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

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

    by superdave80 ( 1226592 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @02:42PM (#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 jdray ( 645332 ) * on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @02:46PM (#42044737) Homepage Journal

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @02:58PM (#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 TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @03:01PM (#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 T.E.D. ( 34228 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @03:12PM (#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 crazyjj ( 2598719 ) * on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @03:17PM (#42045195)

    all AC/DC songs sound exactly the same

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

  • by crazyjj ( 2598719 ) * on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @03:20PM (#42045245)

    Fuck, those guys ROCK in concert, though.

  • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @03:20PM (#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.

  • by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Tuesday November 20, 2012 @04:27PM (#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.

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?