With new "Black Ice," AC/DC turns off iTunes

Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:16am EDT
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By Matt Daily

NEW YORK (Reuters) - For those about to rock, AC/DC salutes you. Unless, that is, you want to buy the Australian heavy metal group's newest album, "Black Ice," on iTunes, or anywhere but Wal-Mart when it drops in record stores on October 20.

"Maybe I'm just being old-fashioned, but this iTunes, God bless 'em, it's going to kill music if they're not careful," lead singer Brian Johnson, 61, told Reuters.

AC/DC, formed by brothers Angus and Malcolm Young in 1973, is among only a handful of musicians to refuse to put their music on the popular download website in a move that Johnson defended as a bid to protect the album format from the Internet's emphasis on buying single songs.

"It's a...monster, this thing," he said. "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," he said.

The 15 songs on "Black Ice" stick closely to the bluesy power riffs AC/DC has laid down on their 14 earlier albums that together have sold an estimated 200 million copies worldwide.

Their album "Back in Black" -- the fifth-best selling album ever in the United States, according to the Recording Industry Association of America -- became a heavy metal landmark. The title track, as well as "You Shook Me All Night Long," remain radio standards nearly 30 years after their release.

The follow-up album "For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)", a play on the ancient Roman gladiators salute, rocketed to No. 1 on U.S. charts and became a rock classic.

After a break of nearly seven years following 2000's "Stiff Upper Lip," AC/DC reassembled to make "Black Ice," and Johnson recalled getting goose bumps when Angus and Malcolm took their guitars to The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, Canada.   Continued...

<p>File photo shows singer Brian Johnson (top) and guitarist Angus Young of ACDC at New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel, March 10, 2003. REUTERS/Mike Segar</p>