The AC/DC Album Angus Young Didn’t Allow To Be Downloaded And Caused iTunes’ Stocks To Drop
Formed in 1971, AC/DC is among the best-selling bands in the world, with over 200 million records sold worldwide. Although their music has been described as hard rock or heavy metal, they simply call it ‘rock and roll.’ So, as of now, AC/DC has been rocking and rolling for almost five decades despite their ages.
AC/DC went through some lineup changes throughout their career before deciding on featuring Angus Young, Malcolm Young, Phil Rudd, Bon Scott later replaced by Brian Johnson, and Mark Evans later replaced by Cliff Williams. Moreover, their 1975 debut ‘High Voltage,’ their breakthrough album ‘Highway To Hell,’ and ‘Back In Black’ helped them reach new heights of success.
With 18 albums released so far, AC/DC is one of the most prolific rock bands in rock music history. Although fans mostly use digital platforms to listen to their favorite albums in today’s world, AC/DC has a different approach to digital sales. In fact, they also have one album which Angus Young didn’t want to be uploaded on iTunes, and it resulted in dropping iTunes’ stocks. Let’s see which AC/DC album that was.
Angus Young Didn’t Want The ‘Black Ice’ Album To Be Downloaded From iTunes
On October 20, 2008, AC/DC released their fifteenth studio album ‘Black Ice.’ However, the album was released in physical format as the band didn’t sell their musical efforts digitally at that time. So, Walmart got the rights to distribute the album in North America and promoted the sales with an extensive marketing campaign. Although AC/DC didn’t sell the album on digital platforms, ‘Black Ice’ became the second best-selling record of 2008, and it had shipped 6 million copies around the world.
According to what Brian Johnson told Reuters in 2008, their decision not to sell the record on iTunes was that they thought iTunes would kill music. So, they released the album in physical format to protect it from the general emphasis on buying single songs. In a 2010 interview with Absolute Radio, Johnson talked about this issue again. He said that according to Angus Young, iTunes had a bossy attitude towards them, and they didn’t sell the album to iTunes as it is a body of work that cannot be broken down.
Johnson said the album achieved huge success after the release, but iTunes’ stocks dropped a couple of points due to AC/DC’s reason not to sell it to them. According to Johnson, many younger bands followed their example and decided to sell their albums in shops available for everybody. So, this move of Angus Young and AC/DC seems to have had a remarkable impact on online streaming platforms.
During the conversation, Absolute Radio host Leona Graham asked Brian Johnson the following:
“AC/DC don’t make any of their music available for download. Why is that?”
Brian Johnson responded:
“I think Angus said it the best. iTunes was kind of bossing things for a while. We don’t like that big brother thing. And, of course, when the ‘Black Ice’ album was coming out, they just naturally assumed that we were going to sell it to iTunes. We just said no. No, it’s a body of work.“
He then continued:
“It was wonderful because we brought the album out and it just exploded overnight. It was great because I think the iTunes stock dropped a couple of points. People were going ‘What’s this?’ And after we did that, a lot of other younger bands left iTunes and just said we are going to do like AC/DC, we’re going to sell it in shops to everybody.”
Below, you can watch the interview where Brian Johnson talked about AC/DC’s approach to selling their music on digital platforms.