October 13, 2008

AC/DC Says No To iTunes For Upcoming Album

AC/DC Says No To iTunes For Upcoming Album

Classic heavy metal group AC/DC has chosen not to release its upcoming album on iTunes, or anywhere else but Wal-Mart for that matter.

"Maybe I'm just being old-fashioned, but this iTunes, God bless 'em, it's going to kill music if they're not careful," lead singer Brian Johnson, 61.

"It's a...monster, this thing," he said. "It just worries me. And I'm sure they're just doing it all in the interest of making as much...cash as possible. Let's put it this way, it's certainly not for the...love, let's get that out of the way, right away," he said.

Formed in 1973 by brothers Angus and Malcom Young, AC/DC has since become a heavy metal mainstay.

Their album "Back in Black" -- the fifth-best selling album ever in the United States, according to the Recording Industry Association of America -- became a heavy metal landmark. The title track, as well as "You Shook Me All Night Long," remain radio standards nearly 30 years after their release.

The follow-up album "For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)", a play on the ancient Roman gladiators salute, rocketed to No. 1 on U.S. charts and became a rock classic.

Now, the band's 15-song album "Black Ice" makes them one of only a handful of musicians to refuse to sell their music through Apple Inc's iTunes.

Selling songs online is another issue, too. While music downloads from iTunes to iPods and from other music-oriented Web sites to digital players has become standard practice for music lovers, it strikes the wrong chord for AC/DC.

"Black Ice" will be sold exclusively at Wal-Mart and its Sam's Club stores, as well as AC/DC's website.

"A lot of people were saying 'Ah man, you're going to the big Wal-Mart, you're selling out,' Johnson said.

"Wal-Mart were the only big store to stock all of our albums, every single one of them, and they've never deviated. And they sold AC/DC shirts and pajamas for kids, which we thought was really cool," he said.

The band is also preparing for a world tour that begins in the U.S. this month.

Johnson said he was working out to keep pace with the frenetic Angus Young, who is famous for sporting a schoolboy outfit on stage.

Johnson has hired a trainer to get into shape, and hopefully he will be able to make the leap to the rope beneath the giant bell that AC/DC traditionally lowers at the start of rock anthem "Hells Bells."

"The bell's going to come down again and I'm saying to myself, 'Should I jump that 10 feet?'" said Johnson. "Can I still do it?"


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