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News November 23, 2020

Aussie rock legends AC/DC switch on with fastest selling album of year

Senior Journalist, B2B
Aussie rock legends AC/DC switch on with fastest selling album of year
Pictured: AC/DC's Angus Young / Photographer: Sean Foster

AC/DC’s 17th studio album PWR/UP has proven the band has lost none of its electrical zaps.

It is the fastest-selling album of 2020 in at least three of its biggest markets – Australia, the UK and the US – where it debuted at #1.

Their record company Sony Music Entertainment Australia reported that the set achieved a number of local milestones.

These included the biggest first-week sales of 2020 in Australia, their sixth chart-topper, and the 16th album by an Australian artist to debut at the top spot on the ARIA Albums Chart.

AC/DC is the only Australian artist to have had #1 albums across 5 decades.

This run started in 1981 (March) with Back In Black for a week, Live in 1992 (November for two weeks), Ballbreaker in 1995 (October for a week), Black Ice in 2008 (October for a week) and Rock Or Bust in 2014 (December).

On hearing the news, guitarist Angus Young commented, “A very big thank you to Denis (Handlin), and all at Sony Music Australia, and everyone else in Australia who’ve put in their time, effort and creativity to get PWR/UP to #1!”

This included an exclusive interview with Channel 9’s 60 Minutes, which put Young and singer Brian Johnson before an overnight metro viewership of over half a million.

Angus added: “Also a big shout out to all our fans, old and new. You are, and always have been, our guiding inspiration.”

PWR/UP also established its status as the year’s fastest mover in the UK with first-week sales of 62,000. 52,955 units of these were on a physical format (CD, vinyl, cassette).

This is quite an accomplishment as most of UK’s bricks’n’mortar record stores are closed.

The band had 2,600 album-equivalent streams and overtook Kylie Minogue’s Disco which racked up 55,000 sales last week.

It is thought to be the first time an Australian act replaced another at the UK summit.

AC/DC now have four #1 albums in the UK, following the Iron Man 2 soundtrack (released in 2010 with sales to date of 601,348), Black Ice (500,993) and Back In Black (600,000).

PWR/UP is expected to be officially announced as the new Stateside #1 later today.

It was tracking to outsell the entire Top 5 through the week.

Early numbers were that in its first week it moved 121,000 all format units – with 114,000 in the physical formats of CD, vinyl and cassette.

PWR/UP will be their third US chart-topper — and first since Black Ice which moved an astounding 784,288 in its first week.

First week sales of 172,000 for Rock Or Bust saw it debut at #3.

Brian Johnson, while thanking the band’s global fans for standing by them when everyone else thought AC/DC had collapsed four years ago, said the band was dying to get back on the road when permitted.

“You know, this isn’t over, you’ve got to stay attuned, because what we’re going to do is, we’re going to try to do a virtual video of the next song that we want to bring out off the album,” he said.

“The thing is, none of us has ever done this before, so it’s going to be brilliant, standing like a tit, by yourself, miming on a microphone because you know that we’re miming, and we know that you know that we know that you know that we’re miming, but still… it’s gonna be fun.

“Angus is gonna be playing down in Sydney, Phil (Rudd)’s gonna be whacking the drums in New Zealand, and Cliff (White)’s gonna be paddling away… he might even come up to join me, ’cause he’s not too far down the road.

“And Stevie (Young) somewhere in England. We hope to put an exciting video together.


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