News Segment


July 6, 2004

AC/DC’s landmark album “Back in Black” reached another milestone in June as it was certified for U.S. shipments of 20 million copies by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The feat qualifies the set for its second of the organization’s diamond awards, which reflect shipments of 10 million copies.

“Back in Black” was the group’s first album with singer Brian Johnson, who joined in the wake of original vocalist Bon Scott’s alcohol-related death earlier that year. Produced by Robert John “Mutt” Lange, it features such classic cuts as “You Shook Me All Night Long,” “Hells Bells” and the title track.

Released in August 1980, “Back in Black” peaked at No. 4 on The Billboard 200 and remained on the chart for a total of 131 weeks. It was certified platinum for shipments of 1 million copies in October 1980 and reached the diamond level a decade later, although the RIAA did not introduce that award until 1999.

Originally released on the Atco label, “Back in Black” was among the remastered and repackaged catalog titles reissued last year when the band moved to Sony’s Epic label.

Usher led a charge of more recent releases to reach new platinum levels last month. The artist’s chart-topping LaFace/Arista set “Confessions” was certified for U.S. shipments of five million copies just three months after its release.

Meanwhile, Kanye West’s “The College Dropout” (Roc-A-Fella), released in February, notched double platinum honors. Keith Urban’s 2002 album “Golden Road” (Capitol Nashville) and last year’s Ludacris album “Chicken & Beer” (Def Jam South) also hit that mark.

Prince’s latest, “Musicolgy” (NPG/Columbia), Gretchen Wilson’s “Here for the Party” (Epic Nashville) and Hoobastank’s “The Reason” (Island) all reached the platinum level in June.

Jonathan Cohen courtesy of Billboard