Def Leppard records with Britney team

PAUL CANTIN

, Last Updated: 4:34 PM ET

Hard rock veterans Def Leppard's collaboration with the production team behind hits by *NSync and Britney Spears will arrive in stores in July.

Island Records announced the group will celebrate its 25th anniversary with the release of "X" on July 30.

The new album sees the group teamed with various producers, including sessions at Joe Elliott's Dublin home conducted by longtime band associate Pete Woodruffe. Aerosmith producer Marty Frederickson oversaw sessions in Los Angeles.

But the collaboration that is sure to raise some eyebrows will be with Swedish producers Andreas Carlsson and Per Aldeheim, whose credits include Britney Spears and *NSync.

"Although that may sound strange to a lot of you out there; Mutt (former Leppard producer Mutt Lange) has worked with Britney Spears, and people still ask us why we don't work with him," Elliott said in a posting at the band's official website (defleppard.com).

"These guys worked with Celine Dion, Britney Spears, N'Sync, Backstreet Boys, but ... They are the biggest Dio fans on the planet! Big rockheads! And so, we got this message that they wanted to do a song with us, so we accepted that.

"As much as Andreas and Per work in the pop field, they're huge rock fans, which is only a good thing."

The website reports the group had recorded 15 tracks for the album, although only 12 or 13 would make the final cut.

"We keep focusing on our credo: 'Song Is King,' Elliott said at the website.

"The composition is more important than the sound. We're still influenced by anything we hear on the radio. Linkin Park, Elton John, Faith Hill -- whoever! But that doesn't mean you will hear their sound in our songs. It's more details, ideas, and so on.

"'Pour Some Sugar On Me' was influenced by 'Walk This Way' (Aerosmith/Run DMC), for example, but the result was not a rap song -- more like a rock song with slight bits of rap. So, basically, you may hear all kinds of things in the new songs. Still, it's clearly Leppard."


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