Rock band Def Leppard has added its back catalog of music onto Apple Music and other streaming services today, following a years-long "power struggle" with Universal Records over the band's digital song rights.
Now, as Def Leppard lead singer Joe Elliott explained to TeamRock.com, new executives at Universal Records have thought differently about the band's streaming catalog, leading to the inking of a deal and the band's music launching today on Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music Unlimited, and more. Def Leppard's music is also now available to purchase on iTunes.
“We tried to do a deal many years ago, but it didn't work out, so we just waited and bided our time.
“Record labels, or any kind of institution like this, keep the same name, but every 18 months you can have totally different people.
“We were just very fortunate that the people at Universal at the moment were very onside to doing this deal. We sat down with them and basically just batted the stuff back and forth until we all settled on what we thought was a fair deal.”
With the launch on Apple Music, there is now a wealth of Def Leppard content for subscribers to listen to today. On the main "Browse" tab, the streaming service has a new banner for the band, and within that you'll find playlists, albums, live albums, deluxe editions, and other collections.
Apple Music also launched an exclusive "The Lost Session" EP today, which includes live versions of songs like "Rock On" and "Bringin' On the Heartbreak," all said to be from a recording session in 2006. Similar to other major artists, the service has curated playlists that showcase Def Leppard Essentials, Deep Cuts, Influences, and Inspired tracks, allowing users to browse some of the band's own songs as well as discover music that is similar.
On Def Leppard's new page, Apple Music gives a brief history of the band:
"Def Leppard were still teenagers when they joined the late '70s/early '80s New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. But while their peers like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest got heavier, Def Leppard forged a pop-friendly hybrid that opened the door for hair metal and elevated them to worldwide acclaim. Anthems like "Pour Some Sugar on Me," "Photograph," and "Rock of Ages" retain their fist-pumping brilliance decades later, while "Love Bites" and "Bringin' On the Heartbreak" are some of the most potent power ballads in rock history.
Their enduring spirit is legendary, exemplified by drummer Rick Allen who lost his left arm in a 1984 auto accident but continues to record and tour with the band. Def Leppard's classic studio albums, playlists, and a lost 2006 session are now available to stream on Apple Music for the first time."
Following its launch in 2015, Apple Music has had a few major artist holdouts that have eventually come to the platform, including Taylor Swift, Adele, and Kanye West. In the most recent update from September, Apple Music was reported to have 30 million subscribers, up from 27 million last June. Rival Spotify shared its own subscriber count growth earlier this month, stating it now has 70 million paid subscribers.