According to Billboard.com, AC/DC‘s 25 albums — which became available digitally for the first time on Monday, November 19 — sold a combined 48,000 downloads and its songs shifted 696,000 in the U.S. in the week ending November 25.
AC/DC‘s top-selling album for the week was 1980’s “Back In Black” with 15,000 — more than 10,000 ahead of its second-biggest title, 1979’s “Highway to Hell” (a little under 5,000). Coming in third for the week was the brand new “Live At River Plate” (4,000), followed by 1976’s “High Voltage” (just under 3,000) and “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” (2,000). The most downloaded song was “Thunderstruck” (85,000), followed by “Back in Black” (68,000), “You Shook Me All Night Long” (64,000), “Highway To Hell” (50,000) and “TNT” (40,000). 14 AC/DC songs sold at least 10,000 last week.
All tracks were mastered for iTunes, and fans have the ability to download full albums or simply purchase their favorite individual songs. Fans can also choose from two specially packaged digital compilations: “The Complete Collection”, the complete iTunes-exclusive AC/DC catalog; and “The Collection”, which includes all 16 studio albums.
The full catalog which has all been mastered for iTunes includes:
* The Collection (all studio albums for $99.99)
* The Complete Collection (all studio albums, live albums and box sets for $149.99)
16 studio albums:
* High Voltage (1976)
* Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (1976)
* Let There Be Rock (1977)
* Powerage (1978)
* Highway To Hell (1979)
* Back In Black (1980)
* For Those About To Rock We Salute You (1981)
* Flick Of The Switch (1983)
* 74 Jailbreak (1984)
* Fly On The Wall (1985)
* Who Made Who (1986)
* Blow Up Your Video (1988)
* The Razors Edge (1990)
* Ballbreaker (1995)
* Stiff Upper Lip (2000)
* Black Ice (2008)
Four live albums:
* If You Want Blood You’ve Got It (1978)
* Live (1992)
* Live (2 Volume Collector’s Edition) (1992)
* Live At River Plate (2012)
Three compilation albums:
* Bonfire (1997)
* Backtracks (2009)
* Iron Man 2 (2010)
AC/DC had previously rejected iTunes distribution in an attempt to preserve the concept of the album.
“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,” guitarist Angus Young said in an interview.
“I know THE BEATLES have changed but we’re going to carry on like that,” Angus told Sky News. “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.”
Speaking to The Telegraph in a 2008, Young said, “If we were on iTunes, we know a certain percentage of people would only download two or three songs from the album — and we don’t think that represents us musically.”
“Maybe I’m just being old-fashioned, but this iTunes, God bless ’em, it’s going to kill music if they’re not careful,” singer Brian Johnson told Reuters. “It’s a…monster, this thing. It just worries me. And I’m sure they’re just doing it all in the interest of making as much… cash as possible. Let’s put it this way, it’s certainly not for the… love, let’s get that out of the way right away.”