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CMT Crossroads

Taylor Swift and Def Leppard | 2008

“Taylor Swift and Def Leppard” is an episode of the CMT television show CMT Crossroads. The episode features performances by Taylor and English hard rock band Def Leppard. It aired on November 7, 2008.
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Taylor and Def Leppard filmed their appearance on CMT Crossroads on October 6, 2008. The taping happened at The Acuff Theatre in Nashville, TN with 11 songs performed before a sell out crowd. The appearance on the iconic CMT show had been long rumoured and was announced in July 2008. Def Leppard met up with Taylor’s band in August to rehearse for the show and they immediately hit it off. The unlikely pairing worked well and the crowd loved every moment of the show. Fans elsewhere got their first taste of the performance when “Photograph” was premiered online by CMT on 23rd October 2008.

Five of Def Leppard’s biggest hits were performed during the show starting off with “Photograph” and including Taylor’s favourite tune “When Love & Hate Collide”. The show is notable as having the only live performance ever of “Love” from their 2008 album Songs From The Sparkle Lounge.  Additionally, five of Taylor’s songs were played. Four singles from her debut album, Taylor Swift (2006), “Our Song“, Picture to Burn“, “Teardrops On My Guitar” and “Should’ve Said No“, as well as her then newly released smash hit “Love Story“.

Background and Release

CMT Crossroads is an American television program broadcast on CMT that pairs country music artists with musicians from other music genres, frequently trading off performing one another’s songs, and also dueting on some numbers.  Taylor had wanted to perform with Def Leppard on the show and contacted Rick Allen via her then tour manager, Rick’s older brother Robert Allen. Her e-mail to introduce herself didn’t pan out. However, when she mentioned her aspirations in an online interview, the band’s tour accountant brought it to their attention:

«I've wanted to do Crossroads with Def Leppard since I heard about Crossroads. I always thought, 'That would be so fun to get these crazy British guys with these awesome songs and they're rock stars and my band would freak out.' It never occurred to me that we'd actually get to do it.»

After the rest of the band had learned of Taylor’s wish to collaborate on the show it eventually happened almost a year later. Robert Allen later took over as the head of Taylor’s company 13 Management. He had started out as Def Leppard’s road manager but left them after the end of the Pyromania tour:

«We said, 'Who is it?' Because, of course, we didn't know. There's always a first day when you discover a band, whether it's The Beatles or Taylor Swift. You hear the name for the first time, and then you go and check it out. We googled her, iTune'd her, listened to it all and said, 'Well...wow!' Look at how many records she'd been selling and look how young and pretty she is and how exciting it is to be at that point of a career. Because we were there once a long time ago before (she was) born. Of course, the first thing we did – 15, 20 minutes later – was try to get a hold of her. 'Let's see if we can actually get this going.' It took a year, but you know, here we are.»

The performance made its television premiere on November 7, 2008, and was released on June 16, 2009 via DVD exclusively to US Walmart stores by Big Machine Records.

Watch "CMT Crossroads: Taylor Swift & Def Leppard"

General Information
StarringRick Allen
Phil Collen
Joe Elliott
Rick Savage
Taylor Swift
Music byDef Leppard
Taylor Swift
Release DateNovember 7, 2008
Length75 minutes
Distributed byCMT
CountryUnited States