Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Steal some AC/DC

I just read a very interesting, if slightly ranty, blog post from Bob Lefsetz, author of The Lefsetz Letter. In it he points out that if you want to buy the new album by AC/DC called "Black Ice"...

You don’t have to wait until October 20th. You don’t even have to drive to Wal-Mart! Why waste all that gas and time when you can fire up your browser and download AC/DC’s "Black Ice" RIGHT NOW! In superior 320 kbps quality! With no DRM!

Yes, the album has been leaked, of course, and is racking up the downloads on torrent sites around the globe. Bob has little sympathy, but he is an advocate for the artist in these situations, make no mistake. He just has little time for artists and their labels who live in denial about changes in technology, and the music industry. AC/DC will be selling it's new album, out on October 20th, exclusively through Walmart in the US. Reuters reports the lead singer Brian Johnson as saying:

"Maybe I'm just being old-fashioned, but this iTunes, God bless 'em, it's going to kill music if they're not careful... Wal-Mart were the only big store to stock all of our albums, every single one of them, and they've never deviated. And they sold AC/DC shirts and pajamas for kids, which we thought was really cool."

But Bob Lefsetz has little time for this decision:

So what has AC/DC accomplished here? The Internet kept their fame alive and they’ve decided to deny it. They got in bed with the oppressor, the retailer who censors records. Meanwhile, their fan base will just download the damn album for free. The hypocrisy is stunning. They don’t care about their fans, they just care about money. Their handlers should have drilled into them that their album should be sold on iTunes... The day the CD is dead is not far off. 548,052 of Coldplay’s 1,773,932 albums have been sold digitally. And they own the second biggest album of the year. I’d say that’s a true indicator. That soon people will only want the file."

His full post is here.

From what little I have heard from the album its not unlike their last couple of studio records (make of that what you wish), but old-school AC/DC fans like myself can get excited about the upcoming tour, their first since 2001 which is set to arrive in Australia early next year. In the meantime here's the utterly rubbish video for lead single "Rock and Roll Train"...

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