AC/DC's Snubs iTunes: "We Don't Make Singles, We Make Albums"

September 25, 2008 2:33 PM ET

When AC/DC release their new album Black Ice on October 20th exclusively through Wal-Mart, the album will join the Beatles catalog and Kid Rock's Rock N Roll Jesus in the small "Not Available on iTunes" club. While the stance has done wonders for Jesus' renaissance, it nearly ruined Estelle's chart momentum. Despite the Wal-Mart exclusivity, AC/DC's Angus Young said Black Ice wouldn't show up on Apple's digital store anyway because "We don't make singles, we make albums."

iTunes allows customers to choose between single song or full album purchases. "Way back in the Seventies, we drew these figures on the back of an envelope for our record company. We showed them how much they earned from us if we sold 1 million singles and how much they earned if we sold 1 million albums," Young said. "The difference was staggering. That was to get them off our back because we only very grudgingly release singles. Our real reason is that we honestly believe the songs on any of our albums belong together."

Young also says that he recently met some bands that discussed withdrawing from iTunes as well because "I told them that since iTunes came into existence, we've actually increased our back catalog sales without being on the site." Young makes an interesting point: The Beatles and AC/DC rank one and two on the list of highest-selling back catalogs, and neither appear on iTunes. The Rolling Stones, meanwhile, ranked sixth on the list and are available on iTunes.

Related Stories:
AC/DC Reveal "Rock N' Roll Train" Video, Go Paperless Ticket Route
AC/DC Announce North American "Black Ice" Tour Dates
AC/DC's "Black Ice" to Be Released October 20th; Pre-Order Info, Track List Announced

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Long Walk Home”

Bruce Springsteen | 2007

When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

More Song Stories entries »