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.

88 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I think I'll continue to buy CDs
    I love cds still. Don't know what I will do when the inevitable happens.
    Now I can get some real AC/DC music and not some shitty "tribute" band!
    I thought it sucked that iTunes had a million AC/DC songs, but none of them were done BY AC/DC, until now
    Now if Def Leppard would do the same...
    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
    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.
    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 .
    Why boycott it anyway? It helps you sell music
    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.
    iTunes can hurt your sales when no one buys your full album, just the 2 or 3 that are on the radio.
    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.
    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.
    ^ 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.
    Now I just have to hope Tool will quit the boycott.
    Ich 666
    How about buying the CD if youre so much into Tool?
    Why pay $20 for an album when you can get it for half that price off iTunes? Money doesn't grow on trees.
    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
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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!
    I hear ya, I'm having a hard enough time wrapping my head around "Kid Rock" and "Value" being included in the same sentence.
    AC/DC do not have a greatest hits CD.
    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)
    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.
    I have never bought anything off iTunes. Why not just download on torrent sites etc. I have no problem pirating music from big acts when I get charged $40 for a tour t-shirt at music concerts.
    Guess Kid Rock started a chain reaction. Never thought I'd see this day happen.
    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
    J.R. Legrasse
    Have already owned most of their catalog on CD and vinyl album for years, so might just DL the songs "Flick Of The Switch" and "Who Made Who" then consider my AC/DC needs complete.
    Download the album FOTS. It's really rather good. FOTS isn't the best track on the album IMHO.
    iTunes is the worst piece of software that was ever designed, not to mention the actual quality of the songs you download is awful! Considering you can download mp3's from Amazon and Play in higher quality and not to mention cheaper, why would anyone buy from iTunes?! More bands should boycott iTunes in fact any Apple product!? as there are better and cheaper devices/software out there!
    I think I'll just buy the cd's thanks.
    I have all their stuff on CD, but I'm happy that some of their boxed sets like Bonfire and Backtracks are on iTunes, because I couldn't get them otherwise
    Good, now that the last possible person on earth has stopped caring about these guys, they go ahead and release their stuff on iTunes.
    haha! What is the point of a band like AC/DC having a boycott like this? They only have 2 albums worth buying as an average listener(Back in Black and Highway To Hell). The rest of their albums sound like each other. They should be thankful that they do have songs that are successful as singles and let people buy them separately if they so choose.
    Even if you don't like the rest of their stuff, you can't have (and wouldn't have had) those two without High Voltage and Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. To me, those are their two best albums, as well as featuring most of their best material.
    Razors Edge is the best for me!
    Urghhh it has Mistress for Christmas on it! What were they thinking? Some good songs otherwise. For me LTBR and Powerage, with Powerage being my absolute favourite.
    I think it's funny how they want people to focus on their albums instead of just individual songs, when all of their songs sound the same.
    Plus, they have a Greatest Hits CD. Good thing for them they finally changed their mindset, or they'd look pretty silly.
    Hmm, back in black = 2nd best selling album of altime, Can sell out 100k tickets in 2 minutes, NEVER went near a greatest hits era and for sure in the top 5 sucessful bands of all time.....beat that
    Spotify???? Tool, Metallica, KIMB - Megadeth, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Pink Floyd all need to be on spitify and my life will be complete.
    I'm surprised! I thought this would have a lot more negative votes from people arguing that AC/DC was selling out. What's funny is that you could actually make a legitimate case that this was, in fact, selling out if it's true that this was done solely for fiscal incentives (I'm NOT saying they're sellout). I only say this because I hear people cry "sellout!" every time a band decides to change directions with their new album, when in reality, that's not technically selling out.
    My boys! Im glad they did what they did but now that theye doing this they need a new album to put up there!
    The sad thing for me is that when I've gone to stores to buy CDs, not only does the music section shrink by an aisle every time, but the CD cases themselves have taken a dive in quality. For ex. I got this paper pos tiny thing that won't stand the test of time when I got the new Soundgarden album. They're making better and better quality digital copies on iTunes as well. It diminishes the incentive even more to get phyisical copies : / Clock's ticking.
    sounds like you're shopping for music at Target, which is mistake number one. Find a local record store if you can.
    It's Best Buy, which were the only disc copies with the bonus tracks, but w/e. I'll have to find something better.
    Ebay. You can get anything from all over the world and at a good price. I buy most of my CDs on Ebay (Badlands is a good seller)or on Amazon (especially via Zoverstocks)
    try to find an HMV, I noticed they are getting better for older rock albums lately. The one I go to is starting to get more Sabbath, Megadeth, and lots more obscure albums they never used to have.
    Not an issue over here in the UK. Every time i buy CD's they're in properly packaged jewel cases. They normally end up breaking (My fault usually) but still, it's not some flimsy paper POS. (This from shopping online, HMV, That's Entertainment, etc..) Liam
    iTunes has the option to only sell albums and not individual songs
    I love ACDC dearly, but their boycott of iTunes, was just another old band refusing to get with the times. Welcome to 2012 guys.
    They should definetly encourage their fans to buy whole albums no matter where there being sold at
    I feel band for people who will say they grew up on that mp3 or mp3 album instead of saying "I grew up on that CD".
    "It is unclear why the band have changed their stance on iTunes..." Translation: AC/DC was losing a s^%$ ton of money by living in the stone age. The band's new album will contain political songs such as "The Berlin Wall fell, when did that happen?" and comment on recent trends on the hit smash "VCR or Beta Max?". The band will be touring with Guns N Roses but insist they were unaware of the GNR's breakup.