19 April 2010

Get Current: AC/DC's IRON MAN 2 Album Is Out Today And It's An Alternating Mix of Good and Bad

When it comes to heavy metal, there's none heavier than the armored Avenger most folks call Iron Man.  The same can definitely be said about one of our longtime rock 'n roll faves, AC/DC, so it makes perfect sense that the they're the guys who'll be amping up Iron Man 2's soundtrack when the blockbuster movie opens in May.

The 15-track album - available on CD, double LP, or as a Deluxe Collector's set (pictured below) - is out today from Columbia Records, although pre-orders have been taken through Wal-Mart and Amazon.com  since Marvel first announced their Iron Man 2/AC-DC partnership in January.   The soundtrack includes their greatest hit (also featured in the first Iron Man film) Back In Black, plus Highway to Hell and 13 other classic AC/DC songs selected from ten of the band’s studio albums, ranging from 1976 to 2008.  The group also filmed a new video for their soundtrack's first single, Shoot To Thrill,  back in December 2009  while in Buenos Aires for their Black Ice World Tour. 

(The video, which can be found on You Tube [here] incorporates exclusive footage from  Iron Man 2, made its debut earlier this year.  Shoot To Thrill was originally recorded for the band's 50-million selling album Back In Black, one of the best selling albums of all time.)

We think it's pretty cool that an iconic band like AC/DC involved themselves with superhero cinema, yet another testament that the group's still going strong after two lead singers, twenty albums, and over four decades on the rock circuit.   Iron Man 2 marks AC/DC's  second soundtrack compilation; the first, Who Made Who, was completed  in the mid-1980's for the Stephen King movie Maximum Overdrive.

But unlike Who Made Who, AC/DC's Marvel movie album doesn't offer fans any new tracks. The album does provide a great survey of the band's high-energy sound and gives great tracks from both Bon Scott and Brian Johnson, but ardent listeners won't find any new material or maybe any reason to even purchase the soundtrack.  Even one new song would've added considerably to their newest release,  giving AC/DC's fans that don't dote on Iron-clad superheroes a reason to go out and buy.

Movie and comics fans who don't rock out should find the soundtrack a fun time, even if die-hard AC/DC'er's might be a bit bored.  But with songs like Cold Hearted Man, TNT, Have a Drink On Me, Guns For Hire, Evil Walks, and even a track titled War Machine,  it's almost as if the band's been channeling Tony Stark and his team for decades. The tracks are perfect fits for Jon Favreau's film -- a fact that certainly didn't escape his notice from before the first film hit in 2008 --  so we almost understand why AC/DC may have thought they didn't need any new sounds for his film's soundtrack.

The Iron Man 2 soundtrack is just one more example of the fantastic marketing machine wielded by Marvel; as far as they and Iron Man fans are concerned, the album's a spot-on tie-in that fits their latest film seamlessly. For Columbia Records, AC/DC, and legions of rockers, maybe not so much.  Rock and roll music may find a few new fans from the electric group's latest release, but the band and its managers missed all the benefits of this great cross-promotional opportunity by forgetting the fans who have followed them the longest. 

Premiering on 07 May 2010, Iron Man 2 is one of a continuing slate of films being produced by Marvel Studios based on the Marvel characters, including Thor on May 6, 2011, The First Avenger: Captain America on July 22, 2011 and The Avengers on May 4, 2012.  
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AC/DC's official website is [here]. Record shoppers wanting to be the proud owner of Iron Man 2's Deluxe CD/DVD Collector's Set need to visit Sony Music Digital's online specialty shop [here].

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