Earlier this year, our Australia Day in-depth investigation into which Australian hit albums are actually available on iTunes revealed some very surprising gaps. The impending arrival of Cold Chisel’s back catalogue is one of a few recent changes that have slightly improved that situation, but there’s quite a way to go.
As we reported earlier this week, you’ll be able to purchase a complete collection of Chisel’s previously released recordings through iTunes and other online music stores on July 22. The entire collection of original albums will set you back $149.99. Those albums are also available as individual CDS, but there are also a bunch of digital-only releases that won’t be made available on CD, including unreleased demo recordings and live bootlegs, so dedicated Chisel fans are going to have to get on board with having their collection split across multiple media.
The arrival of Chisel is a welcome development, but there are still plenty of gaps. Icehouse, one of the other prominent holdouts, does have its 1980 debut album available digitally through BigPond Music, including an extra disc’s worth of live tracks to celebrate its 30th anniversary. While that’s a welcome development, if the anniversary release pattern continues it will be 15 years before the entire Icehouse catalogue is available.
It’s unlikely that we’ll see AC/DC going digital in a hurry, given the band’s longstanding view that it doesn’t want individual tracks cherry-picked. But even with Chisel coming soon and Icehouse dribbling in, there are lots of other gaps to fill: INXS, Australian Crawl and Mondo Rock for starters. I’d love to be surprised and see them all available before Australia Day next year, but I’m not holding my breath.
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