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Def Leppard Has Patnership With Wal-Mart

Def Leppard is always ready for something new. Even though the veteran British rockers behind “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and “Photograph” are nearing 35 years in the business, this summer, they are in the midst of a whole lot of firsts.

“We’re certainly not just sitting on our laurels,” said singer Joe Elliott. The band — Elliott, guitarist Phil Collen, bassist Rick Savage and drummer Rick Allen — recently released its first live album “Mirror Ball,” which is also its first release on its own Bludgeon Riffola label.

“We’ve always been the kind of people who are prepared to put our hands up in the air and say, ‘My bad,’ which I much prefer to do than pointing my finger and screaming at somebody for screwing up,” Elliott said of leaving the major-label world behind.

“We got so fed up with people thinking they knew what was best for this band without even discussing it with us. We just said ‘enough.’ We’re not going to do that anymore.”

Def Leppard signed a distribution deal with Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club for “Mirror Ball” and another deal to make it their only album on iTunes.

“People say, ‘Don’t you think it’s a bit weird that you can only buy it at Walmart?” Elliott said. “Well, record shops are closing — the numbers I see, about three to five a week. I don’t see any Walmarts closing down. At least, they’re consistently available.”

While the current tour is in support of “Mirror Ball,” Elliott said the band isn’t playing the whole set on tour, switching some songs in favor of tracks from the band’s breakthrough “High and Dry” album and other songs that weren’t singles.

One song that the band won’t be playing live is its new rock ballad “Kings of the World,” which features studio craftsmanship to achieve the style of Queen.

“It’s a total studio creation like Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ or maybe an Abba single,” Elliott said of the song, written by Savage, that serves as exit music at the shows. “He wanted to write a song that was a stadium rock anthem. It’s something that goes back to his childhood.”

See Def Leppard with Heart & Evan Watson at DTE August 17th.

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