British hard rock legends Def Leppard have joined an esteemed list of formerly reluctant artists to abstain from streaming. The band, whose slick hits like "Pour Some Sugar on Me" and "Love Bites" were plastered across radio and MTV, announced on Friday that its entire catalog is now on all major streaming and download platforms.
In recent years, fellow rockers like AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles and Bob Seger have all ended their disputes with streaming. Remaining holdouts, whether total or partial, include Tool, King Crimson, Suede, Joanna Newsom and the late Aaliyah, among others.
"It is with a mixture of relief and euphoria that we now see our entire catalog finally getting a digital release," said frontman Joe Elliott. "Having embraced every other format with open arms, especially and more recently the reemergence of vinyl, we're now going to be available to everyone everywhere and honestly, it’s as exciting as the original releases were."
One of the more successful and popular rock groups of the last 40 years, Def Leppard has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, scored 19 Billboard Hot 100 hits (with 11 in the top 20) and another 29 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart. Two of the albums that made the band a household name, 1987's Hysteria and 1992's Adrenalize, topped the Billboard 200, while a third, 1983's breakthrough Pyromania, stopped just short at No. 2.
Their monster hits include "Bringin' On the Heartbreak," "Photograph," "Rock of Ages", "Too Late," "Animal," "Armageddon It," "Rocket," "Hysteria," "Foolin'," and "Let's Get Rocked."
The band's dispute with their former label Mercury Records/UMG over licensing and compensation was at the core for the band's reluctance to make their earlier music available to stream or even download. (The band's most recent albums, 2011's Mirror Ball, 2013's Viva! Hysteria, 2014's Slang and 2015's Def Leppard, were already on streaming services.)
In 2012, the band even began recording "forgeries" of their biggest hits to sell on iTunes. "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,' that's the way it's going to be," Elliott told Billboard at the time. "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."
And that's the way they left it until last year when Elliott revealed that they were working on resolving their issues with Universal over the back catalog.
The band's albums, now on all major streaming services:
The Def Leppard EP (1979)
On Through The Night (1980)
High ‘N’ Dry (1981)
Retro Active (1993)
Songs From The Sparkle Lounge (2008)
Mirror Ball - Live & More (2011)
Def Leppard (2015)