Def Leppard and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra have reimagined 15 of the Sheffield rocker’s tracks in a new project Drastic Symphonies, set for release on 19 May 2023. The first single, Animal, was released this morning.
“Def Leppard has always enjoyed veering off the expected path,” Joe Elliott said, “working with the likes of Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift and Alison Krauss, for example. So, when the offer to revisit some of our back catalogue with the Royal Philharmonic was presented to us, to a man, we all jumped at it. Although we’re far from the first band to ever do this, working directly with an orchestra at Abbey Road on some of our more orchestrated songs seemed too good of an opportunity to pass up.”
The band have deconstructed and rebuilt not only some of their most well-known tracks but also some of their hidden gems as well. They have taken audio from the original tapes, and with the addition of some new vocals and guitar, this has been performed alongside the Royal Philharmonic. At different points, you can hear Joe Elliott duetting with his younger self.
“When the offer of doing an orchestral album with the RPO was suggested, we were honoured,” Phil Collen said. “But we didn’t just want an orchestra plonked over our previous recordings. We decided to create something special where we would have something classic but present it in a brand new way that would involve making everything work in the context of Drastic Symphonies.
“Recording new parts, remixing previous sounds, taking some of our instruments out so the orchestra could breathe, and literally making a new album. It was an amazingly inspirational process culminating in the live recording of the RPO at Abbey Road studios in London.
“An absolute team effort that took a good part of a year. It’s a new Def Leppard album, a greatest hits plus album, with some rarely heard songs, it’s a live RPO album, and we think it’s perfect. We’re so proud of how Drastic Symphonies turned out and can’t wait to share it to the world.”
The album will be available on CD, 2LP black vinyl, limited 2LP coloured vinyl, limited 2LP picture disc, CD/Blu-Ray (Atmos) and digitally.
The vinyl and Atmos versions will also feature an exclusive bonus track, Have You Ever Needed Someone So Bad.
Drastic Symphonies can be pre-ordered from https://defleppard.lnk.to/ds-physicalpr.
Def Leppard – Drastic Symphonies
Turn To Dust
Pour Some Sugar on Me (Stripped version)
Goodbye For Good This Time
Gods Of War
Angels (Can’t Help You Now)
Bringin’ On the Heartbreak
Too Late for Love
When Love & Hate Collide
Kings Of the World