially what happened is that the band had a major beef with their label about fair royalties for digital downloads – not an uncommon problem today, as many different creative genres are still operating on contracts written decades ago that are vague enough to really screw artists via future technology. But the reason this group’s situation is different is that they somehow retained the ability to say yay or nay for any future business opportunities, so instead of letting the label sell their entire collection and keep most of the profits, the group said, “Nope!” and is now re-recording the songs themselves to be released independently.
It’s sad to me that these huge media conglomerates simply have no desire to actually support the very creators that made them millions, but I suppose there’s a little comfort to be found in watching IP slowly chipped away from their base like this as creators come to realize that these days there are other options than just signing over 90% of your profits to a huge corporation who’ll only be in your corner when there’s money to be made. They don’t care about negotiating or taking a pay cut to ensure that the art continues – it’s an all-or-nothing mentality that worked well for them over the last 50 years and it’s slowly going to put them in the grave over the next 50.
I would be curious to compare a few of the re-recorded tracks to their counterparts from 25 years ago – what are the chances that Pour Some Sugar On Me still rocks by a bunch of guys in their 50s as it did when they were in their late 20s???