The digital music world is a bit louder this morning. AC/DC, the Australian hard rock band whose heavy metal thunder has never been available for legal download, has stepped into the 21st century and released its music through iTunes, the band announced Monday morning.
After years of stubbornly arguing that iTunes was, in the words of singer Brian Johnson, “going to kill music if they’re not careful,” the band reached a deal with the company to sell its entire catalog -- 16 studio albums, four live albums and three compilations -- through the service. It’s too early to predict whether this move marks the death knell for melody, rhythm and/or song.
But “Hells Bells” sure sounds great. Like the rest of the Australian band’s big-riffed music, the classic 1980 song about Satan, death and “black sensations” has been remastered, and the opening church bells have never rang clearer (that is, unless you’ve grabbed a copy of “Back in Black” on vinyl for a dollar at a garage sale, but that’s a whole other conversation).
Until Monday, AC/DC was one of the last high-profile holdouts from the digital music marketplace. It had outlasted the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, all of which jumped into the realm long after much of the population had accepted the downloading future. Only two artists remain steadfast: Garth Brooks and Kid Rock, neither of whom offer downloadable versions their backcatalog, but Rock recently broke ranks and is selling his new album "Rebel Soul" via iTunes.