The band's biggest album, Back In Black, came out in 1980, with British inflation at 20 percent and unemployment climbing toward 2 million.
And the band's "comeback" album, The Razors Edge, was released in 1990, "just as Britain headed towards its last recession."
What's the connection? Petridis says, "People crave something uncomplicated and dependable in a time of uncertainty, and rock music has never produced a band so uncomplicated and dependable as AC/DC."
But that's Britain. In the United States, there are encouraging (or should we say discouraging?) signs of a connection, as well. The new album has yet to reach the top of the charts, but the band has chosen a promising launching pad: Black Ice is being sold exclusively through the recession-friendly discount chains of Wal-Mart and Sam's Club.
Also, the band's classic, Back In Black, is back at No. 1 on Billboard's Top Pop Catalog category (edging out Journey's Greatest Hits).
And for further proof of AC/DC's status as economic indicator, one need only to look at the most famous fan of the band in government today.