In a luxurious room at the Peninsula Hotel in New York, Brian Johnson, lead singer of AC/DC, hummed Wonderful world while waiting for a photo shoot. Although he is famous for hard rock songs with the group AC/DC, Brian can still sing delicately about green trees and red roses Louis Armstrong).
AC/DC stubborn still succeeds
AC/DC received little media attention but quietly became Australia’s most active rock group. Since 1991, when Nielsen SoundScan began to track record sales in the US, AC/DC has sold 26.4 million albums, trailing only the Beatles and more than the Rolling Stones or Led Zeppelin. In the past 5 years, when CD sales have plummeted, AC/DC sales are better than ever, selling 1.3 million copies in the US last year even though they never had a record. No new album since 2000. With the new album Black Ice about to be released on October 20, this disc is expected to be the second biggest rock release of this fall. Black Ice is sold in the US exclusively through the Wal-Mart supermarket chain.
The commercial success of AC/DC is a big question mark for the music industry. The group seems to scoff at all business practices such as not selling music online, never releasing a compilation of “Greatest hits” and not allowing anyone to reuse their music. At a time when other bands are giving fans the opportunity to listen to music the way they want it, download it for free, and freely remix, AC/DC offers other options: their way or on the road. tour.
The rigid AC/DC offers a way to enjoy its music: the whole album. That’s why the group did not agree to sell music on iTunes, which ripped the songs apart to sell separately.
People in the music industry believe that not selling music online will make fans download music illegally, but according to BigChampagne, a company that tracks file-sharing services in the form of peer-to-peer networks, currently, AC/DC music Downloaded in peer-to-peer services is still less than Led Zeppelin. Resolutely focusing on selling albums rather than individual songs also helps the group’s disc sales stay stable, not falling like other groups.
AC/DC operation seems to be silent. Their music on the airwaves is less than that of Aerosmith. Members rarely appear in gossip columns, even less than children of Beatles members. And the group was rarely praised by critics. Angus Young, the band’s guitarist, said, “People say our music is teen music but sorry, I think rock n roll is about youth. You sing about what you know. What shall I write about, perhaps about Rembrandt?” Angus Young is 53 years old this year, his brother Malcolm is 55 years old and Brian Johnson is 61 years old!
The music of AC/DC is mostly rock style that can attract the whole stadium to sing along in the chorus, catchy verses. Music such as Hell’s Bell, Thunderstruck, TNT are all among the most loved songs in sports arenas, able to attract tens of thousands of people to sing along. The group has never experimented with anything other than the rough rock they’ve had since their inception, never made an unplugged album, never even recorded a ballad.
AC/DC was founded in 73, from the Young brothers: Angus and Malcolm, who had emigrated origins from Glasgow, Scotland, to Sydney, Australia. Founded as a teenager is also the origin of the school uniform that later became Angus’ “trademark”. “Usually I’m quiet but when I put on that school uniform, I feel confident. The music sounds aggressive like I’ve never been an aggressive person.”
AC/DC entered the US market in 1979 thanks to producer Robert John “Mutt” Lange (ex-husband of Shania Twain) working on the album “Highway to Hell.” The following year, the group’s lead singer Bon Scott died in an alcohol-related accident, and the group recruited a very suitable replacement, Brian Johnson. The group’s next album, “Back in Black,” sold 22 million copies in the United States, making it the fourth best-selling album of all time in the United States. This album is considered as the most appropriate soundtrack for teenage frustration since the disc was released. “Boys in high school discovered AC/DC one after another, even though they never released a new album,” says Steve Barnett, president of Columbia and AC/DC manager from 82 to 94. expression.
In 2003, Steve bought the rights to AC/DC’s albums to Sony (Columbia is a subsidiary of Sony). In 2006, the contract was renewed and additional rights to the album were obtained under the group’s contract with Warner Music. Under Steve’s leadership, Sony re-released older albums with better covers, negotiating with the group to use the music in movies like “School of Rock” and more recently “Iron Man” (the opening song of the movie). ). Several DVDs and DVD sets were also released, of which “AC/DC Live at Donnington” sold 800,000 copies, becoming Sony’s best-selling DVD. All of the above success led to the release of a separate version of the game Rock Band AC/DC.
This November, the game “AC/DC Live: Rock Band Track Pack,” an expansion of MTV’s Rock Band game, will be available at Wal-Mart for PS2, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii consoles. The game will include 18 songs from the “Live at Donington” DVD and will sell for $40 (the PS2 version costs just $30.) Despite being designed as a Track Pack, Wal-Mart’s website says the game can be played stand-alone, no “Rock Band” or “Rock Band 2” edition required
AC/DC music is rarely featured in the game, appearing only once in “Rock Band 2” and not in “Guitar Hero.” The AC/DC solo Rock Band is seen as a counterweight to the Aerosmith solo “Guitar Hero” released last year.
Rock Band’s strategy so far has focused on the album rather than the group. Judas Priest and Pixies classic albums have been sold for Rock Band gaming. The Color and the Shape by Foo Fighter and Blood Sugar Sex Magik by Red Hot Chili Peppers could be coming soon. Recently, Activision, the publisher of Guitar Hero, also moved to counter this strategy by signing a contract with Metallica to download the new album “Death Magnetic” to play on Guitar Hero.
Columbia is hoping for “Black Ice” especially when Wal-Mart is actively promoting their exclusive sale. AC/DC’s previous album, “Stiff Upper Lip” (2000), sold only 940,000 copies, but Wal-Mart promised to sell at least 2.5 million copies of “Black Ice.” In the 1980s, AC/DC was religious groups criticized for songs like “Highway to Hell” (which literally means “Highway to Hell” but it’s actually about how hard life can be while on tour). However, the group is very familiar at the Wal-Mart chain (which is a popular supermarket) and half of the group’s discs sold last year were at Wal-Mart. In each Wal-Mart store, there is a special area dedicated to AC/DC that sells Rock Band albums, DVDs and games, as well as t-shirts and clothing related to the group.
Both the game and the album are sold exclusively at Wal-Mart, so in order to have a release channel in cities where this chain of stores has not been widely available, such as New York and Los Angeles, MTV and Wal-Mart plan to open stores. temporary for sale.
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