Joe Elliott calls U2's Apple hook-up "a fantastic business decision."

Def Leppard mainman Joe Elliott has joined the U2 Songs Of Innocence debate.

“What, giving the album away?” he says to Hot Press. “Didn’t Radiohead do that five years ago? Didn’t I do it four years ago when we made the Down n’ Outz album available with the June 2010 edition of Classic Rock? Prince did it… I think there’s a lot of hooh-ha and nonsense about this. U2 didn’t give it away. Apple, who they sold it to, gave it away. It was a fantastic business decision. If you went to any band or their manager and said, ‘When your album’s done, you’re going to be paid upfront a hundred million bucks - actually the speculation is it’s for two records, this one and the Songs Of Experience follow-up - no business corporation with a brain is going to turn that deal down. You might go, ‘Urrrrgh, it’s not really art’, which is fine. You go sleep in the back of your transit van and these guys will carry on doing what they’re doing.

“If they made a mistake, it’s that they should have let you download it rather than putting it in so you have to delete it if you don’t want it. That’s the only thing I’d have done different. But giving the album away? I don’t think it’s right now to criticise or praise. The time to assess this is in five years time. Then we’ll know if they’re pioneers or whether it was a miscalculation.”

As for what he thinks of it musically, Joe adds: “Me and the wife listened to it the other day and really liked it. The street names and the references to their childhood; it’s a really gorgeous, personal record. Of course it’s not The Joshua Tree, like the new Def Leppard album - all fully recorded and out next April hopefully - won’t be Hysteria. You move on and address the next part of your life.”

Joe and the aforementioned Down n’ Outz hit the road in December for an Irish and UK tour that climaxes at the Belfast Limelight (December 17) and the Dublin Academy (18).

There’s also an album, The Further Adventures Of…, that finds the all-star combo paying tribute to the genius of Ian Hunter and the other members of the mighty Mott The Hoople.

Our in-depth natter about that, Def Leppard playing Vegas and touring with Kiss and his love of craft beer -

Joe has teamed up with the Porterhouse to produce a signature Down n’ Outz Pilsner lager and the all the way up to 11% ABV Louder barley wine - will be gracing an upcoming issue of Hot Press.


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