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UK: AC/DC top UK album charts in a sign of the times

LONDON, Oct 27 AAP - Australian rock group AC/DC has hit the top of the British album charts for the first time in 28 years.

The band's 16th studio album Black Ice was outselling its nearest competitor, Kaiser Chief's Off With Their Heads, by two to one at one point last week, The Guardian newspaper reported today.

The sales were despite the ageing rockers refusing to release the album as a digital download, preferring vinyl and CD.

The newspaper drew parallels between the current financial crisis and the last time AC/DC made it to No.1 in Britain.

Back In Black, the album marking the band's commercial breakthrough, was released in 1980 with Britain on the brink of recession.

At the time, inflation had hit 20 per cent and unemployment edged towards two million.

While their 1985 album, Fly On The Wall, sold in excess of one million copies, it was just a fraction of Back In Black's 30 million and the five million reached by Black Ice in the last seven days.

The paper pointed out the album which "returned the band to its heyday" wasThe Razors Edge, released in 1990, just as Britain headed towards its lastrecession.

"AC/DC's appeal in unpredictable times is straightforward," The Guardian's chief music writer, Alexis Petridis, wrote in his front-page article today.

"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."