AC/DC Quit iTunes Boycott

After years of avoiding the digital music store because it discourages full album sales, they've given in and put their whole catalog on iTunes with massive discounts.

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AC/DC have finally published their discography to iTunes, after years of ignoring the service because it encourages single track purchases rather than full albums.

New fans can buy a "Complete Set" edition of all their releases for a discounted $150, a "Studio Collection" of their studio LPs for $100, or just buy individual albums or ringtones as normal.

Until now, the band had been against iTunes because they preferred fans to buy and enjoy albums in full, rather than just buy single track hits. Of course, there was a financial incentive, as guitarist Angus Young once explained (via Blabbermouth):

"Since iTunes came into existence, we've actually increased our back-catalog sales without being on the site. We were sternly warned by our management team and our record label that the complete opposite would be the case."

"I know The Beatles have changed but we're going to carry on like that. For us, it's the best way. We are a band who started off with albums and that's how we've always been. We always were a band that if you heard something [by AC/DC] on the radio, well, that's only three minutes. Usually the best tracks were on the albums."

It is unclear why the band have changed their stance on iTunes, but it could be to coincide with the release of "Live At River Plate" on November 20.

Kid Rock recently did the same and abandoned his iTunes boycott, after years of avoiding the service for the same reasons as AC/DC.

"Kid Rock has proven his point that he was able to have an incredibly successful record without iTunes, [but] that doesn't mean you can't reassess the landscape and take a look at people's buying behaviors," said Rock's manager Lee Trink in September. "Now is the right time [to join iTunes]... Digital will only be a greater and greater proportion in the way recorded music is purchased."

In January 2011, we reported on a theory that single sales on iTunes could have done more damage than piracy to music revenues.

What do you think? Is it the right time for bands to give in to iTunes, or should they stick out their boycott and encourage listeners to buy full albums? Let us know in the comments.

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88 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    ticktockboom
    I think I'll continue to buy CDs
    swave75
    I love cds still. Don't know what I will do when the inevitable happens.
    BlackDeath92
    Now I can get some real AC/DC music and not some shitty "tribute" band!
    IrishConnor1994
    I thought it sucked that iTunes had a million AC/DC songs, but none of them were done BY AC/DC, until now
    BlackDeath92
    Now if Def Leppard would do the same...
    IrishConnor1994
    AC/DC used to say they were very against iTunes, and the concept of people only buying 2 songs off an album, and missing out on the rest. But here we are. I think Def Leppard will end up on iTunes sooner or later too. I'm hoping we get all the Ozzy era Black Sabbath, because I can't find those albums on CD anywhere
    latinromans
    Right now Def Leppard is actually rerecording there whole catalog because they don't hold the rights to the recordings but they do hold the rights to the songs themselves, they've just been having trouble with their old record company over putting songs online but as soon as there done recording they'll be on there.
    almadacr
    I still prefer to buy the CD and if i want to rip it as MP3 for sure it will be better than the 256kbps that itunes sells .
    loz4
    Why boycott it anyway? It helps you sell music
    zomgguitarz1234
    I guess it might have some artistic integrity, like some people like alice cooper and mastadon have their whole albums be a story, and if you just have people pick out the most popular songs it kinda ruins the whole idea of that. Also it makes people just only know those songs, like for megadeth I use to only know the popular stuff until I bought the peace sells album and after a few listens to the less-than-popular songs no there I found I enjoy some of them more than Wake up dead and the title track.
    IrishConnor1994
    iTunes can hurt your sales when no one buys your full album, just the 2 or 3 that are on the radio.
    Firehawk2410
    I suppose so. But, this is the digital age. How many people are going to spend $10.00 USD on a whole album just to see if they like the band rather than "test run" a few different songs first? That's how I do it. I wouldn't have 9 Aerosmith CDs right now if it weren't for iTunes.
    Firehawk2410
    Because they want you to "appreciate albums in their entirety." In other words, give us more money in one pop. If you compare AC/DC CD prices to similar bands in the same time period, AC/DC sells their stuff for noticeably more money than anyone else, and that's why I never buy their albums. I'm glad they finally sucked it up.
    Firehawk2410
    ^ I don't get what I said wrong. Someone tell me. I'm being honest. Why do AC/DC albums have to cost more than everything else? I can buy two KISS albums or one AC/DC album for the same amount of money. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE AC/DC's music, but if money's the reason they hated iTunes, then I call it greed.
    SocksAndTrees
    Now I just have to hope Tool will quit the boycott.
    Ich 666
    How about buying the CD if youre so much into Tool?
    i_am_metalhead
    Why pay $20 for an album when you can get it for half that price off iTunes? Money doesn't grow on trees.
    Spaztikko
    It's funny. I like rock and metal, and it is actually cheaper for me to get albums in shop than on iTunes.
    mat hazelwood
    never have i paid 20 for a cd unless its a double live or something like that, and god forbid you buy an album for the artwork as well
    Breakingpoint56
    The same can be said for the artist who is getting slighted by your reasoning. Fuck 'em if they have families to feed. As long as you can save a few bucks right? I'm talking about smaller bands of course. They are the ones who really suffer. Tool is a monolithic band. They'll never go broke.
    Ita3rd
    As a long time fan I appreciate AC/DC for doing this, though I must say that I probably would have never discovered some of the band's best, hidden gems had I not been forced to buy their albums in full. If I hadn't wanted the song "Thunderstruck," for example, I may never have discovered "If You Dare" or "The Razor's Edge" off the same album. Then again, maybe people will be encouraged to check out the more obscure tracks now that they have the opportunity to sample songs within the program.
    latinromans
    If I believe in a band I'll just buy the whole album anyways as I know that if the bands good I may not like all the songs as much the highlights, but they'll still grow on me most likely turn out to be good songs in there own way. If I only listened to music I already knew I could appreciate then I would have missed out on a hell of a lot of great music.
    spiff-corgi
    I use Amazon Downloader anyway cos I really dig cheap prices that may or may not be due to tax evasion. Regardless, iTunes is the worst quality on the market.
    Danjo's Guitar
    AC DC I can understand, but WTF is Kid Rock doing? That is the last person I ever expected to boycott something because it goes against his "values". WTF! I can't wrap my mind around it!
    HarvesterofPain
    I hear ya, I'm having a hard enough time wrapping my head around "Kid Rock" and "Value" being included in the same sentence.
    Anjohl
    AC/DC do not have a greatest hits CD.
    IrishConnor1994
    That Iron Man 2 album has most of their biggest songs, but nowhere near all of them, it's about as close to a greatest hits they have (Except for Back in Black)
    Anjohl
    Well, it's a soundtrack, and lacks SEVERAL high-profile songs such as Back in Black, Dirty Deeds, Hells Bells, Shook me All Night Long, and many others. I would grant you that IM2 acts as a great SAMPLER, but it's hardly a greatest hits album.
    morbidguitar
    funny how the richest bands can never get a grasp on the 21st century. Im sure beethoven would have boycotted cassette tapes if he had the opportunity