No, the bird is not the word. “Black Ice” is the first title chosen for this newfound column. What’s the significance? Well, let’s just take a look overseas and turn our heads from the musical turmoil of America today (like our darling Britney Spears) and glance at how equally twisted it can be within the borders of other creative countries. Each week on the217.com for as long as you readers will allow me, I’ll take a look at a different country’s list of top selling albums, and pick the top seller apart. This week, I’m taking you to Australia.
Here we circle back to our words, “Black Ice” which is given an all-new meaning as the title of last week’s top selling album by AC/DC.
AC/DC hadn’t released an album since Stiff Upper Lip, so the hype over the release of their 2008 album Black Ice was epic. The album was released worldwide Oct. 20, and shot straight to the number one spots in the UK, Australia, Sweden, Ireland, Belgium, Finland, and Argentina. Walmart played an integral role in the promotion of the album, ironically making a deal with Columbia Records to put forth particularly strong efforts to sell the album.
Walmart designated the most floor space that it’s ever agreed to for the promotional materials of Black Ice. The aggressive promotions as well as the dry-spell of new AC/DC material for hard-rockers alike guaranteed the immediate success of this album. Our question now is, will it live up to the hype, or will the glamour be only surface level and end with the album art just behind the CD cover? Most reviews out so far give ACDC’s latest a three out of five stars. Only time will tell if these boys are back in black to put their musical careers in coffins, or if they’re dressing for potential award ceremonies.
Now what did they do exactly during their eight-year sabbatical? The group switched record labels to Sony (Columbia Records) of course, and overcame physical ailments with bassist Cliff Williams after he injured his hand. Falling onto broken glass after an attempt to clean up after shattering an oil lamp (due to rock-star anger and partying I’m sure), Williams tore all the tendons in his arm, setting his bass slapping back 18 months. The men of AC/DC obviously have some fight left in them — and it’ll be a tough choice between the oil lamp and the light bulb from now on.
Whether or not this album will stay at the top for days, weeks, or years, AC/DC demands just a little more time in the spotlight before they’re pushed out completely by the novelty of the new and the hip. With the help of excessive promotions through Wal-Mart, the annoyances of new label contracts, and band member injuries, AC/DC is indeed treading on “black ice.” Will they make it across or slip in their attempt?

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