AC/DC RIDES THE HIGHWAY TO EPIC:
Australian rock icons AC/DC have signed a multi-album deal with Epic, the first fruit of which will be refurbished reissues of seminal albums such as “Back in Black,” “Highway to Hell,” and “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” due early next year. Further reissues will follow, all of which will sport new liner notes and rare photos, and utilize Sony’s proprietary ConnecteD technology to unlock special online content created for each release.
It is understood that AC/DC’s next studio album, due sometime next year, will complete the group’s contractual obligation to Elektra. AC/DC has spent the past 26 years of its career recording under the Warner Music Group umbrella. The group’s back catalog is one of the most consistent sellers on Billboard’s Top Pop Catalog chart. According to Epic parent Sony, 1980’s “Back in Black” has sold 41 million copies worldwide, making it the sixth highest-selling album in history. It has sold 318,000 copies this year alone, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The move to Epic reunites AC/DC with Epic chairman Dave Glew, who previously worked with the group at Atlantic, as well as Epic executive VP/GM Steve Barnett, formerly the group’s manager. The new deal brings 16 of AC/DC’s 18 U.S. releases to the label, which plans to also reissue some of the albums on vinyl and compile DVD releases.
“Today AC/DC is going stronger than ever, making it a true pleasure to welcome the band into the Sony Music family, and an honor to have the opportunity to bring both their classic repertoire and new releases to fans across the country and around the world,” Sony Music chairman/CEO Thomas D. Mottola said in a statement.
AC/DC’s last Elektra studio set, “Stiff Upper Lip,” debuted in March 2000 at No. 7 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 842,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. The title track from that album hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.
Meanwhile, Image Entertainment has set a Feb. 18 release date for the DVD “Rockmasters — AC/DC,” capturing an Oct. 27, 1977, concert in London. The video finds the band, at the time fronted by the late Bon Scott, running through such favorites as “Let There Be Rock,” “T.N.T.,” and “Bad Boy Boogie.”
Jonathan Cohen courtesy of Billboard