Veteran rockers AC/DC have agreed to sell their next album exclusively through Wal-Mart stores in the U.S., according to the Wall Street Journal, and the news is eliciting strong reactions from critics and fans. The legendary hard rock group’s as-of-yet unnamed album—their first since 2000’s Stiff Upper Lip—is scheduled for release this fall. (Reuters)
What the commentators said
This is unbelievable, said Mark Caro in the Chicago Tribune’s blog Pop Machine. “The classic headbangers’ new album won’t be available at any sort of rock music store, but you can pick it up along with a box of Huggies?” Maybe this has more to do with the “death of the record store” than it does AC/DC, but still, it’s hard not to think that the band “has sold its twisted soul.”
This actually shows “forward thinking” on AC/DC’s part, said Andrew Winistorfer in the blog PrefixMag.com, and they're not the first band to do it: “Journey and Garth Brooks have reportedly reached a deal to distribute their new albums exclusively through Wal-Mart.” And it worked out pretty well for the Eagles—their “Wal-Mart only album” has sold “nearly 3 million copies since last summer.”
But AC/DC obviously doesn’t care about their younger fans, said the blog TheLefsetzLetter. They are “the biggest band still alive in the minds of teenagers,” but are kids really going to go to Wal-Mart to buy the new album? “The closest Wal-Mart to me is almost twenty miles away!” And the fact that AC/DC is one of the few bands that still “doesn’t offer its catalog on iTunes” makes the whole situation that much more frustrating.