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Music Apple Entertainment

Highway To Sell: AC/DC iTunes Snub Finally Over 247

Posted by timothy
from the genuine-angus dept.
Hugh Pickens "The LA Times reports that after years of stubbornly arguing that iTunes was, in the words of singer Brian Johnson, 'going to kill music if they're not careful,' AC/DC has reached a deal with Apple to sell its entire catalog — 16 studio albums, four live albums and three compilations — through the service. AC/DC was one of the last high-profile holdouts from the digital music marketplace, outlasting the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd, all of which jumped into the realm long after much of the population had accepted the downloading future. Angus Young, AC/DC's lead guitarist (known for wearing a schoolboy's uniform when performing), had long argued against hawking the band's music because he didn't like the idea of allowing for individual song downloads — submitting that the group's albums were designed to be listened to from beginning to end. 'It's like an artist who does a painting,' he said in 2008. 'If he thinks it's a great piece of work, he protects it. It's the same thing: This is our work.'"
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Highway To Sell: AC/DC iTunes Snub Finally Over

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @01:40PM (#42044643)

    He's against it because all AC/DC songs sound exactly the same. Download one and you've got them all.

    It follows this pattern:

    NAME OF THE SONG!!!!
    you got me singing
    NAME OF THE SONG!!!!
    now you're listening to
    NAME OF THE SONG!!!!

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      If they wanted them listened to beginning to end they should have made it a single track.

      They didn't.

      • by jdray (645332) * on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @01:46PM (#42044737) Homepage Journal

        Furthermore, he doesn't seem to object to radio play of single songs. Consumption is consumption.

        • Perhaps he does, but he doesn't have control of how his music is distributed. We all are aware that most music distribution corporations own various rights to distribute music and they do so the way it is agreed.

          So if AC/DC has not signed away their digital distribution rights, they may choose the way their music is distributed. And perhaps they believe that their music should not be chopped up.

          It's the artist's choice. If they feel that strongly and are willing to forgo the money that they would make fr

          • by cayenne8 (626475)
            I could see this for bands like Pink Floyd too...I mean, their albums, especially from their heyday (DSOTM, Animals, WYWH, and The Wall)...I still to this day, can rarely play one song from those, if I want to listed to any of the songs on one of those albums, I'll listen to the whole thing as a singular work, with different chapters.

            I like AC/DC, but I don't think of their music in the same album singularity of work thing.

            LOL..in the vein of "no one will ever need more than 640K".

            I think the Young broth

      • by Joce640k (829181)

        There's still time to do it.

        One big mp3 file...the album from beginning to end.

      • by mcgrew (92797) * on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @02:20PM (#42045249) Homepage Journal

        That's not how it worked. When this music was new, we had vinyl records. No remote control, no "skip" button. You put the record on the turntable, pit the needle in the groove, and listened. No way to mix up the tracks short of making a mix tape.

        Dark Side of the Moon was one of these, and it wasn't designed to be listened to like you listen to a CD; when side 1 was over, you walked to the turntable, turned the record over, and played side two. DSOM doesn't really work well as a single track, but as two tracks.

        However, ACDC is full of shit on this one. Their songs were never meant to be listened to in any particular order, and in fact that cassettes often had the songs in a different order than the LP, unlike DSOM, Magical Mystery Tour, Tommie, etc.

      • Then they'd only get 99 cents for the whole album.

    • by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @01:44PM (#42044705)

      He's against it because all AC/DC songs sound exactly the same. Download one and you've got them all.

      It follows this pattern:

      NAME OF THE SONG!!!!
      you got me singing
      NAME OF THE SONG!!!!
      now you're listening to
      NAME OF THE SONG!!!!

      Not the word I'd have used, but your point is valid nonetheless.

    • by crazyjj (2598719) * on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @02:17PM (#42045195)

      all AC/DC songs sound exactly the same

      If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    • A friend put it this way: "They play that song better than anyone else."

    • He's against it because all AC/DC songs sound exactly the same.

      Only if you listen to them through a diode bridge and capacitors.

    • by hairyfeet (841228)

      I actually wish that were true, then they would be consistently listenable, but all their stuff from the mid 90s on is just lame. Where is the "You shook me" or "Shoot to thrill" after 94? They don't exist. AC USED to be able to write the most catchy hooks, you would hear an AC song and be singing along because you...just couldn't HELP but like it, it was too damned upbeat and catchy. it was great music to go flying down the freeway to.

      I'm sorry but you listen to the later singles and they are just...meh.

  • Begining to end??? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by superdave80 (1226592) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @01:42PM (#42044667)

    ...submitting that the group's albums were designed to be listened to from beginning to end

    So, where was all the outrage when radio stations were playing one song at a time? You know, the one or two good songs that people actually wanted to listen to?

    • by Sir_Sri (199544)

      Their radio play was the equivalent of itunes free 30 second intro to a single song.

      If you believe an 'album' is really one long track then giving away one part of it is just the preview for the rest of it.

    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @02:01PM (#42044983) Journal

      The songs played on the radios were regarded by the bands as adverts (see: payola), and as such they didn't want to play the whole album because they wanted people to have to buy it to listen to the whole thing. The individual songs played on the radio were regarded as previews, not as complete works in themselves. In contrast, a downloaded track is regarded as a complete work by the band. No one complains that film previews contain scenes out of order, or that book previews only contain the first chapter, but the creators of both would strongly object to the idea of selling films by the scene[1] or books by the chapter.

      [1] Certain Hollywood companies, however, would be very much in favour of this if they thought that they could get people to pay more that way.

      • by jo_ham (604554)

        The songs played on the radios were regarded by the bands as adverts (see: payola), and as such they didn't want to play the whole album because they wanted people to have to buy it to listen to the whole thing. The individual songs played on the radio were regarded as previews, not as complete works in themselves. In contrast, a downloaded track is regarded as a complete work by the band. No one complains that film previews contain scenes out of order, or that book previews only contain the first chapter, but the creators of both would strongly object to the idea of selling films by the scene[1] or books by the chapter.

        [1] Certain Hollywood companies, however, would be very much in favour of this if they thought that they could get people to pay more that way.

        I'd argue they were almost there already. There's not enough story in the last Twilight to justify splitting it up into two films. There's only one motivation behind that.

      • by Penguinisto (415985) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @03:27PM (#42046115) Journal

        Not really sure the movie analogy holds up.

        It'd be more like a TV show analogy, after the TV series finally quits or gets cancelled... you have individual episodes which (more or less) stand on their own to varying degrees, some shows which are two-parters ("to be continued..."), and there should be an overall story arc that ties the shows together and provides some source of overall continuity (if the producers have any brains, anyway).

        Any event, the TV show analogy fits: You can watch just the favorite episodes, watch the whole season in one go, or get the whole series and do a marathon. Just like songs: singles, albums, discographies.

        Some single episodes/songs are masterful and epic, while others simply blow goats. Sometimes you want to do the whole series/album, crappy episodes/songs along with the good, just to get the whole arc for that season. Sometimes it only makes sense to do it as a whole series or album (e.g. X-Files for TV, or Queensryche's Operation Mindcrime for audio.) Other times, you can very easily break it up and enjoy the individual bits (e.g. Invader Zim or, well, any album made by AC/DC).

        All that said and done, I sincerely doubt that AC/DC ever had an album that was made with an arc or story that ties the individual songs together.

    • by Pope (17780) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @02:07PM (#42045071)

      More like, where was all the outrage when AC/DC were selling 45s [wikipedia.org] and other singles?

      • were selling 45s

        Looks like they released a new one last year [amazon.com].

        But we don't really take their protests at face value - most likely album sales have taken a downturn, so it's time to unleash the 'digital' machine.

      • What outrage? Just because they just didn't want to do it (not saying I agree with them) hardly earns a definition of outrage.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by nicholasjay (921044)

      ...submitting that the group's albums were designed to be listened to from beginning to end

      So, where was all the outrage when radio stations were playing one song at a time? You know, the one or two good songs that people actually wanted to listen to?

      Not only that, but what about the compilation albums? Weren't they just an attempt to sell more records with minimal work? How were they put together?

  • Too late (Score:5, Funny)

    by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @01:42PM (#42044681)

    Hey guys, it's cool that you held out for so long and were all principled, but I've already got copies of most of your work.

    I paid somewhat less than what iTunes is suggesting. I guess you win.

    • by jaymz666 (34050)

      Looks like I can get the CD NEW from Amazon for many of these albums cheaper than itunes sells the download version... disconnect much

      • That's because all those unwanted CDs take too much space and need to be sold at clearance.
      • I've found that with all of the music that I've considered buying on iTunes. Most things seem to be 20-50% cheaper (including delivery) if you buy the shiny plastic disc than if you get them from iTunes. I guess that's the price that you pay for immediacy. Or, I suppose if listen to bands that suck and only produce one track per album that's worth listening to then it's cheaper to buy a single track on iTunes than an entire album anywhere...
      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        Looks like I can get the CD NEW from Amazon for many of these albums cheaper than itunes sells the download version... disconnect much

        I'm sure I've got a player for an optical disk somewhere in my house. It might be in the computer that's unplugged and sitting in pieces under my old desk in the basement.

        • by jaymz666 (34050)

          And everyone who isn't as cool as you can easily rip a CD in moments to a lossless audio codec and throw out that optical disk and still have spent less
          on the album than a itunes purchase.

        • THAT's why you have an old Pentium IV laptop complete with parallel, serial and a VGA ports sitting in the corner.

          And why you boot it up and let XP update for a couple of hours. I just do this in the winter when I need a bit more warmth in the basement.

  • I really don't think The Beatles' situation would be called a "hold out" lol.
  • Attention artistic narcissists:

    • You have the right to create beautiful works of art that stir people's souls.
    • You have the right to keep your work private and only share it with those you want in the way you want.
    • You have the right to release your work to the public and try to profit commercially from it.
    • You DO NOT have the right to tell me how to experience your work. Once I have access to your album / song / painting / show, I can chop it up, listen to it backward, peer at it in a funhouse mirror, or
    • by Imagix (695350)
      Check out Christopher Tin's Calling All Dawns. That CD sounds awesome listening to it all the way through. The songs have a thematic connection in the order that they're presented. Having said that, there's a couple tracks in there that are really good on their own. I haven't heard Mr. Tin complain that you can buy Baba Yetu on it's own.... (heck, it was in a video game as the theme song....)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @01:57PM (#42044935)

    It was a fast machine, she kept her buffers clean
    Was the biggest damn kernel that I ever seen
    It wasn't crap from Fry's or a Rasberry Pi
    Knocking me out with those solid state drives

    Bootin up from the share, fast as a mac book air

    Looked for the root folder but I was already there

    The case started shaking, doom started quaking

    My mind was aching, we were making it

    And you shook me all night long

    Yeah, you shook me all night long

    • by Sloppy (14984) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @04:18PM (#42046719) Homepage Journal
      My personal version from 1984:

      It was a nice machine
      I kept the keyboard clean
      It was the best damn computer that I ever seen

      Five Twelve Kay
      Blew my mind away
      A lot of memory I must say

      Parallel interface
      Transfer data with grace
      And dual disk drives with plenty disk space

      We were playin' Donkey Kong
      But before long
      Somethin' went wrong, my computer's long gone

      'Cause you
      Poured Coke on my keyboard
      Yeah you
      Poured Coke on my keyboard

      The screen went berserk
      Thought it was just a quirk
      But then the printhead started to jerk

      The repairman spoke
      Laughed like it was a joke
      They were full of Coke, my chips were soaked

      Any other verses have been lost. Sorry about the awful chorus meter.

      The "parallel interface" stuff is a reference to my unhappiness with the 1541's serial bus. Nowdays, serial buses are preferred. Funny how things work out. The liquids on keyboards thing is sort of a reference to one of the alleged features of the upcoming(?) Apple IIc (not that I ever actually saw one of those), which was supposedly highly resistant to such disasters.

      Oh yeah, and AC/DC has been in the "digital marketplace" for at least two decades (whenever they started allowing the CDs to be published). And I'd like to stick Brian Johnson's "you're going to kill [commercial] music" comment right back in his face, since the very best way to kill commercial music is to tell paying customers "fuck off, we don't want your money."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @01:58PM (#42044943)

    Sorry guys, your work was good 20-30 years ago, but most of us don't care anymore.

    And the few of us who do care already have your stuff on CD and can rip it ourselves, or buy a used CD and rip that.

  • by kawabago (551139) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @02:09PM (#42045107)
    When I have a show of my paintings I don't insist someone buy all of them or none of them. I want people to buy the one work that speaks directly to them. Some works never sell and they are taken out of their frames and put away for posterity. I care very deeply what happens to my art work but I certainly don't worry about how people view it. That they do view it is what matters to me.
  • by T.E.D. (34228) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @02:12PM (#42045147)

    — submitting that the group's albums were designed to be listened to from beginning to end.

    I could easily see that argument for a Pink Floyd album, but AC/DC? Really?

    I mean, seriously. This is from a fan. I've probably listened to the Back in Black album straight through cover to cover more than all but two or three people walking this earth, band members included. I'd agree that the song ordering on there is probably better than a random one would be (note: the "Title track" leads off side 2 rather than 1, which is interesting, but it works).

    But would I ever sit down and argue with someone that its a travesty to listen to "Shake a Leg" without following it up immediately with "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution"? Hell no! Just listen to it and enjoy.

    • by Dan East (318230)

      There's one thing I can always count on Slashdot for, be it quantum physics, obscure linux distros, a complex mathematical proof, or AC/DC music - there's always a hardcore expert that provides needed insight. LOL

  • by moeinvt (851793)

    Come on come on, lovin' for the money
    Come on, come on, listen to the money talk

  • Thirty-year-old rock group with fifty-year-old members:

    "I'm on the sidewalk to heck"

  • Yeah, because you really can't appreciate the subtle nuances of "Sink the Pink" unless you hear it after "Danger" as originally intended [wikipedia.org] in 1985. Or, um, after "D.T." in 1986. [wikipedia.org] Right. Anyway...

    I love their music, but seriously, he's full of shit.

  • The pinball game came out with mix of music from there albums and you get the pick songs as well.

  • ... has already converted their DVD's or downloaded flac's (or mp3's) of them already.

  • The long form factor where anyone listens to an entire album has been dead for years. Dead Dead Dead. No one even listens to whole tunes either. And why bother, it's all shit.

  • "Come on, come on, listen to the money talk"

    • by Richy_T (111409)

      Of course, in the 6.5 seconds between the time I check and I type it in and hit submit...

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