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Doors Lady

AC/DC: If you want their last album...

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rush up to Wal-Mart... :P

Back in 1979, AC/DC managed to shock America's religious right with a song so delicious that no normal person could possibly resist it. Highway To Hell still makes the shortlist for both the world's greatest riff and most irresistible chorus. The album that spawned it displayed "schoolboy" guitarist Angus Young sporting horns and a tail. Not amused, the barmy armies of the Bible Belt burned the LP in the streets.

Twenty-nine years later, AC/DC might actually be on their way to Hell. The group have revealed that their forthcoming album will be available in the US only at branches of Wal-Mart. No independent record shop will carry the CD - in fact, no shop at all will sell it. The only place the thing will be available is at an outlet that is the very enemy of music itself.

If you don't know, Wal-Mart is a chain of stack 'em high, sell 'em cheap megastores, often found on the outskirts of US towns and cities. The company has a litany of employment-right lawsuits stacked against it, and their stores are usually surrounded by high streets, deserted by businesses that could no longer afford to compete with the chain's cheap prices.

You could say that this is just business, but if you do plan to defend Wal-Mart, you need to first wrestle with their music policy. The company refuses to carry any album that features a parental advisory sticker denoting explicit content. The chain will stock "clean" versions of albums, which means either bleeping or fading out "offensive" words. If you find "censorship" to be an offensive word, tough ******* luck.

It's disgraceful that a company neck-deep in questionable business practices dares to take a stance on artistic morality. But what's really amazing is that AC/DC should choose to be party to it. They don't need the money - with 22 million copies sold, Back in Black is the fifth best selling album in US chart history - and they don't need the exposure.

That a band who once sang For Those About To Rock (We Salute You) should now sell their fellow artists down the river denotes a very cold day on the highway to hell.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2008

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I didn't know about Wal-Mart's music policy!!!! (I don't go there much, so why should I?) Jeez, what are they all playing at? I don't want to be forced to go to a Wal-Mart, get the dang CD, and find out it's been tampered with. Was the band trying to intentionally sell their souls or something, but the devil was busy and told them to go somewhere else? I'm mad enough that I could go on for a while, but I won't. But for cryin' out loud . . .

And concerning my signature, rock can't die, but we would like to hear the original music, and not have to go to a crappy superstore that makes us feel guilty whenever we walk through its doors . . .

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