Rock band AC/DC, a longtime holdout from the iTunes Store, has finally agreed to distribute their full catalog digitally with Apple. With a press release and a prominent spot on the iTunes Store front page, AC/DC is poised to be a big hit on Apple’s digital music distribution platform.
New and existing classic rock fans can now purchase all 16 of the band’s studio albums, 4 live albums, three compilations, and two collections. “The Studio Collection” (US$99.99) includes all studio albums and “The Complete Set” ($149.99) stays true to its description by offering all studio albums, all live albums, and all box sets. Individual AC/DC tracks are available for $1.29 each.
AC/DC was absent from digital distribution for so long due to the band’s desire to preserve the “album experience.” Members of the band have often stated that their music was recorded and mixed with the entire album in mind, and that listening to the tracks together as a complete album was the “best way” to experience them.
“For us it’s the best way. We are a band who started off with albums and that’s how we’ve always been,” AC/DC guitarist Angus Young told Sky News in 2011. “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.”
With the continuing decline in physical disc sales and the corresponding rise in digital music sales, however, AC/DC’s members likely came to the conclusion that digital distribution was the only way to reach new fans and satisfy some existing fans.
AC/DC’s agreement to join iTunes mirrors that of the Beatles, who in 2010, after many years of delays, were made available exclusively on iTunes for the first time. Formed in 1973, AC/DC will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year and was one of the last great rock band holdouts to digital distribution.