Should You Buy All 778 AC/DC Songs Now Available On iTunes?


After years of holding out as “refuseniks,” the great Australian heavy metal band AC/DC has finally made their catalogue available through iTunes. “Sixteen studio albums, four live albums and three compilations, which have sold more than 150 million physical copies worldwide,” as the BBC reports—a total of 778 songs. Now, if there was ever a band for which you did not need to buy 778 songs it is AC/DC. I love them with all my heart, but they are pretty clearly the band being referred to in the scene in Spinal Tap when a record review says, “The musical growth rate of this band cannot even be charted. They are treading water in a sea of retarded sexuality and bad poetry.” There is no shame in having your favorite AC/DC song be from the Brian Johnson era as opposed to that of Bon Scott; it need not be a cause for embarrassment because the band has changed so little—not at all, really—over its 39 years of existence. All AC/DC songs are basically the same song. Again, I don’t mean this as a criticism: there is such a thing as repeatedly mining the brilliance, accented only by very subtle differences, out of a simple formula. AC/DC, I would argue, has done this more successfully than any other band in the history of rock n’ roll. That said, Bon Scott will rule in hell forever. What’s the one to start, and maybe stop, with? How about “Jailbreak?”