AC/DC as Economic Indicator

The ultimate sign that we are on an economic highway to hell? Yes, it just may be AC/DC album sales.

The aging Aussie rockers are top of the charts in Britain for the first time in 28 years with their album Black Ice. Alexis Petridis of the Guardian points out that AC/DC's ascents on the U.K. pop charts coincides with declines in the British economy.


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.