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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

AC/DC Comes to iTunes

Written by Jon Williams

It’s been a while since we made note of artists whose music isn’t available via iTunes. Since then, a number of heavyweights have decided to get on board with digital distribution. The biggest of these, of course, was the Beatles, who came to iTunes with much fanfare in November of 2010. Others have joined with less notice, such as Eagles member Glenn Frey, who released most of his solo catalog digitally along with his latest solo album, After Hours, in May of this year. Then there are artists like Kid Rock, whose latest offering, Rebel Soul, is available through the digital distributor, but not his back catalog (although rumour has it that it may be coming soon).

And then there’s AC/DC. Perhaps the biggest remaining holdout has finally reversed course, making their entire catalog available digitally as of November 20. The classic hard rock band was reluctant to offer their music as individual tracks as opposed to complete albums; however, the continued, expanding popularity of iTunes (it may account for up to 29% of U.S. music sales) was too strong to continue their resistance.

That said, here are a few remaining iTunes holdouts:

Def Leppard: Like Kid Rock, their latest release, Mirror Ball, is available on iTunes, but not their back catalog. Unlike Kid Rock, it seems unlikely that the situation is going to change anytime soon.

Bob Seger: Seger released two live albums with his Silver Bullet Band to iTunes in 2011, as well as a greatest hits compilation. Fans looking for more than that, however, will be disappointed.

Black Sabbath: Yes, there actually are quite a few Sabbath albums on iTunes. None of them, however, features Ozzy Osbourne on vocals. Those albums, essential to classic heavy metal fans, are nowhere to be found.

King Crimson: Exactly one King Crimson track (“The Court of the Crimson King”) is available on iTunes, and you can’t get it individually. You have to purchase the entire Children of Men soundtrack to get it.

Tool: Unlike the artists above, absolutely no music from Tool is available from iTunes. Like AC/DC did, they prefer their music to be available in album form only.

Garth Brooks: Taking over for AC/DC as probably the biggest remaining holdout, the country star also takes issue with selling songs as individual tracks, as well as iTunes’ pricing structure.

Make sure your patrons have access to the music they crave by stocking albums by these artists on your library shelves.

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