Def Leppard recently released a song that's all ready for your holiday playlists. They've now made a video for “We All Need Christmas."

As Leppard singer Joe Elliott tells UCR, the song emerged earlier this year when the group was on the road with Journey. Bassist Rick Savage came up with the idea for “We All Need Christmas,” as Elliott remembers.

“He goes, ‘It's a Christmas song.’ I'm thinking, ‘Oh, cool, Slade, Wizzard, where we going with it?’ And he started playing it, and I thought, ‘Oh, it's more of a Greg Lake thing, ‘I Believe in Father Christmas.’"

The old school vibes continued with the way the band put the song out to the world. In addition to releasing it digitally, they also packaged it as a bonus 7" single for a special pressing of the vinyl edition of The Story So Far, their new retrospective album.

“It's just like it was when I was buying records when I was 17, and you got a free single inside the first Stranglers album and stuff like that," Elliott notes.

You can watch the video for "We All Need Christmas" below.

Elliott likes the sentiment the group captured on the song. “It's very cool, it's not overly sappy, which I could see on the surface people might think it is," he says. "But if you actually listen to it, not just hear it, [but] actually listen to it, I'm not trying to get all deep and meaningful here, but there is a message. It's just one of those things. I think it makes you think back. I think that's what people do at Christmas, we think back to younger days, worse days, better days, or they're missing family that can't make it back this particular Christmas. It becomes a very poignant time of year for a lot of people. I think this song reflects that old mood.”

The holiday track was recorded on the road as the group traveled from city to city this past year. “They did all the guitars in and out of hotel rooms and in the dressing rooms,” Elliott recalls. “I did my vocal back home in my studio during one of the breaks. Then we started building a song, in layers and layers over a period of time.”

“It's been recorded in probably 12 different cities around the world, but all on the one laptop. Welcome to 2018 technology, where you can get a song that's got such a traditional feel to it, for a Christmas song. It wasn't, ‘Let's all go into church and light some candles.’ In our minds, maybe we did that, but physically it was a MacBook Pro, and it worked great.”

There’s more new Def Leppard music on the horizon too, says Elliott. “We’re not done by a long way -- we’re just going to do it at our pace, when we want to,” he notes. “Because I think when you’ve been around as long as we have, we should be able to kind of enjoy the fruits of our labor a little bit, so that we can regroup. Everybody lives all over the world, so we’re not all living in one box. Getting together is actually a major effort. So we kind of tend to do a lot of stuff together when we are together which is why we recorded the new Christmas song while we were on the road, because we were all there.”

But first he's planning to complete an album with his side band the Down ‘n’ Outz. Their first two records were filled with Mott the Hoople covers, but the new LP will focus on original material. Elliott is excited about the album, which he hopes will surface sometime by the middle of 2019. “These songs have been in my head for so long now," he says. "I’ve got to get them out of here.”

He notes that he wrote nine songs on piano, two on guitar -- which are "more rockers.” “The other ones are rocky, but they’re rocky in the sense of like, uptempo Elton John or uptempo Mott or Queen or anybody that has a piano in their band," he says. "You know, Humble Pie, David Bowie, any of those bands with a piano and a guitar. So you have stuff that sounds maybe in the vein of ‘Life on Mars’ or you have stuff that sounds in the vein of ‘Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting’ or ‘All The Way From Memphis.’ It’s more of a ‘70s thing than a specific band.”

Elliott says that writing on the piano "gives you different scopes and different challenges than just writing on the guitar." "That’s why these songs are nothing that I would have ever presented to Def Leppard," he explains. "They weren’t written with them in mind. So yes, it will sound like me, but it won’t sound like Def Leppard underneath me.”



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