AC/DC

Balls-to-the-wall cock rock.
* special introductory paragraph!
* "Can I Sit Next To You Girl"/"Rockin' In The Parlour" 7"
* High Voltage (Australian Version)
* T.N.T.
* High Voltage (American Version)
* Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (Australian Version)
* '74 Jailbreak
* Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (American Version)
* In The Beginning
* Shoot! Shoot! Don't Talk
* Burning Balls
* Let There Be Rock
* Live From The Atlantic Studios
* Powerage
* Boston Babies Play Live
* Stronger Current
* If You Want Blood You've Got It
* Highway To Hell
* Living In The Hell (Maryland 16.10.79)
* London Boogie
* Bonvoyage
* Back In Black
* Bonfire
* Ready For War
* Shot Down In Tokyo
* For Those About To Rock We Salute You
* Getting It Up In Kyoto
* Loose Lips Sink Ships
* Flick Of The Switch
* Live In Boston 1983
* After Shocks
* Ohio Badlands
* Fly On The Wall
* Flies On The Soundboard
* Who Made Who
* Irvine Overdrive
* Blow Up Your Video
* The Razor's Edge
* Live
* Live (Special Collector's Edition)
* Ballbreaker
* Earthquake Shock
* Hail Geezer Spanish Fly
* Stiff Upper Lip
* Rareties IX
* Sun Devils
* 21 Gun Salute
* Highway To The Hall
* A Classic Album Under Review: Back In Black DVD
* Black Ice
* Backtracks (Standard Edition)
For the first five years of their career, the Australian/Scottish "blues rock" combo AC/DC had the PERFECT guitar tone. Two of 'em, one in each speaker - they were heavily distorted, raw as a blister, and completely "in your face," in a manner of speaking. Mean. Alive. Real. I cannot think of a more kickass guitar sound. Truly. Thank producers Vanda/Young if you like, although their only other claim to fame is "Friday On My Mind" which, although one of my favorite pop ditties of all time (And I DO mean "ditty" - as in "ditty ditty ditty ditty ditty ditty ditty ditty ditty ditty Monday morning feels so bad ditty ditty.... maybe you've never heard the song.), kicks nowhere near as hard as this stuff. Here, two loud-as-frig guitars play the exact same guitar lines until one takes off into a hyper, naive (though by no means unlistenable like, say, early Slayer or any Black Flag) wankfest, while the rhythm section confidently does exactly what a hard rock rhythm section is supposed to do: play one-note bass lines and 4/4 drumbeats. Terrific formula. Then they had a poppy sound for one album before becoming an unstoppable blues metal machine!!!!!!!!! Then they sort of lost their power as a result of poor mixing and poor Brian Johnson throwing his voice out, but the great riffs kept a-comin'! Until Ballbreaker, of course. Man, that album's not too hot. But then they came back with a winner! It just goes to show - you never know with rock 'n' roll. Regardless, they've got a HELL of a terrific back catalogue. Not just the riffs, but the SOUND. Plus they sing about boners all the time.


"Can I Sit Next To You Girl"/"Rockin' In The Parlour" 7" - Albert Productions 1974
Rating = 7

Hear those sweet blues licks emanating through my front door? That's AC/DC's first single! With original lead vocalist Dave Evans! The guitar tones are much more traditionally '70sy blues-rocky than they would be by the time the band sat down (or standed, depending on chairs or not) to record High Voltage (Australian Version). The music itself therefore sounds more traditional too (though that feverish up-and-down lead lick of "Can I Sit Next To You Girl" will always stand apart from say, Blind Faith), with Angus and Malcolm ironically sounding more like GEORDIE than AC/DC, playing fairly nondescript melodic solos and Chuck Berry rhythm chooglies. But I know what you REALLY want to know! What did Dave Evans sound like??? Let's break for a commercial, and I'll answer that question when we return.

McDonald's.

Okay, we're back! Dave Evans sounded like an American hard rock singer of the mid-70s. Billy Squier/Sammy Hagar/Dave Evans. Not the least bit offensive, and definitely a talented guy, but indistinct enough to perhaps hold the band back from its dream of holy success. If ever you've doubted Bon Scott's importance to this band's appeal, try listening to them with a normal party-hearty vocalist. Then try doing the same with Van Halen! Err...

As I was saying, at this point AC/DC had neither the tight, mean-as-nails guitar tone nor the hilarious and unique vocals of Bon Scott to set them apart from whatever competition they might have had in Scotland or wherever fuck they were playing. Australia, let's say. Also, just FYI, "Rockin' In The Parlour" is NOT a "must-own rarity". Heck, it's hardly a song at all! Malcolm picks a passable three-note blues lick and the rest of the song basically plays itself. Plus there's a cowbell, for added redneck southern rock appeal. Actually, now that you're dwelling on this point, "Rockin' In The Parlour," aside from the hilariously WRONG misspelling in the title, is probably the most American-sounding song on the band's entire catalog. They sound like Lynyrd Skynyrd! (after all the people in the band died of airplane glue!)

My opinion is this, and I'm not afraid to say it here in a public forum: AC/DC, unless you guys tighten up your guitar tones, get rid of that STUPID echoed guitar trick in the chorus of "Can I Sit" and replace Dave Evans with a tiny big-nosed galoot, your future with Albert Productions is so limited, you'd might as well name yourselves AC/DC Ltd. and get Johnny Rotten to sing for you and Jah Wobble to play bass, once they're old enough. AND TAKE OFF THAT GODDAMNED SCHOOLBOY'S UNIFORM!!! YOU'LL NEVER HAVE A HIT SINGLE WITH THAT GODDAMNED SCHOOLBOY'S UNIFORM!!! YOU DON'T SEE THE SKYHOOKS WEARING A GODDAMNED SCHOOLBOY'S UNIFORM, DO YOU??? NOoOoOoOoOoOoO! YOU DON'T SEE COLD CHISEL WEARING A GODDAMNED SCHOOLBOY'S UNIFORM, DO YOU???? NOoOoOoOoOoOooO!!!! AND WHAT ABOUT THE TED MULRY GANG? DO YOU SEE EITHER TED OR THE GANG WEARING A GODDAMNED SCHOOLBOY'S UNIFORM????? NOoOoOoOoOOoOooOOo!!!!!!!! TAKE IT FROM ME, IF YOU WANT TO BECOME ALL-TIME LEGENDS OF ROCK AND ROLL, LIKE JIMMY BARNES OR THE LITTLE RIVER BAND, YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST TAKE OFF THAT GODDAMNED SCHOOLBOY'S UNIFORM!

Best,
Michael Jackson

Reader Comments

celwood_2006@hotmail.com
FUCK YOU!!!! Michael Jackson, you dont know shit!! Do you have any idea how popular AC/DC is? At least they dont like little kids the way YOU do!!! YOUR A SICK MOTHER FUCKIN BASTARD!!!!!!!

p.s. how many face surgeries have you had? Well into the 70's im sure. HAHA you looked ok before...now you just look like well...a black guy with a white head HAHAHAHAHAHA

sacicc@yahoo.com (Stephen Kelly)
Mark Prindle going ga-ga on an AC/DC review: Zero Dollars.

Mark Prindle getting hate-mail for his Ballbreaker review: Zero Dollars.

Mark Prindle writing a humorously sarcastic review of AC/DC's first single at their infancy: Zero Dollars.

The reply of an Uber-fan who doesn't "get it?": Priceless.

Some things money can't buy ...

(My sides hurt I laughed so hard)

Add your thoughts?

High Voltage (Australian Version) - Albert Productions 1974
Rating = 7

Not the best AC/DC album ever, but the raw distorted electric guitars are louder than a jacket, and I can't tell you how much I love it when an album has one guitar in the left speaker and the other in the right. With this stuff, in fact, most of the time, it sounds like your speakers are just a pair of guitar amps and the rest of the band is playing inside your stereo - an actual possibility, considering the spatial dinkiness of this particular incarnation of the band (Bon Scott, vocals, 5'6" / Phil Rudd, drums, 5'6" / Mark Evans, bass, 5'5" / Malcolm Young, rhythm guitar, 5'3" / and future guitar god Angus Young clocking in at an ear-splintering 5'2"). But enough about that. Short people are almost as good as tall people in many respects. The important thing is - there's a dog peeing on the cover.

Also, as I may have mentioned earlier, the guitars are louder than a jacket. There aren't any absolute classics on here, and it's hard to think of an AC/DC song more tedious and awful than "Little Lover," but "She's Got Balls" has a funny title with the word "Balls" in it, "Soul Stripper" has a splendid two-note bass intro, and "Baby Please Don't Go" kicks Sandra Bullock in the lawnmower's ass! Plus, just for the record (no pun intended, heh heh, oh yeah, ooohhh yeah), Eddie Van Halen did NOT invent the "hammer-on" technique of guitarin'; That's Angus doin' it twice right there in that Big Bill Broonzy cover back then in 1974 when he was like 8 years old and Van Halen hadn't even formed yet, so screw you, even though I really like Van Halen, at least during the early years before they picked up Mr. Scream-Everything-And-Have-No-Personality-At-All and Eddie decided that he wanted his guitar tone to be more "melodic" (wussy). Plus, there's a couple of songs on this version of High Voltage that you can't find on any of the American albums: a catchy pop metal number called "Stick Around", and "Love Song," which qualifies as the only normal love ballad that this band ever tried to do. It's entertaining, but I'm glad it wasn't a hit because then they would have done more and turned into Foreigner, starring The Clash's Mick Jones.

Reader Comments

TCMIF1@student.monash.edu.au)(Trent Mifsud)
The pumped up version of "Baby Please Don't Go" is still covered exactly the same way it was recorded by AC/DC in '74, by the local pub band in my area every Thursday night...and everyone fuckin' loves it because it's AC/DC! It's awesome!!

tokorkia@freenet.hut.fi (Tomi Korkiakangas)
AC/DC'S HIGH VOLTAGE IS VERY GOOD ALBUM. GREAT GUITAR WORKING. THIS AUSTRALIAN HIGH VOLTAGE IS THE MOST THRILLING AC/DC ALBUM EVER !

t5832986@terrigal.net.au (Chris Andersen)
HIGH VOLTAGE SUMS IT UP. Excellent.

perkinms@vblrc2.tc.cc.va.us (Matt Perkins)
Good album! "You Ain't Got A Hold On Me" is decent. The lead in this song is the first one I ever learned to play note for note.

johngaffney@webtv.net
I would like to correct you on the issue of Angus using the tapping technique before VH. The technique Angus is using in this song and many others is an open string pull off technique. Although it sounds a lot like tapping it is different in that it does not involve the right hand over the fingerboard. Eddy Van Halen does not claim to have invented this technique but he did revolutionize the way it was used; because of this many people associate this technique with him.

From what i have read Mark Evans and Phill Rudd did not play on the Australian High Voltage. George Young played bass and a studio musician named Mark Kerrante played drums.

serkev@lisp.com.au (Kevin Serplett)
THAT'S JUST COMPLETE BULLSHIT,LOVE SONG IS COOL THERE'S NO FUCKING WAY AC/DC WOULD TURN IN TO A WANKER BAND LIKE FORIEGNER BON SCOTT HAD ALREADY BEEN IN CRAPPY BANDS LIKE THAT

PORTER@matthewsinternational.com (Brian Porter)
i'm pretty sure that's Malcolm playin' the lead tracks on most of this record.

dfarmer@chibardun.net (Harmon Farms)
i think high voltage is one of there better albums but not the best.

tripoli98@iprimus.com.au (issa)
A SIGH OF FUTURE GREATNESS, AND STILL SOUNDS FRESH, HIGHLIGHTS ARE BABY PLEASE DON/T GO AND SOUL STIPPER, ALSO FEARURING THEIR GREATEST "LOVE SONG:

chris@christophermaleki.com
does any one out there like the song "love song" by the greatest singer of all time bon scott

eric.neuser@umusic.com
"Love Song" sucks. "Baby Please Don't Go" is generally credited to Big Joe Williams and not Big Bill Broonzy like it is on the Oz "High Voltage", but every blues guy from the 40s on seems to have played it and they never credited anyone with anything so who cares? AC/DC fans are the funniest anywhere though that's for sure. They're so damn PISSED (and I mean that in both vernacular senses). A co-worker once told me how she went to Penn Station for the commute home after work when AC/DC happened to be playing the Garden and how UGLY and SCARY the place was and how bad it STUNK.

Elizabeth M. Linstrom
Took a couple of listens to get into, but it's worth it. It's certainly not in the same league as 'Let there be rock' and 'highway to hell,' but it's a very healthy start.

Add your thoughts?

T.N.T. - Albert Productions 1975.
Rating = 8

Aside from a slight overreliance on that cliched blues-rock riffs, this is an all-around terrific 70's rock album. It kicks off with a pop rocker called "It's A Long Way To The Top If You Wanna Rock'N'Roll" that utilizes bagpipes in a wonderful harmonious melodic manner that to this day could bring a tear to the eye of even the most cynical jaded post-modern Squirmbo fan. Next comes the great "Rock'N'Roll Singer," with its inspired Tennessee Williams-esque couplet, "Gonna be a rock'n'roll star/Yes I are." Unfortunately, the third song is "The Jack," a stupid boring VD joke that they've played at every one of their concerts for the last twenty years, much to my chagrin. But don't fret!!!!!! The side ends with "Live Wire," a damn near perfect rock song. Offering the first definite proof that someone in the band is a goddamn musical genius (Angus insists it's Malcolm - I won't argue), this one starts off with the requisite one-note bass line before the guitars come in and just start RINGING! They RING, I tell ya! "Chop chop chop RING/Chop chop chop RING!" Beautiful. The chorus is kinda stupid, though, and the end is just a bunch of wankin'. Aside from that, it's like Heaven - but without all those damn Christians.

Side two isn't quite as good, but it's still fun. "TNT" is kinda stupid and wimpy, but, for some reason, it's a classic. "Rocker" is fast as shit - maybe the speediest blues-rock song ever played. The chorus to "High Voltage" (which, judging from its title, should have been on the first album) is godlike, and the Chuck Berry cover (unavailable in the U.S.!) is...ehh... fair, but not incredibly imperative. Just your basic loud guitar rock, but man, "Live Wire" makes my penis dance around.

Reader Comments

car00170@mail.carrinter.net (Terri Cutter)
I refute the mistaken and misleading image you present of the song "TNT". You are somehow illusionarily listing it as "stupid" and "wimpy". Well, you're a wanker just for saying that. To me the song is as fundamental to rock n' roll as Muddy Water's, "I'm Ready" is for the blues. And "I'm Ready", just in case you do not happen to know, is the toughest, most encouraging song of drunkin' machoism ever.

LCarlyle@aol.com
Well, first of all, I disagree with you that "TNT" and "The Jack" are stupid and wimpy. I think they're actually better than several songs done 10 years later! And if they're so wimpy, how come they both made it onto the Ballbreaker tour setlist? Now "Live Wire", I agree with you there. That song just kicks ass all the way to the moon.

TCMIF1@student.monash.edu.au)
"T.N.T." and "The Jack" are the perfect rock'n'blues songs. I think anybody who disagrees is a shit-talker!

info@awm.gov.au
The version of "The Jack" that I have from this album is about a card game, and nothing to do with VD.

1ta19.maritim-vgs@rogaland-f.kommune.no
You have to listen to the live version to figure out it's about VD.

shuff@bright.net (Rusty Shuffelton)
For those who think "The Jack" and "TNT" are stupid and wimpy can F*** off.

malcolm@camtech.net.au (Malcolm Brooks)
I THINK THAT "TNT" IS THE BEST SONG EVER MADE AND IT HAS JUST CAUGHT MY ATTENTION. EVERY MORNING WHEN WE LEFT FOR SOCCER WE WUOLD LISTEN TO IT TO SICH OUR SELVES UP.

oneill@womex.com (Dave O'Neill)
bollix bollix bollix........ T.N.T. is a great top notch kick in the stones.....I have not one fault with the whole album.......except that I am not playing on it.

shaffer1@prolog.net (Matt Shaffer)
I was just at my favorite oldie record store when much to my suprise i found a copy of TNT. I know that all the songs are on the American albums, except for "School Days." This album is more for the fan/collector. I especially like "Live Wire" - this song really kicks some serious ass. I have to agree with you about "The Jack," it's not one of my favorite AC/DC songs, but i'll listen to it because it is AC/DC. Overall I like the album. Hopefully i can get the Australian version of Let There Be Rock, so i can get a few other rare AC/DC tracks.

BOXXXHUNTR@aol.com
You should hear "Live Wire" on the Let There Be Rock video. They open the show with it and it gives me shivers every time i see/hear it! Awesome!

robf@hayden.edu (Rob Forrest)
You are an idiot. "T.N.T." is one of AC/DC's best songs, and I don't know how you can't like "The Jack." These songs are such classics because you're NEVER going to hear anything like them again. Both of these songs are classic Bon Scott songs (lyrically). AC/DC lost so much after he died, they're never going to have that same sense of humor in their songs. I do agree that "Live Wire" is an excellent song. P.S. The opening riff on "T.N.T." (Malcolm's solo) is the best and best sounding riff EVER!!!

Tavo.Conti@RelianceNational.com
I agree that "TNT" lyrics are kinda childish, but who cares BON SCOTT ROOLS THE ROCK WORLD OK! As for "Live Wire," it gives me a real hard on. It's not that I don't like Brian Johnson - it's just there is no comparison to Bon Scott, sorry Brian nothing personal. Ta ta for now!

KMurphyJR1@aol.com
Your reveiw for T.N.T. is very not true. You say "T.N.T." is wimpy ? it is there best song, and "The Jack" is about a card game not JD, u probobly have JD. Who ever says "TNT" or "the Jack" are wimpy and stupid is a bull shit talker, u have never heard the songs have you ? you just say crap and peaple beleive it. Nothing AC/DC do is wimpy.

supersexmachine@aol.com (Owen Goodwin)
I think "TNT" is a kick ass song.

johngaffney@webtv.net
TNT???? WIMPY???

jbest@ns.nque.com (Philip Best)
One year ago, back in 96. I was listening to crap. My older brother put in "TNT" from this cd! and TNT!!! IT'S DYNAMITE!! IT'LL WIN THE FIGHT!! TNT!! IT'S A POWERLOAD, IT'S TNT AND IT'LL WILL EXPLOAD!!!! I've been attached to AC/DC ever since!

jmark@webtv.net (Mark Bailey)
THIS IS BARE BONES, NO-NONSENSE ROCK 'N ROLL AT IT'S BEST!!! HOW CAN ONE ARGUE WITH THE INTENSITY OF "ROCKER", WHICH IS PROBABLY THE FASTEST SONG COMMITED TO VINYL BY THE BAND? IT IS OVER AND DONE BEFORE YOU KNOW IT!! THIS ALBUM SHOWS THAT, EVEN AT THE VERY BEGINNING, AC/DC WERE A BAND THAT WERE TO BE CONTENDED WITH.....THE SENSE OF RHYTHM WITHIN THIS BAND IS TRULY REMARKABLE. BON SCOTT'S LYRICS WERE EARTHY AND HUMOUROUS. IT IS HARD NOT TO LIKE THIS ALBUM!!!

paul7777@ime.net (Mitch)
hey, ac/dc's best came from t.n.t. according to me, i love this album, i bummed it off of my friend who had it imported, and tape recorded it, i love it, "it's a long way to the top" is my favorite song, and "rock in roll singer" is the song of my life, i can see my name and lights, and i can see the que, man, thats what its all about growing up, i couldn't have sead it better, bon scott wrote a bad version of "the jack", that the record companies wouldn't except, so he re-wrote it, and did the nasty version live, "t.n.t." is the best song on the live album,oi oi oi oi oi, i wonder why they put oi in there, i know that oioi is a volcanic rock, but i don't know why it is, if you guys know, let me know, well, t.n.t. is just the best album to drive when you're listening to it, well, i'll see you all at another ac/dc tour.

s.j.gordon@Bradford.ac.uk (Stu)
"The Jack" - the original version is about the clap (or VD, if you will) it just demonstrates Bon's double entendre genius. I hear he had to change the words so thicko American audiences could get the joke :) "Live Wire" is alright on this album, but is amazing live.

JnJCable@worldnet.att.net (Neptune Salad)
Most of the time, when someone says that an AC/DC song is bad, I will point out the reasons that I like the song. But for what you said about "The Jack" and "TNT" I have only this to point out. FUCK YOU!

mcostend@mcn.net (Mark Ostendorf)
I have to agree, I love this album and listen to it over and over, but I continuously find myself skipping over T.N.T. and the Jack, I like the "Oys", and the Jack has some good blues guitar, but overall they're boring. I really hate the "dynamite" solo at the end of TNT.

Imaroker2@aol.com
as you can tell by my name I a'm a big Ac/dc fan!! I think that Angus really shows his talent's when he can just jam like live wire or when he really start's to play what he like's and that's the blue's. I love Van halen , but let's see eddie play the Jack or ride on with the feeling Angus does. Just listen to the live version on if you want blood youve got it

mm@student.unsw.edu.au (Mark McGrath)
A bit of perspective for you American folks on the Australian TNT album...

AC/DC's TNT album is commonly regarded by Australian music critics as a truly seminal rock album. Why? because it not only was wall to wall the songs that blazed and kicked but also because that album started a whole musical phenomenan that changed Australian music scene forever: Aussie Pub Rock. The Angels, Rose Tattoo, Celibate Rifles and many other Australian bands that have had an impact trace their musical heritage back to the mighty and unstoppable Acca Dacca.

Now Mark if you only believe one thing from this post believe this:

It's A Long Way To the Top is regarded in Australia as a R&R Anthem. There is no more legendary song in Australian R&R because it's Bon's whole story wrapped up in a wailing 5 minutes of magic. For you to call it a mere pop rocker is laughable. Mate if you can't recognise this song as a classic that defines an era then either you weren't there or you just don't know your music...probably both.

There is only one AC/DC, the one with Bon Scott leering up front.

Lymtime@aol.com (Bill Lyman)
The Jack is a great song. I can understand why you don't like it so much, it's not typical AC/DC, doesn't rock your ass off. But you have to understand that AC/DC is a blues-oriented band. The Jack is one of their best straight-up blues songs. It's an outstanding 12-bar tune. Plus, if you are a fan of Angus Young, you have to love the solos he puts together on this number. Then when you factor in Bon Scott's amazing double entendre lyric writing, Malcolm and Mark's incredible rhythm, and Phil's steady, no fancy shit drumming...you have the makings of a great song.

mdt3@ukc.ac.uk
Too right: The Jack is pretty well the worst thing they did until Ballbreaker, although Dirty Deeds has got some material on it which rivals it - its just that they don't insist on putting that stuff on every live album they do, as they do with the Jack.

waltond@bellatlantic.net (David Walton)
"Its a Long Way To The Top", with its power riffs, awesome lyrics, and perfect blending of the bagpipe, is one of the best and most underrated rock songs ever. Malcolm is unbelievable in this song; when listening to this song, listen to his rhythym, he sets the bagpipes and the lead up perfectly. I agree that "Live Wire" is outstanding, especially live, but also check out the performance of "Rocker" on the "Let There Be Rock" video. I've never seen more intense, energetic playing. I disagree about "The Jack", it is hilarious and the power blues of that siong are enough to explode speakers (it did mine). Those songs are classic kick ass rock.

dfarmer@chibardun.net (Harmon Farms)
i think you are a dumb f***. T.N.T is one of their best song. the words are kick a**.LIVE WIRE is bone crunching all the way through. the JACK is about VD and it is a good song.

tripoli98@iprimus.com.au
I AGREE WITH MARK MCRATH, TO TRULY APRECCIATE TNT IS TO BE IN AUSTRALIA, WERE ITS CLASSIFIED AS AN ARGUABLY THE GREATEST ROCK MOMENT EVER, THREE ALL TIME CLASSICS "ITS A LONG WAY, TNT, HIGH VOLTAGE. AND NO THE JACK IS NOT ABOUT A CARD GAME.

jjbpost@hotmail.com (Johnny B.)
Just in case you didn't know 'The Jack' is aussie slang for vd (which is here now known as STD or sexually transmitted disease) proving that it certainly does help to be australian to get a complete picture of ac/dc lyrics. they grew up in my area and actually played my local high school when they were nobodys it rocked really, really hard. I do believe that there may even be some bootleg video of that concert.

not that i would know where to get it......

eric.neuser@umusic.com
It's worth finding this one if only for the cover art alone. The stenciled boards I assume connote explosives though they might also have covered the windows of some condemned building where the boys are squatting until the world goes apeshit over rock with bagpipes - or maybe they're from the Young family treehouse. And I love the police files inside. MALCOLM YOUNG - distinguishing features: Pug face. PHIL RUDD - alias: Left Hook Rudd; attention: see alias. But hell, the TNT album is the first real rocker in Acca Dacca (can I say that even though I'm not Australian?) style and that's why it has a real rockin' song called "Rocker" and not a slow, greasy, soiled number like "Little Lover" (which is great too - I like these early songs quite well just 'cos they are a little outside of what ultimately became stylistic fare for the band and kinda put the group in the perspective of their time for those of us who were crapping diapers when these songs were recorded. Didja ever hear "Rockin' In The Parlour"? - sounds like "Honky Tonk Woman"! - which is great too....whatever).

Benjamin Burch
A little heavier (and louder) than 'High Voltage' and gives off hints at what ac/dc would become in the next couple of years.

Add your thoughts?

High Voltage (American Version) - Atco 1976.
Rating = 8

Pretty much T.N.T. (so they called it High Voltage), but they replaced "Rocker" and "School Days" with "She's Got Balls" and "Little Lover," two of the weaker tracks from the Australian debut. Whatever.

Reader Comments

John563@gnn.com (John Person)
I think High Voltage is one of the greatest AC/DC albums in the Bon Scott era. Although I am from the U.S. and haven't had a chance to get a hold of any of the rare stuff, I still believe that not much can beat its set of songs. I just wish I were alive when Bon was singing.

dave@mgagray.com (David Aurand)
High Voltage is the first album/disc in my American mind. My version, which includes "Little Lover" is great w/out "Rocker" and "School Daze". After all, "Rocker" was on the American release of Dirty Deeds.... "Little Lover" was one of my favorite songs..."...killed me when I saw the wet patch on her seat/Was it Coca-Cola..." Honestly, I love this album/disc. From the beginning with the Bon playing the pipes until the last song....almost a toss up between this, Powerage and Highway To Hell as my favorites.

HDVW143@aol.com
Good review here. The only song I don't really care for is "She's Got Balls". Everything else is pretty good. "Live Wire" is easily the best on this cd.

taspate@acs.ucalgary.ca (Tyler Spate)
This is a wicked Bon Scott CD, even if "Jailbreak" isn't on it. And what's the big deal with "She's Got Balls"? I like that song, it's kinda funky, especially the live version in BONFIRE!! That one rocks!!!!

Maverick35@webtv.net
High Voltage was a good album.

JnJCable@worldnet.att.net (H.V.C.)
I don't see what's wrong with "She's Got Balls". I love that song. I *do* agree that it's not the best song on here, but it's better than "Little Lover"! Anyway, this is a disc full of Bon greats. "TNT", "High Voltage", "It's a Long Way To The Top...", "Rock n Roll Singer", geez, IT NEVER ENDS!! So... 9 out of 10. And, I DID hear "School Days", once.

bevan@voicenet.com (Casey B.)
I didn't find this album too enjoyable... too many repetitive riffs and boring songs that didnt have much life too them. The two exceptions are the great hits "TNT" and "It's a long way to the top".....only a few other songs are good. AC/DC probably got better on subsequent albums.

mburrus@zdnetmail.com (Michael Burrus)
This has so many damn catchy songs on it. This is just fun to listen to. I never get tired of listening to it. I think "The Jack" is great musically, but I agree the lyrics are really stupid. Bon shines on this album, as he does always.

tedaldi@acsu.buffalo.edu (Justin Tedaldi)
What's on here is very enjoyable, including the ho-hum tunes off the Australian debut. However, I have two problems with this album. The first is that this may be the band's most clinical release, because none of these songs pack the sonic wallop of "DDDDC" or even the more rollicking tunes of the debut. Tunes like "Live Wire" and "The Jack" sound too antiseptic and precise, as well as inferior to the live versions. The second problem I have is that for some reason the title track is mastered much more poorly than the other tracks and I have to actually turn the song up to compensate for the lack of volume. Anybody else notice this? Gripes aside, it's a good album with solid production and should be played for naysayers who think AC/DC is only capable of dunce metal.

Starchild795@aol.com
Good start here,all throughout the 80's I was heavily into AC/DC and KISS to name a few,and I played the crap out of this album.Every song on it is good,why not pick up a copy today?

robchaundy@yahoo.com (Robert Chaundy)
I am tempted to give this a one, for the same reason I would give most of the American Beatles catalogue a one: this is not an AC/DC album, and those are not Beatles albums. They are hacked-up wastes of space which should be deleted and replaced by the original albums immediately. That said, these songs are mostly great: Live Wire, High Voltage and It's a Long Way to the Top are all classics, but I have to agree with Prindle about TNT, whose lyrics are hardly a Scott masterpiece. And The Jack is musically rubbish (sounds like they hired Bad Company to play on it), but lyrically a hoot, so no harm done there.

rockylisa@yahoo.com
Even when ACDC's sound gets "repetitive", listen closer to how Angus's brother is actually changing it up percussively. Im sure alot of people know this, Im not trying to be the first to say it. Especially evident on "Its a long way to the top.." Same angle that Keith Richards was/is(post 1981, who really cares...) a master of. Another great thing about AC/DC is the backing vocals , which usually consist of yelling and grunting. Its the same great dynamic which the Stones had. Richards and Mick sounded great when singing together, especially with Keiths cackling vocals in the background. The grunting background vocal tone on TNT is one of the greatest moments in rock history. I NEVER tire of hearing that gargling "TNT!" As most know, Bon Scott was truly one of the few singers who had that unexplainable "it". Im not ragging on Powerage or Dirty Deeds as they both are GREAT, I guess they are as good as the others, but High Voltage is stronger in my opinion. Its not as pedal to the metal as Let There Be Rock or concise as songwriting as Highway to Hell, but it contains both of those elements strongly. Every song on High Voltage is great.

astrawn@firstam.com
I thought for a week or two that I was gonna go see AC/DC turns out my wifeís friend who was gonna get ticket thought it was too expensive. I think sheís right, sure they are living legends at this point but maybe its not worth paying that large sum of money to be in a stadium full of AC/DC fans. So if youíre bitter like me go check out the videos of the tailgaters at acdcrocks.com, its kind of like heavy metal parking lot all growed up. Scary. Another problem is that Iím not a fan of Brian Johnson and his voice is now pretty much shot so its just that much worse (to me anyway).

To make myself feel better I grabbed a copy of High Voltage (American Version), I was a little skeptical since its ďremasteredĒ but it actually sound pretty good, they cleaned it up without monkeying with it. Its got one of those digipack cardboard cases, with lots of stories about the band forming and touring the UK, apparently they had a punk following in the UK in the 70ís. Also thereís lots of pictures of the band including some of Bon Scott in very, very tight bellbottom jeans. You would never have to ask this guy ďhowís it hanging?Ē Its quite clearly to the left. Iím pretty sure his jeans had the outline of his balls on the front when he took them off, kind of like the can of skoal ring in the back pocket of most AC/DC fans. And thereís some music in here somewhere too. ďItís a long way..Ē is one of my favorites of all time, I turn it up louder when the bagpipes kick in. Although the bagpipes get a little annoying at the end blasting the same note over and over, itís a near perfect song. I wish they used the bagpipes more but I guess you can check out Dropkick Murphyís or Real McKenzieís if thatís what youíre into. Other standouts: Rock n Roll Singer, Live Wire, TNT (covered by the Dropkick Murphyís) and High Voltage.

Add your thoughts?

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (Australian Version) - Albert Productions 1976.
Rating = 9

This is when they REALLY started to kick ass, beginning with the amazing opening riff of the classic title track (you can just hear the guitars growling "ass... KICK ass... KICK ass.... KICK ass..."); unfortunately, then it goes away. But it comes back at the end of the song to kick your ass some more (plus Angus hammers some more - still two years before Van Halen's debut!). Oh, but there's much more to this album than the title track. Decades more. Well, not decades more, but more nonetheless.

"Aint No Fun Waiting Around To Be A Millionaire," "Problem Child," and "Squealer" are three of the most hypnotic songs that will ever kick the shit clear out of your ass - LITERALLY! I think some critics might call them "vamps," but that's an awfully stupid word, although not as stupid as "pigfuck," which appears in the Spin Alternative Record Guide probably close to thirty times (nothing against the Spin Alternative Record Guide - especially since they DID include AC/DC, which doesn't excuse their awarding a perfect 10 to The Raincoats or, for Chrissake, Hole, while basically trashing the majority of the Accadicka catalog, but it was written by some wussyass woman, so what do you expect? Ho probably just don't get enough woowoo, if you're diggin' my slapjack!). Plus, ""Big Balls" is awfully funny, especially compared to "The Jack," which is awfully boring, but I suppose I pointed that out already. And "Ride On" is the best blues song this band of white Scots could ever have dreamed of recording - a truly impressive and beautiful change of mood, especially considering their reputation as morons (They weren't. They might be now, though. Read on.). "There's Gonna Be Some Rockin'" and "R.I.P." are pretty much the same song, but you can't get "R.I.P." in America, so it's worth hunting down and shooting in the back of the head. And, quite frankly, the album-closing "Jailbreak" is one of the most fantastic songs that God has ever allowed Man to write.

And now here's a "hilarious" piece I wrote for Crawdaddy.com for cash money, back when it still existed:

Lyrical Communique: AC/DCís ďBig BallsĒ
By Mark Prindle

Late AC/DC vocalist Ronald ďBonĒ Scott was not by birthright a rich or cultured man. Nay, he was but a high school dropout and juvenile offender when he decided to throw his hat into the rock Ďn roll ring. Following failed attempts at stardom with the Spektors, the Valentines, Fraternity and the Mount Lofty Rangers, he finally got his chance at success when young Australia-by-Scotland band AC/DC recruited him to replace estranged vocalist Dave Evans in September 1974. Unfortunately, his feelings of inferiority and personal failure had by then reached such devastating levels that no amount of stardom could hope to repair his tortured soul. Thus, ďBig Balls.Ē

Well I'm ever upper-class high society
God's gift to ballroom notoriety
And I always fill my ballroom
The event is never small
The social pages say I've got
The biggest balls of all

A highlight of the 1976 Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap LP, ďBig BallsĒ finds Mr. Scott boasting about his ability to hold ever-fancier parties in his upper crust ballroom. But this scenario could never be more than a fantasy. How could a tattooed alcoholic dwarf like Scott ever hope to be accepted into the Ďever upper-class high societyí that he so envied? In fact, heíd expressed similar jealousy in his earlier composition ďSheís Got Balls,Ē concerning a matron of old wealth with the ability to host ballroom parties any time she wished. Tragically, this unattainable dream would eventually lead to Scott drinking himself to death in the back of a friendís car.

I've got big balls
I've got big balls
They're such big balls
And they're dirty big balls
And he's got big balls
And she's got big balls
But we've got the biggest balls of them all

This chorus makes evident Bonís awareness of his true social stature; no moneyed aristocrat would brag about hosting ďdirtyĒ big balls. In truth, the rich prefer their balls clean and polished. And who is this Ďweí of whom he speaks? Quite simply, itís irrefutable proof that his escalating neurosis had erupted into full-blown multiple-personality disorder, a debilitating mental illness that would eventually lead to Scott hanging himself to death in the vestibule of his home.

And my balls are always bouncing
And my ballroom always full
And everybody comes and comes again
If your name is on the guest list
No one can take you higher
Everybody says I've got
Great balls of fire

Itís hard to fault Mr. Scott for his gauche nouveau-riche dreams; after all, who wouldnít want to be the proud host of well-attended bouncy balls? But the most notable aspect of this second verse is the sudden, unexpected intrusion of crude sexual innuendo. Considering his past achievements in the field of poetic excellence, Mr. Scott surely disappointed more than a few fans with his bawdy reference to a Ďguest listí Ė an obvious double-entendre for Ďbreast list,í if you read between the sophomoric lines.

Thankfully he just as quickly leaves this gutter approach behind, instead ending the verse with a sad and all-too-human acknowledgement that he will never be accepted into this world of high culture due to, if nothing else, his long-term involvement with the low art form known as rock and roll. In the songís cleverest bit of wordplay, Scott laments that ĎEverybody says Iíve got ĎGreat balls of fireíĒ Ė not the refined balls of a Gatsby, but the Ďgreat balls of fireí of fellow undesirable Jerry Lee Lewis.

Some balls are held for charity
And some for fancy dress
But when they're held for pleasure
They're the balls that I like best
My balls are always bouncing
To the left and to the right
It's my belief that my big balls
Should be held every night

Holding balls, holding balls Ė at this point in the song, itís all that Mr. Scott can think about. Freud would certainly have something to say about his unnatural obsession with the holding of balls! Heíd say that he shouldnít be so obsessed with throwing parties.

Tragically, it was this very obsession that would eventually lead to Scott falling down a stairway to his death.

We've got big balls
And I'm just itching to tell you about them
Oh we have such wonderful fun
Seafood cocktail
Crabs
Crayfish

I must admit that these final lines escape my critical faculties. What Ďitchingí and Ďcrabsí have to do with Ďballsí is anybodyís guess. Perhaps Mr. Scott is here stretching his avant-garde wings in the manner of Lennonís ďCome Together,Ē a track referenced earlier in the lyric ĎEverybody comes and comes again.í

In conclusion, early AC/DC tracks like ďAinít No Fun Waitiní ĎRound to Be a MillionaireĒ and ďItís A Long Way to the Top If You Wanna Rock ĎN RollĒ introduced Bon Scottís interest in attaining monetary wealth, but it wasnít until ďBig BallsĒ that his reasons for this strange interest became clear. He wanted to be the toast of the town Ė a regular Fatty Arbuckle throwing fancy balls for his wealthy companions. But it wasnít to be, and his lyrics soon turned to more earthy matters such as ďDown Payment BluesĒ and ďHighway to Hell,Ē which is about a testicle.

Bon Scott continues to sing for AC/DC to this day.

Reader Comments

info@awm.gov.au
I feel sorry for all you Americans, who can't get hold of the Australian versions (I've got all of them).

shaffer1@prolog.net (Matt Shaffer)
Hey info@awm.gov.au - I got a copy of TNT so you don't have to feel sorry for us Americans anymore. Remember when that bitch Joan Jett did a cover of "Dirty Deeds"? Man did that fuckin suck. It was a slap in the face to AC/DC. I can't believe such a loser had the balls to even think about covering a AC/DC song.

Tavo.Conti@RelianceNational.com
Alas it is true we here in the States have to go out and plug someone in order to get a hold of this album; maybe there is someone out there who has a kind heart and is willing to snail-mail me a tape!

I agree Joan Jett, what the fuck was she thinking? Cover "Dirty Deeds"???? Please give me a fucking break! No one should attempt to cover any AC/DC tunes!

learning@sprintmail.com
I just wanted to comment on Angus' playing, which really took off on this album. "Squealer," in particular, is out of this world. I rarely hear anyone mention that song as one of AC/DC's best, but I am floored every time I hear it. Sigh, I long for the days when Angus just reared back and kicked ass like he did in the early days.

Gleeman555@aol.com
"Ain't No Fun Waiting 'Round To Be A Millionaire." Didn't they sum it all up in this one song!! The lyrics with Bon always were better than anything they wrote with Brian. He was always real personal and I think this album really shows that.

serkev@lisp.com.au (Kevin Serplett)
AIN'T NO FUN WAITING ROUND TO BE A MILLIONAIRE THE TITLE OF THIS SONG JUST SAY'S IT ALL AND THIS IS A KILLER SONG (GREAT BON SCOTT LYRICS)

waltond@bellatlantic.net (David Walton)
"Ride On" shows the boys can do more than just bang their guitars. The lyrics are awesome and deep, many times when I've been through shit I've thought of this song. It is very emotional, classic blues

Nick.Walford@nettec.net
can I just say that 'ride on' almost make sme cry when I hear it? not that I'm a big faggy wuss or anything, but the sheer emotion in that song just blows me away. and this from a so-called brainless cock-rock band? awesome!

knowstev@med.umich.edu (Steven Knowlton)
I heard "Problem Child" on the radio today...to call it hypnotic is like saying fingernails on a chalkboard are melodic. THIS IS THE MOST IRRITATING SONG I'VE EVER HEARD, including all of Samantha Fox's hits! Come on, give us a third chord already.

Starchild795@aol.com
I didn't know JOAN JETT covered DIRTY DEEDS,probably because I don't listen to anything she does.....anyway,I agree with the review,great lyrics,classic three chord rhythm guitar,and of course,BON SCOTT's unmistakable voice.I especially like the ballad,RIDE ON,other good songs include A'INT NO FUN,LOVE AT FIRST FEEL and of course the title track.AWESOME!!!

DontCallThisLove@aol.com (Monte Ward)
So it was joan jett!! I first heard the ac/dc cover at a baseball game, and the initial shock of playing an AC/DC cover at an official sporting event gave way to the anger of realizing it was a fucking chick singing. This from the Padres, who turned Hell's Bells into San Diego's official song.

jonesworthy@charter.net (Jon Esworthy)
Oh, come on. Joan Jett's cover of Dirty Deeds wasn't the best cover in the world, but she has more balls than any of you know nothing fucktards who are slagging her. Just check the stuff she did with The Gits. The Blackhearts would have great if not for the slick production they always insisted on having.

Benjamin Burch
On the same level as 'TNT' really, could be volume 2 of that album. That's not to say it's a bad album though. Where 'TNT' showed a big leap forward for AC/DC, this only showed a small one. This is the last of the "early" albums for them, and they would REALLY perk up after this...

Add your thoughts?

'74 Jailbreak - Atlantic 1984.
Rating = 8

Okay, it didn't come out until '84, but THIS is where it belongs in the chronology, dammit. This is four of the best songs from the original Australian debut (including the Big Bill Broonzy cover with the hammering and the song with the two-note bass intro that I enjoy so much!) tacked onto one of the best songs from the Australian Dirty Deeds album which, entirely inexplicably, was left off the American version of the album which, by the by, wasn't released until after Back In Black became a hit in 1980. Hmmm.... I also don't understand why the hey Atlantic chose to make this an EP rather than including "School Days," "Stick Around," "Love Song," and "R.I.P.," but what do you expect from a shithole record douche company ass? Bastards.

Reader Comments

LCarlyle@aol.com
This is a good one; just a shame I had to wait till 1984 to have it. "Jailbreak" has always been ranked high in my book, and "Soul Stripper", well, there's another fine piece of work by the Young brothers. The long intro and the intermingling leads are just too cool.

HDVW143@aol.com
Another good review here, Mark. I really like this cd. I just wish we had the other tracks yet to be released in America!

paul7777@ime.net (Mitch)
i love "jailbreak"'s rhythm, and the guitar in it is awesome, "soul stripper" and "you ain't got a hold on me" are masterpieces, "baby please don't go" is a grrrrreat song too, i listen to this cd all the time, it rocks!!!!

taspate@acs.ucalgary.ca (Tyler Spate)
This CD could have included more BON SCOTT stuff, but nevertheless the title track rocks my ass off!!! I love the cheesy outdoor video for "jailbreak"!!! Angus's fake blood is hilarious!

crocket@ionsys.com (Dave Burton)
This album is where AC/DC starts everything for the Canadian (and american) audiences. I think it was a little polished for its release in '84....and probably only released due to the wide success of Back in Black and FTATR.

"Soul Stripper" is amazing..especially with the long intro. I agree with the above mentioning that they should have included the other Australian import tunes...but that wouldn't have fueled the thirst for the imports. A good album all in all.

f.d.cable@worldnet.att.net (H.V.C.)
The only bad thing about this album is that it's too short (5 songs). The best song is both Jailbreak & Baby Please Don't Go. And Soul Stripper. And Show Business and You Ain't Got a Hold On Me and.... oh, that's all of them. Silly American fucks.

10 out of 10

tedaldi@acsu.buffalo.edu (Justin Tedaldi)
All it needed were the other six songs not yet released in this country to be perfect, so 5/10. And damn brain trust in charge of the CD remastering for not including that awesome sleeve pic of Bon and Angus. Hell, this album doesn't even tell you who plays what! No wonder people get confused over the incarnation of the band circa 1974.

Starchild795@aol.com
Yes,it's too short,I agree,but I'm not gonna bitch if I can get anything with BON SCOTT's name on it. Best song:SOUL STRIPPER

Add your thoughts?

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (American Version) - Atlantic 1981.
Rating = 9

Weakened a little by the loss of "Jailbreak," but strengthened heartily by the fast studio version of "Rocker" that was left off of the American High Voltage - plus, whoever put the record together ran across a great song called "Love At First Feel." I don't know where in Benny Hill it came from, but it's an awfully enjoyable song! Still, the order of the album is a little off. The Australian version flows without a hitch; this one isn't paced quite so well. That doesn't mean it doesn't frigging rule, though. It does.

But, since complaining is fun for me and you - here's another thing! For some reason, the friggers who put out this version deleted four repetitions of the line "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" in the title track, and left off the entire last minute of "Aint No Fun Waitin' 'Round To Be A Millionaire!!!!!" WHERE DO THEY GET OFF?????? Still, since you'll probably have a hard time finding the Australian version, you'd might as well buy this one. As Tony The Tiger might say, "It's Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!"

Reader Comments

ftlauderdale@earthlink.net (David Aurand)
I was a little disappointed that this album was released (in the States) so long after Bon died. It almost seemed like a slap in the face to Brian after the success with Back In Black and For Those About To Rock.... I do like the album especially the title track, "Ride On" and "Squealer". I wouldn't put it up with Highway To Hell or Powerage or even High Voltage, but it's AC/DC and I like it. In concert, "Dirty Deeds," in my humble opinion, is one of the only songs that I don't think Brian does well. I guess, I was spoiled with Bon on that one.

LCarlyle@aol.com
Now here's another great one. The title track is incredible, whether blasting out of the living room or the car, the opening riff knocks me out every time. And then there's "Ride On". Another one that'll make my eyes roll back in my head! That blues solo is just awesome.

robf@hayden.edu (Rob Forrest)
How come no one ever includes "Rocker" as one of Angus's best guitar works? He gives 3 excellent guitar solos that go perfectly with the rest of the song.

HDVW143@aol.com
This cd has some awesome songs and some not so awesome songs. I like "Dirty Deeds" and "Rocker", but I can't get into "Ain't No Fun Waitin Round To Be A Millionaire". My favorite on this cd, though, is definitely "Big Balls". It rules!

paul7777@ime.net (Mitch)
dirty deeds is an awesome album, i love them all, "ride on" is spectacular guitar work, i can't believe how fast it goes, i wonder why they don't do "ride on" instead of "the jack" in concerts, but oh well, i wonder if there's a dirty version to the song "big balls", hehehe, that was a masterpiece, and "ain't no fun to be a millionaire", i like that rhythm, but it seems that rhythm has been used so many times throughout ac/dc's career, its time to find a new rhythm boys, ac/dc is my favorite band ever, and i'm gonna get them all imported sooner or later!!!!

JnJCable@worldnet.att.net (Neptune Salad)
According to my American copy of Dirty Deeds, the album cover says "AIN'T NO FUN (WAITING ROUND TO BE A MILLIONAIRE)" (6:57) but my CD player tells me that the song is a maximum of 7 minutes 27 seconds. And now you tell me that it's 8 minutes and 27 seconds long. So, who do I believe?

Oh, the only time I've heard a shortened version of "Dirty..." was on the (American) radio.

taspate@acs.ucalgary.ca (Tyler Spate)
All I have to say is "36-24-360 I lead a life of crime!" Apparently some people had that same phone number, and fans started calling that number!!! The people blamed AC/DC!!! HAHAHAHA thats too funny!

Trashsurfr@aol.com
It's true. In fact, at the time this album came out, the town in Illinois where I lived had the telephone prefix "362" and the unlucky sap who had the number 362-4360 sued the band over it. I was only about twelve at the time, and my memory is a bit hazy, but I think I was one of the assholes calling that number.

mburrus@zdnetmail.com (Michael Burrus)
Another kick ass album by AC/DC. The title track can kick anyone's ass! "Big Balls" is hilarious! I have no complaints about Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. I got pretty pissed at that asshole who had the nerve to label us "the fucking Americans". Anyway, I think this album kicks ass SO BUY IT IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY! HA! seeya.

tedaldi@acsu.buffalo.edu (Justin Tedaldi)
This one is fantastic. The remastered CD fixes a lot of the problems with song length, but just imagine how great this would have sounded if it included the songs from the Australian release. Certainly the most varied of all the albums, and they had not yet BEGUN to truly kick ass yet!

jtcable@tir.com (H.V.C.)
Wait, did I never really review this myself? Shit. Um, it's great. Odd how I seem to overlook DDDDC's greatness every now and then. The song I mean. There's no other song like it, attitude-wise. Dirty Deeds... and THEY'RE DONE DIRT CHEAP. It's about time that an idea like that was taken into reality. Dirt cheap... they're dirty deeds for the masses. Done DIRT CHEAP. What a slogan.

Too bad it's just a song. Ain't No Fun is kind of like a Long Way To the Top sequel. And it rocks, and it's longer.

BUT SQUEALER IS THE BEST FUCKING SONG ON HERE!!! FASTER THAN A ROCKET SHIP OUT OF MOTHERFUCKING HELL AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT and a whole lot catchier.

kitklarenberg@hotmail.com
I listened to this a couple of times, and didn't like it at all. I gave it a few more listens and boom - it infiltrates my ears in a most enjoyable way. However, this album is very much a record of two halves - the excellent, and the bad/mediocre. Side one is excellent; the title track is an excellent track (you had it spot on with the 'ass...kick ass...kick ass...kiiiick ass...' comment about the rhythm). Love At First feel is a sparkling rock song - not mindblowing, but just an enjoyable slice of AC/DC. Big Balls is like The Jack II, except it's actually good. It's only two and a half minutes long anyway. I initially wasn't the biggest fan on Rocker, although Bon's frantically out of breath vocal is quite enjoyable. Problem Child rounds out the first side in great fashion (the Youngs really go crazy on this one). Side two lets the album down dramatically, firstly with the lethargic There's gonna be some rockin'. Ain't No Fun is pretty good, although I don! 't enjoy it as much as anything on side 1. Ride On is generic blues-rock (it's still OK) and Squealer is a bearable closer. Don't get me wrong, the side 2 stuff is still good, but it pales in comparison with that blistering first half. Very good but flawed album - 7 or 8 out of 10.

rockylisa@yahoo.com (Robert)
Back in Junior High(Im 36 now), I had a friend who could totally mimic Bon Scotts yells and vocal inflections. In English class we were talking about the song "Dirty deeds". You know the final yell at the end of the song? Of course you do. The class was totally silent(everyone was listening to the teacher or something) and he just lets loose with with that final yell at the TOP OF HIS LUNGS!!!!....just absolutely piercing the silence of the class.... "YEEEEEEEAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!"

Perfect mimicing of Bon Scott at more than full volume! The whole class was stunned and I totally had tears coming out of my eyes I was laughing so hard! Whenever I hear that on cd or radio, I have a Jr. High flashback of him yelling that out. Man, one of the funniest school memories....This is a good record. I keep wanting them to switch chords during "It aint no fun". I like the sparse chords right before he says "it aint no fun waiting round..." I also like the way the main riff comes back at the end of "Problem child". Good tune. Tommy Tu-Tone(Jenny 867-5309)opened up for them one time in El Paso and one of my friends said it was amazing to hear thousands of Mexican AC/DC fans booing the two-toners. "AHHH-BOOOHHH!" I saw them at AstroWorld in Houston way back when, and alot of the fans(im not singling-out Mexicans) looted the park after the show, breaking windows, running amok, stealing stuffed animals and things. The "new" reissues of AC/DC sound great, Dirty Deeds included.

Add your thoughts?

In The Beginning - Bootleg 2001
Rating = 8

When your friends rob a bank and you plead for some of the money, well baby that's a "loot beg." In The Beginning is a similar sort of experience, but with two key letters given the old switcheroo psychiatric treatment. Here's a funny story - you may not know this, but apparently some losers refer to AC/DC as "Acca Dacca" as some sort of faggoty pet name or something. So I'm outside the colosseum peddling my young male wares one day back in '99 and I hear a slanty-eyed Arab shouting about a "free Acca Dacca concert." Well, I'm nothing if not cheap and filled with free time, but imagine my chagrin and embarrassedness when it turned out to be an "Al-Queda concert!" And there I am like a schmo shouting out "TNT!," "Love Bomb!," "Heatseeker!," "This Means War!" Boy, was my face white!

Look, humor is okay for some people, but not me. Let's get the show on the road. No more jokes, asswipe.

Why did the duck senator run away from Capitol Hill?
Because he heard they wanted to turn his "bill" into a law!

Certainly Australia's AC/DC's never reached the wuthering heights of Jefferson Starship's "Find Your Way Back (To Your Heart)," but on this risky early recording with original lead singer Bon Jovi, they prove that young or old they've got more fight than stigmarole!

More specifically, this bootleg includes nine tracks recorded at the Brisbane Festival Hall on December 18th, 1976 and four additional tracks from a June 12, 1976 concert at Leith Theater in Edinburgh. The recording quality isn't all that great, but if you turn your stereo up superloud, the guitars sound as raw and tough as they ever have. The bass guitar is apparently hanging out at a bar down the street during the Brisbane tracks and the drums aren't terribly audible either, but this is all fixed up on the Edinburgh tracks. What should excite you about this release is as follows:

(1) They begin their set with the intro to "Love Song"!

(2) They play "Dirty Deeds"! How often have you heard a Bon era live version of that song? Rarely, I'd wager, because that album didn't come out in the U.S. until after he was DEAD! Then they performed it with him a few times after that, but his charisma was nowhere to be found so they eventually dumped his corpse in a hole.

(3) "Jailbreak" is abruptly cut off during the first chorus! Wait, that's not a pro. That's a con! A goddamned con! Stealing my mail!

(4) "TNT" sounds much better live - less sterile, flat, dull.

(5) They pull off the "Baby Please Don't Go" guitar swoops even in a live context!

(6) They do an unbelievably bombastic and stupid intro to "The Jack" which finds Bon wailing, "Gon-o-rrheaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! I just had my first dose -- of GONORRHEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

(break in text)

(406) And finally at long last, Bon tries to play the bagpipes during "It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Smoke Some Pole)!" Oh my guy what a spotty-assed mess it is too. The guitars go silent and Phil keeps a steady beat going while Bon stumbles around the stage, drags up the unstable rickety instrument of pain, takes forever to find one note, then blasts it out of tune over the end of the song. An absolute low in the band's history, but quite hilarious in its ineptitude and worth hunting down in the forest!

A really good guy sent me 14 different AC/DC live bootlegs tracing their history from 1976 to 2003. AND EVERY SINGLE FUCKING ONE OF THEM HAS "THE GODDAMNED MOTHER FUCKING JACK" ON IT. As part of a spectacular new game, I'm going to add up how many songs from each record appear on each bootleg, just to see where their career went over the years. I'll use the Australian discography for reality's sake. On In The Beginning, you will find two High Voltage tracks masquerading as four (two versions of "She's Got Balls" and a faded-out-and-then-back-in-as-a-new-track rendition of "Baby Please Don't Go" - plus the intro of "Love Song"), six TNT songs (seven if you count the second run-through of "Live Wire") and three Dirty Deeds ditties. Enjoy! (is not one of the better Descendents albums).

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Shoot! Shoot! Don't Talk - Bootleg 1999
Rating = 6

On this bootleg, apparently titled by an NYPD instructor - HA! We've all laughed again together! See? That's what love is. Me and you getting together, enjoying stew and laughing at things. Remember those dying kids in the street we gunned down? Ha! I know! You didn't me then too!

Oh shut up, me. Six of these eight tracks were recorded on January 30, 1977 at The Haymarket, the first food store geared entirely toward horses. The final remaining two tracks were performed on a television series called "Capdown." And before you start moaning and groaning about the fact that it only has eight songs on it, let me reassure you that you should in fact be bitching and complaining about the fact that they drag every goddamned song on for about 45 minutes. Guitar solos, crowd chants = B.F.Y. The "B" and "Y" stand for "Big" and "Yawn." It remains unclear what the "F" stands for, but it's not fart, I tried that already and it didn't make any sense. The very SHORTEST track on here is 4:47, which is already too long. What is the point of all this jamming and stretching simple little rock and roll songs out forever and ever and ever? Did any crowd ever request this? If so, why? This isn't the Grateful Dead or Phish; anyone who is into AC/DC for the "jams" might considering questioning their musical tastes. When Angus actually WRITES a guitar solo ("You Shook Me All Night Long," "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap"), it can be melodic, singalongable and a real awesome piece of work. But in concert, for the most part, he really just noodles around on some basic scales and makes a bunch of hair-raising racket for FAR too long at a stretch. It's cool to actually be there and SEE it, of course, because the guy is a huge bundle of energy, running and duckwalking all over the stage, lying on his back and jerking about spasmodically, spinning around, riding on Bon/Brian's shoulders through the audience -

You know what? I just answered my own question. I didn't even need your help! The answer is that for the most part his big solo stretches on these live discs aren't intended to be listened to - they're intended to be WATCHED. But how can you watch them on the CD? The disappointing truth is that you CAN'T. There is no way to put any sort of video information onto a CD, and there never will be. Hopefully someday, science and industry will find a way to put music onto a Betamax tape so that we can enjoy "watching" our favorite music as it is being performed, but until that day, we'll have to sit back and just WONDER what it is that all of our favorite bands actually look like. Is Malcolm Young 8'2 with huge sideburns like I picture him? Is Bon Scott a native African tribesman carrying around a stick with a human skull on it? These are questions for which there are no answers. As Bob Dylan once said, "The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind. Go catch it or we'll NEVER finish this game of Trivial Pursuit!"

A full half of these eight tracks are over eight minutes long. If that's the kind of AC/DC you're into, get it got it good. Otherwise try a different bootleg. At least the actual sound is pretty good - maybe a bit muffled from age, but you can hear both guitars, drums and Bon very clearly, and who doesn't love to hear Bon introduce an early album track as "Can I Sit On Your Face Girl?" But you guys are bright so tell me: Why did Malcolm always play "It's A Long Way" INCORRECTLY in concert. The actual song is catchy beyond words - very poppy rhythm line that I'm always humming to myself. But live, he constantly replaced the catchy chords with a bland "tough" blues chord back-and-forth that just sucks dicks. Literally sucks dicks. What a prick that guy was, Malcolm X. I don't wish death on anybody, but I'm almost GLAD the Shriners killed him. This disc features 1 High Voltage, 2 Dirty Deeds and 5 TNT tracks. You may just want to buy TNT, in other words. Why listen to Angus masturbate on his guitar for ten minutes at a stretch when you can listen to the tight studio versions while masturbating Angus as he sits on the couch next to you? This is assuming you know Angus, of course, and that you guys are pretty close.

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Burning Balls - Bootleg 2001
Rating = 8

YUCK!!!! Man, you bootleggers need to start thinking a little harder before naming your product. This fine work was created live onstage at the Agora Ballroom in Cleveland on August 22, 1977. AC/DC's balls were burning heavily on this night, with Phil Rudd hammering away top-speed at his cymbal/snare combination, Bon being as jovial as a neighborly hoodlum and the Young brothers etc... Of particular note this time around, again in separated numerical form, so your lazy eye doesn't get stuck reading the same line over and over again::

(1) This show was recorded off of the radio - QFM 96's "Sunday Night Special," complete with generic female DJ!

(2)Occasionally the powerful blasts of bass sound created by Mr. Rudd's occupation overload the mix, making it fade in and out unprofessionally.

(3) "Baby Please Don't Go" is so much faster than shit, it's like eating a burrito and having it IMMEDIATELY turn into liquid faeces and blast out your ass all over the group of toddlers seated behind you.

(4) Angus keeps twiddling away at non-distorted (and non-interesting!) blues licks between songs

(5) Bon changes one of the lines of "She's Got Balls" to "She makes my heart race/Every time she sits on my face."

(6) Bon makes "The Jack" even grosser than before, with a new line about a "great big worn-out empty hole" that "had been filled in before."

Enough of this numbers racket. This is a fantastic performance by the band - tons of energy, volume and humor. Bon's entire performance of "The Jack" is absolutely hilarious, for example. He really plays up every single line with silly Vaudeville emotion - fake crying, angry masculine attitude, playful crowd-friendly whimsy - so much so that even I, Mark "Jack-hatin'" Prindle (and that includes YOU, Jack Paar!!!!) can lay back and enjoy its itchy, flaming splendor. It's unfortunate that the sound fades in and out a bit during the louder moments, but you have to remember that their testicles were literally on fire during the entirety of the performance, so they were probably running around the stage and stuff. There are only seven songs on this 45-minute disc, but that's due to stage patter and applause; we thankfully still haven't entered the age of Angus's heinous, unnecessary 10-minute solos. The wrap-up: 2 High Voltage, 4 TNT and 1 Dirty Deeds.

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Let There Be Rock - Atlantic 1977.
Rating = 9

Rocks like fookin' ais, but I'm tempted to drop its grade back to an 8 because there's not enough songs! Eight songs? Why not nine? Aaaah, still...the title track nearly out-Ramoneses the Ramones (especially that opening riff - but even after that goes away, the drums still book along like a terribly speedy automobile), "Overdose" is as hypnotic as you might hope, and "Go Down" (which could be about...oh....anything!!! Who can tell what a band this SUBTLE could possibly be talking about when they call a song "Go Down" or "Big Gun" or "Heatseeker" or "Two's Up" or "First Blood" or "Inject The Venom" or "Put The Finger On You" or "Given The Dog A Bone"??? I seem to have made this parenthetical break in the sentence a tad lengthy; I apologize and suggest that you go back to the beginning of the sentence and start over, skipping the parentheses this time. Anyway, that's what I'd do.) has a terrifically messy little second chord thrown into the stuttering one-note melody - proof again that Angus and Malcolm were a guitar juggernaut that could not be stopped, even when they were only playing two chords! The rest of the songs are really catchy, too, although "Crabsody In Blue" should have been on here; it was replaced on the American version of the album by "Problem Child," a great song its own self, but since I already have it on two versions of Dirty Deeds, it doesn't much excite me to hear it here.

Reader Comments

106036.616@compuserve.com
How anyone can review Let There Be Rock without mentioning "Whole Lotta Rosie" is beyond belief!

LCarlyle@aol.com
Now this one rocks! It deserves a 9 or a 10. When those heavy rhythms come pounding out of the speakers, it's hypnotizing. The only complaint would have to be that it's too short; just when you're at a peak, it's over.

public@moondog.usask.ca
One of my small complaints with this album is that it seems like for some of the songs, one or more of the instruments is just a *tad* out of tune. Not noticeable unless you're REEEALLY listening close, though....

TCMIF1@student.monash.edu.au)
Um. Excuse me, where in the Fuck is the "Whole Lotta Rosie" Praise?

dave@mgagray.com (David Aurand)
Gotta agree????? Where is your critique of "Whole Lotta Rosie"???? Brian Johnson (so the rumor goes) auditioned for Bon's job, singing this tune in particular. Certainly one of the best AC/DC tunes of all time. A classic...."42, 39, 56.....you could say she's got it aaaaallllllll!!!" "Overdose", "Go Down"....the title.....very good effort....

LateGr8Bon@aol.com
AC/DC's best album to date. Includes classics such as "Whole Lotta Rosie," "Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be," "Bad Boy Boogie" and of course, God's gift to rock anthems, "Let There Be Rock."

Leuven@fsw.ruu.nl (Mirande Van Leuven)
LET THERE BE ROCK IS SIMPLY FANTASTIC!

pys@club-internet.fr
Desperately seeking tab or chords of "Crabsody In Blue"... If you have them, send an e-mail.

robf@hayden.edu (Rob Forrest)
How can you not love AC/DC's best song, "Whole Lotta Rosie"? The boys from Australia do sound a bit off in this album. But it sounds to me more like the studio they recorded it in was substandard, not the music.

HDVW143@aol.com
WOW! This cd is incredible! There is not one song on this that I don't go crazy for! This is the best Bon Scott AC/DC stuff! It deserves a 10.

panonzin@tlvsfd.vim.tlt.alcatel.it (Panonzini Massimo)
Maybe, the best AC/DC album ever! The final "Whole Lotta Rosie" Angus solo is simply amazing; i would never stop listening....and making my mother shout for my bedroom window shakin`...........!!!!!

supersexmachine@aol.com (Owen Goodwin)
Why the Hell didn't you mention "Whole Lotta Rosie," the best song on the album?

learning@sprintmail.com
Arguably one of the best pure rock albums ever. It never lets up. I love the raw (pre-Mutt Lang) recording, and the dark, hazy feel of the album. Certain records just have an... atmosphere to them, and this one reeks of a smokey, sweaty, jam-packed club. You can tell how hungry the band is at this point of their career.

funkycold@webtv.net (Ricky B.)
You said it right, Angus and Malcolm are a guitar juggernaut that can't be stopped, even playing two chords!! Man, this is AC/DC's rawest and heaviest album IMO. No fancy production here. Straight, simple, ballsy, kick-ass in your face rock n roll. I love the digitally re-mastered disc. I originally bought this in spring 1980 on 8 track in Chicago on a school trip. I STILL play it in the car. Great cruisin disc. I always wondered, are the guitars "slightly out of tune"??

T4heish@aol.com
This album rocks, no doubt. For some reason, Angus has a totally different guitar sound on this album, unlike any sound he had up to this point, it's a lot more crunchy and heavy. Whatever set up he used. it made the difference. Imagine "Whole Lotta Rosie" sounding like a song off of High Voltage. Just wouldn't work, would it?

paul7777@ime.net (Mitch)
"whole lotta rosie" should have been mentioned, because it is the number one heavy metal song of all time, and "hell ain't a bad place to be" is the perfect song about being married (so i've heard). "hell ain't a bad place to be" is my favorite song on the live at donnington video, and "let there be rock", wow, its amazing, more amazing than the aerosmith song, let there be rock forever!!!!!!!

Gleeman555@aol.com
I was fifteen. Lost in a sea of Eighties hair bands. Looking for something to identify with. Hated everything. One day I go into a record store. There it is. LET THERE BE ROCK On a whim I picked it up and took it home. BOOM!!!! When I seen them and heard them I was elated!! They dressed like me and they thought like I did. And no stupid gimmicks!! AND THEY ROCKED!!! THat day I was inducted into paradice. Now I am 25 and looking forward to the follow up on BALLBREAKER!! 10 out of 10 for LTBR.

Joemarabel@aol.com
A 9 all the way!

MRTRFED@aol.com
If AC/DC would have just released the songs "Let there be rock" and "Whole Lotta Rosie" that would have been more than enough. These are in my opinion the two best hard rock songs ever written, by AC/DC or by anyone, EVER. There is nothing commercialized about this album. It really portrays what AC/DC is all about almost better than any other album. Well at least the raw sound and the raunchy stomp. Angus's amp was smokin' at the end of "Let there be rock" for crying out loud. Plus, listen to the words, it really spoke for the whole hard rock world, and who better to say it, as proved in this album. And "Whole Lotta Rosie" well this is one of the most distinctive rock songs of all time. Maybe if you are able to put your eyes back into the proper sockets after listening to this one you will be able to see this. Now, I really think that this is a matter of quality over quantity. I am forgetting the other six, all of which are gems as well. EVERY ONE!!!! How many albums do you come across with with 10 or 12 songs, and one be worth listening to. This one gets a 10 in my book, if you could even put a number value on it.

LuisCifr@aol.com
Bon's vocal's were just outstanding on this album in particular. The squeals accompanying Angus' bends in 'Go Down?' And the emotion that comes through on 'Overdose?' I think this was Bon, and the band, at their best. This album is outstanding! One of the best of ALL time! I'd give it an 11!

JnJCable@worldnet.att.net (Neptune Salad)
YOU FORGOT TO MENTION "WHOLE LOTTA ROSIE"! Other than that, good review, but have you ever even heard "Big Gun"? It's a song about the Action Movie franchise! DUH! Remember? "Terminators, Uzi Makers...", I guess not. Too bad, it's my all time favorite AC/DC song.

taspate@acs.ucalgary.ca (Tyler Spate)
This CD is too short, but would you rather have a CD with 14 shitty songs or a CD with 8 wicked ones? I rest my case.

lzrdking@home.com (Allan Bradshaw)
i want to hear "whole lotta rosie" done by guns and roses if anyone can come close to matching the greatness of bon scott it would have to be axl rose

serkev@lisp.com.au (Kevin Serplett)
DAMN I SAY DAMN SHAME YOU HAVE'NT HEARD CRABSODY IN BLUE

tedaldi@acsu.buffalo.edu (Justin Tedaldi)
At first I thought this album was dull since several of the songs aren't played fast enough. That may still be true, but they rock with a ferocity you won't hear long after you're six feet under. "Problem Child" is unnecessary now that we have reissues, so I give this one a 7/10. There should have been more songs when the band was this creative.

jtcable@tir.com (H.V.C.)
Can you believe, when I sent in the first review for this album that I did not own it? I never even heard the original version of Whole Lotta Rosie. FUCKER.

Anyway, the whole album kicks rocking assed ass EXCEPT Go Down. I hate that fucking CRAP song. I mean, it's ok, but Bon's orgasm was just DUMB. GROSS!

But I love the way this version of LTBR starts compared to the Live version. I compare them back and forth. This one starts INSTANTLY, and the other starts with faded in crowd noise and the drum beat, then into the faster than fuck riff. But I still like the live version better... much longer. More drawn out screeching riffage.

Lymtime@aol.com (Paul Lyman)
This album kicks total ass! The reason the sound quality is so raw and distorted is cause the boys cranked their Marshalls up way too loud and they started breaking up. Whole Lotta Rosie is the greatest song ever, the solos are unforgetable. Overdose has by far my favorite riff ever. And to top it all off, Go Down and Whole Lotta Rosie are both true songs...the first about an AC/DC roadie named Rubie Lips, and the latter about a fat whore Bon hooked up with in Tazmania. Now THAT'S rock and roll! 10 out of 10 for me!

foland_ratzl@hotmail.com (Roland Fratzl)
Absolutely one of the simplest, dirtiest, filthiest, rawest records ever, even by their oh-so-lofty standards, and oozing with sleaze...a masterpiece, and perhaps AC/DC's most undervalued album. This is the way they sounded best, but unfortunately never would quite again. A model for garage rock.

Starchild795@aol.com
They cranked the guitars WAY up on this one! WHOLE LOTTA ROSIE is the best song here,others include LET THERE BE ROCK,OVERDOSE,DOG EAT DOG, and the other half is just about as good.Probably the bands heaviest release of the BON SCOTT era,I give it a 9.

kitklarenberg@hotmail.com
Wow. AC/DC improve considerably. LTBR is AC/DC's heaviest offering, and one of the best AC/DC albums ever IMO. It annoys me considerably when people say it's their blandest record - it's a thrilling work. What's also annoying is how people say that, apart from Rosie, the title track and Hell, the songs are average. They're not, they're just not as amazing as that trimuative. My only real gripe is that Problem Child is on here (why in God's name was there so much shuffling around from High Voltage/TNT/Dirty Deeds/LTBR?) and it's on the regular version of DD,DDC. But hey, what can ya do? 9 out of 10

halbert@utc.msstate.edu
Let there be Lights,Sound,Drums,Guitars,oh Let There Be Rock! Great album,raw sound, powerful vocals, fantastic guitar chords and solos. "Go Down" kicks the record off but it's pretty basic. "Dog Eat Dog" follows and the heavy rock picks up. The next cut is the title track and guitar chords are pretty heavy as well as the bass lines, but there is the little finger roll that Angus plays when the band stops playing and starts back up, that adds a little humor to the guitar assault this song brings.. The following cut"Whole Lotta Rosie" may be the best hard driving rock song that the band ever recorded.I mean, if your jamming to this song, you will be exhausted by the time it's over. "Wanna tell you a story, about a girl I know, She ain't exactly pretty, ain't exactly small".

"Problem Child" is pretty basic, but "Overdose" and "Hell ain't a Bad Place to Be" are as good as any Bon Scott era songs. Like someone posted earlier, it just seems too short in length, so I'll give it an 8. But it beats any Brian Johnson era disc, including "Back in Black" I turn the radio dial everytime I hear the beginning riff to "Shook Me All Night Long".

rockylisa@yahoo.com
Is this the best AC/DC album? From back in the cassette and vinyl days, side one is the best AC/DC EVER and one of the strongest side one's in rock history. LTBR never lets up and gives you that satiation/satisfaction of rock that, for instance, Metallicas' Kill Em All has and can give you. Braniff Airlines(remember the colored airplanes?) "lost" all my AC/DC, Maiden, Priest, Zep, Sabbath and many more TAPE CASSETTES way back when. I had them all lined up in alphabetical order in the Case Logic tape holders. Its no wonder that crummy airline went under/bankrupt and Im surpised I didnt wind up under the Florida Everglades/Arizona/Calif/wherever/ on that piece of crap but interesting looking brown or blue or red , sign of the times'-piece of trash that probably didnt even go 500 mph. Some baggage guy got away with my collection and you are a bastard for rummaging through my bags. Thats weird, man, going through someones stuff like that. Were your buddies egging you on or were you a lone thief? You are probably incarcerated now or an active peeping-tom-on-the verge-of-apprehension, a real criminal or something like that. $7.50 at Walmart remixed Ac/DC with great inlay and pamphlet. Im getting Flick of the Switch tommorow. The whole thing(LTBR) rocks and is great from start to finish. Go Down is a great tune, its so rock its unbelievable, when they are singing "go down, go down, go down, go down, go down", its like who cares it its about sex, whatever, it just rocks. Bonn is always great. There is no ACDC song in which he did something half-assed, even a lesser-tune-than -the hits has his signature greatness all over it. Simple, straighforward riffs and quality guitar solos. AC/DC is top 5(?) best ever bands. Yes, they are. Congratulations to Phi Rudd who, like Bonham, didnt need 5 miles of roto-toms.

Benjamin Burch
The first AC/DC album that's GREAT all the way through. Not a bad moment anywhere. Hard to single out a song here cuz they all kick ass, but "Whole Lotta Rosie" is probably the best. The album shows a dramatic evolution for them, and IMO is the first of a long run of classic albums.

Add your thoughts?

Live From The Atlantic Studios - Atlantic 1978.

This wonderful studio concert album was recorded by Atlantic Records chiefly for shipment to radio stations that they hoped would help push the upcoming studio album, Powerage. My only gripe is that it appears that the band was told only to play songs off of other Atlantic releases, of which there were but two at this point. Thus, what you got here are faithful renditions of eight songs from the American High Voltage and Let There Be Rock. They sound fantazmo, though. Real raw and loud, with a drunken Bon Scott slobbering moronic stage patter during the few-and-far-between quiet parts. As you well know, I could kinda do without "The Jack," but "Rocker" kicks tree bippy, and "Live Wire," aww man, there goes my penis again!
Reader Comments

public@moondog.usask.ca
I have ...Atlantic Studios on a bootleg, and although you (obviously) don't like "The Jack," I can't believe you don't like this version! The mellllow solo near the end is great! ...also, it was nice to finally hear a live verion of the original.

Rcor9@aol.com
I also have the Live version and it kicks ass. Out of all the AC/DC fans that I know I'm the only one who has it. "Bon Scott lived to die but AC/DC still rocks LIVE."

Asimov@cybercitycafe.com (Asimov guest user)
This bootleg is a cracking album; however if you want to catch ac/dc at the best try a bootleg live 1977. The version of "The Jack" and "Up To My Neck In You" are gems.

LionClaw17@aol.com
After so many years of hearing about it but never being able to find it, I finally got to hear it from the new BONFIRE boxset. I must say this is one of the best live shows I ever heard and proves to us all that AC/DC were (and still are) the best band to hear live ever. This whole album made me feel that me and a couple of friends had them playing right in my own living room!! FANTASTIC!

taspate@acs.ucalgary.ca (Tyler Spate)
This CD is soooo live, I thought I saw Angus doin' his duckwalk on top of my speakers!!

crocket@ionsys.com (Dave Burton)
Thank God it was included in Bonfire.

tedaldi@acsu.buffalo.edu (Justin Tedaldi)
The great rendition of "Live Wire" makes it buyable. Too bad it's almost the same thing as If You Want Blood.

lazik@cox.net
Bon Scott asking the crowd "OK, who handed out the beer?". Priceless.

Add your thoughts?

Powerage - Atlantic 1978.
Rating = 9

Oh my dear. Another absolutely heavenly AC/DC album. They replaced the bass player before they made this one, but, as you might expect, nothing changed. The lean mean guitar sound approaches tinniness at some points (especially in "Rock And Roll Damnation," which may very well not have a bass guitar in it at all, as far as I can hear), but the songs are terrific.

In fact, "Down Payment Blues" is one of my favorite songs in the world. There's nothing really to it, but I just LOVE that melody! And how it starts with a really loud guitar intro in the right speaker, then the quiet guitar in the left speaker takes over for a bit, and then the loud one comes back, and the drums kick in, and .... awww man! Along with Metallica's "The Thing That Should Not Be," this is one of the very few mid-tempo songs that really really kick my ass in. It's like six minutes long and I wish it was about ninety!!

Plus, "Riff Raff," "Sin City," and "What's Next To The Moon" have wonderful wonderful guitar lines, and the rest rock excitedly (except "Gone Shootin'," another impressive mood swing - this one about a drug-usin' broad, as it were). My only hmm on this one is the album closer, "Kicked In The Teeth." Yes, it's fast and mean, but did anybody else notice that it is a complete ripoff of "Let There Be Rock"? I know AC/DC liked to reuse riffs on occasion, but this one is just too blatant to forgive. The rest of the album more than makes up for it, though. Man alive, is this album full of great tunes and tons of energy.

Reader Comments

ftlauderdale@earthlink.net (David Aurand)
This album was one of the last ones I purchased...and I have them all! If I had known how good it really was, I would not have waited so long. "What's Next To The Moon" and "Gone Shootin'" are two that would be {and have been} put on my own various "Best of..." albums. I would rate this along with Highway To Hell as Bon's best work with the group.

xramp@era-luk.ericsson.se (Maarten Paulsson)
THIS is the album that should've gotten 10/10, if any. AC/DC has recorded two songs that kicks ass just a little bit further than the rest, "Whole Lotta Rosie" from LTBR and "Kicked In The Teeth" from Powerage. You're kidding when you say that it ends weaker than it begins, right? I knew you were:) Almost got me worried there for a while. Also, on my vinyl version of Powerage (from the 3 LP box, along with DDDDC and HV), "Cold Hearted Man" is included. This is a seriously awesome song. It completes the mix of blues and rock that makes this album so great.

aquarius@bluesky.net.au
This is one great album; in fact I met the band in 1978 at their recording studio (Albert Productions-Sydney Australia) at the time of this recording (NO JOKE, I HAVE PICTURES TO PROVE IT !!) and I had the Dirty Deeds & TNT albums autographed by Bon Scott and the other members of the band with the exception of Mark Evans.

LateGr8Bon@aol.com
This one ranks right up there with LTBR. It's got everything...from slow shit that kix your ass to hard shit that kix your ass and everything in between. Bon definitely sounds better on this album than any other i've heard (and i have them all). This is the ultimate hard rock album in the world and a must have for any fan of rock and roll, AC/DC or not.

HDVW143@aol.com
Another very strong album from the Young brothers. This isn't quite as good as LTBR, but it comes damn close! I love "Riff Raff" and "Sin City"!

JLisko44@aol.com (B.J. Lisko)
I love this album. I think it's Bon's best, and i think this is Cliff Williams's best album also. Listen to the bass in "Gimmie A Bullet." Great stuff!

supersexmachine@aol.com (Owen Goodwin)
Why does everyone like this album so much? It's a good album but it gets a little boring and AC/DC has made way more awesome albums that totally kick Powerage's ASS!

learning@sprintmail.com
"Riff Raff" sounds like a hold-over from the Let There Be Rock album; it's one of the most powerful songs they've written, nicely placed at the end of side one. Ever notice how the band always finishes up the album sides with kick-ass songs? This album is very enjoyable, and is a nice change of pace from the usual power chord frenzy. There are actually some melodies here!

funkycold@webtv.net (Ricky B.)
I don't understand the "weaker part at end" you mentioned. You surely don't mean "kicked in the teeth again"?!?! That track is probably the best Bon era "lesser known track" EVER!! Just listening to the solo kills me!! Got to say this IS my favorite AC/DC disc. Every track on here is a 10. Couple songs could have fit perfectly on LTBR, but I believe the songwriting improved a tad here.

pyatenko@hniri.go.jp
One of the best AC/DC albums. It's got such great songs as: "Rock'n'Roll Damnation" "What's Next to the Moon" and, above the rest, "Gone Shooting." I just can't get enough of that song!

razzle@primenet.com (Jerry Arendell)
I don't care what anyone says, "Gone Shootin'" completely rocks. A song does not have to be complex to be great, reinforcing the ol' cliche' K.I.S.S. - or Keep It Simple Stupid. Sometimes less is more. "Gone Shootin'" is simple and extremely tasteful. AC/DC has a knack for a great blues/rock blend, and they show that knack in spades here.

paul7777@ime.net (Mitch)
powerage was the perfect name for this album, its raw hard guitar, and there could have been a solo in "rock in roll damnation", and "gimmie a bullet" could have rocked more and more with a better solo, but hey, all in all this album kicked ass, "sin city", i think the drums are off beat a bit to this one, but i still can't complain, it's an awesome song, one of my favorites, and "what's next to the moon" and "gone shootin" are excellent songs!!! "down payment blues" has a grrrreat solo to it, and in "sin city" angus made a few cool sonds as the beat slowed down, "riff raff", wow, what a riff, "riff raff" is the best riff i think i've heard in a while, "gimmie a bullet" is my favorite tune from this album, ac/dc's only heart break song i know of, and it's about killing himself, hehehe, grrreat topic.

S.J.Gordon@Bradford.ac.uk (Stu)
Powerage, for me, is the only AC/DC album that is a little different, as the riffs take more of a back seat and the general vibe is mellower, allowing Bon's lyrics to come centre stage. If anyone accuses AC/DC of being a mindless party-band, the best reply is to give them a copy of this.

The original UK version is different to the others, with different mixes of the songs, and it has 'Cold Hearted Man' instead of 'Rock 'N Roll Damnation', but the CD version here is the same as the US version. USELESS FACT: Powerage is Keith Richards' favourite AC/DC album.

LionClaw17@aol.com
Their most under rated but definitely deserving of that nine! More proof that they kept "real" rock alive in the seventies while everybody else was sucking wind!

taspate@acs.ucalgary.ca (Tyler Spate)
This CD is disgustingly UNDERRATED!!!! "SIN CITY" should by itself make this a bona fide classic!!!! All the songs rock...the lyrics are superior..."Given that woman just 1 more chance, to give it to me one more time." That lyric kills me!!

crocket@ionsys.com (Dave Burton)
By far the best Bon Scott album.The early lads were starting to come into their own here. There is absolutely no filler material on this album...reinforcing my opinion that AC/DC is best when produced by an outside force (Vanda & Young). Every tune on this album kicks!!!

acdc@zip.com.au (Luke)
Sadly sadly sadly underrated...........sigh....... This is for me, an equal to Back in Black. Bon sounded his best and his lyrics were sensational. Malcolm and Angus really outdid themselves with some of the BEST riffs ever created. 'Riff Raff', 'Down Payment Blues'...pure ass-kicken rockers. 'Rock n Roll Damnation' is the ULTIMATE classic rocker. Not enough can be said about the energy that comes from this album......10/10 in my book, but Mark you didn't say why you only gave it a 9!!!??!?!?!

serkev@lisp.com.au (Kevin Serplett)
WELL I FINALLY HAVE TO AGREE WITH YOU ,DOWN PAYMENT BLUES IS WITHOUT A DOUBT BON'S GREATEST SONG (I KNOW THAT IT'S EVIL , I KNOW THAT IT'S GOTTA BE) THE GUITAR WORK IS SENSATIONAL

f.d.cable@worldnet.att.net (H.V.C.)
I have the feeling I've already sent you a review for this album. Don't look for one, I doubt it, too.

This is Bon's BIB, since he didn't write anything on BIB. At least, quality-wise. Sales-wise, Highway to Hell. The best song on here is Down Payment Blues is the second best AC/DC song ever, second to whatever song I'm hooked on at the moment (as of now, it's Deep in the Hole). Every song on here is GREAT! I especially love the opening to Kicked in the Teeth. Bon's wailing is just fantastic. The rest of the song is great, too. I guess I didn't pay attention to the riff, because I don't remember it being similar to LTBR.

11 out of 10

mburrus@zdnetmail.com (Michael Burrus)
I'm going to say this loud and clear, this is one of the best Bon albums you can find. Am I the only one who agrees with Mark about the "Kicked In The Teeth" reference to "Let There Be Rock"? They sound so much alike! They both kick fat ass, though! I think Powerage is more influenced by the bands' roots. And it shows because AC/DC put a lot of soul and feeling into this album to make it sound so raw and powerful. Buy this now if you know what's good for you.

tedaldi@acsu.buffalo.edu (Justin Tedaldi)
The lyricism is incredible for this one, and I consider "Kicked in the Teeth" the bastard child of all their other three-chord outputs thus far. While the last few songs (not counting "Gone Shootin'") don't do much, this is still another fine work by Bon & the boys.

mm@student.unsw.edu.au (Mark McGrath)
Not only is this album Keith Richard's fave AC/DC album, but he has been quoted as saying that it is one of the greatest rock 'n' roll albums ever made and that when he first heard it he shook his head in amazement and said 'if only I could write songs like that'.

So simple yet so clever...but if it really was so simple then why didn't anyone come up with the AC/DC sound before?

Malcolm Young really is a genius.

Godz714s@aol.com
you queer where do you get off even comparing ac/dc to those wimpy limp wristed faggots metallica.some one should cut your damn dick off........

Lymtime@aol.com (Paul Lyman)
I always thought Kicked In The Teeth sounded like Rocker. I love that song. It has the classic riff from Rocker, but doctored up a bit... a great solo... awesome lyrics... and to top it all off, Bon screams every last word of it. If there ever was a song that personified AC/DC, this is it. Plus the entire album roars like a drunken Scottish bitch. Down Payment Blues, Gimme A Bullet, Riff Raff, Sin City, What's Next To The Moon, Gone Shootin ... holy shit this is an awesome record!

fstooks@bcni.net (Faith)
I agree with most people,this record is the best from the Bon era.Every song rocks and grooves.

waltond@bellatlantic.net (David Walton)
Am I crazy, or am I the only one who loves "Up To My Neck In You"? It has an incredible intor riff, one that if I had to try to tell a martian what rock and roll was, I would not say a damn thing, I would just play him the first minute of that song. It is great lyrically as well, and you can treally see the blues influence all through the song. This is one of my favorite AC/DC songs. And for those who want to see the best rhythym playing in the history of rock, listen to Malcolm on "Gone Shootin' ". He makes that song, he sets it up perfectly. This song certifies Malcolm's genius. This whole cd is awesome, it is their best in my opinion. I recently read in a magazine articlle that it is Angus' favorite as well.

richbunnell@home.com
I can't really come up with anything innovative to say about any of these albums (not an uncommon thing, really), so I'll keep this short. This album rocks, even though to these ears it gets a bit weaker and more generic as it approaches its end. "Rock 'N' Roll Damnation," "Down Payment Blues" and "What's Next To The Moon" are all unbelievably awesome, though - they pound one riff into your head over and over again (and "Down Payment" does it for six minutes!), but the riffs are GREAT!! I give this one an eight, the Bon albums are so much more fun to listen to than the stuff that came later.

Oh, and the back cover of the album freaks me out. That has got to be the most insane smile I've ever seen.

Starchild795@aol.com
I like this a bit better than LET THERE BE ROCK,it was the first album I ever heard from AC/DC,every song on this album kicks ass,especially DOWNPAYMENT BLUES.I'ts a must-have.A big fat 10!

WBinder007@aol.com
I actually hadn't heard all of this album until recently. I knew "Downpayment Blues" rocked, because Zeke did an awesome cover on an AC/DC tribute album and it blew me away. (Imagine if ALL the members of AC/DC indulged as much as Bon when it came to hard drugs and you'll have a slight idea of how much those motherfuckers rock, they're truly one of the last great rock bands. But I digress.) And I knew "Sin City" was great because when I saw Hell's Belles, an all-female AC/DC tribute band, they opened with it and, well, it was great. But shit, those two songs are rivaled by almost everything else here.

"Rock & Roll Damnation" is the perfect opener for this album, and definitely one of my favorite AC/DC tunes. Bon's delivery of the second verse practically defines how I think the rock & roll genre should sound, frenzied and a little arrogant, with a fuck-you attitude to boot. Oh, and the album only gets better. "Downpayment Blues" is amazing, and the buildup to the last verse is amazing, especially considering that AC/DC usually just go balls-out from the beginning. Angus' solo is kind of iffy though, like he's forcing himself to play slow, but then spazzes out for a moment because he can't contain himself. Overall, though, it's in my top ten.

"Gimme A Bullet" really struck me as a departure from their style at the time at first, but now I can't remember why. Fuck. Oh, well. I love the outro the most, where Bon matches the backing vocals like twice. "Sin City" (recently raped by the Offspring) has, to me at least, one of Bon's best deliveries, and the riff is killer. Once again, Angus' solo has some unexpected pauses, and those pick harmonics sound pretty fucked, but it's still an incredible song.

And then there's "Riff Raff." Jesus Christ, what a fucking riff. Angus more than redeems himself with the solos on this one. It seems like the song originally either a.) had more lyrics or b.) was shorter, because it almost seems like it would work better as an instrumental, but it's a great song no matter how you look at it. "What's Next To The Moon" is yet another great song. So are the mellower "Gone Shootin'," the blazing conclusion "Kicked In The Teeth" and "Up To My Neck In You." Seriously, there's no filler on this album. Even Back In Black has some duff tracks. Not this album, though. There's even drum fills. Yes, AC/DC drum fills. 10/10.

rec6@st-andrews.ac.uk
Terrific album. Some say Highway to Hell is the pinnacle of Scott-era AC/DC, some say it isn't, but this was the last album where they were beholden to nobody, before they started writing songs to satisfy a market. And, importantly, before Mutt Lange had his wicked way with their mixing desk.

So this album rocks intelligently while still having AC/DC's magnificent youthful energy. There's not a lot of bass on it, but that's not necessarily a disastrous thing. The guitars and drums are mixed so sparkily and crisply - actually I think the word I'm looking for is 'well' - that it still sounds good. Less heavy than Let There Be Rock, granted, but a bit more fiery and incisive. The sound has aged really well, and to my mind Bon never sang better.

Down Payment Blues is the obvious classic here, and what a beast of a song it is, but Gimme A Bullet and Riff Raff are fiiiine too. And Rock 'n' RolL Damnation sounds like something the Stones would have written - in their DREAMS. Because it's better than any Stones song I can think of. And the Youngs did it easily.

Gone Shooting and What's Next to the Moon are gorgeous: laid-back, low and jazzy but, crucially, still 100% AC/DC. And a sound that they would revisit on Stiff Upper Lip, pleasingly.

And you know who else is great? Pink! First they said she was the female Eminem so I ignored her, then they said she was the female Alanis so I ignored her even harder, then I actually heard some of her songs and wouldn't you just know it but she rules! Very cool voice singing very good songs and not a trace of that first-class psychoanalytical hogwash all those other Women In Rock TM seem to think is so big and clever (and some men, to be fair). What more can you ask for? She's a star! And Powerage gets a nine!

kitklarenberg@hotmail.com
A stupidly underrated, eclectic album. A lot of newer fans of AC/DC seem not to be able to believe that Bon AC/DC was better than Brian Johnson AC/DC - to prove them wrong, make them listen to this. This album is full of energy (the type that permeated LTBR) and it's thoroughly enjoyable to hear AC/DC trying something new (even if its not that much of a departure from the norm). This, along with HTH and LTBR, helps form the classic Bon trio. 9 out of 10

rockylisa@yahoo.com
Absolutely perfect, until the last 3 songs. After Sin City (or Cold Hearted Man), the quality of songwriting just goes away. Gone shooting, Up to my neck in you and Kicked in the teeth are nowhere near the quality of songs as the others. A must-have AC/DC record despite the quality drop-off of the last three songs. Its like they ran out of ideas and had to belt something out. My favorites on this are Down Payment Blues and Whats Next to the Moon, which to me is one of Malcolm's shining moments. The way he hits those arpeggiated chords following the lyrics twice in the song..."....but whats next to the moon...." And then, during the group vocal thing, the way Malcolm hits those chords. Its that slight thing that he does that makes him a master of rhythm guitar. Like Keith Richards. I dunno, Riff Raff has one of the greatest riffs ever. They are all great except for the last three. Bon Scott is up there with Jagger and Robert Plant as the greatest frontman ever.

Benjamin Burch
Where the last four albums have been all steps upwards for AC/DC, this is the first one that's a step down.... but then again, considering "Let There Be Rock" was right before this one, it's kind of a surprise they didn't come up with something better than that. Comparisons aside, this is still great, "Rock 'n' Roll Damnation," "Sin City," "Up to My Neck in You" and "Riff Raff" are my favorites.

Add your thoughts?

Boston Babies Play Live - Bootleg 1991
Rating = 7

Ha ha ha! AHHH ha hahahaha!!!

Oh I'm sorry. I was just thinking about that hilarious old joke that ends, "Guess who died when the cat fell in? Doodah! Doodah!" Ha ha! Oh that's good stuff. See, in life we have to laugh vigorously and constantly or we'll dissolve into pain barrels of tiresome angst, like Linkin Park lyrics. And who better to turn to for laughs than AC/DC's Bon Scott?

No wait, he died. That's depressing.

In fact, I've never been more depressed in my life than I am right now at having realized that Bon Scott passed away 24 years ago.

CRAAAAAAWLING!!! OUT MY SKIN!!!!! THESE WOUNDS WILL NEEEEVER HEEEEAAAALLL!!!!

So I'm hangin' out sucking the cream out of Twinkie holes and fillin' em with turds when all of a sudden it hits me - Bon Scott lives on in his music! And what better music to remember him by than an illegal live bootleg recorded in Boston, MA on August 15, 1978? Ah yes, I remember that day and remember it well. It was my wife's fifth birthday and we were just enjoying some Chardonnay and vichysoisse in our penthouse overlooking the French Riviera when I suddenly realized, "Wait a bloodsucking teat of a moment! AC/Fuckin'/DC is playing in Boston tonight! So long, asspipe!" I hurried to the bus station, took the last train to Clarksville and from there ran full-tilt until I made it to the overheated and underventilated Paradise Theater. Days later, when I realized that I was actually resting inside a Styx album cover, I hopped in a taxi and said, "Follow that car!" Following a 26-year car chase and shoot-em-up, the sweatballer came to a close at the front of a bootleg store. I walked in, grabbed Boston Babies Play Live off the shelf and my day was officially complete.

Also, I was really stupid because I'd missed 26 years of school.

But the rox! Do you hear the rox in my head? If you've ever wondered what AC/DC would sound like if Angus Young forgot to plug in his amplifier, Botox Bubbles - Go Die! is the illegal copyright-violating bootleg CD for you! These nine tracks see Malcolm, Phil, unnamed bassist and Bon tearing up a rhythm-heavy rock stream of uncomfortably muffled roc acktion as Angus's lead guitar lies forty miles downstream in the unequal mixture production! Shore, the tape sounds old, worn out and recorded off the radio, but the actual show is (as always) a gash gash gash. Beginning with the quadruple uppercut of "Live Wire," "Problem Child," "Sin City" and "Gone Shootin'," there is evidence that rock music will never be bested again, until things get a little soggy with lengthy (and nearly indiscernible!) guitar solos during the second half. "Bad Boy Boogie" goes on for 45 hours, "Rocker" for 19 1/2 days and "The Jack" for its full length too long. Fiinally, things get back to normal with the lovable waggy-tailed pop tune "Dog Eat Dog," but by then you've taken out your teeth and are heading for bed. Sweet dreams, Mr. Cheney! Don't dream that you're having a HEART ATTACK!!!

Also they play "High Voltage." So in total, that's probably something like 4 TNT, 1 Dirty Deeds, 2 LTBR and 2 Powerage. Looks like SOMEbody's living in the past!

No I'm serious - is this your copy of Jethro Tull's Living In The Past?

Add your thoughts?

Stronger Current - Bootleg 2001
Rating = 8

It's another bootleg to be purchased at your illegal pharmacy of records. The Bonman is on his friendliest terms ever with the audience, who he just keeps chatting with all night starting with his overenthusiastic introduction, "Of all the times I've said 'It's great to be back in this town,' I've never meant it more than tonight! It's great to see you all!" Which is of course a load of shit because they were playing in Columbus, OH and aside from the New Bomb Turks, everybody who's ever lived in that town is a scabies-ridden stink factory. Did you know they don't even sell deodorant in that city? The truck drivers refuse to cross into the city limits, they're so horrified by the huge brown cloud of B.O. hovering over the skyline. But maybe things were better back on September 10th, 1978 when the band performed for a record crowd at Vet's Memorial (the venue is built entirely out of dead pets!). Other friendly words from Mr. Scott to Mrs. Audience include the end of "Sin City" when he shouts, "RIGHT HERE IN COLUMBUS, OHIO!," the beginning of "Bad Boy Boogie" when he makes the odd comment that "Hey! Our albums are all rock 'n' roll - this one's REALLY rock 'n' roll!" and several moments when he warns the folks up front "in the orchestra pit" to "back off" because "it'll collapse and you'll get hurt, man! You'll get hurt!" All fine moments indeed, but none so touching and ridiculous as right before a sped-up, kickass rendition of "Gone Shootin'" when Bon's semi-heartfelt intro is interrupted by a radio station rep handing him a note to read over the air (the station was airing the concert live); Bon changes his mood without missing a beat: "One of our favorite songs on this album is about a lady who took it upon herself... to do whatever she wanted to do... What? Oh! I gotta tell ya - we are on QFN-96!!!! OH YEAH!!! I THINK YOUR MOMMY AND YOUR LITTLE SISTER CAN HEAR YOU AT HOME, SO WHY DON'T YOU SHOUT OUT FOR THEM!?!??! SEE, WE'RE HAVIN' A GOOD TIME HERE TONIGHT!!!!"

Supposedly between all the stage patter there are some great songs, plus "The Jack." The professional criminals at Bootleg Records Incorporated were also kind enough to include a few historically important bonus tracks: A rough 1979 recording of Bon, Angus and Malcolm performing "Johnny B. Goode" with Cheap Trick (Bon and Robin's voices mesh together about as unnaturally as you'd suspect), a very sad TV announcer reading the news of Bon's death, and Bon's final recording ever, a jam of "Ride On" with a band called Trust whose singer ruins the performance with the most redundant and distracting background vocals one will have ever heard once one has heard it (i.e.e.g. he says "Ride On" after every single line). I don't need the goddamned fifteen-hour solo in "Bad Boy Boogie" and "Rocker" though. Nobody does. Not me, not you, not Angus himself, not even people who like them. Sure, they may LIKE them, but do they NEED them? To live? Probably not, I'd bet! And that's really my point. If people continue to try to breathe and drink nothing but Angus Young's guitar solos to stay alive, that's not a healthy way to live. Here, watch this filmstrip.

(*turns off lights, shows filmstrip of "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" while getting handjob from lunchlady*)

That's my stick and storying to it. If you count JUST the concert portion, they play four TNT, three LTBR and three P. High Voltage has already been left behind and thrown in the head bowl!

Add your thoughts?

If You Want Blood You've Got It - Atlantic 1978.
Rating = 8

There's a lot of hatemail underneath this review, and for good reason. My original review wasn't a review at all. I simply gave the record a 7 and said, "I don't like live albums." That's shit. I wrote it off because it seemed too tinny to me. That was wrong. Yes, I prefer my AC/DC guitars loud and upside my ear, but that's no reason to ignore an exciting excursion into the live kickass realm of Angus and the Bon Scott Gang. The energy level is very, very high, and the crowd is going crazy. All the songs are played very tight and well, and it's a hell of a good time for sure. I still can't give it higher than an 8, though, for two reasons. ONE -- The tinny sound, which sucks a lot of power out of these songs. and B -- "The Jack." There is nothing that anybody can do to make me like "The Jack." Prior to the release of Ballbreaker, it was unquestionably my least favorite AC/DC song of all time.
Reader Comments

car00170@mail.carrinter.net (Terri Cutter)
Hi, I'm the same guy who called you a wanker. This live album is perhaps the most intense thing available by AC/DC or anyone else. I sincerely believe you should give it another listen to.

TCMIF1@student.monash.edu.au)
I agree with Terri Cutter, you are a wanker, and you wouldn't know a good album if it crawled up yer ass and exploded.

ofarrell@cork.cig-mot.com (Brian O'Farrell)
Strong words by the others, but I have to agree. This is the most riveting live album I have come across, or expect to come across.

benita@mbox.vol.it
This is one of the greatest live album ever. Now, what you said is somewhat worthless. STUPID. We all know how important this album was: it was the beginning of AC/DC's world smash. You can feel a great "arena atmosphere" through this. Every song is a killer. Nevertheless, I rate this "only" 9 out of 10, 'cause I think they had to pack more than 10 songs. Anyway, this is GREAT.

filfede@mbox.vol.it (Filippo Federico Olivieri)
Hi. I've been playing electric guitar for 17 years now. I started right after hearing this record. After that, I had to buy every single AC/DC record they released. Some are awesome some are not. But anyway, pick up a guitar, go play live in front of the people and try to play and sound like that. Then, we'll talk about it.

rcrossos@cris.com (Ralph & Colleen)
Are you high or something? This was one of the best AC/DC live albums recorded. Give it another listen!!

otterman@execpc.com (Gary Ott)
I think this album is one of the best live heavy metal albums. It's right up there with UFO's fantastic live album Strangers in the Night. Check 'em out! You won't be disappointed.

michael@hartingdale.com.au (Michael Kent)
I disagree with you a bit on this one. It is one of the greatest ever live albums along with Alive and Alive 2 by Kiss. It sums up AC/DC with all its energy and excitement. The version of "Hell Aint A Bad Place To Be" is bloody awesome.

HDVW143@aol.com
I don't understand. You gave this a 7 and Ballbreaker a 3? Are you out of your mind? I think you must be because those two reviews should be switched.

JimE4hand@aol.com
hey man, i'm not a fan of live albums either, but this one was an exception. this is my fave live album ever and if you wanted to slag it, you should at least give some reasons why.

TMHSTEW@aol.com (Fast Eddie)
SOUNDS MUCH BETTER THAN ANYTHING BRIAN JOHNSON HAS EVER DONE, ESPECIALLY LIVE!!!!! "RIFF RAFF" KICKS THE STUDIO VERSION'S ASS!! BON SCOTT IS THE TRUE KING OF ROCK!!!!!

funkycold@webtv.net (Ricky B.)
I can't belive your comments on this!! You are the ONLY person that I've heard speak negative of this disc. Another excellent release from their 1978 Powerage tour. Man, just the first track sends chills down my spine ("Riff Raff"). This is one of the most high energy live l.p;s I've ever heard!! A while back I bought the digital re-master, and it sounds GREAT. Can't believe fans knock this classic Bon era recording. The versions of songs here kick the studio versions ass!! ("Bad Boy Boogie", "Let There", "The Jack", "High Voltage", etc..........)

vidalis@csd.uch.gr (Antonis Vidalis)
One of the best (if not the best) LIVE albums ever recorded. I have it for 11 years now and I still can't have enough of it. You 're absolutely wrong, my friend..

paul7777@ime.net (Mitch)
i wish i was around to see the stabbing of angus, i got a bootleg of the living in the hell tour in 1978, and bon scott was excellent, i don't have if you want blood you got it cd, but i got a bootleg from that time, bon kept on telling the security guards to fuck off, and during "shot down in flames" he added "fuck off buddy she's mine" to the lyrics, he did sound drunker than hell, but he was an amazing show man, bon scott!!!!!!!

daramel@arcom.com.au
This is the greatest live album ever produced. It's a shame that bands of today can't produce the goods as Angus, Malcolm and Bon could in 1978. The 1992 live album is a close second, if that's possible. I bet Milli Vanilli wish they could sound this good live on stage. Maybe thats why AC/DC don't win Grammy Awards.

MRTRFED@aol.com
Did you know that AC/DC's forte is playing live. Obviously this is going to be a great live album, it is played by a great live band.....The BEST!!!!! My point is that if you cant appreciate a live album by AC/DC than you are honestly NOT a fan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RONIN@BELLATLANTIC.NET (Dave Weigel)
This is a reply to the guy that said "AC/DC don't win Grammies".

Believe it or not, AC/DC have won a Grammy! They won in 1993 for "best hard rock performance" for the live version of "Highway to Hell". Funny how the Grammies are so ass-backwards, hmm? They did the same thing with Suicidal Tendancies, nominating the OH-SO-INFERIOR version of "Institutionalized" for the metal award a few years back. This all just supports my idea that the Grammies should be revised and give out awards for music that came out 20 years ago. For example, the Ramones would win best artist of 1976 instead of Peter Frampton or some crap. In 10 years, Sonic Youth would scoop up all the awards they gave to shit bands like REO Speedwagon in the 80s. This way, they could skip the embarrassment of giving awards to crappy, flash-in-the-pan music. You know, base it on quality instead of recent big sales. Like the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame inducting the Eagles and ignoring all punk (sigh).

peldude@ibm.net
I cannot think of a more memorable album from my youth. I loved everything about it then, and still think it is my favorite live album today. One observation however, Bon sounds raspy, like he's screaming everything. I thought that might just be the way he sang live, but thanks to LTBR the movie and several bootlegs, my guess is that this album was recorded near the end of the Powerage tour and Bon's voice needed a vacation! No wonder Mutt Lange needed to refine it a bit on Highway To Hell! Bon Lives!

LuisCifr@aol.com
Man...I just have to disagree with this review! This was one of my first AC/DC albums and it just blew me away! It does nothing but jam from beginning to end!! I can't think of a live album by any other band that's even close to this good! I think you need to give it another listen.

taspate@acs.ucalgary.ca (Tyler Spate)
Listen MR. WANKER...the whole point of live CD's are to sound raw!!! That's why this CD smokes!!! Bon at his best!!!! AC/DC just wouldn't sound right if they were polished!!!!!

Mccay99@aol.com
STUPID STUPID MAN!!! How could somebody who claims to be a guitar freak knock this album. This is CLEARLY Angus' best effort. This is AC/DC to me-raw, live, loud, and half in the bag!!!!!

emrobert@mail.e-mg.co.za
Jumpin, jigglin' Jeeeeeesuuuuuus!!!!! This IS the SHIT!!!!!! Arrroooooooooooooo!!!!!!

SBlackler@aol.com
"IF YOU WANT A GREAT LIVE ALBUM, YOU GOT ONE!" I THINK THIS ALBUM IS CLASSIC!

Imaroker2@aol.com
I'll get right to the point . you must of been on some really bad shit, the one day youdecided to listen to this album I play guitar today becuase of that album and if you can't feel the emotion when Angus play's the Jack, well then, I think your still on that bad shit. give it another chance

jmark@webtv.net (Mark Bailey)
BIG GUITARS...REBELLIOUS LYRICS...THE FIRST EVER ALBUM I HEARD FROM AC/DC...I HAD NEVER HEARD ANYTHING LIKE IT BEFORE...OR SINCE...AND PROBABLY NEVER WILL!!! MALCOLM'S GUITAR IS SCARY.....YES,SCARY!!! THIS ALBUM OVERWHELMS ON FIRST LISTEN....TO SAY IT IS THE BEST LIVE ROCK ALBUM EVER COMMITED TO VINYL IS A GROSS UNDERSTATEMENT...CASE CLOSED!!!!!

tedaldi@acsu.buffalo.edu (Justin Tedaldi)
Just nix "Hell Ain't A Bad Place to Be" and bring "Dirty Deeds" to the set and this would be an easy ten. A pity Atlantic was still ruling out songs that were not yet released state side. You get too many songs from "LTBR" on here, but the kinetic "Whole Lotta Rosie" and "Problem Child" show you what feats this group was capable live and loud.

jtcable@tir.com (H.V.C.)
I finally bought this one, so now I have every mainstream American AC/DC album ever released. I haven't heard it enough to make a review, but I can say this, any album by Kiss is bullshit, live or studio. They can't write a hook for their mutherfucking pathetic lives. "Kiss was so influential to rock" FUCK NO. Fucking stupid ass Kiss. I know I own every AC/DC album ever, but they're two totally different animals. Shit. "Kiss taught bands like AC/DC everything about rock and roll" my fucking ass. Kiss taught the world how fucking worthless glam metal posers can be. Kiss never made a Let There Be Rock. And Mark, you must agree, they never even made a The Jack. Kiss certainly never made any funny songs, or songs with a story or any songs with HALF INTERESTING LYRICS.

If you can review the fucking Cure or ELP, you can at least slam Kiss the way Kiss needs to be slammed.

jtcable@tir.com (Justin Cable)
Haha, everyone hated you, man.

Actually, as far as any live album goes, this one really shies in comparison to Live, since all the tunes on Live are pumped up with 15 years of experience. LTBR is still short, but it's a bit longer than the studio. This is also a nice thing to hear if you don't want a ton of hits, but want something recognizable. If you love AC/DC, then the album is a must have.

And I guess Kicked in the Teeth does borrow two notes from LTBR. Uh, anyway, I'd give this album an 8. But not a 9. If I gave it a 9, it would need some new shtuff. There's nothing new about this. As a matter of fact, compared to the LTBR movie, this really is kinda boring. But still, great live stuff before the band incorperated the inflatables. But in the battle of the LTBR movie and this, get LTBR.

Nick.Walford@nettec.net
hehehehehe - yeah man, everyone hates you cause you slated this record.

I don't hate, I just think your brain's been eaten by aliens, or something. this is one of the most awesome live records ever made. listen to how hyped up the crowd are, the way the band feeds off it. 11 out of 10 (I added an extra point cos I love the way the crowd shout "angus! angus!" at the beginning of whole lotta rosie).

Starchild795@aol.com
Hey CABLE,you keep badmouthing KISS , you're gonna get fucked up! ALIVE and ALIVE II are the best live albums of all time,there ,I said it again,fucker!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sbarnes@nf.aibn.com (Steven Barnes)
this live album is the one to which others should aspire! I have never heard a band so well received on record by a crowd. for me it has the definitive version of "problem child"! Mean nasty raunchy , you name it. Fuck the studio versions this is it! Besides the cover is fuckin' brilliant. It beats the photos on any of the Kiss Alive albums.

jdecuir@satx.rr.com (Jeff DeCuir)
Got a speeding ticket today. I couldn't help it. I had "Whole Lotta Rosie" goin' full blast so I had to take my car up to 100 to achieve equilibrium. The cop hit his lights and took off after me right around the time Angus tore into his solo: Better than any light show I've ever seen. I kept my speed up for just a little while longer, because I was really appreciating the situation. I had to keep from smiling when he gave me my ticket. This is the 1st time I've ever felt GOOD about getting a speeding ticket. Totally worth the price. I recommend it, dudes.

kitklarenberg@hotmail.com
I hear people comment that this recording is tinny, but that's balls. I hear people complain that this sounds exactly the same as AC/DC in the studio, but that's balls. This a very intense album, and AC/DC play blistering versions of every song. Of course, they play The Jack, but its a credit to the band that they manage to make it sound even remotely exciting. 8 out of 10

DLChambers@aol.com
The best live album I've ever heard, and here's why: I saw AC/DC many times before Bon died, and this album sounds EXACTLY like they did in concert. So, yeah, the sound is a bit "tinny" at times, but get over it: Turn it WAY up, close your eyes, and you're THERE.

Benjamin Burch
One of the best live albums ever.

Add your thoughts?

Highway To Hell - Atlantic 1979.
Rating = 9

Wow! AC/DC do a pop album! Yeah, they were sorta poppy already, but never so sheer and sleek! The producer, Robert John Lange, taking a cue from whoever had produced the Ramones's Rocket To Russia a couple years earlier, cleaned up their sound in an attempt to bring out the pop elements from behind the wall of guitar racket. You know how it is. Everyone wants a hit at some point. And AC/DC got it. The title track, though slower than a huge pile of melting horsepoop, was a minor smash. And it is awfully catchy, although not nearly as catchy as the non-hits "Girls Got Rhythm," "Shot Down In Flames," and "If You Want Blood You've Got It" (which, judging from its title, should have been on the last album).

And lessee.... "Walk All Over You" is the only real mean fast rocker on here, but it's one of their best ever. Plus, the last song is "Night Prowler," which features not only the greatest Bon Scott execution ever (especially at the end; I could listen to that line "And I'm tellin' this to you - there aint nothin' - there aint NOTHIN' AT ALL!!!! NOTHIN' YOU CAN DOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!" over and over and over again until that one little section of groove on the record started to turn really white and go "kihhhh"), but the LAST Bon Scott execution ever. Shortly after ending this album with an almost-whispered "Shazbot... Nanu-nanu!," he choked to death on his own vomit.

Too bad. He had a great voice. Never before or since has a short hairy skinny guy managed to sound so much like a short bald fat guy. He also had a great sense of humor, which really showed through in his lyrics and performance.

Let me just add something here. This album is incredible. Just incredible. You NEED this record. In fact, I think, song for song, this album might even be better than Back In Black. These riffs are SO FUCKING COOL!!! But they're poppy. So remember that. If you're into great pop hooks with a hell of an edge, this is the one for you. If you prefer sludgier blues metal with a guy screaming, go for Back In Black.

Oh, what am I saying? YOU NEED THEM BOTH.

Reader Comments

ftlauderdale@earthlink.net (David Aurand)
(referring to a reader comment that has since been removed at the author's request) "The fucking Americans"? I'm not about to get into an international dispute with ole' Tom, but just a little fact...without us "fucking Americans"...AC/DC wouldn't have enjoyed the tremendous success that they have had. That means you Tom, my ignorant friend, would not have had the luxury of enjoying the best band in the world as you know them today!! So, stick that in your fuse box!! Now, on to Highway To Hell, definitely the breakthrough album for AC/DC. The title, "Shot Down In Flames", "Girls Got Rhythm" are still great tunes that rock in concert 17 years after their release. Bon shined on this album. Even on the Let There Be Rock movie, it was clear these songs were meant to be played loud and hard...it's good to see the tradition continues.....

demonman@terranet.net (Jean Driver)
Foreign/Non foreign what the FUCK difference does it make???!!! The point is that AC/DC is a fuckin' great rock band no matter what anybody says!!!

jnw@iglobal.net (Jim Hull)
Mutt Lange strikes again...say what you will about the guy, but he MADE AC/DC worldwide...great wailing melodies on this one, and some really funny backseatblowjobgirlblowsyaoffdrinktilyapuke topics... Then Bon croaked and...oh well.

LateGr8Bon@aol.com
This album kicks a lot of ass. However, the album itself sounds slow, boring, and lacks the sheer power of the past. Live, however, these songs came through as some of there best ever. Personal faves - "Shot Down In Flames," "If You Want Blood," "Girls Got Rhythm." I have to disagree. I think Bon sounded bad on this album, like some artificial voice created for US radio that, again, lacks in sheer power, which by the way, is why this band is so great live.

Asimov@cybercitycafe.com (Asimov guest user)
Listen, this album would have been a worldwide smash with or without the Yanks. Atlantic tried to get ac/dc dropped from their roster at the end of 1976 as they figured they wouldn't be able to get a hit record out of them. The fact is they were a huge act in europe and the U.K. SINCE ABOUT 1978...remember that my fine colonial cousins!!!

umpottle@cc.umanitoba.ca (Shane Pottle)
Bon's best album! Awesome pumping sound and lyrics. If Bon was around for another album I can't begin to imagine the outcome.

lynx@pottsville.infi.net (Steve Mitchell)
FUCKING AMERICANS? What the hell was that about? Americans bought more albums than any other country where AC/DC was sold. Plus their American popularity helped them gain international attention. AND, finally, if it wasn't for us "fucking Americans," you Australians would have gotten your asses whooped by the Japanese in WWII.

tshaw@pacifier.com (Todd Shaw)
All AC/DC music kicks ass, some more than others. Bon Scott's psychotic voice alone kicks ass. Doesn't matter what the tune is. And their attitude towards rock kicks in itself. "Big Balls" sums it up. There isn't and won't be a better rock ensemble (group).

HDVW143@aol.com
A very good album, but not quite as hard as the others. Still awesome though. Only song that does not kick a whole lotta ass is "Love Hungry Man". I love "Shot Down In Flames" and "Beating Around The Bush".

JRTN95A@prodigy.com
This album changed my damn life. I decided to play guitar because of it, and furthermore i got laid while it has played on my turntable countless times. Angus is a GOD, Bon was awesome, and AC/DC just plain rule.

jamesd@elink.net (James Vincent Debevec II)
Better than Back in Black. And that is pretty good. 9 stars

learning@sprintmail.com
When I first heard this album, I was ten years old, and it scared the heck out of me. When I matured (I guess) and started to enjoy "Hell", and "Devils" and stuff, I realized what an amazing album this was. Totally solid, and yes... the most commercial album yet, but I must say, "Night Prowler" is a very moving song, and "Beatin' Around the Bush" is one of my all-time favorites. Is it the fastest AC/DC song ever?

funkycold@webtv.net (Ricky B.)
Bought this winter of 79/80 after hearing the title track single on radio. This l.p. changed my life. I can still remember sitting in my basement in Iowa, listening to this track by track and really diggin it. No L.P. had me feel like that prior. I was 15, been mostly into Rush, Kiss, Nugent, until this grabbed me, and I went to buy the rest of catalog (that I could afford). Sure is a different sound from the year prior (1978) Powerage. More polished production, but the songs all kick!! Me and my friend always wondered why Bon sounded so DIFFRENT from the previous LP??? We thought he had recorded this with a cold!!

pyatenko@hniri.go.jp
Hey! What's wrong with all you people? Are we talking about AC/DC here or are we trying to insult each other. Highway to Hell is one of the greatest albums in the world and it's a shame that instead of paying it a tribute everybody switched to personal insults.

paul7777@ime.net (Mitch)
hey, highway to hell contains my favorite song, "shot down in flames", it is just a kick ass song with a cool solo, a bunch of guitar rakes, and "night prowler" is the next on my favorite list, when i heard you don't feel the steel, til its hanging out your back, i just said wow, this is awesome, they described the murder ever so greatly, and "touch too much", isn't that song a legend still, it gets played on the radio more up here in maine than any other song (ac/dc is always played up here) in maine we got 2 rock stations, and the rest are country, but ac/dc rules the rock stations all the time!!!! it's kinda freaky to me that bon scott had to die after he came out with "highway to hell"!!! although i heard somewhere the song is about an ac/dc tour before, it's still kind of freaky, and his last voice recorded ever, on highway to hell, is shazbot nanoo nanoo, from mork and mindy, i love that show!!!

glyn@sci.fi (Glyn Ford)
one of the best kick ass albums ever,- not too poppy i think,- it's still coarse and dirty. no wonder they are beavis' favs.

mervm@ozemail.com.au
Highway to hell is the best album written! As for this fool Stephanie errr, Steven Mitchel, We Aussies didn't need the yankies to win, we would of won without yas!

bill79@iastate.edu
Where the fuck do you get off making fun of Bon Scott's death? You should be ashamed of yourself. You call yourself an AC/DC fan. Bon was the BEST singer this band has had (including Dave Evans). How do you know what he could have done in the future after Highway? Go fuck yourself! Go crawl back under a rock you pompous asshole!

LionClaw17@aol.com
How could you call this album too slow when it's got a super killer song called "Beating around the bush!!" And the title track IS the rock anthem of the 20th century!!

Joemarabel@aol.com
This is a 10! It's better than Back In Black!

mpursiai@nettilinja.fi (Marko Pursiainen)
"Highway To Hell" is too slow!!!!!!!!!!!! The song's riffs are the greatest!!!!!! And played live...

LionClaw17@aol.com
Ummmm...you forgot to mention..."BEATING AROUND THE BUSH"....THE hardest rocker and best song on the album. "Highway to Hell" IS the ultimate song for the end to the seventies and start of the eighties.

taspate@acs.ucalgary.ca (Tyler Spate)
"Night Prowler"!!! What a sweet tune! It's perfect to get me into my stalking mood! HAHAHAHAHAHA

Mccay99@aol.com
Let's just all be thankful "Mutt" Lange didn't compleetly candy-ass the band as bad as he did with Def Leppard and Bryan Adams. Also, a good album is a good album no matter what country you live in.

JnJCable@worldnet.att.net (Neptune Salad)
Well actually, "Girls Got Rhythm" gets alot of airplay here! But then, I live in Detroit, ROCK CITY!

Anyway, what a great final album for Bon. And, if it wasn't for us (fucking) Americans, the Nanu nanu part would be long gone.

crocket@ionsys.com (Dave Burton)
Highway To Hell did for AC/DC in America what Powerage and LTBR did for them in Europe. Who cares who did what where....it's all great music!!!! "Night Prowler" is a great tune in my opinion....and...the part in "Touch Too Much" where Bon sings.."JUST A DIRTY LITTLE TOUCH"..well...it kicks!!! Sad that Bon had to die at his peak. Long live Bon's memory!!!!!

lzrdking@home.com (Allan Bradshaw)
i love the cover on the american release. i love the line "she wanted it hard wanted it fast she liked it done medium rare" pure bon

i have to agree his voice was off a bit and it was toned down BUT IT STILLS KICKS. ITS ACDC HOW CAN IT NOT

mcostend@mcn.net (Mark Ostendorf)
"A Touch too Much" and "Highway to hell" are easily the best songs on this album, When people start mentioning the other tracks first, I don't get it. Back in Black is their best album ever, and there is no album played more at parties to this day. Brian Johnson is just as good as Bon, if not better, I know a lot of people who hate Bon Scott's voice. If you want to knock lead singers, go over to the Van Halen page and leave Brian Johnson alone. Who would you rather took over as lead singer, the lead singer of Rush or something?

Imaroker2@aol.com
You guy's crack me up !!!!!!! blaming American's on the sound of AC/DC. did you guy's ever think that Angus and the Boy's wanted to make a little money ? well, my friends, if you do a little reading, you will find that the only way to do that is to sell out in the biggest album buying country in the world. and that's the little old USA. so please, don't get mad at us, I think the Album totally rocked. I still love walk all over you. I can hear it a million times

fornavn.etternavn@nlhstud.nlh.no
Highway to Hell has the best sound (a bit better than POWERAGE), and we find the only lyric where Bon attacks the society. Yes, you see it in "If You Want Blood You Got It", it really has a meggage. The text is build up with words with two meanings and he allso used pictures to get out his message.I haven`t time enough to write down my analyse, but it shows how feels that the society sucks out every drop of him

Gonzo721@aol.com
By far my favourite of the AC/DC cd's that I own. Although B.I.B. is a wonderful, amazing, and all other great things- H.T.H. is definitely its superior in sound and power. It really is a tough call though, cause B.I.B. is a close second in my opinion- I just think Highway rocks just a LITTLE bit more.

tedaldi@acsu.buffalo.edu (Justin Tedaldi)
Definitely the culmination of the Scott era. There's not one dud to be found among these ten tracks, and there's even a bit of branching out into other categories under the direction of Shania Twain's husband. "Love Hungry Man" and "Girls Got Rhythm" may be dismissed as "pop" by some because of their melodious, minimalist traits, but here you have chemistry, solid songwriting, and one hell of a prophetic title track. Bon even SOUNDS like he's dying on "Night Prowler." So, even 19 years after his death, Highway to Hell is still THE Bon Scott album to own. A shame he died, 'cause if he's NOT responsible for what's on Back in Black, we can only imagine what the follow-up might have sounded like.

DABaker@cadet.vfmac.edu (Darryl Alan Baker)
This is definitely one of the greatest albums I have EVER heard!!! Every song rocks. And so what if "Love Hungry Man" isn't the hardest rocker on here? It's still a GREAT song!

Awake600@aol.com
Pretty good rock record, though I don't really think it's classic like everyone makes it out to be. It's really just 10 basic rock and roll songs with good grooves and catchy, if sometimes undeveloped, riffs. Sometimes they hold my attention. Sometimes not. There are some major kick ass songs here though. "If You Want Blood"... "Girls Got Rhythm".. "Love Hungry Man".... "Shot Down In Flames". 7

vicvdbos@casema.net (Vic vd Bosch)
I my opinion as a musician this is the most challenging album taht ac/dc ever made. I just love the backing vocals on Touch too much by Mal and Cliff it shows that they both are very good singers, and the interaction beteween the members is great you would almost say that they have some phsycic link or something.

This album rocks and set a standard for every following rockband in the eighties and nineties(like guns and roses, nirvana and pearl jam!)

jtcable@tir.com (Josh Cable)
Since I slammed Bon fans in my BIB review, I might as well kill two bird with one stone/email. I'll revise my old, shitty review, and tell you what I think of Bon, personally.

Oh yea, and in my old review, I referenced that piece of shit song "Detroit Rock City." God, I had never even heard the whole song at the time. You're right Mark, my old reviews are a fucking travisty to nature. Detroit Rock Shitty is the fucking worst song to use the sacred rock name Detroit.

Er, anyway. Highway To Hell, It's been a long time since I've listened to the disc. Know why? It's because of Mutt. Mutt Lange ruined everything that could have made this album the greatest breathrough of AC/DC's career. But I guess it wouldn't have been a breakthough without polishing the sound for the disgusting pop loving masses. So while Bon died semi-rich, his final album was a little bit fruity.

However, Bon and the bros also saved this album with the asskicking riffage that is to be found on any AC/DC album. It's certainly not a low point. I just blame Mutt for the gayness added. Thanks Mutt, you sure added a heaping helping of faggoty assed gayness, you fucking Shania/power-ballad loving HOMO.

Bon naturally saved the album. And this is my big theory about Bon. You see, after having watched LTBR the movie, and reading the Bonfire booklet 5 times over, I have learned one important thing:

Bon was AC/DC's big brother. Look at the way he rules over the stage on LTBR. Look at his entire demeanor, his outlook on life. He was like the older uncle that everyone looked up to. He was like God, and yet like any one of us. Bon's music and lyrics surpass the expectations of anyone in the PMRC, not only in quality but also in ludity. Bon was the man. And he was a man.

That could also lead into why I believe women are a threat to rock... but maybe when someone reviews Hole.

So... maybe not a 10 out of 10. Maybe a 9. I really don't agree that the band wanted a hit. Because there are bands that aren't out there for hits, and I personally think AC/DC was one of those bands. Maybe they still are. I know they weren't hoping Ballbreaker was to be a smash success. But like anyone who has a band, they want an audience. You don't need a smash single for an audience.

jpcs@xtra.co.nz (Duane Zarakov)
shee-it,i can't believe all you people think AC/DC peaked on Highway & Back in Black...one,a pretty large reason the '70s AC/DC alb's rule over most ordinary hard rock/meatle rekids is because they weren't produced by some ponce like Mutt "Robert John" Lange;two,yeah i know the reason we all gotta love Angus Young isn't guitar solos but his solos by the time of Highway have turned into generic metal jackoff;three, they'd already written all their greatest riffs (& used them at least once) on the earlier albums:and four (doesn't apply to this album tho)but Brian SUCKS.It was pretty much OVER by the time everyone started buying,is what i'm sayin'.oh well.you're welcome.

richbunnell@home.com
Right now I'm listening to Genesis' Selling England By The Pound, so I felt that I'm in the perfect mindset to comment on an AC/DC album. Corporate, sleek, and poppy, that's for derned sure, but I heavily prefer this one to Back In Black because 1) overall, the riffs are better, and 2) I know it's obvious, but Bon Scott was SO MUCH BETTER of a singer than Brian Johnson is. I'm sure that now that I've said that, Josh Cable's gonna write some homophobic rant against me, but it's true. Anyways, the title track is one of the coolest songs ever. "Girls Got Rhythm" punches and bounces, and "If You Want Blood" rocks the house down furiously despite having probably the most unoriginal riff in musical history. I even like "Night Prowler"(which is weird among people who aren't huge fans of AC/DC)-- sludgy, most definitely, but it doesn't get any better than "I'm the...NIIIGHT PROOWLER, I SLEEP in the DAAAY!" no matter how many times Bon repeats it. A high eight.

johnmckenzie@msn.com
...or "Get your kicks on Route 666", maybe?

When I was a kid there was this absolutely colossal, I mean HUGE noisy, scruffy band of reprobates who played the most sublime amphetamine blues-rock imaginable. Ugly bastards too! Each record was better and better than the one before. I'm sorry, but when Bon died they lost the plot. BIB aside, there has always been way too much filler on every album. Live, of course, they always rock but I feel that every release since about FOTS has been unnecessary. Get "The Very Best of AC/DC" as soon as you can, there are seven volumes....the Oz releases of all of the Bon albums. Available right now at Amazon.com or other quality cd importing retailers. Nothing in rock even comes close.

One word sums up the essential difference between Bon and Brian. Wit.

robadobb_2@msn.com (Rob Raymer)
all time classic, back in black kicked some ass but highway was when they had a singer. a nomination for Bon as the voice of metal. this has to rank in the top 5 of all metal albums. produced sure but mutt always had the desired effect. beatin around the bush, if you want blood , love hungry man, night prowler and of course the others make this one a monster

kitklarenberg@hotmail.com
In my honest opinion, the best album AC/DC would ever make. All the elements are in the right place - Bon's voice is at its peak, the Young brothers are tight and rock out like crazy, the bass is pounding, and even the drumming sounds good here. This album reads like a best of. 10 out of 10.

Dirk.Ceustermans@dhl.com
Just to add that Dave Burton is right: Whole lotta rosie was a hit in Europe aswell as RnR Damnation (to a lesser extend -is that with a t or d-). Can't remember but Whole lotta rosie even was a nbr 1 in Belgium, wasn't it?

DLChambers@aol.com
Mutt Lange, destroyer of great bands. Seriously - every time this guy shows up he turns a great band into a mediocre sell-out. Now, to be fair, AC/DC didn't sell out until after Back In Black, but as good as Highway To Hell is, it's a taste of things to come.

rockylisa@yahoo.com
One thing that I cant believe is how people say this is Bon's best album. First, I cant imagine the songs with different lyrics because, well, because Highway to Hell is a rock classic. But, nowhere is Bon's wit and his funny wordplay of previous AC/DC records. Just exactly where? For example, Touch too Much. What a great song with such great musical buildup. But the lyrics actually suck! Somehow, in a historical sense, I guess I wouldnt change them. Also, another good tune, which has Bons worst lyrics of all time, If You Want Blood. Only the lyrics "if you want blood, you got it" are passable I have to admit, the echo-effects and lyrics, "blood on the rocks, blood on the streets, sky and sheets" are ok Then, the cheesy "I want you to bleed for me!" Oh Well, it was 1979. I have always liked this record, it was my first AC/DC. Its a 10 easily. Just recently I noticed how the lyrics seem forced and I blame Mutt Lange. However, the guitar tones and production are brilliant. Just not alot of imagination and free-flow-pure-Bon thinking(or lack of?) lyrically. Still the album is a 10. My favorites...Walk all over You, Touch too Much, Beating Around the Bush(AWESOME), Get it Hot(a little ad-libbing by Bon makes is more natural lyrical), Love Hungry Man(I just like it), and of course, the ballad of Richard Ramirez. For the record, no joke, a friend of mine from El Paso, Tx, his cousin was friends with Ricky Ramirez. They used to shoot heroin at the Drive-In movie theatre in a purple Camero.

godemperorjjohnson@gmail.com
The best AC/DC album. 9 out of 10. Their mastery at what is really simplistic blues-rock is just utterly undeniable. Sure songs such as "If You Want Blood(You Got It) and "Walk All Over You." have strong rhythmic similarities,. Regardless, Bon Scott's raspy Aussie vocals carry them through. I can't stand the crappy attempt at melody that is "Get it Hot". It sounds too much like an outtake from one of their earlier and almost universally inferior(except for dirty deeds)albums. For that reason, I'll never give it a 10.

Benjamin Burch
Bon scott's finest moment.

Add your thoughts?

Living In The Hell (Maryland 16.10.79) - Bootleg
Rating = 7

A young man was kind enough to send me this AC/DC bootleg free of charge. The bobbies subsequently found it at my home and sentenced me to 15 years at Scotland Yard. When I am released a decade and a half thence, I will find that kind young man and strangle every bone in his body.

LIES! And you fell for it! I totally have this kickass idea for a new lounge act -- "Steve and Edie ---- BRICKELL!" WHO'S WITH ME?!

As for the CD I'm supposedly "reviewing" (*rolls eyes, becomes horrified at enormous tarantula dangling from the ceiling*), from the Freeway Of Love (In My Pink Cadillac) tour, our bootleg finds our favorite Australian bunch of Scots playing 12 nifty hits in the face of pushy security. "Just don't get thrown out!" Bon warns before calling the strong-arms "a pack of assholes." He continues the revolutionary haranguing throughout the concert, at one point raising his sadly now-silent voice to announce, "We'd like the security in the front here to FUCK OFF!" Then, as the Angels bash Marty Balin unconscious with a pool cue, he bravely announces, "We're having a rock 'n roll concert - and THEY AINT ROCK 'N ROLL!" Then they burst into their popular "Volunteers" track while the Grateful Dead hide backstage and wait for the helicopter. Meantime, such early classics as "Live Wire," "Shot Down In Flames," "Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be," "Sin City," "Problem Child," "Bad Boy Boogie," "The Jack," "Highway To Hell," "High Voltage," "Whole Lotta Rosie," "Rocker," "If You Want Blood, You've Got It," "

Oh. That's all of them, I guess. Well, as always, fuck "The Jack" (and I DO mean Jack Parr - suck me, woman!), "Hell Aint" is still bland, "Bad Boy Boogie" is a 12-minute guitar solo, "Rocker" is an 8-minute guitar solo, "Whole Lotta Rosie" seems kinda tepid and Bon's vocals are really offtune and rank in "Highway To Hell." The sound quality is good though - you can hear the bass and both guitars and everything. And half of the songs are killer diller doo! But where the hell is "Who Made Who"? What were they thinking, performing an AC/DC concert without playing "Who Made Who"?!? That's like their BEST SONG!

FUCK!

Oh. Here's what it has: five from TNT, three Let There Be Rock, one Powerage and amd three Highway To Hell.

Add your thoughts?

London Boogie - Bootleg 2000
Rating = 8

I was walking casually down the sidewalk the other day, reading True Vampires as usual, when I passed a smaller, scruffy man passing me on the left. I missed most of his tattoos, but I clearly, concisely witnessed a Rolling Stones tongue logo on his left shoulder. Now, this man looked maybe 45 years of age, so I don't know exactly when he decided to defile his body in such a humiliating manner, but I came THIS close (i.e. not very close at all) to shouting out, "You better have gotten that like 30 years ago or you're a fuckin' moron!" I mean, can you imagine someone, "Ah dude, have you heard the new Stones album? "Harlem Shuffle" fuckin' TEARS! I gotta get that tongue tattooed on my arm!" OR "Dude, Voodoo Lounge changed my life! I'll be down at the parlor." Actually, I guess if you got it after Voodoo Lounge, you'd get that new tongue with the spikes or whatever. Not sure what that's all about. A tongue in a wheelchair I could see. Or a tongue hobbling along on a walker. But a spiky tongue? Maybe they're supposed to be hemorrhoids or something.

At any rate, I just started reading this book called 50 Reasons Not To Vote For Bush, and I'm all like dude who needs 50? I've got ONE really damn good reason not to vote for Bush -- he's got AIDS! What if he spits on some important world leader and starts an epidemic and the guy gets pissed off and bombs us? Or what if he gets a papercut during a State of the Union address and accidentally murders every political reporter in America? Oh, hang on one sec - phone.

(to phone) I see.

Okay, I'm told that what Bush actually has are "campaign aides." I guess they go away once his brother hands him the election. By the way -- when people talk about how Bush stole the 2000 election, they are NOT referring to miscounts or "hanging chads" (although if you've heard the first few Guess Who albums, I think you'll agree that we may want to START hanging some Chads around here!); they're talking about the fact that Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris hired a company to go through all the voter lists and ban black voters (i.e. democrats). It's true; without alerting anybody, they created lists of "felons" whose votes would be thrown out -- but see, 90% of the "felons" weren't felons at all. They were simply "black people." It was done on purpose, it was covered up, and when Greg Palast found and reported proof of it in a British paper (BEFORE Bush was handed the election), none of the U.S. press would touch it. Why? Because all of our major news outlets are owned by major corporations -- and major corporate heads knew that Bush would scratch their backs if they scratched his. (Granted, Al Gore would have too. Let's ignore this obvious point for a moment.) I have something else to say, in response to young people who believe that "a corporation is just a bunch of people." That's true, but that's not why so many people hate corporations. We hate corporations (in general, you understand. Some are probably run honestly.) because of the way that the rich cocksuckers who run them exploit the living hell out of the "bunch of people" that work for them. Once a company goes public, the employees no matter mean shit to the executives -- all that matters are (a) pleasing the board of directors -- a bunch of billionaires, generally, and (b) keeping investors happy. This is achieved by keeping costs low and profits high. And this is done by laying off American workers and shipping jobs overseas. And this is one of many reasons why the U.S. economy is covered in human shit at the moment. What can we do? Elect John Kerry, because he will fix all our problems forever!

The CD itself is a bootleg entitled London Boogie that was recorded live a mere three months and 17 days before Bon Scott would die to death in a tragic car accident (he choked on his vomit - but it was by ACCIDENT in a CAR so don't even think about outsmarting my stunning semanticary skills. Thy will not be done! Actually, only most of the CD was recorded on November 2, 1979 at London's Hammersmith Odeon ("No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith!" as they say in Motorhead); the remaining nine tracks were recorded for'76-'77 BBC Sessions, I believe. Which would explain the incredible sound quality and lack of audience response (unless the crowd was just REALLY disappointed with the performance and chose to remain absolutely still and silent between each song). There's a strange reverb on the drums and vocals during the Hammersmith material - as if the band is playing in a large airplane hangar with surprisingly strong acoustics that don't affect the guitar sounds at all. The sound is very clear - the recording is excellent - so the odd reverb just makes 'em sound even more professional! Like they're being mixed and produced for the modern generation during the course of the live act. And what a tight band they were by this point (post-Highway To Hell). No sloppiness to be tolerated (aside from the 13-minute "Bad Boy Boogie"). Say -- they play "Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be" in this set. Am I crazy or does nothing at all happen in that song? I've always considered it strangely uneventful for such an explosive hard rock band. Not so the case for "Soul Stripper," presented here in an elongated, ass-funky BBC version with Bon announcing "Save my soul rock 'n' roll!" a few dozen times. Love that tune! Me! I do! Sorry I forgot to include the pronoun! Thought it was implied! Me! I did! Also, there's this awesome speaker-to-speaker echo during the guitar solo of "Let There Be Rock" (BBC version). It has to be seen to be believed! And even THEN, you have to HEAR it to have PROOF!

My point is that AC/DC had oodles of powerful hard rock tunes by this point ("Walk All Over You," "If You Want Blood," "Girls Got Rhythm," "Sin City," "Live Wire," "Shot Down In Flames"), so there was much less need to do crap like play "The Jack" or urinate "Rocker" for 12 pissing minutes (although, inexcusably enough, they DID BOTH ANYWAY). And BBC Sessions just rule no matter who's playing 'em. I bet even Phil Collins could sound good in a BBC Session!

Provided he was stuffed in a metal box and replaced by a GOOD band for the entirety of the session!

So as to not end our little game unfairly, the Hammersmith show features four TNT, four Let Me Suck Cock, a shamefully mere ONE from Powerage and an exciting five from Highway To Nell (Carter's Buttocks). The BBC portions, for their part, contain one High Voltage, five TNT (I keep forgetting "Rocker" was originally on TNT and not Dirty Deeds - so confusing, this planet of alternate releases!), one Dirty Deeds and one Let There Be Socks.

Reader Comments

princess_vachtangov@yahoo.com (Tom Joyce)
That reminds me of the speech I gave in a Democratic convention recently. I was making a point about how Bush is a pervert and a homosexual and in this connection mentioned that he even has a person in his government who is the official head of all the pedophilia rings in the country, and I had to pretend that I had meant Condoleeza Rice when someone remarked that "Vice President" apparently means "deputy of the President". I have to tell you, I did fill a bit out of place with all these other speakers talking about racial harmony and me being dragged off stage screaming about the "dirty nigger bitch" that wants to introduce "Drug Peddling" as a primary school subject!

There is also something I want to say about the band AC/DC (other than they stink). Apparently when Metallica were still called "a load of crap" by nearly everyone who knew them, their manager insisted that they should find a more commercially appealing name - and when asked on what was his definition of this, he answered: "looks good carved out on a school desk and can't be confused with electrical outlet markings". He was absolutely right, and even though the first album the band put out under it's new cool moniker ended up selling approximately 2 copies (arguably due to an embarrassing mistake made by the printer that resulted in the album being delivered to the shops labeled as "Keith Richards sings Porgy and Bess"), their subsequent rise to the top and the numerous charges brought against AC/DC on physical injuries brought about by malicious mislabeling of school inventory prove the point! most emphatically.

Add your thoughts?

Bonvoyage - Ravin
Rating = 8

It's a double CD bootleg, see, full of all them songs you probably couldn't have found in America about fifteen years ago. Nowadays it's a lot easier to find some of it, thanks to '74 Jailbreak and Bonfire, but it's still really nice to have all the non-American-album tracks in one place, including "Carry Me Home," "Cold Hearted Man," "Fling Thing" and "Crabsody In Blue" -- as well as a delightful picking of what MUST be pre-AC/DC songs by Bon's old bands Fraternity (who totally sucked) and the Valentines (who were actually a pretty darn enjoyable bubblegum pop band). And you ain't lived til you've heard Bon croon "To Know You Is To Love You"!

Add your thoughts?

* Back In Black - Atlantic 1980. *
Rating = 10

If you don't own Back In Black, you're wrong. If you don't like Back In Black, you're a fucking idiot. That should be the end of my review, but I suppose I could go on.

This is where AC/DC picked up a new singer - Brian Johnson of Geordie "fame" - who turned out to be (in my own opinion, of course) the greatest heavy metal singer of all time...until he lost his voice around 1984. But man, for those few fleeting years when he was the greatest heavy metal singer of all time, AC/DC were, without a doubt, the greatest heavy metal band of all time. Okay, not "without a doubt." But it sounds so much nicer when you include "without a doubt." Try reading the sentence without "without a doubt." See? It doesn't flow anywhere near as well! That's why I put it in. Flow is much more important than content, just as physical beauty is much more important than personality.

This album is amazing. Slow, mean, heavy, repetitive, and catchy, with great riffs ("Hells Bells," "Shoot To Thrill," "You Shook Me All Night Long," "Let Me Put My Love Into You," "Have A Drink On Me," the title track...my sweet god. They're ALL on the SAME ALBUM?????) and a singer who screamed at the top of his lungs ON KEY and who had the ability to go higher and higher and higher without ever resorting to the falsetto or operatic vibrato of other so-called "great" heavy metal singers like Ronnie James Dio or that Queensryche guy. He sounded otherworldly! Man. What an album. No wonder it's a classic! Those bells at the beginning of the album. The way there's only about a second of space between the end of the pop smash "You Shook Me" and the bluesy intro to the should-have-been-a-blues-rock-smash "Have A Drink On Me." The way the guitar in the left speaker introduces "Shoot To Thrill" with a four-note riff that belongs nowhere in the song at all, except to meld in beautiful harmony with the right speaker's melody for a few brief moments before disappearing forever. It's little touches like this that turn a good rock album into a F@#$%^&*ING AMAZING BLUES METAL EXPERIENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I cannot say enough about the power of this album. Even the hokey songs ("Given The Dog A Bone" and "Shake A Leg") don't ruin the overall effect, thanks to those amazing vocals. And it predates Helmet's obsession with the heaviness/empty space dichotomy by a good ten years. Buy it twice. Hell, thrice! My dad did!

Oh! One more warning, while I'm at it -- Geordie were a cool early '70s hard rock band. They had a cool rockin' album called Hope You Like It that, though not quite in AC/DC's league, was still chockfull of catchy tunes. I think they may have recorded another album too. BUT, and this is the important part, DO NOT BUY A CD CREDITED TO "BRIAN JOHNSON AND GEORDIE" THAT IS ENTITLED KEEP ON ROCKIN'. Somehow, some greedy bastards managed to remove Brian's voice from the cool original tracks and stick it on top of really, really shitty and lifeless late-90s genero-metal. Why? I've no clue. But it's horrendous, and not Geordie at all. DO NOT BUY IT.

Reader Comments

ftlauderdale@earthlink.net (David Aurand)
Back In Black is, by far, the best album I have ever heard and the best AC/DC has ever recorded! Brian Johnson, and his razor gargle voice, made the band into icons with the first line on the first song...HELLS BELLS..."I'm rolling thunder, pourin' rain...." It is an album that will be found in every bar's jukebox for the rest of time...and drawing shouts of approval by patrons, no matter who they are. While Bon Scott sings that era of the band like no one else, Brian certainly sings his era like no one else ever could dream of. "Honey, What Do You Do For Money", "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution" plus the other classics everyone knows, have become concert favorites and just capture the band at its all time best...on the rebound from Bon's demise...a fitting tribute album for the rest of time!!!

jnw@iglobal.net (Jim Hull)
Heh! Brian sounds like his nuts are in a vise! But he's menacing, and doesn't give a fuck...exactly what this band needed at this time...and let's not forget, around 1980-81 AC/DC was almost universally reviled as no-talent losers by lots of "musicians". My, how things have changed. A plague on all the doubters!! A PLAGUE on 'em!! What a record. Unbelievable. Mutt Lange again. Before he became like, of, or pertaining to a marshmallow, and went on to wussies like the Cars and Def Leppard...

LCarlyle@aol.com
Yeah, I'd have to give this one a 10. I think everybody has this album. For the all-time highest selling heavy metal (although Hard Rock is more fitting to them) album, it definitely is a classic. Someone else mentioned that these classic tracks can always be found on the jukebox. Oh I wish that were true, but unfortunately where I live, they're too overloaded with Nirvana and Pearl Jam! And while I rank this album high, I wouldn't ever try to compare it to any of the early stuff, of which many deserve 10's themselves.

Francesco.Benedini@mbox.vol.it
After seeing the Ballbreaker review, I didn't want to visit this page anymore. But I love this band (and this album) too much. Well, where do I start? Well, this is obviously a great, fantastic album and every song is a killer. It's the biggest selling hard rock album of all time, and few albums are so important in music history. The riffs that cut through "Shoot To Thrill", "Given The Dog A Bone", "Back In Black", "Shake A Leg" will be forever there, immortal. Ten fantastic songs, packed with full power and energy. But there is more. Well, if you listen to the whole album, you will find that this album is more than a "tribute to Bon". Think of it; when you hear the lines "I keep lookin' at the sky, 'cause it's gettin' me high, forget the hearse 'cause I'll never die, I've got nine lives, cat's eyes, abusin' everyone of them and runnin' wild" you can feel a somewhat "dark" atmosphere beginning to fade. At the end of the album it doesn't exist anymore. Try listening. I mean, don't know if the guys meant to do this. But they DID. That's just like saying: "Hey, Bon's not dead, he still lives into us." They didn't say it with words, they said it with music. GREAT. Perhaps someone will not feel this the same way I feel. Anyway, I would rate this album 11 out of 10, if possible. What can I say? THIS IS THE GREATEST HARD ROCK OF ALL TIME, AND FOREVER WILL BE.

ahlberg@ns.rochelle.net
This album whoops so much ass it is not even fair. Everyday I go to my local weight room I play this album, no one ever complains. Every song is a classic in my mind, especially "Hells Bells" and "Shoot To Thrill."

andec@tac.nlc.net.au (Chris Andersen)
I've been a mad AC/DC fan for about 20 years. I love ALL their songs. When I decided to learn to play the guitar nearly 16 years ago, it was because of the song "Hells Bells." Well not really, it was all of AC/DC's songs. But "Hells Bells" has to be one of the greatest two guitar part songs ever written. The way the Youmg brothers manage to combine 2 guitars to sound like one giant guitar is amazing!!!

DougS@aol.com
"If you don't own Back In Black, you're wrong. If you don't like Back In Black, you're a fucking idiot. That should be the end of my review, but I suppose I could go on." You didn't need to. The best commercial mainstream album of the 80's.

filfede@mbox.vol.it (Filippo Federico Olivieri)
After all these years, after summer 1980, I still play that record pretty often. I'm so into that sound and - most of all- in that kind of playing, that I had to buy myself an old Marshall 1969 amplifier and Mr. Angus Young's late sixsties Gibson SG to get some relief. Let me tell you: after 17 years of playing the guitar and just recently playing live, I start to really understand what it means to play like that. Only very few people can do that.

ribas@datasoft.com.br (Edison B. Lima Ribas)
This album is REALLY THE BEST!!!!!! Only a band like AC/DC could make something like that! The intro of "Hells Bells" is a preview of what is Back In Black, an album that you play once and have to go out jumping like an idiot. In "Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution," Angus don`t play his guitar; he just makes it SING!!!. Sorry if I wrote something wrong. I`m only a fan from Brasil (not BraZil like people spell in the rest of the World it`s BraSil like we spell here).VALEU AC/DC VOCES SAO DEMAIS!!!

amgarza@tenet.edu (Skippy)
Oh my fucking lord this kicks so much freeking ass. Not only do I like the album in general but the title track is the best. Back In Black baby can't go wrong.

JON96B@aol.com
You don't want my opinion on this baby......my hard drive doesn't have that much space.....just a few simple questions......was this masterpiece officially a dedication to Bon? didn't Bon and the boys previously rehearse some of these songs? or were they all really written with Brian? ever wonder what this album would sound like with Bon singing?

tshaw@pacifier.com (Todd Shaw)
Can't compare this album to Jailbreak or the Bon Scott era; Brian Johnson was great, Bon Scott ruled. Bon Scott's kick ass attitude is why AC/DC was and is it. This album kicks ass but the Bon Scott era was it. Back In Black may have had MORE kick ass tunes, but all you need to hear is the riff "Jailbreak" and you won't remember a Back In Black. Have you heard an AC/DC tune like "Big Balls" since Bon Scott? It's all in the approach, dude. Bon Scott viewed it as a kick ass joke.

jmichael@hartingdale.com.au (Peter Kent)
This is one great album. I think it is the best album they ever recorded just in front of Highway to Hell and Let There Be Rock as their greatest album. There are no weak tracks and the songs are brilliant. Brian's voice suits the band superbly and he is a worthy replacement to Bon. The whole band sounds great and "You Shook Me All Night Long" is one of the greatest rock songs I have ever heard. I also love "Shoot To Thrill" and the title track.

HDVW143@aol.com
AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

chrisc@mdbs.com (Chris Currie)
This album is AC/DC! It is triple backflip roundhouse punch to the nuts!

beavis@iafrica.com
AC/DC rule! Back in Black IS THE RULING ALBUM OF ALBUMS OF ALL TIME, PERIOD. There has NEVER EVER been, or EVER will be an album in the history of the Universe, Past, Present, OR FUTURE that can come anywhere remotely close to the awesome power of the BACK IN BLACK album. The album has so much power that not even the GREAT AC/DC themselves can even consider thinking about making an album to match its power. Although I must say they've come close, but it is still impossible to create anything more powerful than BACK IN BLACK. IT IS ALL POWER !!!!!! AND THAT'S THAT !!!!

Tavo.Conti@RelianceNational.com
True probably it is their best album as to music BUT>>....sorry sorry sorry Bon Scott isn't on it...to me it is worthless BON IS DEAD .....LONG LIVE BON...................

supersexmachine@aol.com (Owen Goodwin)
Best Album ever made by any group.

jbest@ns.nque.com (Philip Best)
AC/DC! The Best!

jamesd@elink.net (James Vincent Debevec II)
This was the very first album I ever bought. I personally have met 4 other people who this was the very first album they ever bought. What are the odds of that? 9 stars. OK 10 then.

learning@sprintmail.com
Obviously, this album cannot be praised enough, but I just want to comment on something that's been on my mind for a while. Lyrically speaking, I think that it's pretty obvious that things took a downhill turn during the Brian Johnson years. Bon's creativity and wit would be hard to match for anyone.

However, this album's lyrics are the exception. Maybe the strength of the guitar-playing make the lyrics seem more powerful, dark, and, hell... magical! Frankly, I find it difficult to believe that Johnson (as the band claims in interviews) had any part to play in the writing of these songs. Am I being too hard on the guy?

funkycold@webtv.net (Ricky B.)
A great release. The best with Brian Johnson. I bought this the week it hit the stores. Me and a friend opened the L.P. to look at sleeve to see what the new vocalist looked like. (leaning against wall with cap covering his face!!??) Mysterious we thought. WE took the album home and threw it on the turntable. It was HEAVY!! Great songs, great sound, and we both agreed, the singer is Dan McCafferty from Nazereth!!!

About a year later I couldn't even listen to this LP. I wore it to death and so did the radio and everyone else!! In 1980-81, EVERYBODY had this blasting from their cars in high school parking lots. But what pissed me off, it was the same people who hated heavy metal/heavy rock!!! They only played it to be "COOL".

Funny, the same people used to ask me in 79/early 80 WHO is AC/DC when I used to wear a T shirt I had. Then everyone and their mother, sister is a fan less than a year later, but they NEVER would buy the earlier ac/dc releases. Probably some of you out there.

pyatenko@hniri.go.jp
What can I say. This is AC/DC at their best, and therefore, the best album in the whole world. All the tracks are classics and forever will be. No album will ever be able to top this, I'm sure.

vidalis@csd.uch.gr (Antonis Vidalis)
Good critics, my friends. No band can ever create a similar album, not even the 'DCs themselves.

Whenever I listen to this album, I have to change underwears... All tracks are perfect. All members are at their best.

The strange thing is that while Brian usually produces weak poor lyrics (see Ballbreaker which has great sound and songs but sucks in lyrics- no imagination at all), in this album lyrics are awesome. True poems!! This makes me suspicious about who wrote them. Could it be Bon??

Anyway, to my opinion, High Voltage and Highway to Hell take a 10, while Back in Black take a 10++. Bye bye.

bish24@erols.com
This is an 11. Screw the labels, this is not necessarily a *Heavy Metal* record, it's just plain ol' in your face ass kicking rock and roll! I was never a metal head (especially in the 80's with all that cock rock bullshit out there), but bought this album almost immediately. It still sounds exciting, raw, and powerful - 17 years later!! The best way to check if anyone's music collection is cool - check for Back in Black.

paul7777@ime.net (Mitch)
back in black was an awesome album, "shake a leg" is my favorite from this album, and then "let me put my love into you", but, i really can't decide on the rest which is better, there is like 5 classics to this album, "b i b", "y s m a n l", "hells bells", "s t t", and many more, back in black is the number one selling heavy metal album of all time, by far ac/dc's best, and brian johnson did an awesome job picking up in the middle of the band's career, ac/dc made a great choice choosing him, rock in roll ain't gonna die!!!!!!

tedaldi@acsu.buffalo.edu
Back in Black truly is an outstanding production even though another song or two coulda been squoze on there. But I can honestly say there are no dull spots on here! It's truly one album where you can't pick a single bad song because they ALL have their own unique strengths. Even if you know less than zilch about AC/DC as a band, anyone with discernable musical tastes should give this one a gold star...and Brian Johnson the purple heart! I for one NEVER want to imgine the horrors of him singing in the gosh-darn shower!

MRTRFED@aol.com
Even though this album is about seventeen years old it is sad to think about how so many have forgotten it. It is not getting anything near the credit it deserves, or AC/DC for that matter. Back In Black is obviously the best HARD ROCK (it is not heavy metal) album of all time, and nothing will ever top it. I think that all of their albums are awesome. The thing that sets this one apart from the rest is the way everything seems to take its natural course. Almost like the whole time was portrayed through the songs and the way the music sounds. It is more than just ten songs that all blow you away, Highway To Hell also has ten and hey, The Razors Edge has twelve. I am of course leaving out several other albums that are truly awesome from start to finish. I guess those that know and havent forgotten the best rock music in the world are blessed in how we enjoy far superior music than everyone else. What am I talking about, this stuff cannot even be compared to anything else, it is timeless!!!!!!!!!

Sniffncoke@aol.com
BEST FUKING ALBUM EVER MADE. YOU COULD CHOP OFF MY NUTS AND PLAY YANI AND I WOULDENT CHANGE MY MIND. NO ONE WILL EVER COME CLOSE TO THIS SHIT, THIS IS THE BEST IN THE WORLD!!!!!

LuisCifr@aol.com
There's no denying that Back in Black was a good album...it definitely had many catchy songs but...I have to admit I got burned out on it...it got old. It just didn't have the sound that the Bon albums had. I can't even listen to it anymore...I traded it at the CD store. There is just no replacement for Bon Scott! AC/DC with Brian is a different band...and I think they lost it when they lost Bon!

i2lapawa@unibw_muenchen.de
i hate heavy metal but i like Back in Black...it is one of the three heavy metal albums i like (shout at the devil from Motley crue and 5150 from van halen) i heard it as i was young and still tried to hear all kind of musics...but i had found i didn'T like heavy metal...anyway the memory still remain Back in Black was one of the part of my memory about heavy metal.

taspate@acs.ucalgary.ca (Tyler Spate)
This CD is the best metal CD of all time, and the 2nd highest selling hard rock CD of all time, right behind Led Zeppelin IV...I'm sure it will overtake Zep some day....Every good bar has Back In Black playing in it every night...it's the ultimate bar CD!

alanbreslau@starnet.com.br
Brazil. Bucetas e Rock and Roll s?o as melhores coisas do mundo !

Spots41706@aol.com
If you don't own this album, you haven't got a clue what rock 'n roll is about! After Bon Scott died, the band wanted to show that they hadn't lost their edge, and Brian Johnson wanted to show that he was able to fill the void that Bon left. The result is not one of the best, but THE BEST hard rock album ever made! Every song on this album is full-blown, 110%, balls-to-the-wall rock! If you ever need to stay awake, put this on, and turn it UP! If this doesn't get your motor runnin', you should lay in a hole in the ground and let people throw dirt on you, 'cause baby -- YOU'RE DEAD!!

Megaman684@aol.com (Vincent Hedrick)
Anyone that doesen't own this album should be shot. It kicks ass and by far is their best album with Brian Johnson and also their best album overall.

Imaroker2@aol.com
All I can say is this is the only Album I've ever owned that I have actually WORN OUT !!!!!!! HONESTLY, I'm not lying, I wore groves in three different albums. thank god for a CD player !!!!!! as a matter of fact, I'm playing it right now. so I don't think I need to say much more, you guy's are all big fan's you know the feeling this album gives you. indescribable rock and roll pleasure

Trashsurfr@aol.com
I've heard that some of Bon's friends claim that Bon actually wrote the lyrics to these songs. They say Brian Johnson could not have wrote all the lyrics in the few months between Bon's death and the recording of this album.

That said, don't you think it's strange that this was included in the Bonfire Boxed Set?

f.d.cable@worldnet.att.net (H.V.C.)
This was the greatest AC/DC album, minus the fact that it simply gets neglected less often than other AC/DC albums. Every track here is a great song, and this is probably the best AC/DC album to introduce to new fans or interested peoples, other than Live.

One more thing, fuck Bon. I'm so sick of hearing about how he influenced/wrote every great Brian song. "He once told Angus about cannons, so Bon wrote FTATR, which is why it's so good." "Bon once used a phone, so he turned Angus on the computers, influencing Brian to write Who Made Who, so Bon should have gotten writing credits for that entire album." Fuck off. Bon was great, but that's no longer the case. He's dead. Set the fucking roses down already.

pazulla@gta.igs.net (Andrew Pazulla)
Back in Black is probably their best album musically, but I prefer Highway to Hell. Reason: some songs simply have ridiculously stupid lyrics. Example "I'm gonna get you / Satan get you" on Hells Bells. Granted, we're not dealing with Bob Dylan here, but they could have done better than that. But they more than make up for this on Shoot to Thrill and the title track. Oh, and I also prefer Bonn's vocals to Brian Johnson's.

carolel@tznet.com (Brainshake)
I just want to point out one thing. AC/DC is not heavy metal!!! They're hard rock. I was only about 3 1/2 when BIB was released, but I'm sure if my parents had bought it for me at that age I would have been a rockin toddler. I can say it's my favorite cause that's what I'm listening to right now, but I can't pick just one album as my all time favorite. It just depends on what one I'm listening to at the time.

Awake600@aol.com
When I first visited your friend Pat D.'s site I spotted his review for this, and I think he summed up my thoughts perfectly. This record is ridiculously overrated. A nothing more than just decent hard rock band found a formula that worked, and this is where it started to get old -- when they found an annoying as hell singer, and the lyrics became so ridiculously laughable. Like Pat D. says, the hits on here are indeed hard rock classics, but the album's not much to get excited about overall. 6

halhorn@airmail.net
I'm really glad to see I'm not the only person who feels that Brian was heavy metal's all time best vocalist at his peak. Even now, with some of his range gone, he's still one of a kind.

This album cannot be overrated. There are two distinctions that mark a truly great and transcending record: 1) Does it stand the test of time? 2) Was it influential? Clearly Back In Black passes both tests with soaring, jet-propelled colors! Hell, it has sold 8 million U.S. copies during the 1990's, TEN YEARS plus after the initial release!

Count me among those who prefer Brian to Bon. Nothing against Bon, he was a terrific songwriter who could really twist words around. But Brian's vocal range is far superior. I love all the AC/DC records with Bon, but I can't picture Bon singing "You Shook Me" or "What Do You Do For Money Honey" among others.

It's actually hard to figure out the "filler" here. "Shake a Leg" and "Given the Dog a Bone" I guess, but neither SOUNDS like filler. You can name the best record by any other band in hard rock history, and it cannot top this one. A 10 on any scale, no questions asked. There's not one dud here.

jtcable@tir.com (Josh Cable)
Metal? Look at the other guy in these reviews that says Back In Black is metal. His other examples are 5150 (Love Walks In sure is metal up your ass, GODALMIGHTY) and Shout At the Devil (GLAM, but still ok). God, am I sick of these Sweeds saying how metal Styx and Sammy Hagar are. Fuck Styx, and fuck anyone who likes Styx, because ANYONE WHO LIKES ANYTHING STYX HAS EVER DONE DOES NOT KNOW WHAT MUSIC IS ABOUT. That goes for all the Sweedish, or whatever they are. Fucking posers. I mean, there are doubtlessly some very metal Sweeds, who are reading these reviews even, but the country is so laid back it's hilarious.

Um, and BIB is really cool. But again, Mutt Lange ruined the chance of it being perfect by adding every little rock effect he could think of. Luckly, the Brothers Young later made a perfect product, by themselves, with FOTS. DIE BUTT LANGE.

Let's see, what other reviewers can I slam before I hit send? Hmm...

Ok. Pat D? Never head of him, but I see he already has a retarded follower who swallows "critical" reviews and makes them his own, because he's a trendy fucking pussy. Talk about swallowing a trend WHOLE, without chewing. Can you sink any lower, you AOL using dickslap?

"I'm gonna get you / Satan get you" I do not see how this qualifies as a "sample" of "rediculously stupid lyrics." That's only two lines worth, and in the context of the ENTIRE song, they're quite powerful. Nice attempt to sound like you know something that we unfourtunate rockers don't, but you fucking failed miserably, you trendy whoremongering sissy bitch.

Can we stop slamming individual lines and actually take the album in, as a whole. See, here's the problem: no one *sits down* and listens to albums anymore, except for... a few select people here. Everyone else would rather listen to their new U2 single and exclaim "It's the best yet!" or have all of the music they like running in the background while playing computer games (losers, even though I have Quake now... I prefer HL and Starcraft). Not me. I don't belong to a music club even. Fuck 6 CDs for a penny, I'll go to the store myself and HAND PICK every album that I wish to purchase. And coincidentally, they're pretty damn old.

As for 5150 being a metal album... news to me. You FUCKING DOLTS. Ah, ".de" means Germany I believe. Goddamn Hasselhof loving motherfuckers. 5150 is NOT FUCKING METAL, it's just pop, pure and simple. Just like Mutt's production. Maybe it's a mistranslation. FUCKING SAMMY AND HIS FAKE ASS ROCK TUNES.

Back In Black didn't have the same sound the old Bon albums had? WHAT DID YOU EXPECT FUCKFACE?

Shit, I'm sure everyone's had enough of me now. Uh, BIB is awesome, every track is stronger than almost any other rock tune on Earth, forever. That's all I have to say.

And I guess, remember Bon, but don't make a big fucking deal about it, 20 years after the fact, you fucking no life idiots. Oops, no one loves me is why I lash out like this.

johncoan@hotmail.com
Back in Black is shite. Shut up.

WHITEHEADMASSIVE@ukgateway.net (David Armstrong)
BACK IN BLACK is nowhere near as good as the Bon Scott era AC/DC because Brian Johnson's singing is shite.No-one but Bon could do justice to the real AC/DC classics like Problem Child , Sin City, Down Payment Blues, Girls Got Rythm and Touch Too Much.

richbunnell@home.com
This is a pretty good album, but I'm sorry, it's just not as good as what came immediately before, regardless of the fact that Bon wrote most of the songs. "Hell's Bells," "You Shook Me" and the title track are all really well-deserved classics, and most of the other songs rock pretty mightily as well, but a bit too much of the album plods for my tastes. I mean, "Let Me Put My Love Into You"? And when people say "This album is a classic," I'm assuming you're leaving out "Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution." God, that song bites hard. I know that this will incur the wrath of all of you rabid fans who actually go foaming at the mouth just because Prindle doesn't like your precious Ballbreaker(oh, dear god, no), but I can only give this a 7.

anand_247@hotmail.com (Anand Basawapatna)
Brian did not write anything or enough to recieve credit on anything starting with The Razor's Edge. In fact Malcolm wrote all the lyrics to BallBreaker and Stiff Upper Lip. I personally think Brian is better at lyrics than the Young Bros.(Sorry Guys, you are still the greatest 1-2 punch of Lead and Rhythm Guitars), but not Bon. However he definiteley wrote the lyrics to Back In Black (and in only two weeks!!!).

mootje@total.net (Matt Cahill)
Allow me to add a comment that doesn't include things like full-caps, "fuckface", or the word "ever!!!" : did you know that you can sing the verses of She Shook Me All Night Long to the tune of Sundown by Gordon Lightfoot? Try it.

TigBones@aol.com
Bon is the greatest rock singer of all time, whereas Brian is the greatest hardrock singer of all time. So stop these stupid arguments about who is best. After all....who made who?!

Amg1176@aol.com
The undeniable classic and a verifiable riff factory. Where the fuck did Angus and Malcolm find all these memorable riffs? "Hells Bells", "Back in Black", "What Do You Do For Money Honey", "You Shook Me All Night Long", you know these songs by their first two notes. and damn if "Hells Bells" doesn't have one of the best slow building intros ever, man does that create an atmosphere! There's really not a whole lot to add about this album as it has been so thoroughly commented on. And now for the slight comedown, like all AC/DC albums, it is extremely simple and lacks variety and therefore I can proudly give it a 9, but I can not in good conscience award any AC/DC album a 10. Flame me all you want, a 9 it is.

No1Yanks23@aol.com
normally i cant stand acdc. That song "Big balls" is getting played on my local (krock in ny) radio station all the time. And its so damn annoying. But many the stuff on back in black was excellent. Hells Bells, Youve Shook me All Night Long, and Back in Black were the three big hits and they were all great. I would give this a low 8 because the ac/dc style is very irritating if you ask me.

robchaundy@yahoo.com (Robert Chaundy)
I find that Hell's Bells and Let Me Put My Love Into You make the other songs sound a bit ordinary, but they're still all good. What bothers me though is this whole 'Did Bon write it?' debate. I will admit that the lyrics are funnier and cleverer than on most of the other Brian albums, but why that should automatically mean that Bon wrote them I don't understand at all. As far as I am concerned the proof of the matter is in the fact that the songs are credited to BJ: we all know how much the band loved Bon and if he had written them - or even bits of them - do you think the guys would have dishonouured his memory by accrediting them to someone else? No. Please let's not have Scott and Johnson 'factions'.

PS Any chance of some Spinal Tap reviews?

Jcjh20@aol.com
Rock and/or Roll at its finest. Awesome riffs and catchy-ness galore. Nothin that i could really say thats new to anyone, everyone knows this is a classic album that everyone should own. Songs you may know include "Hells Bells", "You Shook Me", "Back In Black"...ahh whatever, just buy the album. I'll give it a 10, although its pretty wrong of me to do so, since its really the only full album i heard by these guys..

drazy@gatecity.com
Look at all the responses for this album. One of the best selling albums of all time and rightfully so. It's at the top of the heap for 1980 album of the year and one of the greatest rock albums of all time. A deserved nod to Phil Rudd, one of the most under-rated drummers in rock. Phil is one of the few drummers in modern rock that proves subtlety can be heavy as fuck.

mdenster@yahoo.com (Adrian Denning)
I've recently been listening to this again as something of a 'lapsed' AC/DC fan. Their music was played a lot when I was growing up and I loved it. Later on I guess my tastes changed a little but i got this again recently. And, its bloody fantastic. Top songs and music from start to finish. 'Hells Bells' is stupendous and we continue from that high start right through to the end. AC/DC are back in my stereo!

dfarmer@chibardun.net
ok i agree on the whole liking brian over bon thing but u have to realize that if they got a new singer then it wouldnt be AC/DC and they should all quit. they are lucky that the fans excepted brain in the early 80's and i think your not a true AC/DC fan if u think they need to get rid of one of the greatest singers of all time and i think he sounds great in this album he sounds old but i seen them live on the stiff upper lip tour and trust me hes sounds great his voice doesnt cut out like it did during the ballbreaker tour. he can reach some of the high notes that he couldnt before and i think they couldnt do any better than BRAIN JOHNSON

DArmstrong@bryson-architects.net (David Armstrong)
Shoot to Thrill, You Shook Me All night Long, Have a Drink On Me and the title track are all fantastic, the rest are pretty average. All of the early ACDC lps have been digitally re-mastered and are available with original artwork and interesting booklets, I couldn't resist and bought them all up to, but not including Back in Black. The reason? It's not as good as the Bon Scott era stuff.....end of story.

john.aikman1@ntlworld.com
Brian Johnston was in a band called Geordie before this (he is not Dan McCaffrey from Nazareth!). I had their album... not bad, second division rock blues. Even had a version of St.James Infirmary on it (most recently done by Rufus Wainright and his mum...one of the McGarrigles) which bluesed along pleasantly. At the time I thought he was a brilliant choice of replacement vocalist...and I loved Bon Scott era AC/DC. Whole Lotta Rosie was the first heavy riff I learned by ear off a record and got right.

kitklarenberg@hotmail.com
I find this album to be a tad overrated, but it's still one of AC/DC's best efforts. Amazing songs here throughout. 9 out of 10.

DLChambers@aol.com
Is there anyone who doesn't seriously believe that Bon Scott wrote a good deal of these lyrics? After this almub, AC/DC takes a HUGE a plunge into mediocrity and doesn't come up for air until "Razor's Edge", which, not coincidentally, was entirely written by Malcolm & Angus.

alertalready@yahoo.com
First off, I'll start out by saying that this is by far the most essential album anybody should have in their music collection. I don't give thy rear of a rat WHO you are. As Mark Prindle says in his review of Back In Black, "If you don't own Back In Black, you're wrong. If you don't like Back In Black, you're a fucking idiot. That should be the end of my review, but I suppose I could go on."

After rock 'n roll legend Bon Scott died, AC/DC decided to recruit Brian Johnson from Geordie, and boy did they make a great decision. Brian Johnson was surely a wicked singer that fit the somewhat less poppy yet still recognizable sound the band took on with this popular (and for damn good reason) release...Back In Black. Brian Johnson's voice was so mean, and yet it was so solid. Never have I heard such stable and evil and yet still such charismatic vocal shrieking in my entire life. Of course his charm may have been way different from that of Bon Scott's, but still, I'll be damned if this prick wasn't one of the finest (and perhaps most underrated) vocalists ever to grace this filth-covered blueberry from an unseen specimen's ass, GUARANTEED!

With a bit more (and longer) blues licks emitted from the guitars of the Young brothers than from Highway to Hell, Back In Black is not only home to godlike vocals, but may as well be THE Riff Bible. All of the songs on this album boast strong, bluesy, ingeniously catchy main riffs with tons of replay value that fit in with each song's knack for repetition, and are intermissioned by twin guitars striking well-flowing power chords back and forth like a lightning storm, plus some rattling solos to further electrify this wave of devil music. And what better way to underline each and every one of these perfect riffs than with Cliff Williams' reliable blurbing blues basslines and Phil Rudd's clean, traditional hard rock drum beats? Welcome to rock and roll, ladies and gentlemen.

The lyrics? Aside from the exceptionally angry and even DARK opener Hell's Bells (which by the way features a really bad-ass intro of chiming bells themselves), they're mostly eloquent odes to screwin', ended by the self-explanatory Rock 'n Roll Ain't Noise Pollution.

In short, Back In Black is an ingenious and rifftastic collection of non-too-long-nor-short blues rock tunes that all move at steady, slow-to-midtempo pace and feature some of the most godlike vocals executing more charismatic tales of the old (yet surprisingly not yet dead) 'sex and rock 'n roll' cliche. AND, while I can easily forgive grudges against all over albums in existence, I can NOT forgive this one. If you can't bring yourself to go across the street for this album, go down the highway instead.

Fin.

michael-mcdonell@hotmail.com
This is one of those albums that everyone tells me I'm supposed to like, but which I simply don't that get excited about. It seems like they pretty much checked off all the "Hard Rock Boxes," adding in crystal clear production, "classy" riffs, etc, but I would take the dirty, fun riffs from "Riff Raff or "Let There Be Rock" over any of this "Let Me Put My Love Into You" shit. I also find the drumming kind of lame, the beats he plays are just too damn generic and dare I say it, safe. That is basically the reason I don't like this album as much as I should - it's just too calculated. It's good for a "yeah, that kicks ass!" . I'll take Hells Bells and the title track, and Shoot To Thrill, but the rest are just "eh?" to me. At least on "Let There Be Rock" there was stuff like "Whole Lotta Rosie" to keep things from sounding too samey. But on Back In Black, I feel like I'm hearing the exact same song I heard earlier in the album. Sure, every thing's solid, nothing's even close to bad, etc., but it's just too mid-tempo in parts, and if you're trying to play kick ass, soul-less rock'n'roll as a hard rock band, it just sounds better played faster. Still, I give it a 7 or 8. Don't crucify me.

But hey, it's good for a "yeah, that kicks fuckin' ass, bro!" and that's usually good enough for people to give this a 10 without thought.

ddickso2@uccs.edu
Just listened to this for the first time. I expected to be underwhelmed, since I've already heard like two-thirds of it on the radio.

Well, here's my surprised conclusion: It is, indeed better than the Black Album. And you KNOW how much I like that one.

Sometimes, the masses actually DO have good taste. How about that.

Benjamin Burch
There's probably nothing I will say about this album that hasn't been said before. It's an excellent album, and is like part 2 of "highway to hell," except it's better.

Add your thoughts?

Bonfire - Atlantic 1997.
Rating = 9

NOT WORTH SIXTY DOLLARS. Please understand that I am not vehemently recommending that you run out and purchase it right now. Because it's way overpriced. But dear goodness, the music that's on here is GREAT, and to give it anything less than a 9 based on the price or on over-heightened expectations of what it could have included just doesn't seem right to me. Let me explain.

First of all, there's Live From Atlantic Studios, which has been hard as hell to find for the past twenty years (although I lucked across a $15 copy at a flea market, thank you thank you!). I described this one earlier, so you know what it's all about. Then the next two discs are the soundtrack to the Let There Be Rock video. And this is where the ripoff begins. First of all, most fans already have the video. Secondly, the goddamned thing is separated over two discs when it could have easily fit onto one. Third, a lot of the songs overlap with Atlantic Studios tunes, and aren't much different. However, I have to tell you -- I personally don't own the video and as such, I forking LOVE this concert. I'd never heard live versions of Highway-era AC/DC before, so I got a real thrill out of that. So that's the deal there.

Then the next disc is the highly-awaited Volts - a collection of outtakes and hard-to-find tracks that for some reason includes the standard versions of "It's A Long Way To The Top" and "Ride On," while missing several Aussie tracks that the American audience still has a hard time finding. So this is another ripoff. But guess what? The CD still rules. It's too damn short, mind you, but it's cool as heck to hear tunes like "Beating Around The Bush" and "Whole Lotta Rosie" with entirely different lyrics, as well as a kickass bass-heavy live version of "Sin City" and crap like that. And there's a neat Bon Scott interview at the end of the disc too.

Finally, the fifth disc is, as far as most fans are concerned, the ultimate slap in the face: Back In Black. The one album every AC/DC fan already owns. Bon's not even on it. Do I care? Fuck no! The only copy of BIB I own is my brother's old vinyl copy he got in 1980! I'm thrilled to now own it on CD! But that's me.

So let me conclude: I did NOT pay sixty dollars for this, and ask you to please not to do so either, because you will be disappointed. I myself bought an unwrapped demo copy (without the photobook, keychain, etc.) for 25 bucks and feel that it was definitely worth it. Great music from a great band. It should have been more comprehensive, yes, but maybe they're holding out to give us another great box set in five years or so, eh?

Reader Comments

DSwalen@Concentric.net (Douglas Swalen)
Ya know I used to think that this CD box set was worth the 50 bucks and would have given it a 7. I have since revised my opinion. Down. Way down.

In fact if I were to numerically rate this 5 disk set I'd give it a very low 3 and I'd do it with anger. And I'll make my case for the number. What exactly are we getting on this box set?

1. Live Paris show with Bon Scott - The improvement in the mix is so negligable vs. the audio tracks from the film Let There Be Rock it's almost not worth commenting on and the sound from the film is subpar to say the least. The only other difference is the inclusion of "TNT" and an uncut rendition of "Walk All Over You". And I know damn well that there are BETTER recordings out there from that Paris show but on a different night. I've heard them on the radio. So why are we forced to suffer though this sub par material?

2. Back In Black. Why? This is supposed to be Bonfire, not Brianfire. So it's remastered. Big Fucking Deal. Let me clue you in on something. The improvement if there is any is impossible to tell. I alternated between the remastered and unremastered CDs and couldn't tell a difference. I think remastering is mostly a big sham, designed to suck money out of our pockets for quality improvements only a computer could detect. Very few albums are actually better, Hendrix's remastered reordered CDs being the prime example.

Besides, those who are gullible enough to pick up the remastered CD can already do so. We don't need it put in a box for us.

3. Live from the Atlantic Studios - Well if you have If You Want Blood, you ain't getting too much extra besides "Dog Eat Dog" and "Live Wire". It doesn't feel like a "live album". It doesn't feel like a studio album. it's somewhere inbetween. On its own it'd be worth the money. But considering the garbage you're getting included with it.... well at least there's "Volts"...

4. Volts. The sole reason to buy the Box Set if you ask me. And even then we get our collective faces slapped by the inclusion of a terrible TV recording of "Sin City" and inclusion of easily available material like "Ride On" and "It's a long way to the top". The damn CD is supposed to be made of rarities. Since when is "Ride On" a rarity?

What really irks me is that I think we've been had here. This Box Set could have and should have been better. Malcolm has been quoted as saying there's more where that came from. Well Malcolm, why wasn't it on this collection which could sorely use a few more gems on it for the average shmoe? The diehard AC/DC fans like me are going to buy it regardless because we just HAVE to have ANYTHING NEW with the words AC/DC on it. We don't give a fuck. That's a given. But the average Joe who hears the alternate version of "Whole Lotta Rosie" on the air and then spends 60 bucks on it is going to get taken and more than likely won't realize he's been taken.

Here's hoping the next box set (and you just know there will be one because there IS good stuff left out there) is a better overall collection. Maybe the Back In Black world tour, which I've heard tracks from? Or the inclusion of the Flick Of The Switch show from St. Louis in '83 which I have part of on video tape? Or the entire Flick tour or FTATR tour on CD, as I've heard one track off of the Flick tour and there is video from FTATR out there.

Just no more below the belt shots, like the above mentioned BIB or the substandard Paris Show. Please.

LionClaw17@aol.com
Definitely a need for the serious AC/DC fan. Enough gems for me but they could have thrown out a few more rarities to us. Back in Black is a pointless inclusion. 7 out of 10!

JnJCable@worldnet.att.net (Neptune Salad)
This is the signature. First. BIB was included in the box because 1. that album was the first tribute to Bon, of course this is quite obvious to an AC/DC fan like myself (I am proud to say!), 2. when the album was released to CD the liner notes and pics were almost completely gone. Even the remastered version alone was missing all those things. But now they have restored EVERYTHING from that ultimate tribute to Bon.

And although I would rather just buy every album before getting a box set of almost completely live material, I would pay 100$ alone for the keychain/bottle opener.

But still, this set is a must have. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to listen to "Hail Caesar" till the wee hours of the morn.

taspate@acs.ucalgary.ca (Tyler Spate)
This CD is a must for the die hard fan, but not 4 the casual fan...

I agree that BIB shouldnt be here...its not like we HAVENT heard that CD a 1000000 times. The Volts CD is cool...and the live stuff with Bon is great for the younger fans like me you havent heard many BON songs live.

derrick@athabascau.ca (Derrick Rowlandson)
I agree that this box set is a rip off. I'm a casual fan, and am still waiting for a proper 'best of' collection.

Are any of the 5 CD's over 50 minutes - I don't think so. And, there are at least two different live versions of at least a couple songs. This to me means poor value.

I'm hard pressed to fill a 60 minute tape with 'gems' from this box, very lame.

Godranek@aol.com
Ya, why in heck did they include Back In Black in this set! Who masterminded that pointless idea?? Everyone and their mother has Back In Black! And they still didn't include all those unrealeased Bon Scott songs from the AC/DC debut! And I agree that someone must raise the bullshit flag for the songs being 'remastered'. That is a load of fucking dung. While we're on that subject, don't by ANY of the Kiss remasters either, because there is no difference in sound quality whatsoever. Only thing different is a fancier CD case. What a scam.

lgruhn@po-l.east-central.k12.ia.us (Laurel Gruhn)
AC/DC is the best group in the world. I think they need to have more concerts then they do!! All the singers fit their places. From the local HELL RAISERS!!

bonnscott2@hotmail.com
First of all i would like to tell you all that BON (the devil)LIVES AGAIN

crocket@ionsys.com (Dave Burton)
I somewhat agree with the first coment on this boxset. I don't understand the BIB inclusion....Why were "It's a Long Way....." and "Ride On" included...as they are commercially available elsewhere. It's nice to have "School Days"...but why not include "Cold Hearted Man", "RIP", "Love Song", "Crabsody In Blue", or "Stick Around"??? I do however like the live versions of "Sin City" and "She's Got Balls".

Live at Atlantic is a good raw recording. I enjoy the inbetween studio / concert sound.

Live in Paris is alright...but If you have the Let There Be Rock movie like any diehard fan does....what is the point??

I think there could have been much more rare stuff added and some already commercially avail stuff delated. It is a must have for the diehard though!!! All in all....7 out of 10!!!! They will probably release a Brian Johnson box set in 1999 (25th anniversary)....haha

Bon rules...plain and simple!!!!!!

P.s. - It would have been nice to include the "Ride On" version with Trust recorded 1 week before his death. Now diehards have to shell out USD$ 55.00 to get that...as a bootleg.

HulksterTB@aol.com
hey, You can buy Bonfire for only 30 something dollars if you buy it at Columbia House CD club!

emrobert@mail.e-mg.co.za
This is something of a letdown for me. BIB is unneccessary, but Volts and Live at Atlantic Studios is way fucking cool. The sound quality of the paris show is awful, but on the other hand the goodies in the box make it worthwhile.

lzrdking@home.com (Allan Bradshaw)
I LOVE BON SCOTT HE KICK ASS i wonder what the songs that were supossed to be on back in black done by bon sound like and if any were put on record if so acdc should put them out as a tribute to bon the boxset kicks pure ass

tedaldi@acsu.buffalo.edu (Justin Tedaldi)
I picked up Bonfire over the summer since it was on sale for $20 via my dad's record club...But even at 20 bucks it's hard to feel I got my money's worth. Here's a quick overview...

DISC ONE: The "Atlantic Studios" disc has great live renditions of "Dog Eat Dog" and "Live Wire," but if you have the other live AC/DC albums you've already heard the rest of the songs on this album. (But you know this.)

DISC TWO/THREE: "LTBR: The Movie" has all the same tracks that "Atlantic Studios" has except "Dog Eat Dog". It also doesn't help that it's less than 90 minutes of music on two CDs. A better approach would have just been to use live recordings of ALL the songs played on the Highway to Hell tour, but I guess they stuck with this approach because the master tapes were probably a.) the only ones they had left, or b.) the best-sounding ones of all the live recordings. Again, only if you don't have ANY AC/DC live albums, it's a good album.

DISC FOUR: "Volts" is by far the best (and longest at 55 minutes) CD of the bunch...the first half of the album is alternate musical and lyrical versions of "Whole Lotta Rosie," "Beating Around the Bush," "Touch Too Much," etc. These are collectors' tunes. Plus there are live versions of "Sin City" even though it's already ON the "LTBR" disc and "She's Got Balls", and "School Days" from TNT. But the album closes with "It's a Long Way to the Top" and "Ride On," which are THE SAME FUCKING VERSIONS as the ones on the original albums! When are the other five songs that never made it to this country going to see the light of day??? They could have easily fit on this disc. Plus this disc closes with a couple of snippets of Bon talking about the histories of a few of the songs, touring, etc. A nice disc, but could have been better.

DISC FIVE: It's Back in Black. And it's the SAME Back in Black that you can buy at Target for $7.99. The only difference is that that the album is packaged in mini-vinyl album gatefold-style packaging so that it resembles the original vinyl release. But THAT'S IT. If you were hoping for extensive liner notes, pictures or band reflections on the album, you're outta luck. Why this CD would even BE included in a Bon Scott-oriented package is beyond me.

EXTRAS: Bonfire comes with a keychain/bottle opener (very cool), a removable tatoo, and a sticker, all of which bear the (what else?) AC/DC logo. There's also a double-sided poster of the box set's cover. Also, there's a 50-page booklet full of neat pictures (young Bon in his bagpipe uniform!), quotes and band history, but for some reason the curse words are missing letters...would Bon have wanted it that way??? (BTW, none of these extras are mentioned on the back of the box set.)

So I believe that Bonfire is fine considering the price I paid for it, but five discs and less than four hours of music (with many of the songs being the same) is by no means worth paying full price for. The trinkets are neat, though, but if you have ANY of the live AC/DC albums and/or Back in Black, you don't need this collection. Just try getting "Volts" used or something. The double-disc version of AC/DC Live is an economical alternative to this kind of excess.

Trashsurfr@aol.com
I personally like the Paris CD. It's a much better overview of the Bon era than If You Want Blood. Of course BIB was an odd addition to a Bon Scott tribute. As for "Volts", don't you hate when they include only one track from an obviously kick-ass live performance? (I'm talking about the 'Bondi Lifesaver' version of "She's Got Balls") Why don't they release the whole show?

surfpsycosexy@hotmail.com
How come everyone forgets about the man, Malcolm Young? Without his hard pounding rhytmn guitar, Angus wouldn't be as great as he is. Imagine AC/DC with someone like CC DeVille playing guitar for Angus. That shit won't fly ten feet! I agree, Angus is the backbone for AC/DC, but it's Malcolm that is the heart and soul.

lzrdking@home.com (Allan Bradshaw)
i would like to stat by saying the first acdc song i heard was T.N.T bon kicks ass. I admitt the paris show has bad sound but listen to those fuckin riffs man!!!!! they rock and bon was in top shape. Im glad that it had included BIB cause that album got me in to likeing Bain Johnson. volts was a awesome cd it was balls to the wall AC/DC before robert john"mutt" lance toned out there rough edges but that it what made AC/DC so fuckin powerful they lost alot when bon died

back to the box set i got it as a gift it costed 60$ i look at it as 15 bucks a cd and ones a double so its like 5 a free keychain booklet 2 sided poster a cool bottle opener/ keychain and tatto. i would have been happy to pay 60 bucks for it i give it 8 out of 10 due to bad sound and a bit of repeats. ROCK ON AC/DC LOVERS ALL HAIL ANGUS AND BON!!!!!!!!!!!! OIE OIE OIE OIE OIE THERE DYNAMITE

KJohnsonHP@aol.com
I think AC/DC should have two box sets and this wouldn't be one of them.

1st: This bad needs a "best of" collection. Start at the beginning and put the best studio tracks in a box...maybe then you put BiB in the box. I have the double live CD and Who Made Who. WMW is just a sampler and the live album is excessive in it's arena rock jamming...neither fits the bill for the casual fan who doesn't want to wade through each album--mostly the more recent ones. Just give me 4 1/2 hours of the best material. I guess from a record company perspective this would virtually "kill" the rest of the band's back catalog.

2nd: I would think that the die-hards would want a "vault" box set like Springsteen just released. Poor the live and alternate takes into this one. As a casual fan I rarelly like this type of stuff.

I think a box set should either be a "best of" or "vault" collection. Many box sets miss both marks...the casual fan doesn't get a complete overview of the band's career (and end-up getting songs they don't like) and the die-hards end up paying a premium for just a few extra songs.

I'll also make a few comments on the liner notes and packaging which could be more targeted. The "Best of" box contain a booklet that summarizes the band's career, lists highest chart ranking for singles and albums plus other stats, FAQ's, pictures of all the albums (w/song lists), pictures of the band, lyrics in some cases, etc. Spare me the posters and trinkets. The vault package can target the die-hards which probably don't need all the info I listed as it is probably written into their brain's CMOS...they can also pull out all the albums if they want to see pics and song listings.

Until the greatest hits I'll stick to my CDR version of the best of AC/DC.

acdc@zip.com.au (Luke)
Mark

You might be interested in this.

It appears that the delay in the new AC/DC album (to be titled either Drink a Shot or OVERLOAD) is due to Brian johnson having throat surgery, for which he will have to spend a year recovering.

The new album was all but released when Malcolm trashed it because of the crappy vocals.

The tumor in Brian's throat was detected 8 years ago (hence the deterioration in his voice), but he did not want to have it removed because of the huge recovery period. It was only Malcolm's insisting on it that has made him do it.

By the time he recovers his voice SHOULD resemble something like it used to be. As soon as Brian's vocal chords have healed up, the new vocal tracks for the album will be recorded. There have been 35 songs recorded.

Also, apparently Angus sings on one of the tracks!!

Mopar1115@aol.com
This set contained great hits if you haven't heard them LIVE FROM THE ATLANTIC RECORDING STUDIOS was a great album that featured another period after DIRTY DEEDS and before POWERAGE most can tell it was not as great as IYWB but was better than some other albums and VOLTS kicked ass and becuase hear in the U.S. you can't find sum of those songs. But LTBR was another good but not great record all it is is the sountrack to the movie and those of you like me have the movie. Finally BIB was a big rip why would you want a record if you already have that I think is BULLSHIT

jmoline@virant.com (Josh Moline)
Actually the reason Back in Black was included in the box set is because it's all about the history of the band with Bon. It's supposed to show how the band got it's start, and just when everyone thought they were down and out (with Bon dead and all), they come out with this Fucking kick ass album called Back in Black. It just goes to show that this band never fucking quits! Oh, by the way, the book included in the set kicks ass as well. Lots of shit I didn't know about.

Lymtime@aol.com (Bill Lyman)
LOVE IT! How is this not worth $60? The stuff on here is priceless. It is a worthy dedication to Bon, a legendary man and close friend to the Youngs. My crystal ball foresees many more Bon compilations in the future.

Let There Be Rock: The Movie - These two discs have been in my player for the past two months. I can't get enough of it. The movie was good, but the sound was so abysmal that the interviews were the only thing holding it together. These CDs bring you that concert (one of the last with Bon) in great sound quality in its entirety. The full version of Walk All Over You makes me giddy like a little girl getting her first malibu barbi. I can't believe TNT was omitted from the film because it is so fucking great! It's now my favorite version of that tune. The way Angus and Mal kick into such a groove in the second verse makes me want to break something.

Live From The Atlantic Studio - About as raw as a recording can get. This was recorded in front of an audience of about 5 people, and the boys still rock. This tune features Malcolm's guitar loud and clear, a far departure from most anything else you will hear. This is a great chance for people who don't understand the world-dominating tune of his Gretsch to hear it in all its glory. The improv in this recording is outstanding as well. In The Jack, no one is singing along, so Angus starts to break into his solo... about a second later, someone finally chimes in with "She's got the jack!" so Angus gladly steps aside to let the audience finally sing along. My favorite moment on this disc is in Rocker, where Bon gets the lyrics messed up and improvs a line that's not only funny, but it rhymes perfectly! "Slicked back jeans, skin tight hair, and a c... I don't care." That's CLASSIC!

Volts - The best material of the set is on this CD. Original versions of half of Highway To Hell are here. Imagine what the album would sound like with these versions of Touch To Much and Get It Hot. Dirty Eyes is a great song, but then again, any song with the Rosie riff would kick ass. School Days is such a cool song, Bon's vocal delivery (if possible) adds something that Chuck Berry couldn't do himself. The live version of She's Got Balls is so great that it boggles the mind. More improv lines can be found here. "She puts a smile on my face every time she sits on my face!" It's A Long Way To The Top and Ride On are nice additions. These two songs, more than anything else, personify Bon and his attitude towards the world. Some of you forget that this set was a dedication to Bon, not a bunch of rare B-sides. If you want rare cuts, get bootlegs. If you want a fitting rememberance of the man who changed the face of rock, get Bonfire.

Back In Black - The album that was made as a tribute to Bon. Nice addition. I only had this on cassette, so getting it on CD was an added bonus for me. This was only put in so as to boost sales... give them something they know and they will buy it. Again, don't forget the nature of this box set. It's in memory of a passed legend. If you're one of those who is saying, "Why not pay your respects by releasing all of his unreleased stuff," then realize that that may not be the best way to remember him. I'm not sure that poor versions of songs that weren't good enough for release would be the best way to immortalize the man. This album, however, was an opus made in the memory of the man. Enjoy it for what it is, don't bash it for what it isn't.

All of this music, along with the added goodies and interviews at the end of Volts, make this set a memorable one. I'm glad I dished out the money for it.

lazik@cox.net
6 REASONS I REFUSE TO BUY THIS CD:

1. CRABSODY IN BLUE

2. COLD HEARTED MAN

3. LOVE SONG

4. STICK AROUND

5. R.I.P.

6. THE ENTIRE BACK IN BLACK ALBUM

Explanations:

1-5 If you are going to issue a comprehensive collection of Bon, why omit ANYTHING?

6. If you are going to issue a comprehensive collection of Bon, why include BIB?

This is my all-time favorite band and no offense to Johnson but, I haven't bought anything new from them since Razor's Edge on vinyl in 1990. I listened to it once. Reason why, I can't take the vocals. BJ should have retired after 1988.

Add your thoughts?

Ready For War - Bootleg 2001
Rating = 5

I have lived many, many years in this forest of iniquity known as Nude Dork Titty, NY and for at least four of those, I made my living through making people feel bad. I mocked the handicapped, called cancer victims "a bunch of fags" and cleared my bowels exclusively on the blind. My compensation was small - non-existent in fact - but one thing did come out of it: one important thing.

If you would like to know the important thing, please send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

PO Box Gofuckyourself
Fuck Off, NV 101eatmyballs4

Oh alright, I'll tell you right here on the Internet. I learned that making people feel bad, no matter how funny it seems while you're doing it behind their back, erodes the human soul. Granted, I don't believe in a "soul" separate from the "brain," but since when do a person's beliefs have anything to do with reality? For proof of that, check out all these "scientist" assholes with their "cures" and "discoveries." Sorry, but the last time I looked, praying to Jesus Christ cures colon cancer, NOT pointing your ass at dangerous radiation! Whatever. DIPSHITS. But in getting far off the subject, it appears that my lies have overtaken Cincinnati. One second while I speak with their mayor.

Charlie Luken: Hello, I'm the mayor of Cincinnati!
Mark Prindle: I apologize for what my lies have done to your fine land.
Charlie Luken: You're misspelling the word.
Mark Prindle: Oh hell, you're right. Well, I do very much apologize for allowing my pubic lice to wreak such havoc on your fine land and will do my utmost to stop having sex with the dirty, dirty women of the NYC Sanitation Department.

What drives me on? you wonder. Well, it's simply this: words. Words words words. Just yesterday, I was doing some record shopping when something began striking me like a blender over and over again. (A) I hate talking out loud about music. It's a waste of valuable breath. (B) I hate people who never stop talking. Their foul noises ruin my peace. Perhaps (A) is just a result of the fact that I spent far too many years of my youth talking about nothing but music. But also, and more importantly, it's a boring topic. Music appeals to one sense. That's not enough to warrant speaking out loud about it. Especially if you're having some dumbass conversation about how "the Beastie Boys shouldn't sing about NYC - they haven't lived here in ten years!" or "Every time I DJ, I play blah blah blah" fuck you. Nobody cares. Talk about something interesting. Something that excites and stimulates all five of a person's seven senses. I'm of course referring to the Swiffer. SEE it clean up that dust! HEAR the swiffing noise as it cleans up that dust! FEEL the dust as you remove the Swiffer cleaning pad after use! SMELL the scented perfume of the Swiffer cleaning pad! TASTE the dust as you begin chewing on the Swiffer cleaning pad! SEE the paramedics as they lift you from the floor of your home! FEEL the stomach pumper as it is attached your torso in anticipation of a premeditated bleorgh! TASTE thesdjlk

In short, I used to make fun of Brian Johnson for losing his voice. It's all right here in stereo, in such widely acclaimed record reviews as Fly Up Your Video, The Razor's Ball, Wallbreaker and Blow On The Edge. But I wrote those reviews eight years ago. I'm now in my '30s and dying rapidly, and I understand things more clearly now. As such, I'm simply going to state this as a fact, not making fun of anybody because it's counterproductive: Brian Johnson has an extremely difficult time singing the correct notes in a live context. Even during the height of his studio vocal powers (1980-1983), he could absolutely RUIN an illegal bootleg live recording with his disturbingly flat, scraggly missed-keymanship. I don't know whether this was a result of poor PAs that didn't allow him to hear himself or a singing style that necessarily filled his throat with unconscionable pain night after night, but I have never heard a live recording in which he even comes CLOSE to approximating the incredible searing, soaring metal roar he exudes on his first three albums with AC/DC. Sometimes he does okay for a while, but halfway through it's as if he just gives up - like he has no breath left and can't be bothered to try hitting even the simplest of Bon Scott-penned speak-sing notes.

On this particular recording, put together on October 3rd, 1980 at the War Memorial Coliseum in Rochester, NY (hence the title, Ready For Rochester), Brian starts flat, ends flat and sings every note in between flat. This, combined with the wretched audience recording that renders Malcolm completely inaudible (a REAL gas during Angus's solos, when you realize there's no other music going on to support his bwee-happy nonsense), makes Ready For Warren Beatty a difficult and depressing listen. If that's what you're LOOKING for, you'll be wild about it, but most of us turn to AC/DC for hot rock power, not humiliating defeat.

Features three TNT, three Let There Be Rock And Roll, one The Age of Power, two Highway to Swell and four Back And Black. I love to count. As I say in my smash hit single, "Count Unhealthula," "Counting counting counting/An important element in life/Count pages in books/Lovemaking sessions with your wife/Count (something), people, bugs and water/And count on me to become dangerously obsessed with your daughter!" Then there's a second verse that's just as popular.

And that's my review of the old Bad Company song "Ready For Love." May Paul Rodgers continue to destroy most every other vocalist with one note, sound hot enough to melt steel, sing the dictionary and have a number one seller, have a voice that is still the best in rock, be a ten all by himself, be very cool, be in great voice, crank, have the smoothest and most sensual voice I have ever heard, be probably the greatest rock singer ever, be so great that if someone were to lift me up say 50 notches I still wouldn't be high enough to lick the mud off his boots, be the best all time rock vocalist and take you to a water that you find in your mind (some of you out there know what I am talking about). I am sick of you bashing my man Paul Rodgers....I met him once.hugged him twice.held his hand thrice.........he s a great singer.and The Sexiest Man In Rock............bar none!!!!!!!!!!

Add your thoughts?

Shot Down In Tokyo - Bootleg 2001
Rating = 7

Back when I wore a younger man's clothes (a younger man named Steve, to be exact; this was about three weeks ago), I often wondered why big rock and roll bands like AC/DC didn't shift around their set lists more often. I mean, I'm sitting here listening to 15 AC/DC bootlegs in a row, and I just keep hearing the same songs -- even NON-HITS like "The Jack," "High Voltage" and "Whole Lotta Rosie" just keep getting played over and over again. How come they never played, say, "Down Payment Blues"? Or "Love At First Feel"? Did they ever play "What's Next To The Moon?" Or "Big Balls"? Or "Ain't No Fun Waitin' 'Round To Be A Millionaire"? Or "Ride On"? Or "Squealer"? And if not, why the hell not? Were they afraid to alienate Americans by playing Dirty Deeds material before the album was available stateside? And if so, couldn't they still have played this material in other parts of the world? Regardless, I suppose I've come to the conclusion that if you want your big fancy rock and roll show to run smoothly, you have to pick a certain number of songs and practice practice practice 'til you've got 'em all nailed. That's my assumption, anyway. I still don't understand why they have to play "The Jack" at every concert though. Is it just so the band can take a rest-break from all the high-energy rockin'? Also, what the hell does the title "What's Next To The Moon" mean? Does anyone know? And do Australians actually call gonorrhea "The Jack" or did AC/DC totally make up that odd bit of slang? Somebody answer my rhetorical questions! God? GOD!??!? WHERE IS GOD!?!?!??

The point behind all of this questioning of life is that, although recorded a full four months after Ready For War, this show featured the same exact track listing (except they added "Rocker"). Don't get my wrong right - it's a GReAT set list (aside from "The Jack"). But how about some variety? You know, for all those people who spend their Autumns in upstate New York and their Winters in the Far East? That's right! Judging by the name, you may already have guessed that this show was recorded on February 5th, 1981 at the Nehon Seinan-kan in Tokyo, Japan. The recording is better than Ready For War, but I think it's still an audience recording. The rhythm guitar is at least audible on this one though still a bit quiet. Even more of a tricker treat is that Brian sounds fantastic for the first half of the set. He tires out though, and ends up ruining the last few numbers with WAY off-key rasping. Say, I have some more questions now, if you're ready to exercise your mind some more. Here's one: At what point during his career did Brian Johnson begin singing like that? Because he sure as hell didn't sound like that in Geordie! By "that," I mean "screaming in notes." Also, another question is as follows: A lot of these concerts began with "Hells Bells" -- a big bell would chime and the crowd would get all revved up, then Angus would start playing that hot tasty devilick that drives 'em wild in Snellville. But -- and I noticed this because I'm extremely vigilant -- Angus never even bothers TRYING to play the opening riff in time with the bell, as is done in such a neat manner on the album. Why? It sounds STUPID to have this big fuckin bell dinging and clonging in no time signature whatsoever as Angus revs up his rig of righteous rheumatism (guitar). And how come is it that even when Brian is doing a good job (which includes smart, reputation-saving moves like changing the vocal melodies of "Bad Boy Boogie" and the chorus of "What Do You Do For Money Honey" to a lower register so he can hit them consistently), he is completely incapable of singing the chorus of "Back In Black" without sounding like a Kid of Widney High? And what's with the "Back, Mama! Back, Mama!" thing he does in every live performance of the song? Just an escape route from having to hit those really high notes?

Ahh, the bootleg. The things it knows; the things it shares. And if you think it's ridiculous that I have reviews of 20 different AC/DC bootlegs on this page, check out http://www.badboyboogie.de/bootlegs/ and praise Jesus that I don't own them all.

Also praise Jesus that I'm not a big enough Pearl Jam fan to purchase all 80 live CDs they've released over the past five years. I'm not joking, by the way. Check their entry on www.allmusic.com. They have released EIGHTY LIVE CDS during the course of their career. I've heard one, and believe me - that's plenty! Who do they think they are - Stevens & Grdnic?

Sorry, I couldn't think of who to put there. Did you laugh uproariously at my reference to an obscure early '80s comedy duo you've never heard of?

Add your thoughts?

For Those About To Rock We Salute You - Atlantic 1981.
Rating = 9

Awfully good album title. Of course, everyone was bound to be disappointed with this record, because there was no way that AC/DC was going to be able to top Back In Black, but this is still a terrific album. Truly. I promise. It's a bit slower and more demonic than their previous material, but Brian's still ripping it up, Mutt Lange is still producing it up and Malcolm is still using song titles like "Let's Get It Up." The slow bluesy mean-as-nails trudge feel of several tracks might throw listeners for a loop on first go-round, but the riffs themselves have solid foundations that stick with yer on repeated listenings (and "Put The Finger On You" is total bubblegum satisfaction!). Plus the record ends with the first truly beautiful mood shift they'd attempted since "Ride On"; "Spellbound" to some may sound like a Kiss tribute, but to me it sounds like longing. Slow hopeless longing and fear of never ever achieving the one goal in your life that you know you need to achieve - your private fantasy/dream turning into a living nightmare as you experience one failure after another after another. Of course, I've never actually listened to the words. But dammit, if MY band had written that guitar line, that's what I would have sung about!

Incidentally, check out how many menacing song titles they've got on here: "Evil Walks," "Put The Finger On You," "Inject The Venom," "Breaking The Rules," "Night Of The Long Knives" - Ah! I'm scared about it! Ah!

On the bright side, at least it also has a few nice innocuous song titles like "C.O.D."

WHAT THE!? "CARE OF THE DEVIL"!?!?!? HOLY PILES OF SHIT ON MY SHOE!

So if you're worried about your favorite bands worshipping Satan, you're not gonna be into this one so much.

Also: eat the dick, pussy Christian.

Reader Comments

ftlauderdale@earthlink.net (David Aurand)
The title track steals the show both on the album and in concert. I wish the cannons on the album sounded a little more like they do live, but nonetheless, it still is an awesome anthem. "Spellbound", "Let's Get It Up" and "Inject The Venom" make this album one of my favorites... I will admit, Back In Black did spoil me a little bit, but except for that album, Brian's voice was never better. I think Mutt Lange was a big reason this and his other two productions, were the best ever made by the band. He knew how to do it.

shaffer1@prolog.net (Matt Shaffer)
I like this album, but I don't think I would have rated it so high. After the first three tracks ("For Those About To Rock," "Put The Finger On You," and "Let's Get It Up"), I cant't get into any of the other songs. Maybe I need to take another listen.

robf@hayden.edu (Rob Forrest)
Its not that we're disappointed in FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK; it's just that compared to BACK IN BLACK, every album takes the back seat.

dswalen@concentric.net (Doug Swalen)
If Back In Black is a 10 (which it goddamn well was), then this is a 9.5. This is my number one "Road Trip" album. Get out on the highway, drop the CD in, cue up "Evil Walks", and pray to God the cops aren't out. For some reason this album brings to mind The Rolling Stones! Is it just me or does anyone else think that "Let's Get It Up" sounds like something off of Tattoo You? It's got that Jagger/Richards strut to it. This album is a departure in music and production from the last one. The guitars are soooooooo heavy and the snare drum feels like a concussion grenade. It just kicks so much ass. Hindsight has shown that Mutte Lange was at work here in a big way as evidenced by copycat sounding albums from Def Leppard and The Cars year later. Damn! Now I want to get in my car!

liberty@ptiakaska.net (Marc Kovac)
THIS is the best AC/DC album! Why? Because! At a hockey game in 7th grade I had this album as well as Back In Black on cassette. Both were in my hockey bag! After the game, FTATRWSY was the only tape that *wasn't* stolen! It is just as good as BIB, plus it is overlooked during robberies! You'll love this album more because you'll have it forever! That's AWESOME! The cry of a bitch!

supersexmachine@aol.com (Owen Goodwin)
I think "For those about to rock" is the best AC/DC song ever performed (No Bull, Live 1996 Madrid) but why does the album have such a high rating?

jamesd@elink.net (James Vincent Debevec II)
I remember being disappointed when this came out after Back in Black.

learning@sprintmail.com
I think that the disappointment in this album is warranted. Relatively speaking, it's not that strong. Take away the title track (which is an obvious classic) and you've got a bunch of average AC/DC songs. "Spellbound" and "Snowballed" are nice, but "Breaking the Rules" and "C.O.D." are just plain boring. It's almost as if the band was burnt out after the creative outburst from the previous album. The most striking thing is that this is where the band lost it's hunger. There is no urgency on this album. It's polished, it's clean, and, well... a disappointment.

paul7777@ime.net (Mitch)
"for those about to rock" is a masterpiece of ac/dc's writing abilities, the lyrics are awesome, and then "evil walks" is awesome too, "evil walks" is one of my favorite ac/dc songs, and the whole album is just kick ass shit all the way through!!!!!

s.j.gordon@Bradford.ac.uk (Stu)
AC/DC's first duff recording...

serval@kih.net
I agree with your review!!! There are two reasons this album never got the respect that Back in Black got. One, it had to follow Back in Black. And two, it had that pop song on it - "Let's Get it Up". That song, while kinda being a fun song, gave the hardcore AC/DC fans the idea that the guys were going for profit and not sticking to their guns with their tried and true, hard-driving sound that had won them success in the first place. If you can ignore that song, this album is definitely one of their best. "Snowballed" kicked ass!!!!!!

jhill@baxter.net
What about "Night of the Long Knives"? With Back in Black and For Those About to Rock, Brian Johnson's voice suited songs like "Back in Black", "Hells Bells", "You Shook Me All Night Long", "For Those About to Rock", "Night of the Long Knives", the list goes on. Although I will be "shot down in flames" for this, I'm not exactly sure Bon Scott's voice would have mixed as well as Mr. Johnson's (a la Blazing Saddles HA!) did. Rumour has it Scott was working on a song like "Back in Black" before he died. It would have been interesting. Scott was a god though, no doubt about that.

P.S. I'm sick of hearing about mainstream and selling out. That's a bunch of crap. AC/DC's sound was rougher before For Those About to Rock, Back in Black and Highway to Hell, but AC/DC is a live band. It is what they do with the songs live that count. The "Highway to Hell" track is a weak sound?

taspate@acs.ucalgary.ca (Tyler Spate)
I agree this CD is no Back in Black, but it isn't a "DUFF" like that other mutherphucker called it. The writing lacks a little, but really, it is superior to a lot of other rock CD's. Maybe the band should have took another year off and released this CD in 1982...the one year break from 1980 wasn't enough. But who cares! I SALUTE YOU MUTHA PHUCKAS!!!

Godranek@aol.com
Has anyone mentioned 'Snowballed'?? In my opinion, this has got to be the meanest AC/DC song ever. It freakin' rules when the song climaxes at the end, the guitars are just blarin' out like lightnin' and Brian Johnson is just yelling his guts out.. "Youuu beennnn... Snoowww BAWWWWLLLLD' Goodness gracious, it just doesn't get heavier than that!

jg_shum@hotmail.com
"C.O.D." and "Night of the Long Knives" are two of the best AC/DC songs. I rate this album as a nine. The whole album is great. So get with the fuckin program!

JnJCable@worldnet.att.net (Neptune Salad)
Well, geez. I'll start at the begin. Because, and I'm being quite honest (well, do you guys really care?), this was my first AC/DC album. Coulda spoiled myself, right? Wrong. I'll tell you the story, after I review this disc. Remind me.

The first song. I first heard this on Live (the first disc I ever heard, borrowed it from a friend, more than once, for several months at a time), and it was kick ass. Duh! Next...

"Put The Finger On You" sounds a Hell of a lot like a Van Halen tune. But then, Van Halen was pretty big around this time (the 80's, whenever), and this entire disc might've been like a good Van Halen tune if it wasn't for the fact that "Diamond" Dave's wailing is annoying as fuck on an AC/DC album, and also the fact that Van Halen could never put out anything as good as this... because they SUCK!!! Well, I liked "Humans Being" and "Hot For Teacher", and that one surf song... Anyway, "PTFOY" is what white men would dance to, if we could learn to dance (like AC/DC, THAT'S dancing I tell you). Great song!

"Let's Get It Up" is another VH type track, but I guess you've already been told. I could imagine this being played at a football game (for you Aussies, that big stadium version of... Rugby, was it? Er, croqucet (sp)? Shi...), of course, this song's lyrics might start to make sense after the thousandth time. I like this song, though. I don't see anything wrong with it. Catchy as fuckshit! Of course, it's more than just catchy, but you should just go get the album, and find out what I mean.

"Inject The Venom" isn't about sex. How could it be? Was Brian fucking a(n) hermaphrodite to inspire this song's lyrics? NO!!! Anyway, another kickass tune, the dancing, foot stomping, yelling-at-the-top-o-your-lungs-'til-yer-head-explodes rocker!

"Snowballed" was the third song I got to like while adjusting to this album. It turns out, when I first heard this album, the only song I liked was the title track. The rest were a little plain sounding, and I was scared. Were the only good AC/DC songs the title tracks? Well, a few months later, I gave this album another try. I love EVERY SINGLE SONG ON HERE!!! Snowballed is one of the fastest songs I've ever heard (second only to other AC/DC songs)! I love the lyrics on this one, too. Women, drink and money are going to make you pay! Damn, the great songs just line up in rapid succession! They done it agaaaiiinn!!!

"Evil Walks" starts out mellower (there's that Blues influence, again). But, AC/DC never sacrificed a great sound to experiment with other forms of music. Man, this song has an ability like no other to creep! The song actually CREEPS around, evilly... scary... ooh... green, green eyes.... whoa....

"C.O.D." was the second song that I liked on this album. And being that this was my first AC/DC album, this is the first time I heard Brian swear (if you'd call "bitch" a real swear word). But then, I love the song, too! I think the studio crew was stomping their feet to this one!

"Breaking The Rules" was the final song that I got into. This song really rules, nyuk nyuk. But, for real, this tune has a throbbing, pounding beat that shakes you down to the bones. And Brian's voice, in contrast to the song... well, that's what makes a great song!

"Night Of the Long Knives" sounds like a stupid song, at first. Heh, "what is a night of long knives?" I'd ask. Then, I read the words. Oh, yeah... of course... Who's that fighting back to back? Who's defending whose attack? And, the song has that running, bouncing, duck-walking feel that makes it so great. This is *the* tune that you sing along to in the car. But, even if you don't have a car, this is a great song.

And then, "Spellbound". This song isn't about being TNT or BIB or doing Dirty Deeds, dirt cheap. You wanna know what the last blues song on earth is? It's this. Man, what a song to end an album with! I listen to the entire disc, then, when this song is over, I'm still wanting more. ONE OF THE GREATEST AC/DC SONGS!

And, this album is a 10 out of 10.

mcostend@mcn.net (Mark Ostendorf)
This album is a 10! Comparing it with Back in Black is like comparing apples and oranges. Back in Black was kick ass party/bar music, while this album is a lot darker and set's a whole different mood. I actually love to stick it on when I go to sleep at night! The songwriting is great, and the playing is great too. Spellbound is my favorite slow-paced metal song ever, right there with Victim of Changes by Judas Priest.

Imaroker2@aol.com
You guy's crack me up !!!!!! JNJC CABLE, had a good point, that I have been saying for years, Eddie is good but let's see Eddie Van Halen try to put the soul and feeling into a song like ride on or for that matter, spellbound. I'm a true blue AC/DC fan just like a lot of you. I have every album they ever made, and some rare imports from down under. I remember my brother bringing home high Voltage when I was eight yrs old. so I might be alittle byass. Hell look at my name Ima roker 2 (they wouldn't let me use rocker) I think that Angus is a guitar god, and he is the sole reason I play guitar today. I think that this album kicks major ass, it has a different felling then B.I.B as it should, just sit back and listen to spellbound or snowballed. those two alone are worth the price.

tedaldi@acsu.buffalo.edu (Justin Tedaldi)
This is where the magic begins to slip. The lyrics aren't as clever as the last time around, and the minimalism that Mutt employed in Highway to Hell has returned for this album. So while songs like the title track are SUPPOSED to rock, they come out with plenty of hooks at the expense of thundering riffs. Plus, some of the songs here sound like pale imitations of the ones on Back in Black. But the album is saved in the end by "Spellbound," easily the best album-closer of their career. So pick this one up while you can still understand what Brian's singing about!

ZFS@aol.com
I am a big AC/DC fan, and the album For Those About To Rock is an equal to any of the albums that they have put out. If you give it a chance and listen to all of the tracks, you will find the same. The title track is great and so is the rest of the tracks. You have to open your mind and take each album as an individual and you will not be disappointed.

halhorn@airmail.net
Put me solidly on board with the 9 rating. I was slightly disappointed at first listen back in '81...but I slowly but surely got into it, and it spent about 4-5 consecutive months on my turntable. "Spellbound" is one of the ten greatest AC/DC songs, and should be played live. It is among Johnson's finest moments as a vocalist AND songwriter.

Actually the songwriting as a whole is a little above BIB but there's not a "You Shook Me" or a "Back in Black" this time around...just a solid, consistent record with plenty of searing hooks. Should be held in higher esteem than it is.

mtrier@optonline.net (Michael Trier)
For Those About To Rock is probably the third best DC album ever (after BIB and HTH). The first 5 songs are as good as anything on BIB, and the next 5 are a little more experimental (for them), but still cool. This has some of their best songs on it and I wish they would play more of them live. BJ's voice never sounded so good. He hits impossibly high notes on the title song, Inject The Venom" and "Evil Walks" - awesome stuff.

mtrier@optonline.net (Mike Trier)
I think this is the band's third best effort ever, just half a notch below BIB and HTH. The first 6 tunes can match up to anything on Back In Black, and BJ's voice is at it's paint-peeling best. This is one of those discs that never leaves my car.

Supposedly, the track listing on the american version differs from everwhere else in the world. I think Atlantic "front-loaded" the album so that all the really good songs came first, because the quality does meander a bit in the later half of the album. I still dig all the songs though. This disc should get more respect than it does - too bad it had the impossible task of matching BIB.

robchaundy@yahoo.com (Robert Chaundy)
This is the yang to Back In Black's yin. Or maybe the yin to its yang? You see my point either way. Brian makes this band his own here (no question of who wrote the songs), and I personally get a lot more enjoyment from this disc than from the previous one (flame me now).

The only criticism is that, whereas Back in Black flowed like some dangerous, unstoppable, seamless rock 'n' roll river, this record tends to stop and start. Staccato fashion. A lot. The riffs are just not as fluid as before. But if you give it just a few committed listens, they prove themselves to be as catchy as any, ever. I personally nominate Let's Get It Up, Night of the Long Knives, C.O.D. and Put the Finger On You as some of the most majestic r'n'r ever made, and the other songs are as consistent as ice! Spellbound, it has to be said, is one of the greatest songs ever written by homo sapiens. Its power takes the breath from one's lungs.

I know rules are rules, but of all the world's great bands, Mark, AC/DC have surely done enough to earn a joint ten. That joint ten should be Back in Black and For Those About to Rock.

Oh... Flick of the Switch too.

jmrwl13@yahoo.com (James Rowlee)
INject the venom inject it all .

v e n o m

no mercy for the bad if they want, it no mercy for the bad if they plead, no mercy for the bad if they need it .... no mercy for me ! V-E-N-O-M

just the way they put those lyrics together with the breaks in the hard driving blues riffs make me all warm inside.. 7 on a ten scale

sacicc@yahoo.com (L. Stephen Kelly)
One Correction: Not *EVERYONE* was bound to be disappointed with this album. I think I was even more pleased with this one than the legendary Back in Black. Back in 1981, I was finishing up a Night Audit shift at a hotel listening to the radio, who was promising to play a few cuts from this new album on the day of its release. They played the title song, and I counted the minutes until 7:00 AM so I could get off work and get this album IMMEDIATELY. And this album is loaded with other songs I can listen to forever: Let's Get it Up, Inject the Venom, Night of the Long Knives, Spellbound, and that ever-so-kick-your-ass Evil Walks.

Given that, it's STILL not Back in Black. But as far as 'must own' lists go, it would rate only a notch or two below it. Yet as great as Back in Black is, there is still only one song worthy of ending an AC/DC concert.... FIRE!!!

Benjamin Burch
The hardest ac/dc ever got. Also thanks for giving it a good review.

Add your thoughts?

Getting It Up In Kyoto - Bootleg 1999
Rating = 7

This double-disc claims to be a full show from June 8th, 1982 at the Kyoto Exposition Hall, but I have my doubts. Why would they only play one song from their brand new album For Me About To Run Around How's About A Stinky?? The only thing I can think of is that maybe, with Japan being Communist and all, the album hadn't been released there yet. Either that or the citizens were so busy trying to listen to it with chopsticks and their shoes taken off that nobody was very familiar with it yet. I'll tell you this - - it's LOUD 'N' PROUD! EXPECT NO MERCY! The guitars are raw, loud, ass-kicking and running RAMPANT with awesome riffage! They don't even have to try to MOVE ME -- I'm serious! NO JIVE! One shot of "Bad Boy Boogie" and I'm doing a BOOGALOO all over my apartment! Sure, some of Angus's wanking EXERCISES drag on a little too long, but he was just PLAY 'N' THE GAME that the crowd expected him to play. Believe me - nobody was there expecting a sedate night at the CINEMA!

But here's THE CATCH: Brian sounds like shit. He was having a very bad night. I try as hard as I can to drown out his voice, but I just keep wishing a magician would hop on stage, throw a magical SOUND ELIXIR at him, shout "RAZAMANAZ!" and make him actually hit a fucking note once in a while. Sure, it's CLOSE ENOUGH FOR ROCK 'N' ROLL and I know that he was most likely living his life 2XS at the time, but it's such a shame listening to him fuck up so many HOT TRACKS. I'd almost just given up on the whole thing by the time he got to that part of "Sin City" where he talks about the SNAKES 'N' LADDERS. Thank God Kyoto is NO MEAN CITY or a certain Geordie boy might have found himself experiencing a little MALICE IN WONDERLAND that night. Or did the audience not even notice? If that's the case, maybe that red circle on their flag should be called THE FOOL CIRCLE! I mean Christ, even that screaming guy in NAZARETH managed to hit the correct notes on their live album 'SNAZ!

At least the guitars are raw, loud and ass-kicking, and the riffs are great great grear grear grear grear grerae gtrear grear gtr. Please enjoy 2 TNT, 1 DDDDDC, 3 LTBR, 1 Powerage, 2 HTH, 5 BIB and a mere "Let's Get It Up" from FTATRWSY. And when you're done, go down to the store and buy me a pack of squares.

Hey listen, for the past two years, I have been morally superior to every one of you. Unfortunately, that is about to change. I got the doctors' results back today, and my cholesterol is really really fucking goddamned fucking high. Why? Because I'm a vegetarian and I hate vegetables. So I eat nothing but pizza. And pizza has more cheese than that guy John in Monty Python has Cleese. So I'm going to add lean meats back to my diet (fish, grilled chicken, sliced turkey). I feel a horrendous barrel of guilt on my head about this, but if I don't make this change, I'm either going to (a) eat pizza every night and die by age 33 or (b) fall into a deep depression due to eating nothing but food I fucking loathe. I'm sorry, animals. I do love you, but I can't die for you, and I can't be happy living on wheat grass. I hope I helped save at least some of you little fellers over the past two years. I really did give it my best shot. But vegetables just suck so much cock. Why can't they make a vegetable that doesn't taste like it grew out in someone's yard?

Jesus Christ! I just realized I forgot HAIR OF THE DOG! How the hell did I manage to do that?! That's like the best one!

Add your thoughts?

Loose Lips Sink Ships - Bootleg 2001
Rating = 7

Recorded four months and four days after the Kyoto show, as AC/DC performed a light tapdance routine at London's Hammersmith Odeon ("No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn!" as they say in Beastie Boys), this one finds our freinds in AC/DC playing a freindly group of songs for thier freinds in the audeince. It looks to be roundabouts a similar song list, but with "Have A Drink On Me" and "For Those About To Rock" tossed in. The sound is as murky as a cold dark effluvial cloud (all of the instruments are one big globby mess, which must have been a pain in the ass to play), but Brian actually sings on-key! Quite well too indeed. He loses it for a few songs ("Back In Black" is a tapestry, of course - and he somehow sings "Shoot To Thrill" in the entirely wrong key!), but then comes back stronger than a fox and angrier than a man who has been cheated out of his inheritance. Isn't it just typical that one of the finest in-concert vocal performances of his career would be preserved for posterity only by some Limehead with a tape recorder made out of ballhair?

Here's another question for the people -- why won't AC/DC play the beautiful introduction to "You Shook Me All Night Long" live? It's gorgeous! Sure, it never comes back and is completely wasted (just like the ass-kicking intro to "Dirty Deeds" that disappears for three minutes of half-hearted pitter-pattering), but the song just LOSES something without it. A bit of smarts, you might say. Perhaps the rigors of touring render one's knuckles incapable of playing individual notes?

And another thing! You listen to a live recording from '77, from '82, from '91, from '03 -- at the end of "Let There Be Rock," Angus has been playing the same exact solo for the last 26 years. That same dumb "Bleep...deep...Doo. Bleep....deep...Doo. Bleep...deep...Doo. Bleep...deep...Doo. Bleep..deep..doo, bleep..deep..doo, bleep..deep..doo, bleep..deep..doo, bleepdeepdoo bleepdeepdoo bleepdeepddoo bleepdeepdoo biddly biddly biddly biddly! biddly biddly biddly biddly! biddly biddly biddly biddly! biddly biddly biddly biddly! (*crowd roars as if hammer-ons are difficult*)"

Otherwise best album ever.

Add your thoughts?

Flick Of The Switch - Atlantic 1983.
Rating = 9

Basically Back In Black Part 3. Same voice. Same sound. Same style. They produced it themselves this time, but still, nobody wanted to hear it. Too bad. I think it "rules," as the kids say. It's also faster and much more hook-driven than the slower, bluesier For Those About To Rock.

You know what, in life? This would be a good time to address the popular notion that AC/DC just keep writing the same songs over and over and over again. This is simply NOT TRUE (and/or a lie)! Flick Of The Switch in particular has a ton of fantastic, unique hard rock riffs that I haven't heard before or since -- really catchy and creative note-or-chord-driven lickssssss that excite the poppy brain center while still kicking some distorted mean ass. For verification of my claim, please check out the dark ringing "This House Is On Fire," the scorching rising note riff of the TITSle track (what's that - like 7 different notes?), the headbangingly speedy blues/punk hybrid "Landslide," the gleefully bombastic pop celebration "Bedlam In Belgium" and the screwball/oddball/weirdball chord changes in "Nervous Shakedown" and "Deep In The Hole" - not to mention the awesome chorus hook in "Guns For Hire" (pity about that minimal verse, but oh well - it does its job, I suppose). Anybody who hears this variety of interesting hooks, riffs and melodic ideas and still thinks AC/DC is a one-trick pony needs their goddamned ears cleaned out with windshield wiper fluid.

How is it even possible to complain about an album this straight up kickassish? There are a couple of iffy tunes on side two, but most of these songs are absolutely phenomenal, raw hard rock tunes. WHY WAS THIS RECORD SO UNPOPULAR??? It totally excites me! I'll go out on limbs and such to admit that the first few times I heard it, only a couple of tracks stood out, but I could say the same thing about Let There Be Rock too. This is not doom-laden heavy metal magic -- it's just a ton of really raw, wonderfully tough and poppy rock songs. I enjoy the crap out of it! And I'm not one to enjoy the crap out of just any old thing. The crap of something, in fact, must be quite exceptional for me to enjoy it out of aforementioned thing. My friend Jeff Robins says it sounds like Aerosmith to him. The title track sorta does, but that's about it. And Aerosmith used to be really good so, in my eyes, that's no insult anyway. So up yours, Mr. Establishment.

This is it, by the way. This is the last great record AC/DC would ever make. (so far anyway)

Reader Comments

jens.hagerbrand@mailbox.swipnet.se (Linus Hagerbrand)
I don't hate Flick Of The Switch; I just don't think it's so good as the other albums. I would rate it 6 of 10.

ftlauderdale@earthlink.net (David Aurand)
The album has some decent tracks, but lacks the production/sound of the three previous albums. Personally, I really liked the title, "Guns For Hire" and "Bedlam In Belgium". Except for the tour supporting that album, no songs are ever played from that album. It's too bad, because on that tour, "Guns For Hire" was the opening song and really kicked off the show well. I would not call it a great album, but it is good.

xramp@era-lvk.ericsson.se (Maarten Paulsson)
OK, the Facts: Brian never was or will ever be Bon's equal. He just lacks the star quality of Bon. The best album is by all means Powerage. All AC/DC recordings after FTATR are boring and mere shadows of what once was. BIB and FTATR are great rock albums, BIB is by all means a classic, but they don't make your groin itch the way any one album with Bon does. Conclusion: They should have quit recording after FTATR. BUT AC/DC is still a great live band. I never got to see the band with Bon, so I wouldn't really know how good they were on stage in those days, but I've seen them with Brian 4 times since 1984, and they just come back better and better every time. Of course they wouldn't have survived as a live-only band, so I guess you have to live with the shit they have released ever since FOTS to get the awesome live act that they still are. But I have a notion that they were even stronger when Bon fronted. Except for the fireworks and number of Marshalls, if you're into that stuff.

TCMIF1@student.monash.edu.au (Trent Mifsud)
Flick is my favorite Brian album, turn it up loud, track 6 or 8, (that's "Guns For Hire," and "Bedlam In Belgium"), and there you have it...heart failure! It kills me every time, and I can hear those Marshall amps going shit-faced, like they are going to explode. I think it may edge out Back In Black, because there was too much hype surrounding it (positive and negative). F.T.A.B.R. is great, best title track ever, but I agree with Malcolm, it does lose its way towards the end. Flick leaves all the hype and producer's sheen for dead and concentrates on being what they always were, loud, mean, fun and for the fans, not for the record companies.

Laksjdfr@aol.com
Just listen to the guitar work on "Landslide." It's excellent. The simplicity of the album is its strength. Do you remember the video for "Flick Of The Switch"? It was a slap in the face to the video industry. It was the band playing in some kind of warehouse. One of Malcolm's strings was popped! I wish they would not have succumbed to the video the way they did ("Fly On The Wall"). Flick Of The Switch was an end of an era. I'm still waiting for another album like the big three (BIB, FTATR, Flick).

shaffer1@prolog.net (Matt Shaffer)
I just listened to Flick today for the first time in a while. I found myself really getting into it. I think my favorite songs are the title track, "Nervous Shakedown," "Bedlam In Belgium," and "Guns For Hire." Great album, every song is an ass-kicker.

DougS@aol.com
A highly underrated album. Only one boner ("Badlands") on the album. This album is incredibly raw and at the time it seemed unpalatable to the mass audience. But consider what was going on in the Punk era during that time. Hardcore was making its greatest impact with Black Flag, Suicidal Tendencies, DK (a year earlier with In God We Trust), and others releasing punishing unrelenting albums. Taken in this light, Switch fits in with the time, but like Hardcore and The New Wave Of British Metal, its impact wouldn't be really felt for another 10 years.

andrew.martin@sympatico.ca (Cassandra Martin)
I think that Flick... is an awesome album. Each time I listen to it it's an unbeatable ride to hell, and back! "Rising Power"'s opening riff fucking melts the paint on the walls. The same goes for the title track. That bass run is pure orgasmic concentrated energy. "Nervous Shakedown" also has a pretty funky effect on me too! Even though it's one of my favorite albums, I'd have to say that I don't feel the B-side holds up quite as strongly as first. That point aside; Flick... is definitely a powerful kick in the ass.

nbgc@highway1.com
I think this album doesn't get nearly enough credit. Yes, the sound was quite similar to FTATR and BIB but what the fuck, those albums kicked ass, why mess with your sound? Listen to both sides of the album non stop. There isn't a weak track on it. Fun Fact, Listen to the start of "Guns For Hire." Then try to start an old, carborated V8 that has about 150,000 miles. Notice any similarities (that had to be where Angus got the idea)? Toe to Toe with the Black Widow....

jmichael@hartingdale.com.au (Peter Kent)
This is one of the most raw albums AC/DC have ever made and I love it. The songs are real good especially "Flick of the Switch" and "Nervous Shakedown". It is one of the best ones they have done with Brian Johnson. I give it 8 out of 10.

learning@sprintmail.com
A very underrated album. Stick "For Those About to Rock" (the song) on this album, and suddenly you've got a classic. The problem is that there wasn't that one, awesome song on Flick, just a album-full of good, solid, rock. There is some great guitar-work here; I love it when Angus gets a little creative with his intros. If you like this album, you are a real AC/DC fan. There ain't no pop-songs here!

paul7777@ime.net (Mitch)
i don't have this cd yet, someone told me it sucked, i hope they are wrong!!!!!

LionClaw17@aol.com
NEXT!!!

peldude@ibm.net
Flick of the Switch was Brian Johnson's Powerage. For Bon, the band was rising, Powerage was a well done, raw sounding album BEFORE Mutt Lange glossed the band over and sold billions. FOTS was AFTER Mutt, raw and genuine, but since it was after the band had peaked, Brian is unfairly contrasted to Bon. It was easy for Bon and the band to write new material at the beginning because they didn't have to follow-up success, and they could be repetitive without much criticism. Brian Johnson and the band had to try to balance the formula for success with the pressure of trying something new to not sound "the same", which is even more evident on later albums. Flick of the Switch was a great record and if you don't listen to it, you are missing out on some genuine rock and roll.

mrdoug@mindspring.com
i don't know if anyone has noticed but "bedlam in belgium" has the most rawest garage sound since brian johnson joined ac/dc - love that raw sound.

taspate@acs.ucalgary.ca (Tyler Spate)
This album got a bum wrap, it's way underappreciated....just because a CD isn't as good as B.I.B., people think it bites, well thats BULLSHIT! I love the title track, and the warehouse video...The video definetely was a b!tchslap to the face of MTV...that why I like it....All the songs rock. "Badlands", which someone slagged a few comments ago, is kinda cool, I LOVE THE LYRICS to it..."Im a man with a fast hand goin on a last stand.." Preach it Brian!!!!!

ZNBL@aol.com
How in the hell can you review this album and not mention "Guns for Hire"????? That song is without a doubt the strongest track on the album and one of the rockingest Brian Johnson tracks ever. I have seen them in concert 3 times, and this is the one song I long to hear them play live.

mcostend@mcn.net (Mark Ostendorf)
I think this album is excellent, all the songs are energetic and exciting - and they all have awesome intro guitar. The songwriting is way simpler, but the songs are all catchy (except for Deep in the Hole). I kind of would compare it to One on One by Cheap Trick - all the songs are fast, aggressive, fun, and damn good, bloodpumping songs. "Bedlam in Belgium" and "Guns for Hire" do stand out.

Gleeman555@aol.com
You know Aerosmith is sounding pretty....oh sorry wrong band. Kinda cool six Stars.

f.d.cable@worldnet.att.net (H.V.C.)
Starts out good, and gets better and better. Starting with the cover art. Every time I'd look at it in the CD store, I couldn't make out what was supposed to be going on. Angus was standing on his toes on a coffee table, trying to put a bucket (presumably filled with water) on top of a bookshelf that had no shelves... what the Hell? As soon as the plastic was off the cover, I realized that he was hanging off the top of a big switch.

To start off the review, I give the album a 10 out of 10. Every song on here rocks in a unique way (although I had heard the opposite). A lot of these songs aren't fast, but I never care anyway.

When I first heard the album, I knew I'd have to give it time to grow on me. It took two days to give it a 10. By the way, it's no wonder I thought "Brian Shake" was some sort of bootleg. No one mentioned it here. Brain Shake rocks as hard as any song on the album. That would be cool if the song was actually Brian Shake, though. A song about Brian Johnson. Maybe the next 5 disc box set will be called Brian Shake, ala Bonfire.

Badlands rocks fast. It's a top 3 on the album. Great song. Deep in the Hole (not to be confused with "Down in the Hole" by the Stones) is also great, and it wasn't mentioned, as with Brain Shake. What kind of shit shack shake site do you run here, anyway?

Nervous Shakedown was the first song here that I got into. Love the background vocals. Angus & friends don't hide their accents for the first time in AC/DC history.

Badlands is still a great song.

So is the title track. Great album. Looking forward to the out of print copy of BUYV coming soon from Borders.

bradrobinson@msn.com.au
the best ac/dc album of the1980's.bedlam in belgium & badlands are the stand out tracks in my opinion.one of their best.

tedaldi@acsu.buffalo.edu (Justin Tedaldi)
When I first heard this album, I was not impressed. "Where are the guitar solos? Where's the speed? Where's 'You Shook Me All Night Long' part III?" But mister, you just have to give these songs a chance, and after a couple of listens Flick of the Switch will slowly evolve into the one AC/DC album you'll be reaching for again and again! No foolin', there are some truly powerful songs on here: From the mesmerizing "This House is on Fire" to the breakneck title track to the scream-your-lungs-out fury of "Guns for Hire" to the orgy of destruction that is "Bedlam in Belgium", this album is raw, raw, raw. Even the weaker tunes have their own distinct sound, and if anybody calls this album crap, simply play "Nervous Shakedown," which proved there is indeed life after Back in Black. Wasn't this album a commercial dud because rock wasn't faring too well in the early '80s? If released today it would be hailed a masterpiece of sorts.

mrtrier@mediaone.com
FOTS is one of the band's best albums ever. It has that nasty garage sound that just blows the roof off. This was their first "dud" after a great run, mainly because it wasn't made with the mass audience in mind. It was AC/DC making the album they wanted to make. It really is a great rock album. If Mutt Lange had produced it it might have been better, but it still packs a punch. A 10.

robchaundy@yahoo.com (Robert Chaundy)
I can only assume that the people who are writing this off as the worst AC/DC album are having a laugh - Flick of the Switch is raw, heavy and basically amazing in every way, a fantastic update of the Let There Be Rock sound with Brian screaming for his life. Love the tales of crime and punishment - did the band have some scrapes with the law circa 1982?? Nine for this one.

redhotfan5@webtv.net (Ben Jones)
The greatest album of all time

party gonna happen at the union hall, shaking to the rhythm till everybody fall.put the finger on you. she got me burning tossing and turning.playing with guns gonna get you shot.spellbound,my world keeps turning round.they tell me what they think,but they stink and i really don"t care

robadobb_2@msn.com (Rob Raymer)
this album kicks ass, an exercise in raw power as another reviewer pointed out. angus is mean as always but what makes this one great is its simply some smokin hard rock. rising power, guns for hire and landslide to name a few. fuck the radio lol this ones for those that dig their sound

kitklarenberg@hotmail.com
Criminally underrated, FOTS is an album best enjoyed loud, with good speakers. Listen to it when you're fully awake. Listening to it at night quietly while you're reading makes the album experience suck. Awesome songs here, and it's a shame this album is so underrated. 8 out of 10.

nhaire@bigpond.net.au (Natalie Haire)
To say FLICK OF THE SWITCH sounds like B.I.B and FOR THOSE.. is absolute nonsense. Flick is way different in sound terms. For example the drums have more of a garage type sound, the vocals are rawer, the guitar sound is not as big, and does not have as much gain on it. It is just a far more 'live' sounding record. Having said this, it is one of my favourite AC/DC albums. I like the brian albums better, because they have a heavier, meatier sound. Anyone who says that AC/DC have not released anything good since FLICK, need their head checked. whilst some of it is not as good, it is still very good. AC/DC fans should be happy that the band has never bowed to trends, just remained themselves. to much of this happens to todays bands. You know what you get when you buy an AC/DC album, great rock 'n roll. The way it should be. Simple fact.

elhefe@optusnet.com.au
I agree with almost everyone here, this is a seriously underated record, with some great tracks, Guns For Hire,Bedlam In Belgium, House Is on Fire,Nervous Shakedown...what's not to like?

I actually prefer this record to Back In Black or For Those About To Rock.

dryrdiam@netzero.net
This is my favorite AC/DC album, subjectively speaking.

Objectively speaking, I acknowledge Back In Black and Powerage to be their only two superior albums. IMHO I agree with most of the reviews that the songs are great, despite yielding no ďeternal classicsĒ. To me this is in part due to the bandís busting their nut by this point on the ďepic-nessĒ, gargantuous sound production, and dare I say, commercial-ness incorporated into their song structures over their last two, arguably three albums.

(For example, Givin The Dog A Bone and Have A Drink On Me may have not been among B.I.B.ís most Ďpopíular songs commercially and stylistically speaking, if compared to songs like You Shook Me & F.T.A.T.R; but put them in a song rotation next to say, The Honey Roll or Go Zone and they end up making both B.I.B and F.T.A.T.R as whole albums sounding slick, epic-ish, and inadvertently commercial in certain ways. Ways of comparative contrast? Wouldnít bet my Earl Grey Poupon on it but nevertheless, I digress.)

Hence busting their nut, the parable being metaphorically translated into AC/DCís draining of the well, so to speak, on this particular faction of their creativity. Which they probably knew, was running dry. Or almost, at least.

Someone else was right in saying the vocals are rawer, the guitars are not as big, although the guitars gain was reduced only to a minimal, almost undetectable degree; more so the tone of the guitars amplification was changed (i.e. less cutting highs, more mids etc.) Subtle changes as such, coupled with less subtle changes like the vibe, delivery, styles and structures of the songs themselves were all positive evolutionary steps that were taken for this album. It was so cool because Flick sounds so much more powerful, mean, heavy and Ďhitíless, which is a good thing here in a ĎDone With Mirrorsí sorta way. This one is definitely more Ďliveí sounding, thatís for sure; and so the changes that came with Flick were all good, for the most part.

To me, all of the songs are really great, with the exception of Landslide being only great, and Badlands and Brain Shake only good.

The way you note interesting touches added to the somewhat successful attempted sophistication of the songs on AC/DCís Blow Up Your Video on your second paragraph were already done here, and more naturally too. Like, in the song Rising Power (which would be great if they used it in an E.D. commercial) the guitar solo part is played for 8 or so measures, when all of the sudden the band stops (for a flick of a second) then comes back for 4 chords played in triplet form while Brian does that wail, then Angus returns for the second part of the guitar solo with that two note bend which gels perfectly with the accompanying riffs leading in for the rest of the song which change at that breaking point during the solo. Characteristics like these are attributed to songs on Flick Of The Switch and were noticed and appreciated by me even more after drinking one or two deuces of Colt 45í in the morning during my sophomore and junior years of H.S. back in the years of 99-00. In fact this was my quintessential Colt 45 drinking album, back when it was exciting to be able to sometimes buy or score beer at age fifteen, let alone, drink it. Cant do that anymore in a post 9/11 world.

Talking about 9/11, the story goes that Phil Rudd was kicked out of the band after finishing the drums for this album. Apparently from what Iíve read it was his excessive drinking and marijuana use unapproved of by the band. Now I used to be a drummer, have an ear for it and a rhythmic sense of percussion and also have, oh gosh donít tell the 700 club, smoked pot. Has anyone ever noticed the absolutely Ďstonerifficí quality to the drums on this album. It just grooves more than usual. He must have been smoking some good weed. Must have helped his sense of not playing anything at all beyond what was absolutely necessary for the music. The drums are one of my favourite things about this record. They just have a great feel.

Also, this CD has to be one of the greatest digital remasters ever made. It captures completely the nuisances of the sound, makes the album sound great and natural and brings out all the qualities of the sound I have tried to describe. I also agree with someone who said that this one is made to me played loud out of good big speakers, not on minimal volume in tiny headphones at night while watching TV or reading a book.

P.S. Man, I thought I used to see eye to eye with you on certain things, but those things have changed for the worse, like your ĎDone With Mirrorsí album review, also the misspelling in the title of song "Rockin' In The Parlour," is not hilarious.

andrew.moncrieff@virgin.net
I can't believe you think "This House is on Fire" features a "...unique hard rock riff" that you haven't heard before or since. This song couldn't be anymore a rewrite of Hell's Bell's if Brian sang it in the chorus. As for Back in Black Part 3, that's giving this A LOT too much credit, it's much more For Those About to Rock, but faster and shittier production. How you can give this a star more than Fly on the Wall is insane. For example, Rising Power is a great chorus trapped in one of the most boring AC/DC riffs ever. It's what I imagine a computer would play if I programmed it to play hard rock on a guitar...it's all there, present and correct, but it sucks. The Title track is nothing special, , Landslide, Bedlam in Belgium and Brain Shake are all totally faceless to be honest, and the worst has got to be Badlands where Angus plays endless variations of the old "Mannish Boy" blues riff (wherever it originated from I don't know).

Only Nervous Shakedown and Deep in the Hole are really interesting/different and worthy of a better album, to be honest.

Fly on the Wall features "Shake Your Foundations", "Sink the Pink", "Send for the Man", which are all great, unique AC/DC songs, more than anything on Switch. Even the lesser tracks on Fly on the Wall have interesting things going on..."Stand Up" doesn't sound like AC/DC, more like Warrant or something, but since it's AC/DC playing it, there's always more than the requisite for a hard rock song. Back is Business is more menacing than anything from Back in Black, and certainly anything from Flick of the Switch. Danger is a bit slow paced for repeat listening, but again, it's not a song they've written before or wrote again, and First Blood and the title track are both short and perfectly enjoyable.

Benjamin Burch
Slightly weaker than 'highway to hell,' 'back in black' and 'for those about to rock.' Every song is great, but some (like 'Guns for Hire') get a little repetitive. 'Deep in the Hole' also kind of sounds like a sequel to 'Back in Black.'

Add your thoughts?

Live In Boston 1983 - Bootleg
Rating = 8

Excellent bootleg of Brian Johnson back before he lost his voice! Great CD - must be straight from the soundboard or something, because the guitars are separated into each speaker just like you like, and the overall sound is very good (though I guess the bass could have been a bit louder). Features such hits as "This House Is On Fire" and "Guns For Hire" done live, along with questionable versions of "TNT" and "Dirty Deeds" (the band sounds great, but Brian simply was not born to sing those songs). And whatever sleazeball piece of shit bootlegger put this together was kind enough to include two Bon-era live tunes! And they're even better than Iggy Pop's Blah Blah Blah LP!

Add your thoughts?

After Shocks - Bootleg 2000
Rating = 6

It sounds so tantalizing, a bootleg filled with rehearsal tapes and live renditions of 80% of Flick Of The Switch, plus unreleased bonus tracks entitled "Miller Time" and "Brian's Shake." How could any fan of such a wonderfully hook-filled album resist such a temptation?

Ummm.... by using common sense? Something I entirely failed to do when sizing up the potential downside of such a ragtag team of young urbanites (songs)? Here are a few ways in which the exercise of common sense would have saved me a good deal of disappointment -- and I'm not just talking about ass sex!

First of all, I should have realized how hard it is to wash poop out of ball hair. Had I j - no, hang on.

First of all, this is AC/DC we're talking about. How different are rehearsals and live versions going to be from the studio versions? Not bloody very!

Secondly, I knew for a FACT OF LIFE that Brian Johnson often has trouble with his profession when placed in a live context. So why did I think that he would risk throwing his voice out during rehearsals? In deed and action, he doesn't. He hardly even tries to hit the notes at all, which would be fine if he was one of those punk rock guys that just says everything, but he's not. So he TRIES to sort of half-voicedly sing and the result is a band and singer performing in two vastly different (and clashing) keys.

Number Three (as John Lennon said in The Beatles' hit single "Revolution 3"), what's the major difference between a studio recording and a bootleg concert recording? Well, I'll tell you, since you don't have that fancy "talking" software that allows you to "talk" to me through a series of complex BASIC commands, a microphone and AOL Instant Messenger: Bootleg concert recordings sound like the band is 500 miles away playing in an airplane.

This Old Man, He Played Four; He Played Knick-Knack On My Whore: How could I fall for "rare, unreleased tracks!" entitled "Brian's Shake" or/and "Miller Time"? The former's title was obviously just made up by the bootlegger to trick people into thinking an early version of "Brain Shake" is on here (it's not -- the "song" is just some boring solo blues licks and Brian doing some scat blapping around), and the latter's is clearly a hint that the rehearsal is over and it's time to go get some of that stuff that killed the original lead singer. "Miller Time" is NOTHING AT ALL. It's a sort of tape manipulated piece of crowd noise or some crap. To paraphrase Fats Domino's classic single "Whole Lotta Lovin'," "Miller Time" has "got a whole lotta nothin' for you/A whole lotta nothin' for you/It's got a whole lotta nothin' for you/It's got a whole lotta (*kissing noise*) for you/Whole lotta (*kissing noise*) for you/And it's so glad to see you/(*piano break*)/It's got a whole lotta nothin' for you/A whole lotta nothin' for you/It's got a whole lotta nothin' for you." Hang on, I'll do the B-side too.

"

I decided at the last minute not to do the B-side, but by then, it was too late to do anything about the quotation mark. So that's the deal with this bootleg. Aside from some really charming interview snippets (that are mixed a bajillion times quieter than the music, so you have to keep running to the stereo to turn the volume up, then down, then up, then down, etc), it's a letdown in every sense of the word, plus a few senses that words don't generally have, like smelling and communication with the dead. The songs are still great and cannot be made ungreat, and I don't mean to sound ungrateful because I AM grateful, but this disc belongs in the sewer grate on some grate-full patch of highway. Fuck Of The Switch is a near-perfect stripped-down hard rock album. In comparison, After Shocks is like Aftermash: All Jamie Farr, no Alan Alda.

I can't believe I did that. I am SO SICK of critics comparing AC/DC to Alan Alda. They don't even have the same hairstyle, for Chrissakes! Not to mention "AC/DC" is a slang term meaning "bisexual." Can Alan Alda make the same claim? HA! If that were the case, they wouldn't have even let him JOIN the KKK, much less made him a Grand Wizard!

Add your thoughts?

Ohio Badlands - Bootleg 2001
Rating = 6

Now this, my fends, is one godawful audience recording. The guitar chords are buried under their own undertones to such a degree that you can't even tell they're guitars! It's just a big clogged-up mess, as if it was recorded off of a TV - or more likely with one of those shitty little dictaphone thingies. Still, even with the worst recording in all of mankind's sciences, the edifying catharsis of timeless AC/DC melody shalt not be quelled. Not even by the drunk guy right next to the tape recorder who shouts, "Yeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaahhhhh!" nearly 400 times throughout the course of what I'm sure was a fine November 11th, 1983 evening at Cincinnati's Riverfront Coliseum (the same place where I trampled all those kids at the Who concert four years earlier!).

Shockingly, in great surprise to all, Brian gives a weak performance.

Q: Whenever AC/DC plays "Bad Boy Boogie" live, Brian changes "I scared the hell out of everyone" to "I scared the SHIT out of everyone." Does this make him a coprophile?

Q: Doesn't the young person near the tape recorder have a point when, after a 14-minute borefest rendition of very same song ("BBB"), he announces, "It's gettin' kinda boring, man!"?

Q: Why does disc two feature the same old studio rehearsal boolshit that was on After Shocks?

Q: The heralded rarity "Messin' With The Kid" is an embarrassing Chuck Berry blues-rock pile of outtake garbage.

Oh hell, did I say "Q"? I meant "A" for that one.

Oh hell, did I forget to ask the Q for that A? Let me make one up real quick.

(*immediately after I type in this part*)

Okay, I've got one: Q: What hypnotic command can I use to make you take out my garbage and bury Chuck Barris in a rockpile?

Looks like 2 TNTNTNTNTNT, 1 DDDDDDDDDDDDDDC, 3 Leather B. Iraq, 1 An Album Called Powerage, 1 Hi! Weigh T'hel (My Chubby African Friend), 4 BIBIBIBIBIBIBIBIB, 1 We Salute Those About To Rock For You and 3 My Friend Flicka The Switch. We might surmise that Brian Johnson is now performing half of his own material and half of Bon Scott's material, and for this we must take pride. However, his pipes are rusty, dusty and filled with the most incorrect notes you could possibly envision.

Add your thoughts?

Fly On The Wall - Atlantic 1985.
Rating = 7

Disappointing, but only because the rest of their albums were so darn great. This one is perfectly enjoyable, but much less consistent than the past decade of nonstop kickass acdcrnr.

So what happened? Well, first of all, they replaced their drummer, leaving the Young brothers as the only original members. Did this have an effect on the band? Possibly, yes. Also, the Young brothers mixed the record poorly. Thirdly then, their singer has started to lose his voice. They try to mask his condition by putting a whole ton of reverb on it, so it's just a big screamy headache of an album. Hmmm. Not to mention (but I will), a lot of the melodies are really dopey. "Dopey," of course, meaning "macho" and "generic" ("Playing With Girls" and "Back In Business" might be the lamest riffs of their career - again, prior to Ballbreaker). Plus, for the first time ever, AC/DC, even to ME, are starting to seem really stupid! The lyrics on this thing are atrocious! "High ball women that are hot to touch/Legs do the talkin', spellin' out the lust?" Bleah.

However, there's just no getting around the fact that "Shake Your Foundations" and "Sink The Pink" are a dandy couple of tunes. The title track's pretty great, too, as is "Send For The Man." Also, this record inspired a hilarious Henry Rollins monologue that you can hear on Short Walk Off A Long Pier or whatever it's called. Still, it's pretty clear that the halcyon days of Back On The Highway to Rock are becoming a fading memory....

Reader Comments

ftlauderdale@earthlink.net (David Aurand)
Hardly the second coming of Back In Black, Fly On The Wall did have one track that really kicked some serious ass. "Send For The Man" was as blood-boiling, raw and raunchy as it gets. Hearing the opening of that song, at extremely high volume, will pump up any lame party....guaranteed.

TCMIF1@student.monash.edu.au)
Couldn't agree more, although "Sink The Pink" has an awesome intro!

shaffer1@prolog.net (Matt Shaffer)
I have to agree with you about Fly On The Wall. I think that the loss of the AC/DC sound comes from the fact that they have a new drummer on this album. Simon Wright fucking sucks. This guy is a total fucking moron. Anyone that would leave AC/DC to join Dio is an idiot. AC/DC is one of the greatest rock bands of all times. I think if Phil Rudd would have played on this album it would have sounded a lot better. Unfortunately Phil was kicked out of AC/DC for drug use during the making of Flick Of The Switch. Although it lists him as the drummer on the album, it was actually finished with a studio drummer. I just think that Phil is a kick-ass drummer. I guess that's why I really like Ballbreaker, it's Phil's first album since he was kicked out back in '83. The original classic lineup is back together, but of course Bon will never return. I wonder what Bon would be like today? What would songs like "You Shook Me All Night Long" or "Thunderstruck" sound like? One can only imagine.

Francesco.Benedini@mbox.vol.it
Well, I know most fans don't like this album that much, but I think it's pretty good, and I DEFINITELY don't think Brian lost his voice. "Sink The Pink" and "Shake Your Foundations" sound great to me, and the title track (perhaps the best song on the album) is one of the songs I'd really like to see live even today. Some tracks ("Back In Business", "Hell Or High Water", "Stand Up") aren't that great, but I don't think you can call them bad. If there's something to complain about (also in BUYV), it's Simon Wright's drumming. It's damn unimaginative, it sounds like a taped drumming. That guy sucks. Thank God they let him go joining his fucking Dio, he didn't deserve such a great band as AC/DC.

DougS@aol.com
The weakest AC/DC album ever made. But I disagree that Brian lost his voice by this point. The problem was the production of the album totally ruined his Banshee scream. His loss of voice didn't really happen till Blow Up Your Video.

Gmarae@omegabbs.com (Rae Inskeep)
I have to disagree with you on this one. A hard-core fan can't complain about this album or any of them. They haven't changed! You have! This album is raw and I will have to agree the other guy. "Send For The Man" sounds fucking TOUGH at high volumes.

Gmarae@omegabbs.com (Rae Inskeep)
He might have lost his voice, but he still rocks the fuck out of any other band. Any other music looks like a piece of shit compared to any of their albums now or past.

tshaw@pacifier.com (Todd Shaw)
Dudes, you suck, Dio was a killer group. If, in fact, you were disputing that they weren't.

gbutler@mail.spin.net.au
Yep i agree no doubt that this album must be their worst of all. For one thing the tunes were boring and too repetitious and the weak vocals really got on my nerves. Although i will say that there were some great guitar riffs on a few tracks, and the intro to 'stand up' is kewl. I thought the 3 releases after BIB were a bit of a rip off, probably cause BIB was such a RIPPER.

supersexmachine@aol.com (Owen Goodwin)
I think this album kicks Flick of the Switch & for those about to rock's ass (those are two great albums compared to every other band). "Shake Your Foundations" & "Sink the Pink" should definitely be played live today!

learning@sprintmail.com
Yes, Brian's voice was trashed by this album, but that is not the problem with Fly. The songs just aren't very good. "Shake Your Foundations", "Sink the Pink" and my personal favorite, "Send For the Man" are fine efforts, but the rest is hard to get into. I tell you, lyrics do make a big difference, even with a band that's labeled "sophomoric" like AC/DC. All the best AC/DC songs have a certain power to them that ties in directly to the lyrics. I'm sorry, but singing "Come Hell or Highwater" over and over and over and over again, just doesn't cut it. (Or, "Stand up, stand up and take it!" repeated 20 times) (Or, "Danger, danger, don't talk to strangers!" again, and again, and again) I mean... give me a break.

funkycold@webtv.net (Ricky B.)
I remember buying it the day it hit the stores. I played it for weeks, and I just didn't "get it." Except for couple tracks, the songs "just weren't there". Even today, my least favorite AC/DC album.

paul7777@ime.net (Mitch)
fly on the wall is not my favorite ac/dc album, brian's voice was at an all time low at this release, but still, i love "shake your foundations" and "sink the pink", "danger" is a cool song too, remember, dont talk to strangers!!!!!!

MBadExampl@aol.com
I have to agree with Doug. When I first heard the album, I thought Brian's voice was gone, but, during that tour, he sounded great. This album is not among their finest moments, though; it seems like the lyrics are just there because they didn't want to make an instrumental album, then they were so embarrassed about them, they buried Brian's voice in the mix.

LionClaw17@aol.com
Anybody that likes FOTS better than this outing has a serious hearing problem!!

MRTRFED@aol.com
I think that anyone who knocks this album is not an AC/DC fan!! I really dont think that anyone who trashes it knows how to make a rock album. Does AC/DC, you tell me. Keep in mind that this was made in 1985, and this band has always been the same, but they always come up with the most fitting stuff according to the time. And as far as Brian Johnson losing his voice????? Sure it sounds a bit more worn but that is to be expected. It still is a kick rock voice. Plus, take a look at the live at donnington film. This takes place in 1991. That is not a voice that sounds shot to me, in fact, just listen to the opener "Thunderstruck" Now if you like this song, then I suppose you are sane, but you would have to admit that if that song was sung with any other type of voice, it just would not be as effective. Also, if this was an opera singer that had a slightly worn voice, I could see it as a problem. But for goodness sake, this is AC/DC, hard rock??? high voltage??? Very loud??? What difference does it flippin make. Does it rock.... then shut up and listen. I love the album, sure, it is not Back In Black, but how many times do you want that album made??? Once is plenty for anyone.

jhill@baxter.net
Wow! Fly on the Wall kicks Flick of The Switch left, right, and centre. When you're driving in the car, turn up "Danger" (I can't believe no one has mentioned the song). This song has a groove like that of "Ride on", yet not at all the same song.

Lyrics on the album, well...ok But I think this was also during the time of that "Night Prowler" guy who said he loved AC/DC. Who knows, maybe they were trying to hold back. With "Shake your Foundations", "You Shook Me All Night Long", "Night of the Long Knives", etc, I think Brian brought catchy vocal hooks to the band. Kinda like Ozzy did with Black Sabbath. You don't hear hooks like that with Bon Scott (whether that is good or bad). Now, after Razor Edge and Ballbreaker, where Johnson hasn't been part of the writing process, you don't hear the hooks anymore. A definite 9/10 in my books...but nobody shares my views!

taspate@acs.ucalgary.ca (Tyler Spate)
Hey Lionclaw....i think FOTS is light years better than FLY...so kiss my A$$! Yes, the first time i put this on, I said to myself "This licks my nutsack." True it very mediocre. The writing blows, but "SEND FOR THE MAN" is damn cool. I have to agree that Simon Wright bit the big one...he just looked like a HOMO with his curly hair...the band should have noticed Simon's GAYNESS!!

bu343@yfn.ysu.edu
I too have found that Fly on The Wall isn't one of their greatest albums, but I still think its pretty good. Of course, me being the idiot, I went out and bought that fly on the wall movie, THINKING it was a live concert. it actually took me until the second song to realizre it wasn't. I was just in a hurry wehen I bought it and didn't see the label "MUSIC VIDEO"...i feel like a moron.

jg_shum@hotmail.com
What about "Danger"? It is THE best fuckin AC/DC song.

emrobert@mail.e-mg.co.za
You people have all lost yer fuckin' minds!!!!! Brian lost his voice!!!!! WHAT SHITE!!!!! Go listen to "Send For The Man", and then tell me if Brian's lost his voice, or you've lost your minds!!!

pberneche@email.msn.com
I could not disagree with you more,fly on the wall is a kik ass cd.Songs like first blood,sink the pink,danger and shake your fondation are classic AC/DC in my opinion.

meredith@net-tech.com.au (Lee Meredith)
This is the only ac/dc album with i have only listened too once, then put it back on the shelf and never listened too it again. I feel that the singing is pretty much atrocious.

Gleeman555@aol.com
"I'm breakin out! I got to shout! Feel the need for one more round" Nine out of ten stars great F@$!&*G ALBUM!

BMONU@aol.com
s.o.s. ....Mutt Lange...

mscott@nipigon.lakeheadu.ca (Maureen Scott)
This is an excellent album. I agree that Danger is one of the catchiest AC/DC songs. Stand Up and Hell or High Water are two of the best back to back songs on any of Brian's albums.

tedaldi@acsu.buffalo.edu (Justin Tedaldi)
Uh, oh. I'm sure glad they included the lyrics with this one, 'cause Brian sounds like a sick cat being prodded in the ass! What the hell were Angus and Malcolm thinking when they produced this thing? A few of the songs are very good, but the horrible production drags it down. It's not TERRIBLE, but it's not classic AC/DC. Still, you can tell how influential this band was even when crashing. "Playing With Girls" echoes Guns 'n Roses, and Simon's not a bad drummer! Check it out after you've heard the classics.

jtcable@tir.com (H.V.C.)
My brother: "I didn't think this album would be so good!"

Exactly. Well, he actually said that he thought this album would be worthless. Lucky us.

I'd give this one a 9, because not all the tracks are superior over the rest of AC/DC, but it deserves the 9. Even for an album with reverb, the production works. That's most likely because it's the Young brothers at the helm again. I can't really list all the great songs without rambling (for now) so I'll just mention the ok songs. First Blood and the chorus of Stand Up. That's about it. All the rest are really wonderful.

Best song on this one is Danger. It's really different than the average AC/DC song, but it works here. The title track and Playing With Girls are both equally cool, and Back In Business is really good, for as simple as it is. Call them dirty, trash their names, just tell the boys... ok, so I stooped to a lame AOL clichā. Forgive me.

Hell or High Water is ok, too.

mburrus@zdnetmail.com (Michael Burrus)
I agree. So AC/DC creative riffing couldn't hold up forever. Still, there are some very good songs like "Shake Your Foundations" and "Send For The Man" but the production ruins some of it and I think that they should have spent more time on recording this album. 6/10

mrtrier@mediaone.com
On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give this a 7. There's a couple things wrong with it. The production is kind of weak BJ's voice is mixed way back and reverbed to shit and he can't sustain a scream for any length of time without it cracking. Except for "Sink the Pink" and "Shake Your Foundations" the songs are merely OK. The opening riffs sound good, but then the songs fall into that "wash/rinse/repeat, repeat, repeat..." cycle that they unfortunatley still fall prey too. That's the main problem with SUL - two verses and then they beat the shit out of the chorus for a minute and a half. Gets a bit tedious. FOTW is not bad, but it only ranks above BUYV (their low point) in my book. And of all the albums to finally put a lyric sheet in...

clubfit@microconnect.net (Chip)
Fly on the Wall is great!! Just like all AC/DC albums. True fans know that this was a different time than Back in Black or Highway to Hell. Some of the Songs on this albums should be played live today. For the Stiff Upper Lip Tour, Sink the Pink or Playing with Girls would rock way harder and heavier than Hard As A Rock.

mareij@earthlink.net
my main point of argument is that "first blood" is a killer song. it reminds me of "send for the man" in that it starts out so powerfully. when the songs main riff explodes after the initial picking, its like the gates of hell have burst open. i think this is among their top efforts, and i think the production is great, putting the guitars front and center. also, i don't think ac\dc and drums are synonomous. i listen to them to hear angus and malcolm strangle some strings, not to hear high grade percussion so who gives a fuck about whether simon wright is any good or not. get thunderstruck!

Jeremiahs9@aol.com
WHAT THE HELL!!!!!!!! Brian hasn't lost his voice and if you don't like the way that he sounds then you don't like AC/DC!!!!!! His voice is like anything else it evoles so like it or get the hell away from listening to AC/DC!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Benjamin Burch
It hurts my soul to give an ac/dc album such a bad review, because I really liked the albums they did before this one. On this album ac/dc sounds like a parody of an eighties hair metal band. The sound is mixed way too loud and Brian Johnsons voice isn't that strong. The second side is much better than the first one though. 'Playing with Girls,' 'Stand Up,' 'Back in Business' and 'Hell or High Water' are great, but there's nothing else to say anything good about. 'First Blood' and 'Danger' are especially offensive.

Add your thoughts?

Flies On The Soundboard - Bootleg 2001
Rating = 8

When AC/DC met with the CEO of Bootleg Records Incorporated on the afternoon of October 11th, 1985 to work out a distribution deal by which Bootleg Records Incorporated would release illegally recorded tapes of that night's Austin performance 16 years later and AC/DC wouldn't receive any money from it, you've got to know that Brian Johnson was a little nervous. "Oh no," he thought in his adorable Geordie accent I bet. "Fuck me if I goot to sing me songs in key t'noot. Cor blimey! 'Elo 'elo 'elo! Indeed, I do love Bev Bevan's ELO."

But he wasn't swayed by the outrage and fortune of slingy arrows, and had a damn fine night sliding his ripped and torn half-shredded-and-dangling-out-his-ear vocal cords up and down to the correct notes over and over again. Correct notes! I'm not fibbing for balls! His voice is strained and bright red, but he reaches the high notes, the low notes - the motherfuckin' fucker of mothers sounds GREAT! His voice is HEAVY, LOW, GRITTY and astonishingly ON-KEY!!! At first I thought maybe my ears were playing another April Fools' Joke on me like that time they replaced themselves with ears of corn and sat on my plate laughing at me like the pricks my fuckin' ears are, the cunts. But no sir -- Brian had either been lectured by his Scottish-Australian band brethren or had simply learned for himself a few very key rules for those who would sing in such a manner as to harm their internal dignity. These lessons do hereby follow:

Lesson One: If it's a quietish moment in the song and a high note is coming up that you know you're too tired to reach, just speak the line. The audience will feel that you're talking to them directly, as if to say "Hello!"

Lesson Two: If it's a really kickass song and screaming at a really high note is expected (like the "Shoot You!" coda of "Shoot To Thrill"), hold the mic really far away from your mouth. That way, they'll be able to tell that you're screaming, but the timbre of your voice won't be exactly clear (i.e. it will be impossible to hear through the guitars and ROAR of your voice to tell that you're a few As, Bs and Cs short of a high D. Or whatever letters. I don't know. Ask some pussy composer asshole to tell you what note it is, the cocksucker. He can fuck my ears up the ass, the piece of diarrhea!

Oh great, now the vein in my forehead is thumping violently up and down again. I really need to get that flap of skin replaced. Rule III: Take a rest every once in a while. Let your throat rest. Take it easy, cease the screaming and miss a few notes during "You Shook Me All Night Long," and you'll come back stronger than an ox for "Sin City."

Rule Four: Wear a cap and be like 4'1.

The production on this bootleg is also a wonder to have behelded, with beautiful stereo separation of the guitars, perfect drum and bass volume and a cheering crowd that is only audible between songs and during those Hot singalongs that Brian so loves to lead (especially in the worst song of all time, "The Jack-O-Lantern"). But let me tell you something else that you'll find to be a real gas if you've been listening to AC/DC nonstop for the past 17 years like some of us have (I'm looking at YOU, me!): whether you know drums from Adam or you think that Eve fucked a drum to make Cain, Simon Wright DOES play these songs differently than Phil Rudd dud. I don't know what he's doing - maybe using too much cymbal? Whatever it is, he sounds like he thinks he's drumming for the Ramones! Check out "Sin City" or "Shoot To Thrill," for good examples. Don't they just sound somehow WRONG?! (Or alternately, NEW and WILD AGAIN?). I love it. Love this, love that -- REALLY love the fact that three of my favorite Fly On The Wall tracks are on here, two with stronger vocals than on the studio versions! These songs, for your ledger, are the title track, "Sink The Pink" and "Shake Your Foundations." I'm told by those in the know that during the first show of this tour, they also played "Playing With Girls" and "First Blood," but they must not have been received that well because they were dropped nearly immediately.

To be absolutely fair and honest with you, this entire double-CD set honestly only earns a 7 from me because Night Owl foolishly tacked nine redundant and less-professionally-recorded performances from October 12th on to the end of disc two. However, the Oct. 11 show is just so darn great that it earns a 9 on its own. In other words - if you can get it for the price of one disc, DO SO. If someone tries to charge you $40 though, consider this a 7, not an 8. The "bonus" material is just there to fuck ya! Ignoring the redundant material, FOTS features 10 tracks from Flick Of The Switch.

No hang on, wrong FOTS. THIS FOTS features 2 tracks from TNT, 2 Dirty Deeds, 2 LTBR, 1 Powerage, 1 HTH, 4 BIB, 1 FTATR ZERO SONGS FROM THE VERY LAST ALBUM FLICK OF THE SWITCH and 3 from Fly On Pink Floyd's The Wall

Reader Comments

halhorn@airmail.net
Mark: owning this one myself, I echo your thoughts on the quality. A couple of notes though: AC/DC's Austin show in 1985 was actually on October 12th, a Saturday. On Friday October 11th they were playing in Dallas at Reunion Arena. I know because I was at the show (I rechecked my ticket stub to confirm the date). This was an unusual show in that the band closed with "T.N.T." because the cannons were declared to be a fire hazard by the marshals at Reunion Arena, and so FTATR did not close the show, for one of the few times since 1981. The band would not return to Reunion Arena for several years after; their subsequent shows in the DFW area would take place at either the Tarrant County Convention Center in Fort Worth (Who Made Who tour) or the outdoor Starplex (1988 and 1991 tours).

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Who Made Who - Atlantic 1986.
Rating = 8

As close as they've come to a greatest hits album, this soundtrack to Stephen King's Maximum Overdrive has "Ride On," some of the best from the previous four albums, two decent new instrumentals, and a FANFRIGGINTASTIC title track. If you don't feel you need the album, seek out the single (if there was one). It's one of the greatest pop songs they've ever done. And rumor has it it's not even about a penis!

Reader Comments

ftlauderdale@earthlink.net (David Aurand)
Definitely a good "Greatest Hits" album with a couple of decent new songs. Thank God the album was better than the movie...because that was a real stupid flick. I thought the choices on Who Made Who were good...just not enough. With all of AC/DC's songs, a double-album would probably have been insufficient, but it was still nice to see someone like Steven King recognizes their work. Since there is no true spot for "Big Gun," I will include it as part of the "soundtrack area". "Big Gun" was a great hit, but I was a little disappointed the band didn't play it in concert.

DougS@aol.com
Useless Fact: The title track on the album is the EDITED version. The unedited version is only available on a promotional copy of a 12" for the record, which I just happen to own. It runs about forty seconds longer and is a little fragmented which is probably why it was edited down for the album.

JON96B@aol.com
Totally awesome song. is it really about a penis?

hcext@kih.net (HartCo ExtOffice)
Who Made Who is an album that should be put in the classic rock hall of fame. It is one of their finest if you ask me.

GTO@Skyenet.net (Richie Beiswanger)
AC/DC is my favorite group. My first album was Who made Who. After I heard all that I went and got them all. They are my idol. When I started to learn how to play guitar I wanted to play their songs and now today I can play "Hells Bells", "Let there be rock", "Highway to Hell", "Back in Black", "Shook me all night long" and many more. To me AC/DC is and forever will be the best rock group in history!!!!!!!!!!!!

supersexmachine@aol.com (Owen Goodwin)
"Who made" was a great album & Maximum Overdrive deserves more credit than it was given. It was nice to see someone like S. King choose AC/DC for the sndtrk.

learning@sprintmail.com
AC/DC fans breathe a sigh of relief with the release of Who Made Who. They can still write killer songs! I love all three of the new songs on this album, and frankly, I wish the band would do more instrumentals. By the way, it's worth sitting through the crappy movie to listen to the entire soundtrack. There are some cool licks that don't make it on the album.

paul7777@ime.net (Mitch)
"who made who" is the perfect song about the world, we give to companies, and then companies screw us over, and "d.t." is awesome guitar work, i love the rhythm of it, who made who????? we don't know yet, and we may never know!!!!

taspate@acs.ucalgary.ca (Tyler Spate)
If this is a greatist hits CD, then pigs fly...people always say that about this CD and it PISSES me OFF!!! Why would King put 2 songs from FLY on here...was he on crack? Probably was, if you judge the movie!! HAHAHAHAHA...nevertheless, "WHO MADE WHO" is a great song, a classic... The instrumental "Chase The Ace" is sometimes played at NHL games, I love it when they play that song!!!!!!

Candyapples@usa.net (Brittney)
Right on... Angus can strum it all day... I'm sending this msg via sat link through an external Ip addy... Canndyapples is the handle... E-mail me back at Candyapples@usa.net
Keep the faith and Rock on... My Gibson sings for you all... TTFN, Brittney...

bennyboy@detroit.crosswinds.net (Dave Williams)
if you like ac dc, then see steven king's thriller about machines that kill people called Maximum Overdrive

f.d.cable@worldnet.att.net (H.V.C.)
Pop song? Doesn't sound like it. Sounds like rock.

Anyway, this is a nice introduction to Fly On the Wall. SYF and STP are really hard rocking songs that fit well into the movie (SYF used for the destruction of the gas station). Oh, and thank God that they didn't use the "We're in a tin can for the reverb effects" version of SMANL. That sucked. The echo for Bon's voice on Ride On was really good, though. The only song that didn't belong in the film in the least bit was FTATR. They were climbing through a sewer, so WHY WERE THE LYRICS INCLUDED IN THE MOVIE!? God... that sucked. Loved the inclusion of Hell's Bells.

By the way, these are VERY intelligent lyrics, especially for AC/DC. You'd have to know quite a bit about computers (just go look up the lyrics to find out what I'm talking about) in the mid 80's to write something like that. Maybe Brian had a regular Nintendo. That's how I found out about bittage.

tedaldi@acsu.buffalo.edu (Justin Tedaldi)
I think the real greatest hits album is the double disc version of LIVE, but this is a decent smattering of then-recent hits. The title track is okay, but the live version reigns supreme. Did anyone else notice that the instrumentals are wonderful? They're so heavy I'm surprised they couldn't come up with lyrics for them! The only thing missing from this album is the A-material from Flick of the Switch. But has anyone seen this movie? It SUCKS! Crimminy, "Maximum Overdrive" AND "Last Action Hero?" I'm surprised AC/DC didn't contribute a song to "Godzilla" or "Ringmaster" in '98.

mopar1115@aol.com
most of you think this is the closest you can get to a great hits album. But I will remind you this is a soundtrack not a great hits album. This was a good album but I already had most of the songs therfor I think very poorly about this album!

carolel@tznet.com (Brainshake)
I agree, I love the song Who Made Who and the instrumentals. Usually instrumentals bore me but DT and Chase the Ace really get me rockin'. I think I'm in the minority here. I liked the movie Maximum Overdrive, but then again I think the best movies are the ones that the critics say are stupid. I laughed throughout most of the movie. I really liked the part when the pop machine started hurling out cans and they hit that guy in the head. Another part that had me ROTFL was that drunk waitress running out and yelling at the trucks and that thing with the gun on it "We made you! We made You!" And then it shoots her full of holes. I'm a sick bitch ain't I?

ian.moss@yale.edu
I am by no means an AC/DC fan, but I do happen to own this album, which is OK I guess but I listen to it rarely. The overplayed radio classics are overplayed radio classics, the two instrumentals are decent, "Ride On" is cool, the rest is whatever. It is dumb cock-rock, but it's pretty good dumb cock-rock as dumb cock-rock goes. Though I do have to appreciate the classical civilization reference with "For those About to Rock We Salute You" (do you guys know this already?)--Roman gladiators & prisoners of war, who essentially had no chance of surviving the fight in the Coliseum, would turn to the crowd before the match and say (in Latin of course), "We about to die salute you." Neat, huh? I guess the boys studied Latin...

clubfit@microconnect.net
Does anyone know why there is a different intro to "Shake Your Foundations" on Who Made Who cassettes? I have the Who Made Who CD, and the song is identical to that on Fly on the Wall. On the cassette version, there is no intro with Angus playing the leads. It just opens with the main riff, and Brian even begins singing before the drums kick in. Anyway, I think the album rocks. As far as a greatest hits goes, that's ridiculous. Chase the Ace and D.T. are cool and fun to play on the guitar. I think D.T. or Chase the Ace, which were both rehersed for the Ballbreaker tour, would have been great for a mid concert solo/Brian break.

Will someone please explain to me WHY AC/DC would ever let Simon Wright drum for them. Every song form Fly on the Wall and Blow Up Your Video would have sounded light years ahead if they still had Rudd. I know bar band drummers that sound better than this guy. And, why did they not make him play a set of SONORS for that tighter sound. I mean Chris Slade is no Phil Rudd, but at least he has a tight sound that seemed to work better with Mal and Cliff. I never saw Simon live, did he sound as bad in concert?

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Irvine Overdrive - Bootleg 2001
Rating = 8

Look, I'm well aware that at least half of the reason you've come here today is to hear about AC/DC's August 13, 1986 performance at Irvine Meadows in Laguna Hills. Unfortunately, I want to speak to you for a moment about something a little thought-provoking. It involves something my cognitive therapist told me a couple of weeks ago. He says to me he says, "All of our actions are pre-determined. We're just seeing it through. Everything happens the way it does because there is no other way that it COULD happen." As I tend to peer with skeptical spectacles into matters not yet proven by Christian Science, I requested elaboration. "Why of course, Mr. Prindle," he answered for $41 an hour co-pay. "Every event has a cause. The entire universe is built upon a series of cause-effect relationships. Every decision that you make or thought that you have is caused by a combination of many things: your state of mind at a particular time, the many social influences you have had throughout your life, what you've eaten, how much sleep you've gotten, how your brain is wired, etc. It FEELS like you have the ability to make a decision on your own, but the very act of MAKING a decision is the effect of these causes. If you decide to punch somebody in the mouth for no reason, it's because something put that idea into your head. Even if you try to defeat the impact of cause-effect relationships, it's what you are bound to do by (a) having had these ideas put into your mind in the first place and (b) having at some point been influenced to pursue a non-conformist way of living."

Now I'll say this: Although I'm not as willing as he is to throw out the idea that sane people should be able to control their fucking behavior regardless of influences, he has a very valid point. Look at all of your beliefs, your interests, your sense of humor, etc -- odds are that, even if you don't remember it, you have these as the direct result of some outside influence. I know, for example, that my political and philosophical beliefs are altered CONSTANTLY by what I read and watch. But here's an interesting "effect" of my doctor guy planting this idea in my head: Now I want to be a "cause"! Here's an example: A brooding, angry woman says something rude to you because your dog leaps in her way. Chances are that she has had a rough day (or life) and her reaction to you is a RESULT of that. Now, you can either (a) say "Fuck you!" and have no impact on her life at all except making her temporarily angrier, or (b) express to her that you're on her side and not an enemy, and that you're very sorry about what your dog did, but he wasn't trying to be malicious. If she's a loon, she won't care, but if she's a normal human being, you might actually "cause" her to feel not only temporarily a bit less pissed off but permanantly a bit less hateful towards dog owners. That was a shitty example, of course, but I hope you see my point. It's like when I was a fucking hippy long hair, I got put in a dorm with a bunch of short-haired jocks. They thought I was a freak and I thought they were drunken racists. However, all of us individually made a conscious decision to interact, and I'll be goddamned if I didn't help them to realize long hairs are just like you and me, and vice-versa (that only some short-hairs are drunken racists -- specifically this guy Chad who lived across the hall until he was expelled from the dorm for taping a sign to our bathroom reading, "This bathroom is no longer desegregated. No niggers allowed (except the cleaning lady)."

SUMMATION: If all of our thoughts and actions are part of a never-ending series of cause-effect relationships, try to affect peoples' minds in such a way that you can change them positively, rather than negatively. Unless you're some fucking serial killer asshole, in which case go get your brain checked out. You probably have frontal lobe damage.

Brian's voice is at its breaking point on this release, a rare bootleg from the tiny Who Made Who tour. Somehow, even as little strips of esophagus spray out all over the kids in the front row, he uses such theories of power as breath control, speed, reaction force, equilibrium and concentration to achieve such personal aims as self-control, courtesy, integrity, perserverance and an indomitable spirit. The results are -- as you might say if Who Made Who had been entitled Out Of This World -- "Out Of This World!" The recording is a little rough until you crank up the volume, but once you do, everything is so clear, you can almost see through it. As always, "Jailbreak" pip-pip-pips along for 14 useless minutes and Angus's post-"Let There Be Rock" mess of notes drags on into the 21st century, but what do you want for nothing - a rubber biscuit? High on the list of reasons to buy this terrific collage of AC/DC high points are (a) a completely unexpected (and quite fun!) run-through of 1974's "She's Got Balls," (b) rare material from Maximum Overdrive, including a hilarious update of "You Shook Me All Night Long" that appears to just be a newly-hoarse Brian and newly-present Simon Wright performing ON TOP of the original 1980 recording, and some eerie blues bits from the movie (complete with the sounds of Emilio Estevez nailing some girl! "You sure make love like a hero," she says in one of many, many, many stupid lines of dialogue that appear here), and (c) a couple of fairly dull BBC interviews with a black angus snake and some guy named "Brian."

This has pretty much the same set list as Flies On The Soundboard except that "Sin City," "Shake Your Foundations" and "Sink The Pink" have been replaced by "Who Made Who," "Shot Down In Flames" and "She's Got Balls." For the other 13 tracks, the band simply sat backstage eating little sandwiches as a tape recorder on a chair played Flies On The Soundboard to a disappointed audience.

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Blow Up Your Video - Atlantic 1988.
Rating = 8

This is a really good, underrated album. They seem genuinely smart again. The guitar lines overlap into some of the most clever they've ever attempted to write, and even the poppier songs are performed in an interesting manner. "Heatseeker" was the hit, but the rest are just as deserving of "hit" status. "Meanstreak" actually has a distinctive bass line!!!! Plus, "Some Sin For Nuthin," "Nick of Time," "Kissin' Dynamite," and "That's The Way I Wanna Rock And Roll" have terrific guitar melodies, and "This Means War" is so fast, I can't even play it (and I play pretty damn fast).

The songs excite me because, unlike most of the newer AC/DC releases, there are interesting touches added to each of the songs; the change in drum accent on the third measure of each verse in "Nick of Time" (if "measure" is the right word - it's probably not; I'm kinda stupid), the completely misleading irritating guitar intro to "Meanstreak," the terrific "hammer-on" solo break in "Go Zone," the strange falling-apart drumbeat conclusion to "Kissin' Dynamite" - all of this truly adds to the listening experience.

So why only an 8 instead of a 9 or 10? Two reasons. The first is that the singer sounds like a raspy old laryngitis victim screaming into a reverb pedal. The second is that, partly because of the muddy production (it all kinda sounds like one big noisy instrument) and partly because of the complex (well... for THEM, I mean) guitar lines, this isn't a forceful album. They used to be one of the strongest, meanest bands in the world, but no matter how loud you turn this one up, it simply refuses to kick anything even remotely related to an ass. It's really catchy and interesting and enjoyable, but dammit - WHERE'S THE ASS-KICKIN'???????!!!!!!

Reader Comments

VICKMARR@cc.sdstate.edu (Ryan Vickmark)
I just read through your reviews last night. Agreed with some, and disagreed with others. But hey, everyone has their own opinion, right? 8 stars for Blow Up Your Video, though? Most AC/DC fans agree that that is probably their worst album. Kinda sounds like they were singing in a can in some places.

dennyp@csrlink.net (Chris Paulhamus)
The songs sound great live, but you're right, the production sucks. If the production would have been that of Back In Black or For Those About To Rock, BUYV might have been one of their better albums.

ftlauderdale@earthlink.net (David Aurand)
BUYV was a little boring for my tastes. "Heatseeker" and the others sounded a little uninspired, but I would still listen to it over 99% of the other crap filling the airwaves.

benita@mbox.vol.it
Oh well, I think this is the worst AC/DC album. Some songs, such as "Some Sin For Nothing" or "Ruff Stuff" (in my opinion) had not to be on any AC/DC album. The production sounds pretty horrible. There are some good songs, such as "Heatseeker", "This Means War", "That's The Way I Wanna Rock 'n' Roll", but the sound is definitely out of range. Brian's voice is fair; I think it was really better on Fly On The Wall. I think Fly On The Wall was a better album than this.

TCMIF1@student.monash.edu.au (Trent Mifsud)
Blow Up Your Video is a pretty good album. Trying to do something different is cool, but Brian's voice is great. I feel sorry for every bastard who knocks him, because surely he must know about such insults. "Nick Of Time" has a wicked melody line that should be commended. Good shit this.

DougS@aol.com
Okay album. Best track is "Nick Of Time". Useless fact: They recorded 18 songs for the album. Some of the tracks that were left off BOYV wound up as B sides on singles for the Razor's Edge album. I have two of them and they're palatable but mainly good for useless trivia and to one up all the other AC/DC addicts I know....

JON96B@aol.com
good comeback from their 2 worst albums in 20 years.....Flick Of The Switch/ Fly On The Wall. In my opinion, this is where Brian loses the voice.

HDVW143@aol.com
This album is not one of their better efforts. I own all of AC/DC's American releases and this cd is the one that finds itself in my cd player the least. The songs are good, but the ass-kickin is just not there. With Vanda/Young producing, I expected a better sound. This album does have some good tunes though; "Heatseeker" is awesome (but is 10 times meaner, louder, and faster live) and "Meanstreak" is catchy. I just expected better than this album had to offer.

robf@hayden.edu (Rob Forrest)
How can you not praise the best song on the album, "Two's Up"?

jhelle@nettilinja.fi
Well, I think the album is good! "Two's up" and "Blow up your video" are the best songs I've probably ever heard! The recording ain't so good though. Too bad, this would have been the Best...

funkycold@webtv.net (Ricky B.)
I thought this was much, much better impovement over FLY l.p. Songs are better, but production is muddy. Too bad so many of these tracks are "lesser known" in the AC/DC catalog.

paul7777@ime.net (Mitch)
i think blow up your video fits in my top ten, with "two's up", "nick of time", and "ruff stuff", "that's the way i wanna rock n roll" is grrreat too, i heard that this album was recorded in a barn somewhere in england, and then sent to a record company, and there were like 17 songs written for this album, only the ten best survived, i told the boss man where to go when i bought this album!!!!

MBadExampl@aol.com
If this album had been produced by Mutt Lange or Bruce Fairbairn, it would be one of their best. "Meanstreak" is the funkiest song they've done since "Breaking the Rules."

MRTRFED@aol.com
AC/DC would not put anything out they thought the fans would not like. So if you think the album sucks, you are not a fan, because obviously you are comparing to Back In Black. Would you say this album sucks to Malcome's or Angus's face, or what about telling Brian Johonson his voice sucks???

jhill@baxter.net
I love every single AC/DC album, but not this one. I don't know why. People (non-AC/DC loser) get the feeling that AC/DC has used the same formula for their albums since Let There Be Rock. Maybe this time, for Blow Up Your Video, it got a little stale. Thank god the Razor's Edge and "Thunderstruck" were there to save the day (5/10 in stars)

I have a bootleg album called Rare...rarer...rarities of AC/DC. Has everything on it. A better album than For Those About to Rock. Everything done by Bon Scott except for two songs at the beginning ("Can I sit next to you", "Rockin' in the Parlor" done with singer before Scott, can't remember name), and "Down on the Borderline" by Johnson. This song was written during the Blow Up Sessions...and it is good...same production crap though.

PS AC/DC have an incredible amount of never-released songs which are just as good as their released. If they ever see the light of day, it is going to be huge.

PPS Kinda disappointing when "School days" came out for Bonfire...I have it!

taspate@acs.ucalgary.ca (Tyler Spate)
Indeed...this CD seems little time in my CD player, but it is DEFINETELY better than FLY...FLY is the worst by a mile and a half!!!! This CD has some funky tunes as aforementioned, those alone make it pretty cool... In the Brian Johnson era...I would rank this one lower than FLICK but higher than FLY.

One of the songs that was cut from this CD is called 'Let It Loose.' I have heard a short clip of this song from DJ's Dirty Deed's website. In my opinion, 'Let It Loose' sounds WAAAAAY better than any other song on this album. Check it out. I don't know why a wicked song like this would be cut from the album. Oh well, I guess we'll have to wait for another box set or something.

acdc@zip.com.au (Luke)
People miss the point with the production of this album. First of all, maybe 2 out of the 19 tracks written for this album are hard, fast, mean, ass-kicken rockers. This is the reason for the "muddy" production. That and the fact that Brian really changed his singing style here. But I didn't say he lost his voice. He can't sound the same forever can he?

jg_shum@hotmail.com
You are all fuckin morons. All the AC/DC albums deserve tens. Even Fly on the Wall and Blow up your Video.

cutah4@eiu.bdu.bgu
I think that whether you like Blow up Your Video or not you must agree that "Two's Up" is a great tune.

mcostend@mcn.net (Mark Ostendorf)
I like this album, it's got catchy guitar on all the songs. It does kind of have a tinny sound, and the vocals sound like Brian was in another room or something. However, The songs just all flow well, not an ass-kicker by any means, but I really like listening to it. It's the only AD/DC album you can play around any kind of person, and they'll think it's pretty good sounding stuff. I think they were just trying to sound more "modern" and appeal to a larger audience. "TWO'S UP" and "RUFF STUFF" are my favorites, and "GO ZONE", "HEATSEEKER", "MEAN STREAK", and "NICK OF TIME" are great songs too. I like it better than the Razor's Edge, and Fly on the Wall. Fly would have been good, all the songs started out solid, but degenerated into a bunch of repetitive choruses. Oh, This means War may be fast and difficult to play - but it has no hook to it whatsoever.

emrobert@mail.e-mg.co.za
Hmmmm, yes. Seeing how everybody's ragging what I consider to be two damn fine AC/DC albums, Flick of the Switch and Fly on the Wall, I have decided to post my personal review below this. This here, ladies and gents, is the biggest load of shite my favorite band have ever puked onto the unsuspecting music public. From the really shitty photocrappy cover to the last symbal crash, this is KAK!!!!!!!!

Even Ballbreaker is better than this shit. Hell, no, even the TV-recorded version of Sin City on Volts is better than this. Hehehehehehehe. I feel better now.

f.d.cable@worldnet.att.net (H.V.C.)
I guess when you were complaining about BJ's voice, you were alluding to this album. The songs on here are all great, but Brian sounds like he's missing his dentures. Especially on Heatseeker, That's the Way I Wanna Rock n Roll, and Kissing Dynamite. On the other songs, he sounds perfectly normal. Thank God for the double edition of Live, with TTWIWR&R on it. We get to hear Bri with his teeth in. (winking smiley)

Anyway, I can't really choose which song is the greatest, since 1) They're all really great (but Ruff Stuff is kinda dull) and 2) because I loved This Means War before I ever heard it. DAMN, what a song!! Nick of Time was certainly worthy of the hype. Wow, that song is just ASS KICKING!!! The entire album is very unique from much of the earlier stuff, too. An all around great album.

However, I can only give it a 9 out of 10, for the HORRIBLE PRODUCTION!! VANDA & YOUNG, WHY MUST YOU HAVE DONE THIS TO UUUUSSSS!!!!

By the way, I noticed that, for my FOTS review, you enbolded Brian Shake. I guess you must know something that you are merely hinting towards. Well, here's my Brian Shake review, since I have already out smarted you. (I know that rhymes, so SHUT IT!!)

Disc 1: Live from AT/CO Studios. Great live versions of the never before heard (lately, in US) Down Payment Blues, and a few FOTS songs and such. Kinda like a bootleg. Pretty cool.

Discs 2 & 3: Live from Donnington, The Movie. The exact same thing as the double disc edition of Live (or the movie, Live: The Movie). There was no reason to include it here, when space for more rarities could have been made. But then, it's a nice package for new fans and the like.

Disc 4: Balls, A Brian Johnson Tribute Disc. This one (although the shortest) is the best. Contains one rarity, Snake Eyes, and a bunch of unnecessary STUDIO versions of songs from The Razor's Edge and FTATR.

Disc 5: Powerage. And it's the SAME Powerage that you can buy at Target for $7.99. The only difference is that the album is packaged in mini-vinyl album gatefold-style packaging so that it resembles the original vinyl release. But THAT'S IT. If you were hoping for extensive liner notes, pictures or band reflections on the album, you're outta luck. Why this CD would even BE included in a Brian Johnson-oriented package is beyond me.

Extras in the box: Brian Shake comes with a letter opener/CD plastic cutter (very cool), a removable piece of styrofoam, and a chunk of Play-doh, all of which bear the (what else?) AC/DC logo. There's also a double-sided bottle of root beer with the box set's cover on it. Also, there's a 50-page booklet full of misunderstood lyrics (Runnin' out of chicks, you got no line in a naked town?), garbled speech from groupies that were around in the BIB days and a list of the different drummers in AC/DC during the 80's, but for some reason the curse words are missing letters...would Brian have wanted it that way??? I'd think so. (BTW, none of these extras are mentioned on the back of the box set)

Basically, Brian Shake is worth $80, for the letter opener alone.

Letter Opener, 10 out of 10

Whole box set, 6 out of 10.

If it seems that I'm going on for no reason, let me explain. After I buy FOTW, there way be no more reviews from me, for I will then have every studio album. Hope the new album comes out soon. Miss ya!

tedaldi@acsu.buffalo.edu (Justin Tedaldi)
Great songwriting shot totally to hell by the horrible production. Vanda & Young shoulda known better. The songs could use some more speed and muscle, too. Some are raw, but not very electric. Still, a step up from Fly.

UWD16@ci.monroe.la.us (Gray Martin)
I am an old timer, and I have yet to purchase an AC/DC album not worth a listen.(I have 'em all.) BLOW... is way underrated, and probably the most ambitious album the guys ever recorded. There are actually some inventive riffs on here; very creative for a band that seldom strays from the tried and true. Of couse, there are some clinkers, but give this album another try in a few years, when you get in your 30's. I think you'll like it nearly as much as any.

harry.coates@virgin.net
Most responses tend to say Blow Up Your Video is the worst DC album. I agree- That's The Way I Wanna RnR is their worst ever song.

mrtrier@mediaone.com
Okay - "Heat" and "That's..." are good AC/DC songs that would have been classic were it not for the shitty, stale, flat as a f**king pancake production that kills this album. Not to say that this is the only problem, because it's also the worst batch of songs they ever wrote. No imagination, no spirit...it sounds like studio musicians playing along to a tape of BJ recorded over the phone. This is one that I break out every 6 months or so and give it a couple listens. It just grows stale really fast. Why some people think this was a "comeback" album is beyond me. If it wasn' t AC/DC, I would say it sucks. Their next album was the true comeback. Razor was a complete and totally welcome 180 from this thing. 6 out of 10.

robchaundy@yahoo.com (Robert Chaundy)
Eight is absolutely right, whatever the knuckle-draggers may say. Each and every song on this record is almost dangerously catchy and smartly-written, not something you could very well say about Fly on the Wall. Heatseeker is so good even Simon Wright can't ruin it, and in Two's Up the band broke new ground - it almost sounds prog-metal, and is truly a thing of wonder.

As has been much discussed, the only major fault is the production and the mix, which are undoubtedly woeful. Had the dreaded Mutt got his paws on the tapes this might just have become as big as Back in Black. Probably not, but you never know. And Brian's voice is not too bad at all, if you ask me; by The Razor's Edge it was very much too bad, but here it sounds good: weatherbeaten, rough and completely rock 'n' roll.

Dismiss this at your peril.

kitklarenberg@hotmail.com
Once again, heinously underrated. Genuinely not as good as their earlier albums, but this album still kicks ass (esp. nick of time, some sin for nuthin', two's up, this means war). The production's a bit glossy, and Brian Johnson does sound like someone who's just drunk a pint of paint stripper, but these shortcomings are easily forgiven. 7 out of 10.

Benjamin Burch
Brian Johnsons voice is pathetic, and the stupid echo they place on it makes even more annoying (it's improved since 'fly on the wall,' but only slightly). The only 3 I like on here are 'Nick of Time,' 'Heatseeker' and 'Meanstreak.' Although the only great one is 'Meanstreak,' and that's one of the best songs they've ever done. The production isn't half as bad as 'Fly on the 'Wall,' but after the decent new songs on 'Who Made Who,' I would expect this to be something of a comeback for a band that had an eight year run of classic albums. The albums songs aren't catchy at all, they just sound like parodies of lame 80s hair metal bands.

Add your thoughts?

The Razor's Edge - Atlantic 1990.
Rating = 8

I originally gave this album FIVE out of ten, (which explaineth all the hatemail), but I was totally off. I don't know what the hell I was thinking. Part of the problem, I think, is that Brian Johnson sounds absolutely abysmal. They've removed the reverb mask, so it's painfully clear exactly how much his voice has deteriorated. Quite frankly, he sounds like a dying old fat guy shouting from his wheelchair. It hurts. It hurts me personally. In the penis.

But here's the thing -- Angus and Malcolm are still writing a shitload of great riffs. "Thunderstruck" ("hammer-on" heaven!!!), "Fire Your Guns," "Rock Your Heart Out," "Shot Of Love," and a couple others TOTALLY rediscover that old lost AC/DC power, and even the poppy three-chord tunes make you snap your fingers as you recall the enjoyable simplicity of Bon classics like "Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be." It's a little disheartening to see that they've gone from the "Let's write some creative guitar lines" attitude of Blow Up Your Video to what appears to be a "Let's be as retro as possible" mindset, but at least, aside from the last couple of tunes (a pair of pointless throwaways which would fit in PERFECTLY on Ballbreaker), there's a terrific vibe and energy to the whole record. And the production, FINALLY, actually sounds like AC/DC, a welcome relief after the last couple of fiascos (or "fiascoes," whichever is correct).

As I sit here in late 1998, I'm flabbergasted as to how I could have only given this record a 5 out of 10. What in God's name was I thinking? There's a TON of great songs on here!

After you get past that "the singer sounds like absolute hell" thing...

Reader Comments

K.buffard@ic.ac.uk
Ac/DC were very clever when making this record in that it was totally designed for the American market with songs like "Moneytalks" and "Rock Your Heart Out" for starters. It sold over 3 million copies during 90/91 in the U.S.A and there wasn't a bar in the states or Canada that I personally went to that didn't play "Thunderstruck" during the course of the night. They achieved there objective when making this album...to make money!!!! and that they definitely did.

ftlauderdale@earthlink.net (David Aurand)
I had been waiting a long time for a "new" album, when Razor's Edge was released. I thought it was pretty damn good, for the most part. The title track, "Thunderstruck", "Rock Your Heart Out" really rocked. Like every album, there is a little filler, but at least we are guaranteed an AC/DC song around Christmas...with a little "Mistress..."

jnw@iglobal.net (Jim Hull)
Poor old Brian. Voice is gone. What a great band! Each time I heard "Thunderstruck" I wondered..."Where is Brian?? Does he have a cold??"

TCMIF1@student.monash.edu.au (Trent Mifsud)
What the...? Brian's voice is there. It seems many people just don't like him. He may scream a bit, but fucking not many people can. If you don't like his voice, you must not like AC/DC, so piss off and listen to grunge and all that wankers delight shit...

benita@mbox.vol.it
5 out of 10? This is stupid! There are a lot of good songs on there. This reviewer is a silly guy, there's no doubt about that. Brian's voice is good, much better than on Blow Up Your Video. HOW THE FUCK CAN YOU SAY THEY ONLY WANTED TO MAKE MONEY? FUCK OFF AGAIN!

enipc@esc.ttrc.doleta.gov (T.J. McReynolds)
"Thunderstruck" is one of AC/DC's all-time bests. This song really kicks ass.

andec@tac.nlc.net.au (Chris Andersen)
One line in your review struck me. With all the winging about Brian's voice, putting out albums to make money etc( not only by you but by "fans") one thing is forgotten. AC/DC was (and in my book still is) a band that was out to have fun doing something that they like. I don't really think that the band will lose much sleep over other people's opinion of them. They've been listening to the criticism for years. Ever since they first started here in Australia when a forever nameless "entertainer" branded them an "obnoxious, no talent band with nothing to offer". AC/DC's appeal is that they do what they want and screw the criticism.

DougS@aol.com
This is the best AC/DC album since Flick Of The Switch, though that's not saying much since the other three in between were mediocre to say the least. My judge of a winning album is if there are five kick ass tunes on it. Well this record has six. The last three totally suck and I've always hated "Moneytalks" as an attempt to recapture the "You Shook Me All Night Long" glory days. Adding Chris Slade was a major plus and it's too bad they let him go as he spiced up the band. This is the fastest AC/DC album since Highway To Hell and the speed increase is a welcome change. This album is more "old AC/DC" in spots than Ballbreaker is in total. Useless fact: Angus and Malcom recycled the main riff from "Heatseaker" on the song "Razor's Edge" years before Kurt Cobain got the idea .

Gmarae@omegabbs.com (Rae Inskeep)
"Thunderstruck", what a fuckin' tune!! This song (and so many others) kick the shit out of those Seattle songs!!

nbgc@highway1.com
One thing that no one mentions here is that this is the first album since 1980 that the songs are not credited as Young, Young and Johnson. Brian was supposedly going through a messy divorce so Angus and Malcolm wrote all the lyrics (I know they have always helped but this is the first time they did it all). Everyone wants to bitch about Brian's voice being so bad but I think the lyrics have been pretty shitty ever since Flick Of The Switch. (I wasn't too happy with them on Ballbreaker either). When was the last time you wanted to sing one of AC/DC's new songs? (even when you could understand the words). "Thunderstruck rocked, but what the fuck were they talking about? "Went through to Texas...." I'm not bitching about the subject matter. That is still the same as is the way they use metaphors to make their point. And that is what makes them AC/DC. But they just don't tell the story the way they used to. They are too choppy and they jump all over the place. The riffs still kick ass and I don't think Brian's voice is as gone as everyone thinks. I just think Brian needs to be inspired to write some new lyrics. It doesn't matter what they do though, anything they put out will hit and they can do no wrong in my eyes. (No, I'm not a pussy. I'm just a little headbanger who grew up and went to college).

HDVW143@aol.com
Only a seven? This is AC/DC's fastest album since Let There Be Rock. Songs like "Thunderstruck," "Fire Your Guns," "Rock Your Heart Out," and "Moneytalks" make an AC/DC fan go wild. The only song that I can't get into is "Goodbye and Good Riddance To Bad Luck"; otherwise this cd is near perfect. I give it a 9.

supersexmachine@aol.com (Owen Goodwin)
This album kicks ass! Chris Slade was AC/DC's best drummer they should have never let him go! "Thunderstruck" is AC/DC's third best song after "For Those About To Rock" and "Hells Bells". "Are You Ready?", "Moneytalks" & "fire your guns" just to name a few kick ass. I think "The Razors Edge" is pretty shitty song. Anyone who thinks AC/DC is just doing it for the money anymore is a stupid dumbshit.

mscott@nipigon.lakeheadu.ca
I don't know what it is about "Let's Make It" but I still think it's one of the best sounding AC/DC songs.

JRTN95A@prodigy.com
I agree, this album really was not good. I love these guys but man oh man this was really shitty and I too believe it was a money album just like any traditional live or greatest hits album....... Sorry it sucked.

jhelle@nettilinja.fi
"Thunderstruck" and "Moneytalks" reach in to Top Ten of AC/DC... This album ain't so good than the last one though.

learning@sprintmail.com
I was in love with this album when it first came out, but I'm not as excited about it anymore. It seems too commercial, and except for "If You Dare", the entire back side is forgettable. There is no denying that "Thunderstruck" is a classic, and "Fire Your Guns" is a nice rehash of "Whole Lotta Rosie", but "Mistress For Christmas" should have been a lot better. It's like they came up with a perfect title, but neglected to do anything creative with the actual song. Overall, a fine, but not great effort.

funkycold@webtv.net (Ricky B.)
Man. I was so pleased when I first popped this c.d. in my player in 90. I felt they had went back "to their roots" somewhat, after the disappointing prior 2 studio l.p.'s Best since FLICK l.p.

pyatenko@hniri.go.jp
Okay, this one may not be as good as the old albums, but it's still AC/DC, and that means it can't be anything worse than "good". Plus it has "Thunderstruck" and "Moneytalks", the former being my all time favourite song in the world. And it was the first AC/DC album I bought and it is what got me into AC/DC in the first place.

paul7777@ime.net (Mitch)
"thunderstruck" is ac/dc's best opening song ever written, "hells bells" falls second, the way that one guitar comes out doing 0-7-4- so damn fast it ain't funny, and with "moneytalks" a legend of a song, one of the most true songs ever, if you see your parents go through a divorce, you'll agree with me that moneytalks, feelings waltz, and brian's voice is cool, i like his voice better now than i did then, his voice has become a little scratchy, but hey, i think the mean voice fits ac/dc better than bon scott's, "are you ready" is a cool song too, and "mistress for christmas" has got some intelligent guitar by angus in the background, so you can scratch that idea you got about 15 seconds, and "the razor's edge" has cool drums to it, and i love the lyrics!!!!!!!

MBadExampl@aol.com
The first time I heard "Moneytalks," I figured that if it didn't get a ton of radio spins, all program directors should be shot. Whatever you think of this album, you have to be happy that it brought the band back into the spotlight. And the quick little solo on "Let's Make It" is one of my favorite Angus moments. I also remember reading a review of this album (I think it was in Rolling Stone) where the reviewer said that Brian Johnson sounds as if someone was holding a cattle prod to his scrotum. Of course, that's one of the reasons I like Brian.

MRTRFED@aol.com
I really dont believe what I am seeing. Everyone who Knocks this album again is not a fan. Why are people sitting around criticising their motives. "Moneytalks" was not made to appeal to the U.S. It simply describes class and how it is bought in this country. If more people knew that maybe it would not have been as popular. Plus, when has AC/DC set out to make money??? Their approach is so basic there is nothing to read into. Plus, I am sick of hearing about Brians voice being gone. It is there. If you dont like it, listen to Amy Grant or something. I think if she put out an album with a reved up voice it might cause problems. Brians voice only proves that AC/DC are true balls to the wall hard rockers. If they were in it for the money they might have recruited David Lee Roth or something. Back to the songs, all twelve are gems to me, and back to the voice, doesnt it sound great with these songs??? Each and every song on this album cuts glass.

jhill@baxter.net
This is the "comeback" album. I don't know about the audience out there sometimes. No one has ever done a song like "Thunderstruck" (Angus has been playing that riff live now for 20 years (although not now because it is part of a song)). Again, like I said with "Danger" and "Let's Get it UP", turn up "Let's Make it" in the car. Sounds a little like "You Shook..." yet it makes you shake your head (I don't want to hear of some guy's dick getting hard over a Rock and ROll song...I have other visions)

bu343@yfn.ysu.edu (Jonathan D. Look)
What are you guys talking about? They just did it for the money? And criticizing "moneytalks" saying that they JUST wrote it to make another big hit like "You Shook Me.."? What's the matter with that? Isn't that the idea of writing an album? i'm sure they also wanted to please the fans - what's the matter with making money on the side? And what's the matter with trying to write a GOOD album? If AC/DC sucks you guys bitch and say they aint got the old power of the back in black days, when they finally write a decent album you guys bitch again! MAKE UP YOUR FUCKING MINDS!

taspate@acs.ucalgary.ca (Tyler Spate)
I hope all you people who criticize Brian get GONORRHEA or HERPES!!! You people aren't fans, you are just HOMO'S. Brian Johnson on a bad day still sounds 100X better than any other hard rock singer...Ronnie James Dio, Dee Snider, Vince Neil, Sammy Hagar combined don't equal Brian Johnson!!!!!!!!!! This CD has a few stinkers on it, but with "Thunderstruck" on it, it's better than average. OH-AH-OH-AH-OH-AH-OH!!!!

cutah4@eiu.bdu.bgu (Tison Howerter)
Razors Edge is the second best album AC/DC ever did. Only back in black is better. I think that "Thunderstruck" is the best song they ever did, and the hole album rocks. I think it deserves a 10, and I think your out of your mind if you don't agree.

Maverick35@webtv.net
was not up to the usual standard of there other albums the ballbreaker album was better but it was still not as full as most of there old stuff

JnJCable@worldnet.att.net (Neptune Salad)
Uuuhhhh... Let's start from the begin:

"Thunderstruck". Duh, even my grandmother would have to bang her head to this one. There is no escaping the awesome sound. Again. duh. Next

"Fire Your Guns". I had heard a little about this song. I hadn't heard nearly enough. This song surprised me. On my first listen, I admitted that the song was as catchy as frig. The second time around, I fell in love with it. Fucking fast as Hell.

"Money Talks". It does, that's what the song is about. The brothers Young did not write this to exorcise personal demons about the album. They wrote it because it is catchy as fuck, incredibly likable, and the lyrics actually have a message about modern day society. They say that for every 10 guys, there's a gold digger waiting to get some of that wallet, and this is *exaclty* what she'd do. If it didn't rock, Young and Young would know it. Fucking shit, "Thunderstruck" is on this album, they knew what else to put on it!

"The Razor's Edge". When I first heard this song, I thought I had accidentally turned on the radio, and was listening to a track from Master Of Puppets. It was just kinda funny at first listen. Second time, this suddenly sounded like a really kick as Mettalica parody, with a great tune, and great lyrics. Now, I don't care if AC/DC starts wearing flannel and gets tennis player hair cuts like the Mettalica boys, AC/DC would still know just how to rock!

"Mistress For Christmas". I first heard this on the radio, back to back with the "These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things" AC/DC parody (as a bonus, they also played the "TNT" parody, "PMS") during a snowy night, sitting in the parking lot of Target's, in my mom's minivan. The car radio was on, and I was listening to Detroit's biggest AC/DC station (WRIF, for the curious). Well, I heard "Mistress...", and then it ended (this was way before I bought Razor's Edge, or even heard of it, but I had FTATR, and that was all). Seemingly, game over. AC/DC made a Christmas song that was pretty good, er, well, I didn't really like it then. But, it did my heart good to know that there was an AC/DC song for every boy and girl to bang their heads to, on the most holiest of holidays. Well, a few months passed, I got Ballbreaker, it started out lame, but suddenly took over my *freaking mind*! And then, I came across a website, whilst looking for AC/DC RA (I found some one minute clips, and an 11 minute interview from WRIF, and that's it. SHIT!!), and hit my jackpot. Not AC/DC MIDIs, not one minute sound clips, accessible only while on the net, but full blown AC/DC songs. Granted, only four, and I had 2 already, but the *other* two did it for me. They were "Mistress..." and "Thunderstruck"! I didn't really remember "Mistress For Christmas", well, I recognized it, but I went straight for the Thunder! I was in Heaven. Anyway, about 2 months later, I got rid of "Thunderstruck", realizing it's terrible sound quality, and went to that site again, thinking that I might have missed something, or maybe a song was added. I went, I saw nothing new, but I decided to get "Mistress For Christmas", being that I was hungry for new AC/DC. Needless to say, that was the kicker. After I got High Voltage (just for "TNT", and finding a cache of great tunes) I went for Razor's Edge. I LOVE "Mistress For Christmas". Oh, the lyrics are fucking awesome. "Rock Your Heart Out". Another one of the really great fast ones. At first listen, the song was catchy (it was about to get incredibly kick ass), but there was this little "Rooo...ooock, Rock yer liiittlle heaaaart ouuut" part that seemed a little sissy-like. Second time, yep, it was a whole new ball of wax. Kick ass tune!

"Are You Ready". I had a small .wav file of the first few seconds of the song for the start up of my computer. When the CD player came around to this track, I was expecting, like the .wav, to go straight into the "Are you ready" part. Instead, there was this little soft Pearl Jam kinda riff going. I was quite surprised, and then the song started. Heh heh, it just knocked my frig socks off! Then, Brian starts with the real lyrics, which you can't help but feel the groove in it, and y'know Brian feels it, too. It was a great begin for a song! And the rest only makes it better!

"Got You By The Balls". It was the least known song to me. Just like most of the others, it only took a second listen to this one to love it. The main body of lyrics are sung friggin' magnificently by Brian. Just completely Jazzy and great! One of the songs that you make one of those "they're just a one trick pony" people listen to. That'll snap 'em out of it!

"Shot Of Love". Another song that might make the Heavy Metal fans cringe, and the AC/DC fans cheer! This one is also pretty damn fast, too!

"Let's Make It". Huh huh, "make" what? Huh huh huh huh... Really though, this is in the same fashion as "Shot Of Love". AC/DC fans will really be into this song, and leave speed metal fans whining about how they don't like the song. I think "Let's Make It" is still great, it's got soul, it's got rhythm, it's perfect!

"Goodbye And Good Riddance To Bad Luck". Again, the bluesy AC/DC formula mixes with some fun as fuck lyrics. This song was not made for money! This was made because of THE SONG! The song is what it's all about. There is never a message about feeding the starving Chinese kids, or some other Grungy, sensitive guy crapola in these songs! So, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, and good riddance... to bad luck! Oh yeah, I *love* Brian's vocals on this one!

Finally, "if you dare" knock this song, then you can't be a real music fan. Just come outside to play (if you dare)..... whoa! I could've kept going! What a great song to end the disc! It's bluesy, it's evil, it's fun, IT'S AC/DC FOR SURE HAHAHAHA!!!!

Overall: 10 out of 10

acdc@zip.com.au (Luke)
Production was good, but not AC/DC. This is a pity because I believe the reason for some of the weak tracks on this album was Bruce Fairbairn putting too much of his "mainstream" input into it. This album should have had 10 tracks (at the most), and been produced in the style of Let There Be Rock. The original Vanda/Young raw, no tricks, hard rock production.

rfritts@his.com
This album has only a couple good songs on it, the rest is really bad FILLER. I HATE THAT WORD, BUT FOR THIS ALBUM IT IS TRUE. "Shot of Love" and "Thunderstruck" are definitly ROCK'N. But why is AC/DC writing such boring songs now? Because their songs have never been that complex, and now it sounds like their running low on ideas. And yes, Brian's voice did sound a little fucked up on some of the songs. It was the first damn thing I noticed, actually, when I heard "Thunderstruck". Still, AC/DC still has my vote for best Rocking Roll Band ever!!!!!!!!!

tedaldi@acsu.buffalo.edu (Justin Tedaldi)
Wow, this is one varied album! Maybe Brian should quit writing lyrics because this is easily their best since Flick. True, the singing (if you can call it that) is not classic Brian. But the production by wussmeister Bruce actually has some kick to it. While the song title grammar is poor, and "Shot of Love" sounds too much like Huey Lewis for me to actually LOVE it, the rest of the tunes have that special something. But how come Atco couldn't pony up some pictures or something for this release? Vain bastards!

halhorn@airmail.net
Best production job on any AC/DC album save for the three with Mutt, overall. Fairbairn cleans up the guitars without sacrificing any of the power, and the drumming is the best on any record since the Mutt era as well. Chris Slade was a very inspired choice to replace Wright, and his impact on the energy level is considerable. And as you stated, killer, killer riffs.

But I think you underrated TRE at first, and slightly overrated it in your revision. We all overpraised it in 1990, because we were so damn happy to see OUR BAND back at the top of the charts and all over MTV and radio instead of the Warrants, Poisons and Cinderellas of the world (never underestimate the atmosphere a record is released in when explaining the success or lack of!). A great deal of the praise is warranted, as "Thunderstruck" and "Moneytalks" are two of the finest songs the band ever recorded, and the title track is as ominous as the band has sounded since "Spellbound"...but there's more filler than usual. I cannot name one other AC/DC record with four weak tracks ("Are You Ready" and the last three). Three heads definitely seem to be better than two when writing the songs, especially when you have 12 of them to write. Lyrically, barely half the songs make the cut.

Still, any gripes are minor. This is the record that the band probably was aiming for when they made FOTS. Retro, tough, BUT with a couple of distinctive songs to push it out of the stores. Production makes a big difference. I say 7 out of 10, maybe a low 8.

Well, what the hell, a low 8. "Thunderstruck" is my favorite AC/DC song. I guess you DIDN'T overrate it.....

Lymtime@aol.com (Bill Lyman)
Good album. The glaring flaw here is the overproduction. Every song sounds like there's a chorus of 2000 people singing with them. What happened to their "pissed off schoolboy" sound? Brian sounds really good though. I am not a huge fan of his voice from the early 80's, but lately he's gotten raspy as hell and I love it. He starts to get his growl on this album.

Thunderstruck, Fire Your Guns, Are You Ready, Got You By The Balls, Shot of Love, and If You Dare kick ass. The title track is now one of my all-time favorite songs period! It's so fuckin creepy, the only song where I think the backround vocals help the song more than it hurts the song (Thunderstruck is an exception too). But songs like Rock Your Heart Out and Let's Make It run flat in my mind. I give it 7 out of 10.

mareij@earthlink.net
even though "thunderstruck" is the best song in the universe, it can't save this album from being a low point in ac\dc history. the bone dry guitar sound just doesn't hold my attention for long. also, "fire your guns" is awesome, but much more so live. check out the version on "live at donington". SMOKIN!

mtrier@optonline.net (Michael Trier)
I remember coming home from college on a weekend and running to the store to buy this cassette. I had seen the "Thunderstruck" video and was dying to find out if the rest of the album was as good. It was. The boys came back in a big way with this one - good riffs, good production and I love the way one song barely ends before the next begins - something they haven't done since FTATR. I must have played this 5 times cover to cover the day I bought it, and I still play it a lot.

Though SUL was pretty good, I'm still waiting for them to blow me away with a new album like they did with this one. One of their best ever.

Benjamin Burch
Where you seem to have gotten a better handling on this album after repeated listens, it seems to be the opposite for me. I guess it's better than anything they did since "Flick of the Switch," but that really isn't saying much. I guess the whole "the singer sounds like absolute hell thing" is not something I can get past, and even though they removed the reverb from Brian's vocals and the production is terrific, he still sounds pretty fuckin awful. In fact, there's only three songs I would go back to from this album - the title track, "Shot of Love" and "Let's Make it." All the other songs are pretty formulaic and boring.

Add your thoughts?

Live - Atco 1992.
Rating = 8

Hooo! What a back catalog! On this 70-minute extravaganzar (there's actually a double-CD version, too - I'm not sure if there are bonus songs or what....), the band plows through all kinds of wonderful hits from the obvious ("You Shook Me All Night Long") to the not-so-obvious ("Heatseeker") to the downright wonderful and surprising ("Who Made Who"), and play each and every one of them just as tight and tough as they had on the original studio recordings. No long wankfests (strangely, they were all edited out!!!!????); just hit after hit after hit. Mmmm.

The mix is great (there is a guitar in each speaker, just as there should be), the drummer (Chris Slade, formerly of The Firm) does a terrific job of livelying up the songs ("Heatseeker" is played at double-speed and somehow "TNT" actually sort of kicks butt!), and they do a pretty good job of covering stuff from their entire career (although where the hell are Flick Of The Switch and Powerage???? No hits, I guess). My only problem is the obvious - all those years of screaming have worn poor Brian out. I know he's trying and I give him credit for trying, but these songs absolutely DO NOT have the power that they would have if he could still reach those high notes. Singing "Hells Bells" in a lower range just doesn't work. Also, I still hate "The Jack," and for some reason, "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" sounds really stilted and weak here.... It might be the drummer's fault, but I can't be sure. But that's only two songs. The other twelve are just lovely (sans the vox, of course, and isn't "vox" a delightful little word? And are you enjoying all my parenthetical breaks?) Here comes Ballbreaker, and here comes the hate mail. Have a good time!

Reader Comments

LateGr8Bon@aol.com
U should really get the double. It kicks ass and includes all the classics ("Whole Lotta Rosie," "Let There Be Rock," "Sin City" (Powerage), and "High Voltage." This could be their best album, u could say it has it all. The best part of all is that the double comes with an angus dollar. The only reason this is better than If You Want Blood though, is it has twice as many songs. This is their first album that has the sheer power that AC/DC is known for since Back In Black.

shaffer1@prolog.net (Matt Shaffer)
It's one of those albums you can pop in the tape deck on a long road trip and not find yourself getting bored. Every song is an ass kicking AC/DC hit. Brian does a great job on the Bon tracks.

DougS@aol.com
I saw them 4 times for the Razor's Edge tour and this album totally captures that feeling of being there. My only gripe is the way the album was put together. They had Bruce Fairburn tape something like 30 shows and they sorted out which ones to grab for the album. The result is a varying change in production and sound from song to song. They should have just taped the Donnington show (which they pulled "Thunderstruck", "Shoot To Thrill", "Fire Your Guns" and others) for this record. The Donnington show is the crispest of them all. If you can find it, grab the "Highway to Hell" single for this album. It includes "Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be" from the Donnington show.

hpeddle@maildrop.srv.ualberta.ca (Heather Peddle)
Are you a real AC/DC fan or just some Garth Brooks lover who's making fun of us? The songs don't sound much different live so what's the problem?

Gmarae@omegabbs.com (Rae Inskeep)
What's your fuckin problem? That's the very first album i ever heard and it's had me hooked on AC/DC ever since. I think you need your fucking head examined, or a few bullets put in it. Fuck everybody who thinks this album suck!

DBLORUL@aol.com
THIS IS DEFINITELY THE FINEST COLLECTION OF THE BOYS' GREATEST SONGS. BRIAN DOES A WONDERFUL JOB ON THE BON TUNES. "LET THERE BE ROCK" PUMPS ME THE FUCK UP EVERY TIME I HEAR IT

HDVW143@aol.com
Pretty good review here. I don't know how you don't like "The Jack." My 2 year old sister sings it all the time! Anyways, this cd is very good; i would have given it a 9 though - it just has too much ass-kickin for anything less than that.

robf@hayden.edu (Rob Forrest)
Listen idiots- just because you don't like Brian's voice doesn't mean we don't like AC/DC. AC/DC has been and always will be the Young brothers. Brian is still the best singer, but admit it his voice is gone.

supersexmachine@webtv.net (Owen Goodwin)
I agree his voice is a lot worse than BinB. "Hells Bells" will never be the same. On the live version of "Hells Bells" why is the bell never in sinq with the band?

JRTN95A@prodigy.com
I don't fucking get it? What planet is everyone living on? Listen to this goddamn album! Compared with the early works of AC/DC it just doesn't compare. If any of you think this could have been their best album then go back into the bathroom and maul the midget until you're thinking right again. Then and only then, go play anything prior to 83 and judge for yourself. You pricks!

jhelle@nettilinja.fi
This is one of the best albums from AC/DC! Brian, Angus, Chris... They are all at their best on this album!! Get it or regret it!!

learning@sprintmail.com
I don't listen to this album much... and yes, the songs DO sound different, and it IS because of Brian Johnson's lack of vocal range. It's sad listening to him try and bleat out "Back In Black" or "Hell's Bells" and just sound like he's whining. If I was introducing a potential new fan to AC/DC, I would play the album tracks over the live tracks any day. This being said, I saw the band twice on both of their latest tours, and they still kick ass live, but this album is ridiculously put together. Why, in God's name, would you make a live album, and have the crowd fade in and out between songs? Are they so vain that they have to have the absolute best version of each track on the album? Have some balls and release an entire show, without interruptions. Part of the magic of "live" is hearing the occasional mistake and squeal of feedback. This album is so far behind If You Want Blood it's not even remotely humorous. And it comes 15 years later. Oh, the irony.

paul7777@ime.net (Mitch)
this is my favorite ac/dc album (i think i've said this every other time too) but the guitar is rocking, and i can adjust my stero to just listen to angus, or malcolm, and i love it, brian's voice is okay, compared to these new bands, punk rock growls, and he still screams, but not as clean, i think his voice went because he was drinking something, and the guy's like 45 years old when this was released, he's still rocking though, at this point in rock history, ac/dc is the only thing keepin rock alive, because vh and metallica have turned to alternative, pisses me off, this album gets my penis shaking!!!!!

Basawapatna@worldnet.att.net (Ganesh Basawapatna)
Cough up some cash and search record stores for that double CD live version!!! This is one of the greatest live albums ever made and Brian does a great job on most of the songs (except in "Hells Bells" and "Back in Black" where he was not as emotional as in the studio versions). His versions of Bon songs are great and he shows us exactly why he was the perfect replacement for Bon. This double CD version has a really cool version of "High Voltage" (Gimme Hiiiiiigh), "Jailbreak", and "Let There Be Rock", and the version you reviewed is also great. How Dare You badmouth this album!!!!!!

fabcdnro@iol.it
This album is simply great ! All their best songs, 2 amazing CDs for over 2 hours of the most rocking music of this world !

taspate@acs.ucalgary.ca (Tyler Spate)
This CD made me an AC/DC maniac! I couldn't get enough of "BACK IN BLACK" and "FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK"...those tunes just SMOKE. I agree that the mishmash of track selections makes it a bit worse, but all in all this CD has great ass kickin' tunes...I would recommend this CD to all AC/DC virgins!!!!

defaultuser@domain.com
your opinions have no interest in the total sound, the drummer is only one part of a killer band and this cd kicks ass, for the production, my feeling is all the songs go together and in a good order

JnJCable@worldnet.att.net (Neptune Salad)
This was the first AC/DC album I had ever heard. I fell in love with all of the songs (except for "Heatseeker" and "Whole Lotta Rosie", not until later...), and I soon wanted more! This is the perfect album for a first time listener! Brian is excellent, and all of the songs are as great or better than the album versions!

Wiskerless@hotmail.com (Brian)
This is truly a "Listen to all the tracks Cd, don't skip any of them" or "80 mph road trip tunes"

f.d.cable@worldnet.att.net (H.V.C.)
Yes, I know I just sent in a review. But I happen to now own the double disc set. Anyway... it's worth the money to hear some great versions of BUYV songs, and other Bri tracks, which he handles so well. Better than the single disc version, by far...

What's not so good is that the visual parts (striptease and the like) are left in, so we have 5 minutes straight of low key riffage. But, I did find some of it pretty enjoyable. So, a 10 out of 10 for an exceptional record. Although, Brian sounds like he's about to pass out on "Fir Your *Gun*". Oh well... great setup.

tedaldi@acsu.buffalo.edu (Justin Tedaldi)
I have the double disc, and my life will never be the same. 130 minutes of their best and ONLY the best? It's absolute proof of why they're the best live rockers in the world, and why we need them more than ever in '99. Hope they come to town and remind us why rock and roll will never die!

Mopar1115@aol.com
This album would half to be my favorite because it has all the great hits of the band. what burns me though is that they made a one disc version before I found that there was a two CD set. All were performed great and all kicked ASS!

Awake600@aol.com
Hmm... this live record exceeded all of my expectations. Sure, Brian's vocals are horrible (and his voice is completely shot), but to me it's funny as hell when he tries to sing some of these songs in his condition. There aren't many stinkers in this batch as there are on some of their other albums because it's a good amount of their most popular hits, and they're well done. This might be my personal fave AC/DC release. 7

Add your thoughts?

Live (Special Collector's Edition) - Atco 1992.
Rating = 8

The long version! A common misconception is that this version adds on an extra disc of 10-minute guitar solos. This isn't exactly true. Yes, it does feature lengthy jam versions of "Jailbreak," "Let There Be Rock" and "High Voltage," but it also presents beautiful run-throughs of the awesome regular-length tunes "Sin City," "Fire Your Guns," "The Razors Edge," "Are You Ready" and "That's The Way I Wanna Rock N Roll." If you can find it at a decent price, buy this one instead of the short one. It's longer and full of grease, even if you think Angus' solos are somewhat uninteresting.
Reader Comments

kgrady68@verizon.net
if your an acdc fan this cd is the one to buy ,although i found it strange that on the back of the cover had a picture of the devil when they sing hell aint a bad place to be but the song isnt on the album i thought that sucked because that song wasn,t on the set list maybe they didnt sing it during their 90 91 world tour, but they sang it at donington i have the dvd ,besides that this cd kicks ass

Add your thoughts?

Ballbreaker - EastWest 1995.
Rating = 3

Imagine coming home and finding a pile of dog waste resting on your turntable. Jesus Christ. This is horrible! The former greatest hard rock band of all time has regressed into a sickeningly derivative three-chord crap machine. They call it "a return to our roots"; I call it an energy-free embarrassment with ONE great song. ONE. "Hard As A Rock" is a gorgeous pop guitar anthem. The rest is pathetic. It sounds like they went into the studio right after they wrote "Hard As A Rock," pressed the "record" button, and made it up as they went. The best songs ("The Furor" and the title track) are rip-offs of old AC/DC songs ("The Razor's Edge" and "Let There Be Rock"), and the rest are weak, weak, weak. There is simply no energy AT ALL in these songs. And Rick Rubin's sterile production sucks all the fun out of the room, leaving nothing but emasculated guitar tones and Brian's phlegm-packed death gurgle.

For the love of God's Green Christ, do not make this your first AC/DC purchase.

In fact, don't make it your last AC/DC purchase either. Just don't make it AT ALL!

Reader Comments

MI940027@newi.ac.uk (P.S. Hunt)
Hmm. . . interesting opinion there. It's not as good as Back In Black, For Those About . . . or Powerage, but it's better than High Voltage, Fly On The Wall, Flick Of The Switch . . . and EVERY review of the album I've seen in the press (UK) has rated it highly. "Ballbreaker," "Whiskey On The Rocks," "Hail Ceaser" - ARSE KICKERS!

PAULHAMUSCL99.CS03@usafa.af.mil (Chris L. Paulhamus)
Sorry, I thought this was a great album. It sounds great- almost as if it were recorded live, not mixed together like their last couple of albums. As for the future of AC/DC, I don't see them breaking up or anything like that. Their sound is ageless, and they're smart enough not to mess with it.

jfaga@u.washington.edu (John Faga)
While some of the things you say about AC/DC are truly predictably (ie, giving top grades to Back In Black and not to Let There Be Rock), and your attempts at humor are almost funny, I dare say you may have missed the boat with the review of this album. I find it to be an unbelievable album that shows exactly why this band has no need to break up!!

hutchson@18.u-net.com (James Hutchinson)
Your reviews of the previous albums bar Razor's Edge are spot on but I must disagree with the 2/10 rating of Ballbreaker. This is a damm good album & it is unlikely that you will find any competition against great songs such as "Hail Caesar," "Boogie Man," and "Whiskey On The Rocks."

jens.hagerbrand@mailbox.swipnet.se (Linus Hagerbrand)
What in hell are you talking about???? The Razor's Edge is one of the best albums and 5* better than Flick Of The Switch!!! And Ballbreaker a 2. You are stupid. I know it's not one of the best but it's damn good. Brian hasn't lost his voice!!! It's best for years right now!! For the other albums you've written well.

ftlauderdale@earthlink.net (David Aurand)
Live is ok, for a live record, which I am not a big fan of. It was very close to the songs they played when I saw them on that tour...and that was fun. Otherwise, I wish they would spend time making a movie with Brian, similar to Let There Be Rock with Bon.

Regarding Ballbreaker, I just bought it yesterday. To be honest, it has 3-4 songs that I really like. It certainly is no Back In Black, but I think it is better than Fly... or Blow Up Your Video. On "Hail Caesar", Brian sounds more like Bon than I have ever heard before. Kinda eerie.....

ivan@e2.empirenet.com (Ivan M. Campos)
Regarding all the albums you have talked about, they're all great each and everyone. And you should know what your'e talking about when you say Brian has lost his voice or that everything is dubbed. His voice is still there; it hasn't gone anywhere. Ballbreaker is a good album, but it's not shit like you claim it is. I think you've been in la la land too much sucking cock and you forgot what real music is, bastard. Doesn't look like you're much of a fan calling their work a piece of shit. I don't see you playing all those riffs like Malcolm, playing all those leads like Angus, giving us a fabulous rhythm like Cliff, or that awesome drumming like Chris, or that powertool scream like Brian. I think you should know what you're talking about before you say albums sucks.

LCarlyle@aol.com
2 out of 10? Come on, this is their best in several years! They've got that tough sound again, which has been missing for too long. I did like The Razors Edge, which was an improvement over a couple previous works, however how can you say that stuff like "Moneytalks" (extremely poppy) is better than the hard ass-kicking of "Hard As A Rock" and "Ballbreaker", and others? And although Brian's voice isn't quite up to Back In Black standards, it held up pretty well on this latest one. Nearly all of these tracks remind me of just how much a rhythm god that Malcolm is!

melyro@worldnet.att.net (Melissa Rogers)
Why the HELL should AC/DC break up? They are the most ass-kicking band there ever was. You are such an ass you make me sick!!! They are never gonna break up! They will rock forever! Ballbreaker is a great album. Yeah, it's no Back In Black, but it's a hell of a lot better than those wannabe bands that can only wish they were AC/DC. I can't believe you would trash AC/DC like you did!! You are obviously no real fan. AC/DC is THE ballbreakin' band. They always will be, so get a life and remember that, asshole!

VicCPA@aol.com
For a guy who started with some fantastic and accurate reviews you really finished like shit. This is by far their best album since B-n-B. Stop messing with your computer and slip in the CD. "Boogie Man", "Hail Ceaser", "Cover You In Oil" etc........... Fantastic.

johnny@bbtel.com
AC/DC is the best friggin band around and i think Ballbreaker is an auto-matic hall o famer for the ac/dc record books.

la314w@crown.icongrp.com (Jesse Lara)
I think you're an o.k. guy, but all this cracking on AC/DC is not necessary. If you don't like it don't listen to it.

wckonor@saturn.execulink.com (White, Coad, Kapusta & Oliver)
Whoever wrote this fucking review should be shot...dead. Then they should burn in hell. AC/DC could record disney's greatest hits and they still would kick this sorry excuse of a record reviewer's fucking ass. Why don't you go fuck your dog and rape your goldfish? You're the washed up pathetic old bag, MOTHERFUCKER!!!!!!!!!

knlarsen@sn.no (Knut Terje Larsen)
-- I think AC/DC are the hardest working meen in showbusiness...Saw'em in Oslo Spektrum April20, and didn't hear a shit for the next two days!! They played a really great set, but I was disappointed when they didn't play "Heatseeker" and "Who Made Who", two of my all-time AC/DC favourites. About the Ballbreaker album...I'd say it's the best AC/DC album since BNB, and 20 times better than Flick and Fly, which are -without any competition- the worst AC/DC aalbums ever! Finally, I'd just say that I hope AC/DC will keep on rockin' also the next 20 years ! After all, they are the best and most ass-kicking band that have ever existed on the planet earth.

DJOH@sbt.com (Dan Johnson)
I wasn't really amused at your scathing review of Ballbreaker, although I suppose everyone is entitled to an opinion. What I really sense, however, is that you gave this record no chance at all. Coming after a polished commercial-esque album like Razors Edge, I can understand your misconceptions about the album having "no energy". From reading your various reviews, I get the sense that you're a fan but not a true follower of the band. For you not to pick up on the connection between Powerage and this album is a bit shortsighted, but hey, we all have our bad days!

After a string of what most consider to be mediocre albums, (ie Flick (one of my favorites) and Fly), I think this album absolutely personifies what AC/DC is all about . Straight ahead, thick crunchy boogie music to tap your foot to. I think you've been listening to the Smashing Pumpkins and all the other shit too long now, so hang up the reviews if you can't be objective. Ballbreaker is a top notch album, and if I had to point the finger at someone, it'd be Rick Rubin. The production is a bit dry and I would have preferred to hear a mix more like "Big Gun," but such is life. A suggestion. Since this album bores you so much, why not play your copy at 45 RPM's so you can hear what I think you were hoping for. Sorry to see you've lost that special place in your heart for one of the top bands ever. Pity. If you do grace us with any more reviews of AC/DC, stuff the attempt at humor,..it doen't work in your case.

TCMIF1@student.monash.edu.au (Trent Mifsud)
What the hell, BallBreaker is great, did you listen to it? The title track can rip apart well..uh...shit-house no-good album reviewers who know nothing about AC/DC and would not know a good rock album, from his ball sack. Why do I say this? Cause I am an Aussie who has been following the band, met Bon's relatives and past friends, and I FUCKING KNOW!!

jnw@iglobal.net (Jim Hull)
Well, my two cents on AC/DC: A band whose "golden years" have passed them by...much like Aerosmith, and (and it kills me to say it) the Ramones. Brian Johnson's voice is gone. There really can be no argument about that. Are they still a great live act? Probably, but it seems very apparent to me that this band is tired and running out of ideas. Were they one of the best rock and roll bands ever? Undeniably. Do they deserve respect for their formidable back catalog? Absolutely. But to say they are still whacking the ball out of the park with every new album is ludicrous. Brian is being propped up...that's the bad part...

klementl@agt.net (Michelle Danda)
I must agree with the fact that was mentioned many times about Brian's voice diminishing into nothing. When compared with BNB, his voice on the last two releases is thin, weak, and resembles an 80-year-old fart having a bad case of constipation!! After listening to their latest, it seems that AC/DC have gone on this ego trip waiting too long unwilling to change their sound. No wonder they received a shit review on their Balllicker album.

benita@mbox.vol.it
This review is the biggest load of bollocks I've ever seen. Ballbreaker is a GREAT album. Brian's voice didn't sound so good from Flick Of The Switch, the songs are GREAT, especially "Burnin' Alive", "The Furor", "Boogie Man" and the title track. The production is great too. There is definitely no filler track. Thank you Angus, Brian, Malcom, Cliff and Phil, you are still the greatest! To the reviewer: THIS IS A GREAT ALBUM, SO FUCK OFF!

userid@mbox.vol.it
What the hell is this? A joke? You said Ballbreaker is a crap album and I really don't know why. Did you listen to it? I think it's one of their best, and I've heard a lot of AC/DC's fans that agree with me: good sound, good songs, good attitude. Perhaps Brian's voice doesn't sound as good as on Back In Black, but it's immeasurably better than on Blow Up Your Video (which is, in my opinion, AC/DC's worst album). I've seen them live in Milano on May 17, and Brian sang very well, the best I've heard him in 10 years! He had a lot of energy too! You said "Hard As A Rock" is the only good song on it, but it is not even the best track of the album. "Burnin' Alive" and "Ballbreaker" are much better! My rating for Ballbreaker is 8 out of 10. The silliest thing you said, however, is that AC/DC have not to exist anymore. WHAT? They are THE ONLY rock 'n' roll band who can still play great songs without any gimmick, and they are still THE GREATEST LIVE BAND IN THE WORLD! I think that you've never seen them live. Now, name another band (ONE) who can still play a tour in front of 3 million fans after 20 years, or do a sold out at the Madison Square Garden and many other larger venues. Finally, I don't think you are really an AC/DC's fan, 'cause there's no AC/DC fan who don't like If You Want Blood, or who don't own a copy of the AC/DC Live double album.

jnw@iglobal.net (Jim Hull)
Isn't this great! The way the mouth-breathers and knuckledraggers keep writing in? They're not even reading the other reviews! They're sheep! THEY are the fodder that radio craves! And yet they'd be the LAST to admit it!! In fact, they'd deny it, and probably tear your body into pieces with their bare hands for suggesting such a thing!!! Keep sticking the fork in their ass, Mark...and sticking to your guns...you're right on!!

uno@iafrica.com (Retha)
If I can get the stupid motherfuckers who said AC/DC sucks, I would rip their hearts out. AC/DC is one of the best ass-kicking bands there are, is and ever will be. My first AC/DC album was Back In Black and then I was hooked and I could not stop buying the next and the next one. So I started to collect it because it was so ass-kicking. They have the best lyrics and a unique singer. I will never stop buying their albums and that is the fucking truth. Yes, maybe a couple of albums are pretty shitty and the rest are fucking great stuff!!!! Another decade for the best kick-ass rock and best melodies for the best fucking band there is, were and ever will be!!!!!

mwasik@enterprise.ca (Matt)
Yep, you're brain dead. Ballbreaker is easily, I mean easily the best AC/DC album since For Those About.... Giving this a two out of 10 is indicative of a dying brain. Try giving it another listen.....

harrisd@gatecoms.gatecom.com (Dan Harris)
You gave Blow Up Your Video a better review than Ballbreaker? Now that is a crock of shit.

mcrutch@tenet.edu (exit)
I agree with the masses fuckhole! Ballbreaker is definitely the best damn AC/DC album of the decade!I love their older stuff but, SHIT! 2 out of 10?!?! What the hell are you on freak? You're more stoned than the group themselves!

jrpatric@eos.ncsu.edu (John Robert Patrick)
I don't understand how you can give Blow Up Your Video eight stars while only giving Ballbreaker two stars. This is the best album they have put out in a LONG time. Better than The Razor's Edge and a HELL of a lot better than Blow Up Your Video (which I felt was their worst album ever.) As for you feeling they should break up, perhaps you should find someone else to listen to. Maybe the Beatles could get back together and you could listen to their shit. Or maybe you could listen to a wannabe rock band like Bon Jovi.

Francesco.Benedini@mbox.vol.it
I can't believe you trashed this album so bad. Well, I'm not just trying to plead for my favourite band, but let me say something. If they had really made an utter-crap album, I would agree with you; but what THE HELL makes you hate this album? I think it's their best in years, and it seems that we all fans agree in this. I'm not just a stupid that says his favorite band made a great album when in fact they didn't. For instance, when I first heard Blow Up Your Video I was quite disappointed; not that I hated that album, but I thought AC/DC could make something really better. BUT THIS IS A GREAT ALBUM, and you're THE ONLY ONE who said it's crap. Every rock magazine I bought had good reviews: Metal Hammer: 4.5 out of 5 Kerrang: 4 out of 5 Metal Shock (Italy): 4 out of 5 Hard (Italy): 5 out of 5 Flash (Italy): 4 out of 5 and many others I can't remember now. There's no good reason to hate this album. Have they changed their sound? NO! Have they made a pop album? NO! Have they become a "singles band" and have they written many filler tracks? NO! I just can't understand how you can you love their classics (providing you really love them), such as Back In Black, Powerage, Highway To Hell... and hate this album. Yes, AC/DC have done some better platters, but I think this is their best in years. It has the same "classic" feeling as the older stuff. Stuff like "Hard As A Rock", "The Furor", "Boogie Man", "Burnin' Alive", "Hail Caesar", "Whiskey On The Rocks", "Ballbreaker" have the unique AC/DC trademark we all fans love. Another thing: how can you say you love AC/DC when you don't like live performances. AC/DC are the quintessential live band!

andrew.martin@sympatico.ca (Andrew Martin)
I really believe that these analytical reviews are going a bit too far. AC/DC is the greatest. As humans it's impossible not to choose favorites and have albums we don't like as much, but AC/DC is what I would call a "goodtimes" band. The music is there to enjoy. To listen to, to get pissed to, and most definitely get shagged to. If an album or song doesn't quite cut it for you then don't listen to it and don't waste your breath putting it down. Insulting an album or the people that made it is a stupid use of anyone's time. Play what you like, and Hey! Play it LOUD.

John563@gnn.com (John Person)
I'm glad there's so many people sticking up for the Ballbreaker album because what I see is vintage AC/DC. It's a good thing you're not a true fan because Angus would be pretty disappointed. They've worked their butts off, ever since their days in the clubs, going on tour and doing what they like to do; play for their devoted audiences who know good hard rock music when they hear it. AC/DC have never gone from their roots, its just all the different producers trying to find the "right" sound that gives people like you the opinion that they have fizzled. In my opinion I don't think that Brian's voice has changed a bit. He's still got that gravel voice that will give you the chills as will Angus' never tiring antics. He's still a kid at heart. AC/DC was, is, and ALWAYS will be the greatest band in the history of hard rock. If you don't like it, go listen to some sucky alternative band.

shaffer1@prolog.net (Matt Shaffer)
You wouldn't know a good AC/DC album if it bit you in the ass. How could you not like an AC/DC live album? It catches the band at their best, live! I think you need to clean some of the shit out of your ears and go listen to If You Want Blood and Live again. As for Ballbreaker, you must not have bought the same album I did. The album I bought kicks fuckin ass. Every AC/DC album sounds good to a true fan, and that's what I am. Obviously you're an amateur AC/DC fan who doesn't know their ass from a hole in the ground. Why don't you get a fuckin clue in life? You asshole!

user@students.uwf.edu
You are seriously fucked! Ballbreaker is the first good AC/DC album to come out since Flick Of The Switch. Fly, Blow, and Razor were albums for the masses and therefore reeked. Ballbreaker is a true fan's album. Only a severely pop-music minded individual such as yourself could possibly rate Fly On The Wall or Blow higher than Ballbreaker. It's sad, because people reading our responses to your review think we're just blind, biased AC/DC diehards. We may be diehards, but we know a good album when we hear it. You obviously don't!

TKOrules@caedm.et.byu.edu (Travis K. Orr)
Anyone who says AC/DC has ever had a bad album is a total idiot. I own every single U.S. album, both live albums, and the Australian released T'N'T and Dirty Deeds; and they all rock. AC/DC is the only band that has always stayed with the same sound and been successful for so long. If you don't like or at least respect AC/DC, you have no right to life. I worship the ground Angus walks on, and so should everyone else.

emailaddr@lafvax.lafayette.edu
I OVERDOSED ON YOU/ CRAZY BUT ITS TRUE/ AIN'T NOTHING I CAN DO/ UHH I OVERDOSED ON YOU. IF YOU HAPPEN TO HAVE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT ANYBODY THAT WUSSES ABOUT AC/DC BEING TOO OLD PLEASE CONTACT ME.

wadems@concentric.net (Wade M. Sickler)
What is this crap about AC/DC sticking around too long and fizzling out!?! Not only are they STILL one of the most successful touring bands in the world, but they still make great straight-ahead rock n' roll. We need more great bands like AC/DC to "stick around". Wise up.

DougS@aol.com
Pardon......me.....but....I.....just.....listened.....to.....Ballbreaker...... again....and..... the.....speed......has.....slowed.....down....my....typing..... This record is pretty bland. One song sounds like another. And I think you're dead wrong about "Hard As a Rock". It sucks. Only the title track and "Hail Ceasar" muster any real feeling in me. You'd think that a poor album would make them play as few songs as possible live. But, nnooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! They had to play the most ever; five.

You left off a release of an Australian import. There was a 12" released in 1982 that had "Let's Get It Up" and two live tracks "Back In Black" and "TNT". The only reason this record is noteworthy is that the live tracks' production is so heavy it easily outpowers any other live AC/DC recording made.

wolviel@ix.netcom.com
Ummmmm,here let me see......................AC/DC RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

andrew.martin@sympatico.ca (Cassandra Martin)
The tracks that I really like are "Hard As..", "Hail Caesar" and the title track. I'm not crazy about the rest but I wouldn't go so far as to say it's bad. I like it a lot but I really have to be in the mood for it. As a guitarist I love to play "Caught With Your Pants Down" and "The Honey Roll." They've got a great groove. My problem with "The Honey Roll" is that I feel it goes on a bit too long and just turns into migraine-inducing chaos. It starts off great. It's a shame they didn't keep it up throughout the whole song. The beginning of "Hail Caesar" is great too. I can't listen to it in the morning because it'll get me majorly hyper. It starts so powerful yet so simple (AC/DC's greatest talents! Simple, rockin' and to the point). Ballbreaker is a different album in comparison to the others. Actually, in some ways it reminds me of Highway To Hell because each track is quite different (unlike Flick...). Ballbreaker's overall sound is different. It's still raw but... well.... I don't know how to describe it. I know one of the guys who was an assistant engineer on that album and he agrees with me.

Lacey@icanect.net (Samantha Franklin)
Brian's got his voice back! It's about time; I was beginning to worry. Brian Johnson sounded so horrible on Razor's Edge that I hesitated to buy this album. As soon as I heard "Hard As A Rock" on the radio, I ran to the store to buy a copy. He's really pushing it on "Burning Alive," but on "Hail Caesar" and "Ballbreaker," he sounds just like he did in the Back In Black days. He needs to start off low to hit those high notes. Either way I still think he's the best. Thank god they got rid of Mr. Clean (Chris Slade) and got Phil back. Finally a great line-up with a kick ass production. Thanks Rick!

ribas@datasoft.com.br (Edison B. Lima Ribas)
I can`t understand some opinions about this album. It kicks ass! "Hard As A Rock," "Ballbreaker," "Boogie Man," "The Furor," "Burnin` Alive" and "Hail Caesar" are all AMAZING SONGS. AC/DC ź FODA MESMO!!!

schiefn@Elender.HU (Schiefner Tamas)
Hi Stupids ! I'm a hungarian AC/DC fun man, but I hate the AC/DC music, because I'm a electricial. FUCK OFF!!!

kevinc@epix.net
What the fuck! AC/DC has never put out a shit album. Some of their worst songs sound better than the shit they show on MTV. Christ, AC/DC has been putting out albums for 20 years. They will be around a hell of a lot longer than some of these one hit wonders that have been popping up. Ballbreaker kicks ass. What the hell? Did you have someone's dick up your ass while sucking on your mother's tits while you listened to Ballbreaker? Hey it busted my balls. Too bad you didn't have any. It sure didn't take balls to write that piece of shit review you did. Any faggot ass dick faced cum wod shit for brains homo could write something like that. Your dad should have shot you on the wall. Have a nice fucking life. And get some real ears. Yours must be clogged up with cum wads.

TKORULES@IMPERIUM.NET (Travis K. Orr)
These comments have nothing to do with your review of AC/DC albums but with the shittiest CD I have ever purchased. I was wondering if you have heard Covered In Black, An Industrial Tribute to AC/DC?" The guys who put this together should be shot in the nuts. They ruined nearly every AC/DC classic there is. For example, maybe I don't listen clearly enough, but I don't recall synthesizers in "Who Made Who," "Whole Lotta Rosie," or "Thunderstruck."

Granted, if you're going to cover a song you should give it your own sound, like Megadeth in covering Black Sabbath's "Paranoid." What you shouldn't do is fuck it over so badly that it makes people extremely angry, not to mention nauseous, to listen to it. In the future, I hope shitty bands stay away from covering classic groups' material. If you already own this CD, I'm sorry. If not, don't waste your money and time like I did.

Vandamn@w140.aone.net.au (Jevon Nicholas)
Having just read your caustic review of Ballbreaker, I have to wonder whether or not you are indeed an AC/DC fan, seeing as in your intoductory paragraph you say that that they [AC/DC] 'stuck around too long and fizzled out in public when they should have broken up'. If you are so blatantly against them and can no longer be objective about writing your reviews, don't write em'. I know I won't miss your little 'space here and extended sentences which require re-reading without the parenthesis' writing style, which you obviously think is a dazzling display of talent. I think you're missing the point of your own page here mate, we don't come here because we want to hear you on your soapbox, we come here because we want to find out about AC/DC. I think you're MYTH in your own mind, not a legend, a myth. Wake up, the day sales of your records can surpass the amount AC/DC's has, is the only day you can criticise them so. You get out there and play in front of thousands of screaming fans for 16 years, then tell me how your voice would sound.

hpeddle@maildrop.srv.ualberta.ca (Heather Peddle)
I saw Brian in concert for BAllBREAKER tour and he sounded fucking fine. You're not a "real" fan but just some casual listener who thinks he knows everything.

lgoettle@ross.ndak.net (LeAnn Goettle)
Hey, what can I say, took 'em long enough! All that build up and then -- The big let down. Bummer dude!

Jeff Walker
well....here are my 2 bits.... First of all I would like to say what I think about the BALLBREAKER album, I personally agree; I went out and bought it hoping for a disk full of great songs like "Hard As A Rock" and ended up with a disk that on a good day I might listen to 4 songs. I haven't always liked AC/DC; when I was young I kinda hated them, but as I got older I liked the way their songs pump ya up. I'm still not a big fan of most AC/DC slow songs, but some I don't mind...

I personally like LIVE, and THE RAZOR'S EDGE - those are my favorite. I have always hesitated on buying most AC/DC albums because most of them seem to be the last album with one new song, and I almost see it as a waste of money... I will admit that AC/DC is and will always be my favorite band.... Now as for your site....I think it is an awesome site, many of your reviews have made me think twice about maybe buying some of their old albums, and I also think that some of these people are missing a few marbles! Why yell at you?? If they don't like your reviews, then don't read em.... Why they have to shoot you down and say that you are screwed in the head for what you think....it surprises me how many ignorant people are out there... So in closing, I would just like to say I like your site, for the fact you say what you think - if you think an album sucks you say it, and I respect you for it....so keep up the good work, and don't let assholes get to ya...

shaffer@midusa.net (Alison Shafer)
AC/DC... what you can say about them can be endless. All I have to say about them is that they just plain KICK ASS! All I can say is that they are Truly the Best in Rock-n-Roll.

Gmarae@omegabbs.com (Rae Inskeep)
This album is awesome. If you want to listen to pussy rock, look up the alternative page. These guys are fuckin' cool. I saw them back stage in St.Louis at the Riverport. You ought to hear them play backstage, AMAZING!!

AC/DC is the greatest rock-n-roll band ever! They haven't fizzled out, they just don't abuse their fame or their fans. They haven't changed with the fads like Aerosmith. They just played rock-n-roll the way they always had, Loud and Raw!!

JON96B@aol.com
How in the world can anyone call ac/dc HEAVY METAL?????????????? If this isn't ROCK N ROLL, I don't know what is. Nowhere near heavy metal. Just like Bon said...."i'm a ROCKER "....as in Rock n Roll!!!!!!!

This is their best album from the last decade. when they were coming on tour for this one the rumors were that this was their last album and tour....so i followed them to 3 different cities....just in case it was their last tour. every ac/dc concert i've been to, i don't stop banging my head but when they played "for those about to rock" at the last concert......i just sat there and admired....i watched the crowd react to this band. i got the chills man !!! thinking this may be the last time i see them play. please don't go !!!! keep the albums comin !!...................as long as they don't sound like Flick Of The Switch!

hcext@kih.net (HartCo ExtOffice)
I don't usually respond to these things but I had to make an exception this time to come to the aid of one of my favorite bands. I understand that different people have different taste in music but anyone who likes AC/DC must like BALLBREAKER. It represents everything AC/DC is all about. Perhaps if you cleared your mind of any preconceived ideas and listen to the album again you will like it.

Iris Arellano
I totally agree that AC/DC rocks. It is so ironic, cause when I was small and my brother was in high school, I never liked the band. I always thought they had nothing to say. But now I am a senior (yah) and I absolutely love them. I even went to a concert in Denver, CO. It was at the McNichols arena (where the Nuggets play) on August 19, 1996. I had so much fun. To prove that I was there I will even describe some of it. The stage was set up like an old building and then Beavis and Butthead were on a screen trying to get into the band's dressing room. But anyway it was totally cool. I will never forget it. I think they should be honored as the Gods of Rock n Roll.

Gmarae@omegabbs.com (Rae Inskeep)
You're so sickening it makes my fucking ass tired. If you were here i'd kill you now for that shit about Brian having no voice. I'd like to see your ass ROCK THE FUCKING SHIT out of a crowd for 2 fucking hours. I didn't get a chance to see them this tour (cause of my own stupidity) but I'll tell you one thing if i'm sorry WHEN they come again I will be the first to brag to every fucking ear willing to listen with the ticket in my hand.

iuwbygi@hotmail.com
YES. well instead of going fishing with my dad he took me to the CD shop and there we bought a copy of BALLBREAKER. Since then I have bought two more copies of the album. It makes me disappointed that a "fan" could say such things about ACDC. I have got so much ACDC stuff now that if it was to fall on you it would kill you. I hope to hell that Bryan or ANGUS don't ever come to this site! Yes I understand that you have a point of view and wish to express it but when you decided to do reviews was your second choice the Spice Girls! I mean come on man at least know what you are talking about! Perhaps I was not around when BON was but I still know how to rock! If it is ASS KICKING you want then bend over and let the real fans talk the truth into you! By the way my e-mail address (iuwbygi@hotmail.com) stands for IF YOU WANT BLOOD YOU'VE GOT IT!!!!!!

ionut@ica.net
Ballbreaker is OK man! The best album is HIGH VOLTAGE! BON SCOTT WAS THE MAN! BTW, RAZOR'S EDGE KICKS ASS MAN! It's really really good! It's awesome! AC/DC should go back to the old stuff ya know, rock and roll, do songs like "RIDE ON," "THE JACK," "WHOLE LOTTA ROSIE" and "IT'S A LONG WAY TO THE TOP!"

ae%rtp#@mema.geis.com (Allan Evans)
Three out of ten? Why so generous? This is easily the worst AC/DC album, worse than Fly On The Wall, worse than Flick Of The Switch, worse than Blow Up Your Video (at least that album had "Heatseaker"). I've got one thing to say to any arrested adolescent who thinks this is a great album: OPEN YOUR EARS JACKASS!!! The ability to "kick ass" does not a good song make. Ever hear of a thing called melody? Ballbreaker doesn't have any melodies that you'll remember ten minutes after listening to the album. "Hard As A Rock" is kinda funny in a Beavis and Butthead way but that's about it. As for the "live" sounding production, I think it just sounds stripped (although you can probably blame Rick Rubin and not the band for that). The guitars just don't breateh like they do on Back In Black, For Those About To Rock and any of their other primo releases. And you're right about Brian Johnson's voice. It's time to shoot the fucking thing and put it out of its (and our) misery. Ballbreaker is the sound of a once-great band devoid of new ideas and riding on fumes. Too bad. It was cool while it lasted. (I hope you post this just to balance out all the asshole (and inane) comments about your review.)

joseph2@iutinfo.iut-a.univ-lille.fr (Joseph Gregory)
I think that Brian's voice is going more Bluesy, and we should wait for the new album to be able to say anything... AC/DC is kewl anyway!

YIPEKAYE69@aol.com
Hey man you must be on some kinda shit or something. What the hell is the matter with you. You stink if you were a great true fan of AC/DC you wouldn't be talkin shit like this. I feel sorry for you man. You don't know what you are talkin about the BALLBREAKER album. One of the best AC/DC album ever. Of course AC/DC never had a bad album you should know about that wait... oh.. sorry i forgot you are not a true fan. Come on man put some sense to it. It is much better that the crap you listen to on MTV like the peace of shit bands like 311, No Doubt, BUSH, they are no bands. If i had a choice i rather listen rap than that peace of shit callled alternative. GET A LIFE you suck pretty much man. AC/DC is the most kick ass band ever why? cause they got the biggest balls in your moth you son of a bitch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!! ALL HAIL CEASER HAIL, HAILHAIL IM YOUR FUROR BALLBREAKER WRECKIN BALL LET IT ROLL YOU ARE A BALLBREAKER

tshaw@pacifier.com (Todd Shaw)
If you think this album's good, you're a follower rock wannabe. You are Stewart. Beavis and Butthead have you at the end of their fish hook. You heard that AC/DC ruled so you wanted to be the first with the album. Nothing original about this album. But doesn't matter, AC/DC's history more than makes up for it. And just the fact that Angus is there turns the album into the best ever! And it rules!

gbutler@mail.spin.net.au
Hey i'm sorry my friend but Ballbreaker is a fantastic album. I think it's weird that u loved "Hard As A Rock" and hated the rest; it was a great song but there r far better than that e.g. "The Furor," "Burnin' Alive," and "Hail Caesar." Yeah i know Brian's voice isn't that great in this album, but hell there r some great songs here:) Thanx

michael@hartingdale.com.au (Michael Kent)
I quite agree with you on this album. Most of the songs are quite ordinary and it is hardly full of classic hard rock songs. Songs like "Hard As A Rock," "Hail Caesar," and "Cover You In Oil" are just average in my opinion. "The Honey Roll," "Whiskey On The Rocks," and "Boogie Man" are just plain shit as far as I'm concerned. The only song I really loved on the album was "Ballbreaker" and when they performed this song live it was great. It give it about 4 or 5 out of 10.

HDVW143@aol.com
Alright man, your reviews were pretty good until this album, then you blew it. Any true AC/DC fan will tell you that it kicks ass. As a matter of a fact, this cd was what made many of my friends AC/DC fans. OK, maybe it isn't as good as Back in Black or any of the Bon Scott stuff, but you gave Fly On The Wall a better review than this! FOTW is easily the worst AC/DC album. Brian's voice is at its worst on it. Ballbreaker has a lot of good songs. I love the title track, "Hard As A Rock," "Love Bomb," "Burnin' Alive," and "Honey Roll." This album deserves at least a 7.

ehanson3@niu.edu (Johnny The Conqueroo)
To me Ballbreaker has the same sound as Back in Black. I think that it is from the same mold and kicks ass. It's definitely the best album since Back in Black. So, I rate it a 10.

BigGunNum1@aol.com
Ballbreaker rocks the fuckin house and I don't give a fuck what any pansy-ass Bryan Adams type reviewers like your sorry ass say about it! It's not as good as Back in Black, but then again, what is? If you're going to compare all AC/DC albums to that undisputed masterpiece, you're barking up the wrong motherfucking tree. Back in Black was and still is one of the top five rock albums EVER. Brian can't sing as well anymore, but the Young brothers are still in full, arena shaking effect!!!! Oh, I believe that those stupid pussies who made that faggoty Covered in Black "tribute" to AC/DC should not only be shot in the nuts, but anally fistfucked by a man wearing a spiked gauntlet. AC/DC ROOOOOCCCCKKKKKSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

break7@localnet.com (May-Day)
My my my. What mind-numbingly crude fans AC/DC has. Hmm. Well. It's amazing this stuff doesn't get you down. You jacked Ballbreaker's review up a star. Do you really think it's better than It's Hard? You said Ballbreaker has ONE good song. You've also said that It's Hard has four good songs. So why only two stars? At least The Who tried to change their sound and try something new with each album rather than record the same album over and over again like AC/DC. I actually wrote some REASONS why It's Hard is a good album. No swearing or insults a la those paragons of insight and coherence, the AC/DC fans. Did I pursuade you at all? Or do I have to act like a fucking moron like the AC/DC fans? Or am I just wrong and Ballbreaker really is a better album than an honest effort like It's Hard? God, I can't believe I'm typing this. AC/DC is NOTHING in comparison to The Who. The Who did it all. AC/DC is a one trick pony.

Tavo.Conti@RelianceNational.com
BRIAN JOHNSON LOST HIS VOICE AFTER BACK IN IN BLACK BECAUSE HE FAKES SINGING THE WAY HE DOES...THE ONLY TRUE AC/DC SINGER WAS BON SCOTT THE WAY I SEE IT BACK IN BLACK IS BON COMING BACK FROM THE DEAD...AFTER THAT I NEVER BOUGHT ANOTHER AC/DC ALBUM I ONLY LISTEN TO THE BON STUFF....THE LYRICS THAT BRIAN WRITES ARE FUCKIN' DUMB.....

supersexmachine@aol.com (Owen Goodwin)
Ballbreaker is easily there best album since Back in Black and is the fourth best AC/DC album (behind Back in Black, Highway to Hell & High VOLTAGE american vers.) Your reviews suck shit they were all predictable except for the last few were the worst reiews I have ever read. Were do you get off saying Brian has lost his voice. AC/DC is the greatest band ever and a million times better than any current band.

trigger@gate.net (Arthur L. Cross)
IHAVE TO AGREE WITH TRENT!!! BRIAN JOHNSON IS STILL A DAMN GOOD SINGER!! YOU CANT EXPECT HIS VOICE TO STAY PERFECT FOREVER!! I FEEL THAT EVERYTIME HE SINGS HE KEEPS ON GETTING BETTER!! ALONG WITH THE REST OF THE BAND! i FEEL THAT AC/DC HAS TURNED OUT A TERRIFIC ALBUM EVERYTIME THEY HAVE PUT ONE OUT! THIS ONE REALLY KICKS. BRIAN HAD SOME SHOES TO FILL WHEN BON DIED AND HE DID THE BEST THAT HE COULD AND CONTINUES TODAY!

c1111@southwind.net (Marvin L. Covey)
This is the best album from AC/DC in a long time. It should be at least 9. So pull your head out of your ass and listen again you idiot!!!!!!!!!!!

netnitco.net (Tom and Lisa)
I didn't like this album as well as those in the past. But, the tune "Burnin' Alive" was a headbanger if I ever heard it. But believe me Bon will not return from the dead, and Brian is running out of lyrics.

cindy7@swbell.net
THEY ROCK BETTER THAN ANY OTHER BAND HAS EVER ROCKED BEFORE.

jbest@ns.nque.com (Philip Best)
THEY'LL NEVER DIE!!!!

jhelle@nettilinja.fi
Well... It's OK. I was waiting for something better but... ...Something is missing here. I don't know what, but sumthin'

nilsson@cobweb.com.au
This was not AC/DC just look at the album cover all those pictures i think this album is absolute SHIT!!!!

cris@sysnetway.com.br (Ricardo)
Everyone who says anything against AC/DC is a fucking motherfucker. AC/DC is the best Rock'n'Roll band of all time, no one plays or has the same energy that they do so sincerely.

learning@sprintmail.com
Best Johnson album besides Back In Black. Finally, I feel like the band is trying again. Of course, after a five year break, you better have something good to show for it. "Ballbreaker", "Hail Caesar", and "The Furor" are heavy, heavy, and even the mediocre "Love Bomb" is kind of catchy. Overall, there is a nice, dark feel to the album, and I think with a little more creativity with the lyrics, this album could have been even better. I know that the band is famous for it's "horn-dog" lyrics, but please, I think we are trying a little too hard (or being a tad bit too blatant) with the sex these days. It's cool if it seems sincere, but I almost get the feeling that they are writing the way they feel they are expected to write. I think we need a few more "I'm a stud, get the fuck out of my way" types of songs. (See "T.N.T.", "Problem Child", "Back In Black", "Night Prowler"). One side note: I was very impressed with Angus's soloing on this album, particularly the end of "Ballbreaker", however, I was shocked and very dissapointed when I saw the band live. I swear that Angus was cutting corners on his solos. No solo on "Ballbreaker", "Let There Be Rock" was cut down drastically, as was "Whole Lotta Rosie". Watching his hand move (or not move) up and down the neck, it seemed like he was playing it safe. Has Angus (God Forbid) slowed down?! Is he unable to handle some of the faster songs anymore?! I am very concerned about this and I am curious to know whether anyone else noticed this during the last tour. Please tell me I'm crazy.

vidalis@csd.uch.gr (Antonis Vidalis)
This album makes obvious that the recent problem with AC/DC is not in the music (which is great) but in the poor lyrics. They lack in imagination and inspiration. Also the production of this album was quite weak.

paul7777@ime.net (Mitch)
this album is not the best, but it is one of my favs, "burnin alive" is a great song, and all the rest, this album was made to widen the variety of ac/dc, and angus did have some moments on this album, hopefully thier next will be better, in a world where rock is dying, ac/dc is keeping it alive, i can't think of any other band that used to rock but now does wasteful shit, ac/dc is the best to see live, even if you're a mediocre fan, you'll like ac/dc more, i live 20 miles from portland maine, and the last time they were in town, i went south ten miles to my mom's friend's house, and i could faintly hear the rockets and the band jamming, wow, i'm gonna catch them next time around, ac/dc will get it back, they are growing in popularity in the school, a third prime, maybe!!!!!

lemaitre@info.enserb.u-bordeaux.fr
I simply do not agree with you. This album kicks ass! It is as bluesy as Powerage is, and live performances of Ballbreaker's songs make part of the greatest instants in the playlist. "Ballbreaker" (the song) can be compared to "Let there be rock" (the song too) in a way. Please listen to Ballbreaker once more, and enjoy it.

mervm@ozemail.com.au
What the hell are you on about??? BallBreaker is a kick-arse album. If the boys heard you sayn' that shit they'd come down and kick your arse!

hess_s@inter.net.il
I think that this album is not so good, but maybe we expected too much? I also think that we should give them another chance.

MBadExampl@aol.com
I agree that this wasn't a great album, but I did get a kick out of the guy who suggested that you go rape your goldfish.

bon@bright.net
At this point in reading yours and everyone elses opinions I would like to add mine FUCK OFF-----AC/DC no matter what when and how they record something, are simply the BEST band ever assembled. Any real fan would not critisize one move that this Unparallelled group has ever done.

HGWY@aol.com
I know it's a little late, however, I agree with you. With the exception of "Hard As A Rock" and "Cover You In Oil", this album sucks. It's the single most awful piece of garbage this band has come up with to date. Period. The rest of you need to pull your head's out of your +*&%@'s and come up for a little air. Bottom line for AC/DC is.......time to throw in the towel, stop the bleeding, pull the plug, and put yourselves, and everyone else out of misery. Stop embarrassing yourselves, you're turning into a parody of yourselves boys!!! Get out while you still have a little dignity!

bill79@iastate.edu
In my opinion, I don't think that the music is slow, it's your mind. This album goes back to their roots more than any other album has. You complained about doctoring up Brian's vocals in the earlier albums. In this album, his voice may not be what it used to, but it still sounds better than anything Aerosmith has ever done. I think you might need to go put on your flannel shirt, combat boots, shave your melon fucking head, and jump on the grunge bandwagon, bitch!

Gleeman555@aol.com
Restored my faith!! They still have it!! 8 out of 10 stars!!!

asaka.skala@swipnet.se
It`s embarrassing to read your review of Ballbreaker. Compare that album with Fly or Blow and you must hear that this is a better album, heavier,rougher,it`s more Acdc. If you don`t hear that i don`t think you should review Acdc albums.

fandrese@online.no
I almost fell outa my chair,and hit the floor with the review of Ballbreaker!! I think Ballbreaker is one of the BEST Albums they have ever released... I would give it a 9 outa 10,it's FUCKING INCREDIBLE!!!!! "Love Bomb" and "Ballbreaker" are EXCELLENT!!! "Boogie Man"/"Burning Alive"/"Caught With Your Pants Down"/"The Furor" R-O-C-K-S your heart out... BallBreaker just shows that AC/DC are just getting BETTER AND BETTER, The album is a S-M-A-S-H,I LOVE it.... AC/DC breaking up?????,god your nuts,I don't know what has gotten into you... I don't know,I guess you're just not a TRUE AC/DC fan. Your review of The Razor's Edge was Insane too,however your review of Back In Black was right on perfect....But the razor's edge and Ballbreaker review are truly UNFORGIVABLE!!!! You dissaponit all us REAL AC/DC fans

Brak102@aol.com (Red)
It is an ok album , not as good as their older stuff, but its still ok. However this album does get boring after a while. I don't know how anyone can like "Hard as a Rock" though, That is the most boring godawful song I've ever heard , I'd rather listen to dishwalla!! or LuMP (kiddin about LuMP , never heard em)

adin2@student.monash.edu.au
AUSTRALIAN MUSIC AT ITS FUCKING BEST! FUCK SAVAGE GARDEN!

mpursiai@nettilinja.fi
You are full of shit! AC/DC is now more greater than ever!!!!!! With Phil on the drums, they have arosen again!!!! You could say, that AC/DC is BACK IN BLACK!!!!!!!!!!!

balrog@tig.com.au
Hmmmm i just stumbled on this web page and was horrified to read Ballbreaker got 2/10. If you ask me it is an 8/10 at least..and as good as Razors edge. It has great songs..my fave prolly being "Burnin alive" which kicks arse... Rather than resort to abuse of the reviewer I will simply resort to threats...If i ever saw you i would run you over and feel better for weeks....

MRTRFED@aol.com
It makes sense you like "Hard as a rock" because of the pop element. That is the problem, you are offended by true rock. You must really like Metallica. Ha Ha Ha. I'm sorry you are so pathetic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

zzaj@istar.ca
I've been listening to this one a lot lately, because I realized that it is the only Brian album that even remotely sounds like something from the Bon years. What are you thinking? Take a second listen to this album, because it is great. It rocks a hell of a lot more than Flick of the Switch, which is undoubtedly the worst piece of fuck I have ever laid ears on. Shit man, think before you write this stuff.

S.J.Gordon@Bradford.ac.uk (Stu)
Hmmmmm.....On first listen, this sounded quite good, but on the whole this is a mixed album. Angus's guitar bits sound great, the drums sound 'right' again, but Malcolm's guitar sounds cheesy in places, and Brian's voice just sounds irritating, especially compared to Back in Black. But worst of all, all the lyrics are complete bollocks. But don't blame Brian for this, as all the words on this (as well as The Razor's Edge) were penned by the Young Brothers alone. Perhaps their newie will be better.

But enough of this, where's the review for Bonfire?

peldude@ibm.net
I have to agree with the reviewer, Ballbreaker wasn't a great effort. I'd give it a five because it's AC/DC and their music instantly drives adrenalin into my blood and the hair on my face and hands starts rapidly growing before my eyes, but hey, this album made me wonder if their time had indeed come to retire. It's better to go out with a bang (Live) than try to hang on too long and embarass yourselves. They are my favorite band all time and I collect everything I can get my hands on, but I started wondering when I heard this album "Could it be that I might see these guys for the last time this tour?" So I saw them and feeling it would be the last time, convinced my wife to wait for 3 hours backstage to meet Angus to tell him how much their music has meant to me all these years (and we did meet him). Brian's voice is not near what it used to be, and let's face it, there are only so many ways you can combine 3 chords and when they try something new like on BUYV, people complain. I was glad to hear that there will be a new album in '98, I still have hope that they can kick my ass up 30 flights of stairs and slam my head into the door that leads to the roof where they will toss me over the edge and I will land teeth first onto a manhole cover, brush myself off and get ready for the next song, but I am a realist and I know a good thing only last for so long. The Bonfire set should have fans primed and ready, and Brian will have to face a bunch of Bon comparisons again, so I sincerely hope the band is up to the challenges of this next album, and I can't wait to hear it!

jim.morrison@montego.com (Michael Rohm)
While I don't think that this album is near as bad as Mark makes it out to be, it still isn't very good. Do you want to hear good AC/DC? Find ANY album by the band with Bon Scott - that is GOOD AC/DC. Powerage! Let There Be Rock! '74 Jailbreak! These are all INCREDIBLE albums, with no bad songs in sight. What the hell is this? Granted, it's got some good tunes ("Ballbreaker", "Hail Caesar", and "Burnin' Alive" come to mind) but this isn't a very good album. I like a lot of singers most people think are awful: Joe Strummer, Johnny Rotten, Jello Biafra. But Johnson just can't sing. His voice doesn't even sound very good. Now I'm not knocking Angus - in fact, if it weren't for Angus, I'd proobably not listen to ANY of the post-Bon AC/DC albums - but Brian Johnson just can't sing.

I do find it amusing that AC/DC fans feel they have to 'defend' the band from the 'evil' Prindle. Mark called Ozzy's solo career 'cartoonish' in the Sabbath reviews. While I totally disagree and like Ozzy's solo material, I don't see the point in sending him messages saying, "FUCK YOU OZZY R00LZ!!!" It's just stupid. Grow up, kids.

worleyd@planetc.com
Just to let you know, I think your reviews really suck!

mrdoug@mindspring.com (Douglas M. Hopkins)
the first song i liked by ac/dc was "who made who" its still my favrite song .i thing there are very few bands that produce honest rock n roll ac/dc is at the top of that list , the thing that they have is a good mixture of soul and swing agood ex: "shot down in flames" , a crippled person would get up and dance to that song ,not every one of their songs has that swing but 90% of them do ,ac/dc gives the listener every ounce of pure rock and roll that they can and thats all thats on their list of things to do ,alot of bands will make a couple of albums get, some fame and then go on some stuid cause like save the fish or dont smoke cigerets (boys to men) or some crap like that . there alot of band that will do asong and youll say hey thats agood song two days later youll throw the tape out the window not ac/dc ,i listen to them over and over and over, never get tired of them . pure rock and roll thass all there is to it .

JnJCable@worldnet.att.net (Neptune Salad)
9 out of 10, this album is an anthem to 1) AC/DC 2)AC/DC's fans and 3)the survival of Rock in the late 90's. Ballbreaker just proves that you won't have to spend the last 5 years of this decade listening to Third Eye Blind or Mathbox 20 or other lame, flimsy sensitive guy pop. We can still get new music to bang our heads to.

By the way, I didn't notice anything wrong with Brian's vocals. Maybe you just said that because he has a few spoken word sections in 2 songs DUMBASS!

And, people, stop comparing him to a dead guy, for Hell's Bells sake.

LionClaw17@aol.com
Well before this album I was a little nervous. Were they too old? My favorite band has had its ups and downs (FOTS) but they never fell on their face. So after hearing Ballbreaker I was relieved! THEY STILL GOT IT AND IT IS BETTER THEN EVER!! 9 out of 10!!

bu343@yfn.ysu.edu
I don't get what all this shit is about Brian's voice!? I can't really even see the difference between Back in Black and ballbreaker! And you say that on "Hells Bells" he can't hit the high note like he used to? What the hell? He sings it higher on live than on Back In Black! Get a fuckin' clue, people! I think you all are just listening to what other peple say and are too chicken-shit to disagree so you say "Yeah Brian's voice is gone!" so you sound like you know what you're talking about!

pmtapia@worldnet.att.net (The Chameleon)
Yeah I'd just like to say I listened to most of this album a while back at some record store because it was on display, and I think it really blows. uhh!! I really hate "Hard as a Rock"!!! It's horrible! It sounds like that damn Sheryl Crow song "Everday is winding road"! You know what I mean? The guitar at the beginning sounds exactly like the chorus to "everday is a winding road". Just like it. Terrible generic garbage this album is. Fuck it.

jhill@baxter.net
Well, I won't say anything about the people who don't like Ballbreaker. But if you are looking for something that matches Back in Black and For thos..., this is the one. Well, for No BUll, ok, Johnson's voice was weak. But I don't see how that affects the studio album? People have to remember that Angus Young (and I'm not saying this without some knowledge) is a great guitarist and has improved over the years. AC/DC could have come out with a Van Halen album and Angus could have blown people away with his skill. Maybe it would work? But they didn't. Instead, they come out with 3-chord songs like "Ballbreaker" and "Hail Ceaser" and work on nothing but pure power.

I saw them in Michigan, Buffalo and at home in the Skydome. For a band to put on a show like they did in shit Skydome, that is a true band for yah! How about the "Politically Correct" 90's. Did that stop the rauchyness...it got worse. "Boogie Man" although 600 other songs are out titled "Boogie Man", this is the best song under "The Jack". Get it, Under... They were trying to get a song to groove like "The Jack", they got in "Boogie Man" "Hard As a Rock" is the worst song on the album! Thank you for your time.

Bjkmook@aol.com
Damnit, Mark!! (sniff sniff) How could you?!?! I love AC/DC as if they were my own sons. (sniff sniff) I love Ballbreaker as if it was a fucking Father's Day gift. If my kid gave me a piece of shit for my birthday, I'd accept it graciously because he's my son. WHAT-FUCKING-EVER!!! I'd lock the little bastard in the closet and play Back In Black through the door. LMAO

dleonar@comp.uark.edu
I usually don't respond things like this, since I have my own (very obscure, since it's only been around for two months) record review site. But I have to leap to Prindle's defense. I agree with his review of Ballbreaker - I'd give it 1 star, though. I borrowed this from the student radio station I DJed at when it came out and knew it was going to be bad just flipping through the booklet, with those stupid little cartoons - for god's sake, these guys are 40 years old and probably quite domesticated with nice wives and kids and everything, why the hell do they have to pretend they're dumb sexist 19 year olds who sing about dicks all they time because they aren't getting any? But what really bites is the scathing hate mail you've got from ignorant asshole AC/DC fans. They act as if you say anything remotely negative about the band you're Benedict Arnold (even you AC/DC fans might be smart enough to get that reference). They're nothing but MINDLESS LEMMINGS! Look, if AC/DC were 70 years old and released an album from wheelchairs in 2020 would you still think it's great 'cause "It's AC/DC and everything they do kicks ass, man!" If they recorded an album of Baptist hymnals in 15 minutes, "'cause they like rule, and FUCK YOU for sayin' you don't like it. You own every AC/DC album, even the expensive $30 imports that only have two new songs on them, and have listened to all of them a lot, but you are NOT A FAN BECAUSE YOU DON'T FUCKIN LOVE EVERY SINGLE SECOND OF MUSIC THEY EVER RECORDED." In another time and place these blind worshippers of AC/DC would have followed Hitler or some stupid religion....They're like cult members who can't think for themselves. I find them pretty sad, especially that homophobe who's either a closet gay or doesn't have a girlfriend - I know, because guys who hate gays a lot usually have some weird sexual problems they haven't worked out yet and have to lash out at something. Please tell these AC/DC fans to GET A LIFE and stop kneeling at the altar of Angus. All of my favorite bands have released songs that suck, and (not all of them) even albums that suck, and I ADMIT IT. So what's the problem with these AC/DC fans? Did they attend brainwashing camp? Is Angus Young the next Charles Manson? Scary thoughts for your next AC/DC concert....

P.S. Those last comments were tongue in cheek. You AC/DC fans do understand irony, don't you? DON'T YOU?!?

taspate@acs.ucalgary.ca (Tyler Spate)
All you people dissing Brian need to get a life. He can still belt out the tunes just fine. 2 outta 10?? That just doesn't make sense...FLY and BLOW were the trash AC/DC CD's...how dare you suggest AC/DC should break up!!!! They wont, it just isn't like them. They be around when there 68!!!!!! AC/DC at 68 years old is better than the so-called rock music of today. Dishwalla, Matchbox 20, Everclear, Green Day, Tonic...all those bands just suck the big fat one!

As for the peon comments above mine. You my friend need to get a life. I am no cult follower or anything like that. It is just to bad that people think "OLD" bands are no good. Gimme a break. Go watch Spice World again you asshole...how dare you insult AC/DC fans

I think your IQ squared would equal mine halved!!!!!!!!

bu343@yfn.ysu.edu
Well I'd have to say that ballbreaker isn't a GREAT album, but it doesn't suck either. I like every single song on it, and with each one I think someone is behind me drawing his foot back to give me and massive kick in the ass....but it never quite happens. All the songs are good but none of them really rock and kick ass...I'd give ballbreaker a 6 out of 10. all the rest of you who say ac/dc has died and needs to break up- FUCK YOU.

ABOUT2ROK@aol.com
We all know that "Rock and Roll Aint Noise Pollution!" And Ballbreaker is Rock and Roll. This album kicks ass! I don't get why everyone is comparing everything to Back In Black. "Think of the future...forget about the past!" AC/DC is the best hard rock band on the planet! Their careers are far from over! And Brian hasn't lost his voice! It has changed, but not enough to warrant everybody saying that he can't sing anymore! Don't worry about this asshole and what he says about AC/DC. Opinions are like assholes...Everyone has them!

JnJCable@worldnet.att.net (Neptune Salad)
I figured out why you don't like Ballbreaker. It's because you are a heavy metal/punk rock fan, and Ballbreaker was the closest thing to good old fashioned Rock 'n' Roll *ever*, in the history of AC/DC. Don't like the old style of rock, as opposed to speed metal (Razor's Edge)? Then Ballbreaker is not for you. At least you like "Hard As A Rock", I'm into *every single song on there*, especially "Caught With Your Pants Down", a great, and fast, song. The kind of song that makes you see Angus doing the duckwalk, right on your speakers! "Hard As A Rock" is a just plain fun "boner" song, "Cover You In Oil"'s lyrics are great, "The Furor" is the kind that people stomp their feet to; it's so fuckin' hard and loud, "Boogie Man" is bluesish, something that a few so-called AC/DC fans don't appreciate (you know who I'm talking to, boys and girls) but it's got a great sound and story (Brian Johnson *is* boogying, in my mind), "The Honey Roll"'s lyrics are fucking hilarious, and they make me hungry: "Honey, roll over, and lettuce on top", "Burnin' Alive has a great rhythm to it, and electrifying lyrics: "They be smokin' your hide, come runnin' wild, tell you nothin' to fear, 'cause your buck stops here! He came from a little town called Hope, and someday, maybe, It'll go up in smoke...", "Hail Caesar" has Brian with that spooky ass growl in the middle, plus some great guitar work, "Love Bomb" is catchy as fuck, and has an awesome sound throughout, "Caught With Your Pants Down" starts of as a quiet, but fast tune, then just as it seems about ready to explode in noise, it gives us a few excellent guitar riffs and stops, leaving us with the hi hat tap-tap-tapping, then Brian starts slapping down people with his voice, the song keeps escalating from there, "Whisky On The Rocks" is *the* song to drink to, and then... "Ballbreaker" finishes off the entire album. "Ballbreaker", is the best album of 1995, and the best song of quite a few years. Honestly, there isn't a single bad song on here. AC/DC will never die!

acdc@zip.com.au (Luke)
AC/DC HAD to return to their roots. Even if it meant sacrificing a bit of the creativity they discovered on B.U.Y.V. or The Razor's Edge (to a lesser extent). Bruce Fairbairn destroyed them a liitle. Though he did produce one of the greatest rock tracks of all time i.e "THUNDERSTRUCK".

This album showed that AC/DC have not lost their path. This was simply "starting from the beginning". The new album in '98 will surely be a step up. Ballbreaker was very good, the next one will be a killer. I PROMISE!!!!!

crocket@ionsys.com (Dave Burton)
This album reinforces my opinion on AC/DC....that their best efforts are those done with outside producers. This album is a return to their roots and produced to the extent of putting em' back on the radio. Yeah...Brian's voice is gone...but so what!!!! They still rock in my car!!!

Their best efforts are done with outside production...1) Back in Black (Mutt Lange)...2)Powerage (Vanda & Young)....3)FTATR (Mutt Lange)...4)Let There Be Rock (Vanda & Young)...5)Ballbreaker (Rick Ruben). Razer (Bruce Fairbairne) should get notable mention here....for "Thunderstruck"...& "ARe You Ready"...but the rest of the album is candyassed!! The point is.....let Angus and Mal (and occasionally Brian) stick to making the music...and allow for outside production!!!

This band kicks ass!!!!!

HulksterTB@aol.com
Because of your sorry excuse of a reveiw for the AC/DC album's If You Want Blood, The Razor's Edge, and BallBreaker, I now use my powers, and I condem you to hell to burn in forever!!!

wrathchild@bigpond.com
This album is pretty crap up against the early AC/DC stuff except that it has one really awesome song in "Burnin Alive"

cliffnorth@localaccess.com (TAD)
Mark: Jesus H. Ghod!!!! NOW I C what U mean about Bing threatened with death.... Just finished yr AC/DC section, which seemed pretty even-handed, considering it all. But the response 2 yr Ballbreaker review, jeez.... Some wanna-be psychiatrist college student could write a master's thesis around those responses.... I was never a big DC fan, meself. Liked the loudness, but they just weren't my particular glass of Scotch. "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" was a GREAT song, tho. Possibly the greatest track in the entire history of mankind. ...Xcept for "Eminence Front," I mean....

mcostend@mcn.net (Mark Ostendorf)
I enjoyed this album, and thank god they still are making albums, so there is something worth listening to nowadays. It's just not as good as BIB and FTATR, no way around that, but it is a good album. Hard as a Rock is good, but what about "BURNING ALIVE"? It's one of their BEST songs EVER as far as I'm concerned. BRIAN sings GREAT on this song, AND THE GUITAR, DRUMMING, AND RHYTHM ARE EXCELLENT!!! I'm surprised no one has mentioned the lyrics THEY BE SMOKIN'YOUR HIDE, COME RUNNIN'WILD, TELL YOU NOTHIN TO FEAR, CAUSE THE BUCK STOPS HERE! HE CAME FROM A LITTLE TOWN CALLED HOPE, AND SOMEDAY MAYBE, IT"LL GO UP IN SMOKE! NO FIREWATER, OR NOVOCAINE, NO THUNDERSTORM AND NO JOHN WAYNE, NO KIDS TO ROCK, NOWHERE TO RUN, SO WATCH OUT, CAUSE THIS PLACE IS GONNA BURN!, BURNIN' ALIVE, BURNIN' ALIVE - SOMEWHERE, THERE'S A LITTLE TOWN CALLED HOPE, AND SOMEDAY MAYBE BABY, HE'LL INHALE THAT SMOKE! BURNIN ALIVE, BURNIN ALIVE"" BILL CLINTON is from HOPE, ARKANSAS by the way, and those are what I call FUCKING GOOD AND INTERESTING LYRICS whether you like them or not. I LOVE them, and if they come out with 1 good song per album - I SALUTE YOU AC/DC!!!!!!!!!!!

fabry@writeme.com (Fabrizio Cadenaro)
I like 3 songs: Hard as a rock, Hail caesar and Ballbreaker, the others are shit. So, 3 songs out of 11 make a score of 3 points out of 10.

tedaldi@acsu.buffalo.edu (Justin Tedaldi)
I'm about to say those words you dread to hear:

BALLBREAKER'S GROWING ON ME!

I don't see how you could hate it so. It's not a rock album, but it does have a nice bluesy swagger to it, and Brian's voice actually sounds good because he sings in a lower register.

And what have you got against Michael Stipe, anyway? You think he's an egomaniac but he's really just a shy quiet bisexual frontman who can't talk faster than Beavis and Butt-head on a cocaine high. Seeing the Behind the Music special reinforced this even more.

orjanforsberg@telia.com
Oh sweet Jesus! I`ve read and heard a lot of crap in my days but this is too much. Why don't you leave this as it is and go and "wank" yourself. I've listened to AC/D since they first hit the musical scene(first album) and i've belive that the are THE GREATEST GUITAR BASED BLUES-BOGGIE-ROCK`N'ROLL band ever.Thats it!!!!! And it doesn't matter what kind of style the song have - the just make it better than anyone else in their own style!!! And that goes for every album they made and will make!!!!!!! End of discussion!!!

mburrus@zdnetmail.com (Michael Burrus)
YUCKY! Oh man this album is PATHETIC! I can't believe so many people like it. I can't believe ANYONE likes it. Well I liked when I first got the album but it got really old, really fast. There are a couple of neat catchy tunes, but this is a very bad, atrocious album. Miss.

3/10

halhorn@airmail.net
Well, there's not a "Thunderstruck" here, and Rubin's production is more BUYV than TRE (I think Fairbairn did a better job), but it's not quite panic time just yet. What is needed next time out: Johnson's involvement in the songwriting process (Jackyl's "Locked and Loaded" proves he's still got it in this department). The Youngs are doing a fair job with the lyrics here, but really, compare the lyrics from BUYV or even FOTW with the lyrics for TRE and BB and you'll have to agree that Johnson's input helps a great deal.

There's enough great songs here ("Ballbreaker"; "Whiskey on the Rocks"; "The Furor"; "Hail Caesar"; "Cover You in Oil") to warrant, say, a 6 out of 10, but we all know the band is capable of better. The filler isn't quite as obvious here, though, as it is on TRE (which closed with three really weak tracks and also contained the beer commercial wannabe "Are You Ready").

"Hard as a Rock" is a really obvious ripoff of Motorhead's "Deaf Forever" though.

Awake600@aol.com
No hate mail here... I completely agree with you on the 3. What a waste of a record. Now, I'm not that much of an AC/DC fan to begin with, but I have to admit they did come up with some awesome shit. Not the case here. Only the first two songs, "Hard As A Rock" and "Cover You In Oil", I even consider decent. And that awful title track has to be one of the most reviled songs in my listening experience.

Lymtime@aol.com (Paul Lyman)
Ouch, bad rating. I used to agree with you. When I first listened to it I liked 3 songs (Hard As A Rock, Hail Caesar, & Ballbreaker). Then I did something I should have done when I first got it. CRANK IT WAY THE FUCK UP! Damn near blew out the woofers in my CD player. But holy shit what a difference volume can make! Before, I thought Cover You In Oil was boring as hell, but now I love that riff. The Honey Roll is now one of my all-time faves. Love Bomb is now bearable. And Caught With Your Pants Down rocks like a son of a bitch (once you get past the intro)! Of course I now think of The Furor, Burnin' Alive, and Whiskey On The Rocks as no-brainer arse kickers. And Boogie Man is one of their best bluesy efforts with Brian.

Plus Rick Rubin did a better job producing AC/DC than Mutt or Vanda/Young (in my mind). This is the first album where the intense sound of Malcolm's Gretsch really takes over since FTATR. Phil's back, and even though I liked Chris, Rudd is the man for 'DC. Cliff does an awesome job on this album, listen to Hail Caesar to hear my point. And Brian's vocals are incredible! I love his raw, raspy growl. And of course, Angus was his usual brilliant self on this record. I now really can't see any glaring flaws here. Give this CD another spin and crank it up, you'll like it.

harry.coates@virgin.net
I am going to hunt you like an animal and steal your life from you. Ballbreaker fuckin' rules!!!

sean@darkagepictures.com (Sean Harris)
Wow Mark--I've never seen this much angst in writing before. You're lucky these AC/DC fans haven't crucififed you.

For me, I don't get it. I love Highway to Hell--I can't play Back in Black anymore because the local rednecks who blare it every weekend at the Safeway parking lot have ruined it for me. These same guys play Bon Jovi, for Chrissakes!

But other than that, AC/DC has always just been sort of there. I don't play it. I don't hate it--but I won't buy it and I associate it with bars. I do think Ballbreaker sucks a bowl of dicks. I saw the premiere video for the first single and I just kept thinking that Angus needed to have a syringe hanging out of his arm. They looked old and used and sounded really, really slow.

That's it. I respect them for being there and doing what they've done. That being said--I do prefer Bon Scott's vocals over Johnson's. But I don't like either enough to make me a fan. I'd much rather play a Nazareth record, if you can believe it.

Let's see how many AC/DC cultists condemn me to eternal fire for the above. Thanks for the cool site anyway.

mdt3@ukc.ac.uk
Nice to find someone else not too impressed by Ballbreaker. Frankly it lacks two things: energy and good songs. How many of the spiteful gits above noticed the pace of the songs is slower than usual on this album. Just because the sound has more distortion in it doesn't make it a more powerful (or "kick-arse" - dumb Americanism if ever there was one) album. Anyone else noticed too, that on the second half of Razor's Edge and most of this album all that passes for a chorus is the title of the song pretty much tunelessly repeated? If criticising the band makes me not a "true fan", then so be it. I'd rather be able to tell the difference between a blistering performance like that on the Let There Be Rock Live In Paris CD and a poor imitation of former glories like this.

jtcable@tir.com (Josh Cable)
Yes, I again revise an old review.

Ballbreaker. You like it. I won't tell anyone. Oops.

This album did not lack energy, but it lacked the one thing usually connected to AC/DC's energy, and that is HEAVY HEAVY distortion, with the guitars indeed being in each speaker. And sad to say, even though Angus liked being able to hear the notes he was playing, there's just one fact that brings Ballbreaker down as an album. And that fact is:

Kiss is fucking gay. ER... that these songs are much much much MUCH MUCH better on No Bull. BECAUSE AC/DC ARE JUST SIMPLY THE BEST FUCKING LIVE BAND EVER. There is no production for a live show, especially an AC/DC show. Boogie Man on No Bull goes from being slow, bluesy, and fun, to being just plain badassed as a muther. The strip-tease via Boogie Man was fucking sweet, and gave new life for that song to me.

The album itself is AC/DC. The "formula," as every dumbass critic puts it, is still in effect, as it always will be. AC/DC can't be anything than a real and true rock band, so none of their albums are ever really not good, or even just "sorta ok." And unlike MOTHERFUCKING GODDAMN KISS, they don't need to make excuses for past mistakes in their career, because AC/DC is not a big fucking money making gimmick, and they don't fuck around. Plus, Kiss never made a single good song or riff, forever. And. Ever.

The title track is just the best thing ever.

choff4@netzero.net (choff4)
I must say, to give any AC/DC album a review like that is a disgrace to the International Order of AC/DC Fans, and you sir will be stricken from the record and never allowed to hear, view, gaze at, or talk about AC/DC ever again, or else you will be whacked upside the head with one of Angus Young's Gibson SGs (one of the ones he doesn't like very much cuz we wouldn't waste a good SG on a traitorous person like yourself). Now if there really was an International Order of AC/DC Fans, you'd be in deep shit (y'know there should be such an organization...). Now, first of all, Ballbreaker was a very good album. And even if it wasn't the best AC/DC could put out (and I believe anything AC/DC does is great) as an AC/DC fan, you shouldn't give it 2 out of 10!!! All AC/DC albums shouldn't get less than 5!!! If you were a real AC/DC fan you would realize that every single album by AC/DC is extremely incredibly awesome in each their own way. Some might be a little more or less awesome than the others but they're all very awesome. No AC/DC album is anywhere close to a rating of 2!!! well, if it's on a scale of 1-2, maybe!

But you see, this is a serious issue. Here we got an AC/DC fan, giving an AC/DC album a very low rating and a pretty bad review. This is horrible, to see an AC/DC fan say such things about AC/DC!! Although I must give you a little credit for taking back what you said about them breaking up - but that still doesn't let you off the hook. This is going on your permanent record, young man!! You should be ashamed of yourself!!! I should punish you very badly for breaking the most important of the Unspoken Rules of AC/DC Fandom: NEVER INSULT AC/DC IF YOURE AN AC/DC FAN! but, Im in a good mood today and Im gonna let you off with this: LISTEN TO BALLBREAKER. LISTEN TO IT 1 MILLION TIMES AND THEN WRITE A NEW REVIEW AND POST IT IN PLACE OF THAT DISGRACEFUL LOAD OF BULLSHIT. And if I EVER catch you shaming the name of AC/DC FAN again, I will come after you DO YOU HEAR ME?!!

I can't believe you gave an AC/DC ALBUM A 2 OUT OF 10!!!\

Nick.Walford@nettec.net
I think I just wet myself laughing at the braindead comments from all the diehard ac/dc fans, pissed off at your review of ballbreaker. jeezus wept, what a bunch of idiots. the gy who said they were like cult members hit it on the head.

in all honesty, I'm not even familiar with this album, but I can see why you only give it 3 - basically, ac/dc with brian johnson 'singing' have never been as good as in the bon scott years, by a long fucking way. yes, back in black and for those about to rock are superb albums, but over a 25 year (or whatever) career, there are bound to be some low points. full marks to you for having the balls to rail against patchy material.

robchaundy@yahoo.com (Robert Chaundy)
Priidnle dont you fuckin undrstand if your an ACDC fan must like A;LL there ffcuking songs or well come and KILL you because theire the GREATEST band in WORLFD an you carnt rock as well as they can so whot right doyou have to say anythin gabout them YOU FUCING PRICK They is nottlike other bands that makeds a shitte ablum evry so offen and gEts ,worser as they get olderh - they are GODS of rock,an,roll Énd BALLBRAKER IS THEGRETEST FUCKIUNG ALBLUM IN ALL OF HISTORY its BETTER than Sarjent Pepper and BETTER than Drak Side and Who,s Nexy and Closed to The edge amd Master of Pupppets and Much ,much better then that peace of shit Ablum BLACk in BACK. I mean, how Can anybody say shitty Hell's Bells'ss better than LOVE BOmB or Boogle Man? HahAhah got you their you BASTARD Point Prooven. You arent a proper AD/CD fan if you say that that that is better than BALLBREAKERand why don't you just DIE and

Yes, Mark, three out of ten seems about right.

mtrier@optonline.net (Michael Trier)
Initially I was disappointed with this disc - but of their past four studio albums, the only one that didn't let me down was Razor's. After a couple listens - volume defintely is this disc's friend - this one came alive. It does rank low in their catalog. I think only Fly, Blow Up and '74 Jailbreak rank lower. But then again, they don't really have a bad album.

The main problems: BJ's ever-deteriorating voice (though he sounded much better on Stiff Upper Lip), some strange engineering - can't put my finger on it, but there is something funky with the guitars that just doesn't sound right, and some of the songs go on too long and degenerate into noise.

Overall, not bad. 6.5 out of 10.

Anthony Hudson
Three stars on the Ballbreaker review? This does not compute. Ballbreaker is the best AC/DC album since For Those About to Rock, it beats the shit out of Fly On The Wall, Blow Up Your Video, and The Razor's Edge. I would go as far to say that Ballbreaker is slightly better than Stiff Upper Lip, only because Ballbreaker has more of a hard edge to it. Phil Rudd's drum work alone makes every song on this album worth cranking to maximum volume. And anyone who does not get moved in some way by "Whiskey On The Rocks" and the title track simply does not have a pulse. "Hard As A Rock" is a great tune, but there are many other gems on this album. Ballbreaker is a "must have" for even the least avid AC/DC fan.

JCRider87@aol.com (Lee)
Regarding your review of "Ballbreaker" - It takes a lot of guts to write a review that you know is your honest opinion but will piss off so many people. It takes guts to write the unpopular review and it takes a real man to post the childish comments of people who don't see eye to eye with you. Comments like:

"I think you've been in la la land too much sucking cock and you forgot what real music is, bastard."

It wasn't enough to say you were sucking cock. He had to throw in the "bastard" at the end of the sentence.

"Why don't you go fuck your dog and rape your goldfish? You're the washed up pathetic old bag, MOTHERFUCKER!!!!!!!!!"

Sex with the dog is OK, but sex with your goldfish is rape? Then he follows it with no less than 9 exclamation points! This guy has to be from West Virginia. Sex with the dog isn't rape in West Virginia.

Here's what I have to say. I love hearing your opinions about an album regardless of whether you agree with me or not. I hate hearing someone give a bad review to an album they know nothing about just to go against the popular opinion so they can be different. You give honest reviews each and every time so when you don't like something, it is interesting to hear why you don't like it. It doesn't offend me and shouldn't offend the West Virginians who disagree with you.

I personally like Ballbreaker and since you disagree with me I think you should have a threesome with your dog and your goldfish while listening to Ballbreaker.

kitklarenberg@hotmail.com
Prindle had it spot on. No matter how weak some of AC/DC's output has been, it never got as bad as this. There's nothing memorable about this record at all (whether that's because it's genuinely not very memorable, or its so horrible you don't WANT to remember it is a different matter), the riffs are surplus, the lyrics are horrible, Johnson's voice is horrible (meanings the songs are horrible) and the whole band sounds like they ingested a truckload of sedatives before recording it (yes, it's as lethargic as cheese). Rubin is an amazing producer, but there's only so much he can do when the material he's working with is garbage.

e3s8@kirkco.org
Thank god Bruce Fairburn died and Rick Rubin stepped in as producer. Thank god Chris Slade, the human (?) drum-machine, was replaced by TRUE AC/DC drummer, Phil Rudd. Thank god the boys got their balls back on Ballbreaker, making it their best album since 1983ís Flick of the Switch. Anyone that says that gutless slick pop album, The Razorís Edge, is AC/DCís ďcomebackĒ doesnít know what AC/DC is about. True fans love raw, no nonsense albums like Powerage and Flick of the Switch. Ballbreaker is such an album. When songs like ďHard As A RockĒ and ďCover You In OilĒ are the singles, you know the boys arenít giving a *@#! about moving units (the album broke the Top-Ten despite their efforts). Ballbreaker is so many things. First, itís a big demonic tongue stuck out to those pop-kids that were expecting another ďMoneytalksĒ. This album is the antithesis of pop. Thatís why so many people, even so-called rock fans, put it down. Yeah, Ballbreaker doesnít get much love. Thatís because there are a lot of watered-down punks who donít keep it real and donít know soul/power from a snappy tune. They knock Ballbreaker for being juvenile and gross. Thatís whatís so great about it! AC/DC prove on Ballbreaker that just because they were now middle-aged, it didnít mean they were going to get all tasteful and *@#!. God, I HATE taste! Nothing can spoil rock & roll more than taste. AC/DC understands this. They also understand the blues, which is the heart of rock & roll. So many people have a misconception about the blues because of these cornyass crackers like Eric Clapton or pick your pseudoass ďblues-guitaristĒ that does a little 12-bar and bottleneck and suddenly thinks heís in the Delta. They want to canonize the blues, make it respectable and put it in a museum. The blues isnít just African-American folk music that expressed hardship; the blues is raw, lascivious and diabolical music. Itís Howliní Wolf growling about ďevilĒ. Itís Muddy Waters, with some jagged nasty hooks, telling you heís your ďhoochie-coochie manĒ. Itís John Lee Hooker rumbling about ďwhiskey and wimmenĒ over a dirty, funky groove. AC/DC know this and Ballbreaker doesnít just imitate this sprit; it emulates it. Ballbreaker is an EVIL album. Just listen to that breakdown in ďHail CaesarĒ when Brian Johnson starts singing really low and evil like (similar to the ďladder and snakesĒ breakdown in ďSin CityĒ). More than any other AC/DC album, Ballbreaker is like their hard blues masterwork, Powerage. Producer Rick Rubin (a true fan) and the return of drummer Phil Rudd help bring that Powerage sound back. The songs arenít as distinct as the ones on Powerage (or as any of the songs from their peak year 1977-1983 albums). But the power and atmosphere is there. Some people knock Ballbreaker for being too mid-tempo; again, they donít get that this is primarily dark evil blues. Itís creeping, like. I donít even think of Ballbreaker so much in terms of ďsongsĒ; itís more like one giant song that keeps kicking your ass. And finally, the main criticism of Ballbreaker, thereís Brian Johnsonís voice. Oh man, people are so wrong on this. His voice is AMAZING on Ballbreaker! I donít mean ďamazingĒ as in ďgoodĒ. Brianís voice is like a shrapnel laden limb on this album. Itís hardly a voice; itís more of a sound, like another instrument. And thatís just the way to go with it. Brianís not trying to fool anyone on Ballbreaker. Heís not trying to ďsingĒ per say. Most of those old blues guys didnít either. They did what Brian does on this album: Growl and spit. He just sounds like a bad, grizzly-mouth mofo. You can smell the cigarettes and whiskey on his voice; you can hear the history of rocking out perhaps too hard on Flick of the Switch. You hear a MAN. Yes, a MAN. A primitive, rocking MAN thatís squinting and bending over. And he rather implode than not give 100% of his machismo. He totally embraces his ruined voice and uses it for all its ragged worth. Somehow it just makes the album sound meaner, more kick ass. This is the closest AC/DC ever came to sounding like an underground act. Thereís no pretense here. Thereís no nonsense. When you hear that primeval riff in ďBallbreakerĒ you canít help thinking of Angus Young riding a Thunder Lizard. Yeah, a Thunder Lizard right over YOU! And Brian is showing a ministerís wife some sinful business in a back alley. Ballbreaker, the album, the song, is the dark monkey pit of Man. And yes, itís a masterwork.

SlayerRob@yahoo.com
Oh my God, AC/DC fans are all so fucking stupid. I think everyone whom has responded to the Ballbreaker review, sans the few people who aren't knuckledragging cavemen, should be fed to lions.

And the funniest thing is, most AC/DC fans I've talked to in real life have told me they don't even like Ballbreaker.

fuck ac/dc. Overrated? Oh yea.

spamking@mts.net
I also saw AC/DC on the Ballbreaker tour. The most entertaining part of the evening was all the kids in front of us turning around and looking at my friends and I in shock and awe when we knew all the words to the pre-Highway to Hell songs. "Those guys must be huge fans! That song isn't even out yet! It's not on the new album!" was the comment that we got for knowing how Whole Lotta Rosie went...

In any event. Brian Johnson's voice. It was painfully clear that his voice is Completely Fucking Shot (tm). He could barely carry his own songs, and you should be glad you didn't hear what he did to the Bon Scott songs considering that he could barely carry them back when he had a voice left.

Bonus fun: He seemed to have no clue what the words to Jailbreak were that night, and and often "sang" aimlessly and asked the crowd help him out when he got into some real trouble.

More bonus fun: It was a dry concert. Meaning we couldn't enjoy a beer to accompany the evening. I asked about this at the refreshment stand and was told that the no liquor policy was because "it was the band's request". This I had a hard time believing, but then thought about the type of kids in high school that proudly listened to AC/DC at the height of grunge and figured that maybe it wasn't such a bad idea for it to be a dry concert after all.

Benjamin Burch
Coming after the surprisingly good "Razors Edge," it's kind of frustrating that ac/dc would come out with something like this. Sure, Rick Rubin's production is great, but the songs are pretty lame. "Hard as a Rock," starts out sounding great, but then Brian's voice comes in and ruins it. But fortunately, Brian's voice has actually improved otherwise on this album. The album only has four good songs on it, "Hail Caesar," "Burning Alive," the title track and my personal favorite, "Honey Roll." All the other songs are boring and generic, and there's really nothing that separates this from any other ac/dc album. Even the albums that were worse than this ("Fly on the Wall" and "Blow Up Your Video") has something unique about them. Not a fan of this one.

Add your thoughts?

Earthquake Shock - bootleg.
Rating = 6

BLARGH! What a crappyass bootleg! Two CDs recorded at just SLIGHTLY overfast speed, so you hear all the songs played a bit faster, a bit tuned up and... Brian Johnson sounds better than he has in years! Check out those notes he's hitting! Holy choat! And the mix sucks. And every song sucks. And the cover -- oh don't get me STARTED on the cover! If you get me STARTED on the cover, I'll be talking about the cover all night! The cover is one of those things that, if you get me STARTED on it, it's a sure bet that I'll be talking about it for hours and hours and hours! What is that? You want to know what I think of the cover? Oh please - don't get me STARTED on the cover!

Includes tracks as such: 1 TNT, 1 High Voltage, 1 Dirty Deeds, 3 Let There Be Rock, 3 Highway to Hell, 5 Back In Black, 1 For Those About To Rock, 1 Razor's Edge and 4 Ballbreaker.

Add your thoughts?

Hail Geezer Spanish Fly - bootleg.
Rating = 8

Aaah! This is more to my liking. One disc, recorded pretty well at the correct speed. Even the Ballbreaker tunes sound great! And, as we all know, that album sucks so bad that I should have my fucking balls kicked in, me fucking piece of shit.

Tracks: 1 TNT, 1 High Voltage, 3 Highway To Hell, 2 Back In Black, 1 FTATR, 1 Razor's Edge and 3 Ballbreaker.

Add your thoughts?

Stiff Upper Lip - Elektra 2000.
Rating = 8

TOTAL FUCKING COMEBACK. To think I spent the last five years worrying that AC/DC was all washed up. Sheesh! No no no. This album is as great (or greater) than anything they've done since their early 80s heyday, and comes as close to a 9 as any other record I've ever reviewed (only a couple of slightly less interesting tunes and a bit of hoarse singing prevents it from reaching that esteemed score).

So what's the deal? Why's it so good? Several reasons. First of all, the Young brothers bothered writing RIFFS this time around, rather than just playing four chords in varying orders like on the last record. The guitar playing on here is relaxed, bluesy, expert and loads of fun to listen to - in fact, several of these tunes (especially "Meltdown") sound like they were early unreleased gems with Brian's voice recorded over Bon's! Secondly, Brian supposedly had throat surgery and his voice sounds better than it has since Blow Up Your Video - it's still not up to his original strength, but hey, the guy's 50! At least he's listenable again! The third reason this is so great is that it mixes bluesy rock riffs and poppy Razor's Edge-type riffs wonderfully, often in the same song. And the production is by George Young and it's AWESOME. Maybe not quite as distorted and headsmashing as their peak work, but full of great energy, separation, volume and even the drums sound great!!! The energy Rubin sucked out of Ballbreaker is back here, even though the songs are mostly midtempo (hey - they're old! Let them relax!) -- and, again, you can tell that they spent time developing these songs. How's about that creepy break in the middle of "All Screwed Up"? Haven't heard anything like that since For Those About To Rock, have you? Very cool. Even the bassist gets to play some cool stuff! How often do you get to hear that on an AC/DC album? Just great songs, period. The kind of riffs that make you think "I could have written that!" before exclaiming, "I WISH I'd written that!" Bluesy. ZZ Toppy. The kind of album that could honestly win back AC/DC all the fans that they lost when Bon passed away. Good fucking stuff from one of the greatest hard rock bands of all time. Buy it - you've got to make this a bigger hit than Ballbreaker - it's SO much better.

Reader Comments

Azmodi@aol.com
Good review, great album. Though they're no longer the "head smashing" hard rockers of "Back in Black," AC/DC still plays some of the best rock 'n' roll ever. I think the guys sound their age on this one, but not in a negative way - they sound like they're content and having tons of fun, especially on "Hold Me Back." Everything is strong on this album; it was well worth waiting for. There can be little doubt that AC/DC is, and probably always will be, the greatest hard rock band ever.

rj_dio@hotmail.com (Fredrik Nilsson)
What a comeback!! I agree with you that this is their best album since the early 80's. The sound is awesome, you can hear everything perfectly. Even the vocals sounds fine this time around. There is a blues feeling to most of the album, and the most songs have a laid back feeling, it sometimes reminds me of Powerage. It's also a very solid album, no weak tracks, but not many standouts either. Best songs IMO are Stiff Upper Lip, Meltdown, Can't stop R&R and Damned. It's just the album I wanted, AC/DC doing what they do best. It's not their best album ever, but they are much more closer to their prime than other bands from their generation are. 8/10

fred_mercury9_5@hotmail.com (Jonathan D. Look)
Great album all the way around. I like every single song, probably SUL and HMB the most, but I like ALL OF THEM, and despite that buzzing noise (Which is all but inaudible, I didn't even notice until it was pointed out) the sound is SUPERB....

jtcable@tir.com (Josh Cable)
Man, this album was very hard for me to get, but I fucking got it. I figured I was smart by driving up to the place at midnight, seeing as they were open. Well, they were open, FOR NO FUCKING REASON. SUL didn't get shipped until fucking Wednesday due to some "screw up." Probably because of the leap year.

Anyway, I pre paid and went there on the morning of the fucking day, and they tell me to come back at 3pm. I do, and it's not gonna be there until fucking 1 or two days, says them.

I go there the next day, at about 12 noon, after having just woken up. It was there. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! It was warm to the touch, and it was just so damn pretty.

The album... is awesome I guess. I haven't heard the whole thing. I just wanted to be the first on the Prindle SUL review thing. I mean, I heard the whole album already, but I'm not ready to review it.

Anyway, TOLD YA SO BOUT AC/DC. They rule. Safe In NYC is awesome. POST THIS ON YOUR SITE.

Lukewellhung@aol.com
Ok, I already e-mailed you Mark saying how much I was waiting for your review.

Man, you didn't disappoint.

This album ROCKS. Some of it really does sound like it was from their real early days. 'Hold Me Back' is as catchy as frig....I haven't stopped tapping my foot to that since I got the album. I was a little disappointed with songs like 'Damned', and even 'Come and Get It', but then again I really love that line 'these are the finer things in life'.

But one thought that REALLY comes to me when I concentrate on the music in this album is that, unlike any other Brian-era-albums, you could actually imagine Bon singing on most of these songs.

Anyway, that's my two cents....good call Mark, 8 all the way.

Lymtime@aol.com (Bill Lyman)
Ten out of ten... easily. Best album since Powerage. The title track, House Of Jazz, Satellite Blues, Damned, Come And Get It, All Screwed Up, Damned, and Give It Up all have that bluesy, boogie swagger that defines classic AC/DC music. Meltdown has such a cool crunch to it that I can't help but drool just thinking about it. Hold Me Back and Can't Stand Still are great guitar ditties, the first sounding popish like YSMANL, but better, and the latter having such a thick blues vibe that you would need that knife from Crocodile Dundee to cut it. Can't Stop Rock 'N' Roll is that anthematic rock song that was missing from Ballbreaker, and is also my favorite tune from the disc. George really let the guys let loose on this, and he wasn't tight assed about anything either. They let Cliff have a little fun on Satellite Blues, you can hear the boys celebrating Brian's vocal delivery at the end of Can't Stand Still, and the whole album has such an incredible "feel-good" feeling that I can't help but smile. I love it... thank you AC/DC!

ayoungno1@hotmail.com (Alex Rapagna)
The Young Brothers did it again!! This album shows that the boys are far from quiting, and they don`t really give a shit of what critics think of them. And Brian Johnson did NOT have throat surgery, that`s just a stupid bullshit rumour.

Man, this album just ROCKS! From the terrific title track to the cool rocker "Give It Up", you will not be dissapointed (Unless you`re someone has something against the band) And how about those riffs?? I know that some people won`t agree with me here but I think that this is their best effort since Blow Up Your Video. "Satellite Blues" and "Hold Me Back" are some more of my favorites that should be included in the live set for the upcoming world tour.

And for all those people who think that they`re washed up and should quit, FUCK YOU!!!!!! THEY`LL NEVER DIE!!!! AC/DC KICKS FUCKING ASS!!!!!!!!

See you guys on tour!

dan@grevus.freeserve.co.uk (Daniel Haycock)
I saw AC/DC live when I was 14. Now I'm 29. This album is a gorgeous treat from God; how often do you get to realise that you weren't wrong with that much distance? As mature as I'm now supposed to be, I don't mind gushing: this is the best album since Back in Black, and all the praise heaped upon that was RIGHT. And anything or anybody who says otherwise is WRONG. If you don't like this, you've missed the point of music.

And Ballbreaker was complete bollocks, too.

DAurand@headwaycorp.com (David Aurand)
The boys are back!!! Even have some good promotion to boot...howabout that??

The title, Give it Up, Hold me Back....I do think they have a great sound on this release....Brian sounds really good and the whole band sounds well produced.

Only 2 songs I don't particularly like, but the ones one the cd that I do like sound great.....can't wait for the tour....

dswalen@concentric.net (Douglas Swalen)
Oh man, I hate to even try to go against the tide of praise this album has gotten so far but I think something of a reality check is in order here.

First of all I will say that this album has many very good tracks on it. Mark's right about the bluesy feel that this album has on it with songs like "Meltdown" and "Can't Stop Rock 'N Roll". However, MOST of this record just does not have much variety here. A lot of it is the same from song to song. Same feel. Same speed.

Contrast this album with Ballbreaker and the difference is striking. I originally panned Ballbreaker because I compared it to Razor's Edge and it didn't stack up. But I was way too harsh on Ballbreaker. It's not perfect but it was a whole lot better than I was giving it credit for. And it had a ton more range than this album. From "Cover You In Oil" to "The Furor" to "Hail Ceaser" to the scorching title track...that's quite a range. This album has no range really. The only song on this album that seems anything like a deviation is "Safe In New York City" which actually is one of the few times that I've seen AC/DC write a fast song that has a build up but fails to deliver any kind of payoff. It's like being on the edge of your seat for four minutes and you hear them go through the chorus and keep expecting something to bust loose, but nothing ever does.

Nothing on this album comes close to matching the raw power of "Ballbreaker" the song. That song still gives me that funny vibe chill feeling that I would get listening to Back In Black, For Those About To Rock, or Flick Of The Switch back when those albums were first released. Nothing on Stiff Upper Lip does that.

I'm not saying this is a bad album. It is NOT a bad album. However it is not as great as everyone here makes it out to be. I remember when Fly On The Wall came out, everybody hailed it as a return to form for AC/DC after the (supposed) misstep of Flick Of The Switch. Yet now Fly On The Wall is widely regarded as the absolute low point AC/DC hit. It's been five years since Ballbreaker and five years before that came Razor's Edge. That's two albums in a decade. I think we're all so hungry for something AC/DC because we love AC/DC so much that we go nuts when something new comes out. I wonder how many of us will be playing this album on a regular basis in five years? Or feel so strongly about it as they do now? Actually a lot of this album reminds me of Razor's Edge second half of the record. "Damned" sounds a lot like "Got You By The Balls". "Can't stand still"'s riff reminds me a lot of "Thunderstruck".

I don't agree about Brian's voice being THAT much better than on Ballbreaker. Ballbreaker was sung differently for one thing with Brian using his lower register a lot more than ever before. I think it worked well overall. On this album he's spending more time in the upper register. But I don't notice that much of a quality difference between vocals. It is amazing what you can do with a mixer board these days though....

I might feel more comfortable if the guitars on this album hadn't been muzzled like they were. Old, old AC/DC may have had that bluesy riff stuff but it also had a guitar sound which kicked all kinds of arse. This album, like Ballbreaker and, to a lesser extent, Razor's Edge have a guitar sound which doesn't distort like old AC/DC would.

Like I said, I don't dislike the album. I just am not wowed by it. I give it a 7 and I change my opinion of Ballbreaker from 3 to 8. The important thing is that a new album is finally out. Which means a tour. THAT is what I have been waiting for more than anything. Five years between tours is just too fucking long.....

halhorn@airmail.net
Superb review, Mark.

This is the best batch o' riffs since FOTW (last record I'd give a 9 to, BTW). And unlike the last two, where the guys seemed to struggle a bit coming up with more than 10 quality songs for the CD era, there's more "depth" to this CD; only "Come and Get It" seems like filler to me.

George Young's production is superb. I thought his sound for BUYV was TOO grungy, but he made a nice comeback to his Powerage heyday as producer this time around. As you said, great seperation, kick ass but clean. I'm an admirer of Fairbairn's work with the band, but I don't think either he or Mutt (even) ever got a BETTER sound than this.

There are a few flaws, sure. I do wish Brian was still involved with the lyric writing, at least on a few songs. These are great songs, but I'd like a little more chorus variation. The repetitions build tension on "Safe in New York City" and are very effective; but less effective elsewhere when the chorus consists of the song title repeated over and over a few too many times. The Young-Young-Johnson efforts had more chorus variety. And there are a coupla riffs that are eerily similar to other riffs I've heard ("Can't Stop Rock and Roll" is a little too close to the Twisted Sister song of the same name, for example) but these are the most miniscule gripes imaginable.

There's not a "Thunderstruck" here, either, but there may be a "Moneytalks" with either "Can't Stand Still" or "Hold Me Back". And "Damned" has some of the sharpest Young/Young lyrics to date. No band is more appropriate to dig in at political correctness. And I went to a Dallas Stars game less than a week after the CD arrived and already "Safe in New York City" was being played before the game (and drawing a LOUD response....what a kick ass intro!)

After 25+ years of AC/DC, I have yet to hear a truly bad album. I like FOTS and BB the least, and yet I still listen to them a lot. 8/10 is accurate for this one...here's hoping there's one more record with George Young, and a few Young/Young/Johnson credits on that one! (fingers crossed).

jtcable@tir.com (Josh Cable)
Ok, now I can review. I am totally ready.

The album is just awesome. Taking a close listen, it's obvious that this is a different album from the rest. In a way, this is like the version 2.0 of Ballbreaker. They updated Ballbreaker, and wrote 12 new songs that happen to be totally different from their past albums.

A lot of people seem to get endless joy from singling out the songs and comparing them to just about any other AC/DC song ever made. That's stupid. These songs... they're good. I dunno what else to say.

I'm personally grateful for this album, because it's just awesome. Every song is good, and that's good. Um...

The title track isn't really the first single I would have picked, but it's at least a great mid-tempo thing. Meltdown and Hold Me Back are just pretty as heckdarn.

And then Safe In New York City is just the biggest asskicker on here OTHER than the best song, which happens to be All Screwed Up. Just POWERFUL and noisy, which I happen to love. It's certainly worth the wait. Even if it's an album that you have to let grown on you. I'd expect nothing else.

Thank God for this album. A lot of people think that this will be killing MTV and bringing rock back to the foreground. Real rock. But, it most likely won't, and I don't expect it to, nor do I care. But it just goes to show that AC/DC are the best band. They know the soul of rock better than anyone.

karin.thorsell@goteborg.mail.telia.com (Karin Thorsell)
I think this one is real good with awesome production. And it really sounds like Powerage and Highway to hell.Its a big step up from Ballbreaker and I hope this is not the last one.

Gleeman555@aol.com
This is a GREAT RnR album. The lyrics are basic but there so POSITIVE. At least upbeat, which is in sharp contrast to a lot of what you hear on "Rock" radio these days. No "my daddy didn't love me" crap here just more of "Hey she's nice I wanna see her tits." Lifes Good and AC/DC has a new album out and it's awesome!

mdt3@ukc.ac.uk
Good Review. Good album. Not the heavy metal AC/DC of yore; more a heavy blues version of AC/DC. In a funny sort of way, it's an album which shows the band growing old gracefully, well, gracefully for a band that sounds like it's made up of dirty old men. But they're not trying to play like twenty-somethings - all fast and furious - and have found a style that suits them now they're older. Much better than the Rolling Stones at comparable ages. Much better than most bands who've been going so long can manage. Much better songs than Ballbreaker - and a really nice groove on some tracks. For once the hype is not misplaced. Just a pity that at this rate it might be 2005 before there's another album of new material. Having said that, whoever did the backing vocal on Come and Get It sounds like a frog being strangled. And if Stiff Upper Lip really is meant to be a play on words - Stiff Up Her Lip (get it: this is AC/DC after all, i.e., dirty old dudes) - then they really ought to have a dot deducted for such an utterly, unspeakably, throw-yourself-off-a-cliff it's that awful, joke.

Kajamojo@aol.com
Back in Black is the first AC/DC album i ever got and it is definately one of the best. I have a comment in regard to what someone said about Brian's voice. He said it went down in 1984. Maybe i have bad taste but i love the way his voice changed. Don't take me wrong, his voice in Back in Black was awesome and smooth. Thunderstruck is a good example to start with. That song is pure adrenaline. Every high school football player listens to that song before a game. Bon was a great singer. I can see where people are coming from when they say HighWay to Hell was better, But that song would not sound near as good with Bon singing it.

His voice began to change in 83' with Flick of the Switch. Rising Power and Badlands are two great songs off of it and I Love the unique change in his aging voice. Who Made Who and Shake Your Foundations sounded even better. Then there was The Razors Edge, Which is exactly what Brian's voice sounds like. Why did that album go platinum????? Because of Brian's RAZOR GARGLING,WHALING,KILLIN',CRAZY ASSED, HOARSE, HIGH PICHTED, KICK ASS voice. His voice delivers pure adrenaline and power,and is the meaning for AC/DC. He has the most unique voice of any rock singer in the world. It is so unique you can listen to it and then have to listen to it again to remember what he sounded like. His powerful, rebellious voice sounded even better in 92' with Live. The up the spine feelin' he delivers in Hells Bells, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, T.N.T., and Who Made Who is uncanny. It is better than the original versions in a lot of ways. Brian continued to be amazing in Ballbreaker. Don't pick apart the lyrics. Their not meant to be. The old man's deep, strong voice is once again addicting and unmatched in songs like Hard as a Rock- Furor -The Honey Roll-and especially Burning Alive.

With the release of Stiff Upper Lip, Brian has been singing with the band for 20 years now. Stiff Upper Lip is one of their best songs ever, as well as the cigar smokin, casual brutness of Johnson's voice in Safe in New York City. Angus backed him up perfectly. House of Jazz is Brian at his beltin' best. Brian and Malcom went back to their roots with the guitar.

Bon may have had some ideas for some of the lyrics for Back in Black. That doesn't mean Brian should be dissed. It's not like Bon was on his death bed thinking of lyrics for future AC/DC songs.He passed out from alcohol poisoning and was left on his back to be sufficated by his vomit. I'm sure he wasn't telling Angus future lyrics in between coughs. It's a shame he died. People are by nature stubborn, and hostile to change. People living then thought Bon was the best and couldn't be matched. They did like Back in Black but didn't like Brian's stressed voice in later albums. Newer AC/DC fans love the distinct, Banshee-like, shrill of Brian's voice, and don't like the old stuff as much. Bon Scott People think his voice is annoying. If AC/DC happened to get a new singer, the modern fans probably wouldn't like the change and wouldn't listen to them very much. Vice Versa

AC/DC is the best Hard Rock band in history. They have been for 24 years. The bluesy guitar along with the evolution of the high, smooth vocals of Bon Scott to the broad, raspy voice of Brian Johnson has developed all kinds of fans. A rustic fence looks better with age before it's torn down, as does AC/DC. They are on a level of uniqueness all their own that no band will ever be able to hold a candle too. The raw torque that the name came from will be etched in Humanities Textbooks in the future for many years.

Kajamojo@aol.com
Stiff Upper Lip is One of AC/DC's finest. Brian sounds awesome in House of Jazz. It brings back the raw Banshee power in his voice that people don't like. I think he's better than Bon Scott any day. I guess you just have to develop a taste for him. I would agree that he is sounding more bluesy. That's probably by accident. The Razor's Edge----Live----and Ballbreaker are good albums as well. Every album is different, but they stick to the basics and that's Rock and Roll. I also agree that they are aging well and enjoying their careers despite what people have said. Should the album go platinum? Yes. But it won't because of the watered-down crap everyone is used to now.

smorris@wirefire.com (Scott Morris)
i am a loyal ac/dc fan! and have been since i was about 6 years old running around screamming i got big balls and shes got big balls while holding my bag in my hand.in my oppinion they are the greatest goddamn rock band to ever grace the face of this fucked up planet!so brian angus keep rocking your asses off and you will always have at least one fucked up follower on this place we call earth!

TigBones@aol.com (Tom)
SUL is a great album, I agree with those who said it suits their age with it's laid back, bluesy feel. The tunes are some of their catchiest in ages, great hooks and melodies. Brian sounds fantastic; I agree with the chap who likes the way his voice has changed. I love the manic, raw power he had on BIB, Flick of the Switch or Fly on the Wall, and I do sometimes miss this, but he's blusier now and has so much character to his voice, you can't really get bored of it. Anyone who thinks someone could go on singing like on Back in Black into his late 40's or 50's is a bit stupid really. People who slag him off should fuck off and realise that there's simply some voices you either love or hate...I mean, I don't personally like Freddie Mercury or Geoff Tate, for example, but I can see that other people do so I don't waste time needlessly slagging them. Also, Brian sings with so much soul, he's a more intelligent vocalist than some realise - check the way he sings just below pitch on Hold Me Back; a true blues technique used by singers and guitarists. On some tracks he sounds quite literally better than I've ever heard him, Can't Stand Still for example. And he puts the effort in; the hook to Meltdown is the same pitch as the punchine in Back in Black, though conversely, I wish he'd use the lower register more, as it's awesome as well. (Remember Danger?) The guy just sings his heart out on this album and sounds amazing throughout. He's 53 for fuck's sake! Incredible.

There's some slight flaws; the lyrics in parts are terrible again, and I wish the Youngs would let BJ do them again. I don't like this thing they have where the lines don't mean anything, they seem to think it's ok to just choose 'cool' sounding words which rhyme, even if they don't make any sense to the context of the song. Secondly, how did Damned and Come And Get It get on the album when Cyberspace didn't? They made this error in '88 with Borrowed Time and Borderline. Surely they could let some lucky fans hear all the songs in advance to choose? They're not bad tunes, but I was a little disappointed with them. Thirdly, Angus is my favourite player of all time by an absolute mile, tone, feel, touch, note selection, awseome vibrato...the most underrated rock guitar player in history, but where's the classic 'tumbling' runs? He abandonded them big time from Ballbreaker onwards and I don't get it at all. Those 'falling down the stairs' runs he's just the master at? Some of the tempos are crying out for him to explode into those tumbling runs.He's mellowed out a little too much, though don't me wrong, I still love these solos. Perhaps some of the rhythm guitar is a little too clean too; if the album's not up loud you notice this, you need it loud to get the power. I've noticed Angus using a cleaner sound since '95 and Ballbreaker; listen to Burning Alive and Safe in NYC to get my drift. A little 'room sound' would add to the production and the power, it's almost too basic - listen to Let There Be Rock, not as fat as SUL, but more raw and energetic. Also, a bit of natural reverb on the vocal would have been nice, there's no need to make everything 100% clean all the time. Back to the solos, I loved the lead sounds on Flick.. and Fly..., raw, but with that 'glistening' touch of what sounds like a natural, room reverb. (By the way, just to mention, Flick of the Switch was a great album, one of my favourites.)

As for that chap who said would we play it in 5 years time, definately mate! There's about 7 totally superb songs on here, if the whole album was like this it would be a total classic, which in some ways it already is. It's the record they've always threatened to make with Brian, and Bon is up there proud of them I reckon. I don't understand the critisism of Ballbreaker from some, I think that was a great record, but this is better; it sounds more natural and is just oozing with style.

The album gets an 8.5 from me, though there's plenty of songs which are 9's or 10's. I love this band, and this album is constantly blasting out in my flat.

fakeacct@university.edu
you are a zero

holzer@chello.at (Matthias Holzer)
Hi,

I've read all the reviews on this page with great interest. It's good to see different opinions about AC/DC's albums. Personally I love each and every one of these great records, my absolute favourites are High voltage, Let there be rock, Highway to Hell, Back in black (their best album ever), Flick of the switch, The razor's edge and the new Stiff upper lip. However, I can't understand why you hate Ballbreaker so much. It contains some really great songs, e.g. "Hard as a rock", "The Furor" and the title track. I recommend to you the CD single "Stiff upper lip", it (at least the European version) contains great live versions of "Hard as a rock" and "Ballbreaker". I generally think AC/DC sound much better live than on studio CDs. In my opinion the Live album is superior to every studio album by means of sound. For example "Thunderstruck", one of their best songs, I like the version from Live much more than the one from The razor's edge. Maybe they shouldn't use any "producing" for albums, just play their songs and tape it :-)

But I can accept all opinions, also the negative ones about some albums, except the bad comments about vocalist Brian Johnson. In my opinion Brian's really great. Maybe I'm too young to understand this (I was born in 1980, just three months after the death of Bon Scott), if you have been an AC/DC fan in the Seventies, and then a new singer ... but I prefer the Brian style over the old style. Bon was great in his time, he is the one that made AC/DC possible, but I just can't imagine Bon singing "Hells Bells", "You shook me all night long" or "Thunderstruck". Brian indeed does a great job when performing old songs like "Whole Lotta Rosie" or "Highway to Hell". I love Brian's rough voice, I think he never "lost" it, on SUL he just sounds as great as on BIB, and the greatest he sounds live. I hope Brian never reads all these negative comments about himself, he must think nobody likes him, but that's not true! Of course he can't replace Bon, but he kind of created a "new AC/DC", which is just as great as the old one.

I'm looking forward to see AC/DC live in Vienna on Nov 21st and I can't wait to see Brian and Angus "in action". It's the first time for me to see them in concert, and I'm sure it will "kick ass", as you hardcore fans would say :-)

dfarmer@chibardun.net (Harmon Farms)
you are a dumb fuck

kayaman76@hotmail.com (P.S.)
good album overall and enjoyable. the video sucked a lot although.

for all ac/dc fans..check out this kick ass group from argentina.

http://www.mad-rock.com.ar

MSharky67@aol.com
I have been an AC/DC fan for about 13 years. My first album was Back in Black. I have since collected all of their albums and some other raraties. I saw them live in 96 and I can only say one thing. ALLELUIAH! They are the best and are only the best band in the world. I took up the guitar because of them. After listening to them for 12 years playing their music was the next best thing. All of their albums are the best. I couldn't wait until SUL came out. I wish they had put something out sooner. The boxset was great but a new album sooner would've been nicer. If anyone has bought the single to SINYC , the unreleased song Cyberspace is a classic song too. I hope they release the other four songs some day. I am sure they are great too. Through the years music has evolved and through the 90's and up til now 2000, most of it SUCKS. MTV of course has completely FUCKED UP MUSIC HISTORY. Though it is safe to say that their will be one band that will have to redefine music and Rock N Roll and that is AC/DC!!!!!!!

jtcable@home.com (Josh Cable)
Yea, it's really easy for an AC/DC fan to wait 5 years for a new album and then exclaim BEST SINCE (really great, old album). It's too easy, really.

But maybe it's so easy because this album is so damn decent. Like almost every DC album ever, this one has no songs that make me just want to skip to the next track. The only albums that ever made me do that were Ballbreaker (Cover You in Oil) and I think Let There Be Rock (or whatever one Go Down is on, nice riff at least).

So yea, the album was worth a wait. Just not five damn years. Maybe four. Four and a half.

I hear that it was actually delayed for a whole year because Mal decided to scrap the album near completion to get a better record. Hey, worked with Half Life.

Nick.Walford@nettec.net
oh dear. oh dear oh dear. how terribly sad.

I got this album having read the good reviews you, prindle, gave it on your site. how wrong I was. oh prindle, prindle, prindle, what kind of bizarre drugs are you on? this is one of the dullest albums I've ever listened to. there's about 3 decent riffs on it, the lyrics are laughable, and someone should tell brian johnson that shouting the same line over and over again doesn't automatically count as a chorus. there's some nice solo work from angus, I grant you, but otherwise - nada. the title track, 'meltdown', 'house of jazz' and 'satellite blues' are all abysmal. where's the guts? where's the balls? where's the raw power? where are any of the things that once made ac/dc one of the best bands on the planet? it's a six at best, and that's including two out of respect for their back catalogue.

I'm going to say this knowing full well that it'll stir up all sorts of ranting mailings for you, but fuck it: it's time ac/dc retired. sorry boys, I have the greatest respect for you and your place in the history of rock is assured, but that's what you are - history.

XKISSArmyX@aol.com
AC/DC fans have to be the most mentally challenged people alive! And this is coming from a kid who spends his days listening to bands like KISS and Deep Purple, and volunteering at Special Olympic functions. Even they drool less and speak better English than AC/DC fans. (and some know how to type!)

cockanator@excite.com (Dick Woodcock)
GARBAGE. AC/DC fans are the laughing stock of the rock world, or of any musical genre for that matter. What other band could pull off rehashing even the simplest, amateurish riffs for 18 straight albums over the course of the last 27 years and not be completely ridiculed for a lack of imagination and talent? People who keep buying this shit are total buffoons, and the band is laughing all the way to the bank at how people mindlessly eat their re-heated crap up...that's no better than the Backstreet Boys. In any other case this could be called getting away with murder. You are all simple minded blue-collar grungy white trash gullible imbeciles.

jayc@ccomm.com (Jay Cory)
This is all that needs to be said about AC/DC, crybabies GO HOME. HANG OUT AT YOUR FAVORITE BANDS WEBSITE AND GO OUT AND BUY AS MANY AS THEIR ALBUMS YOU CAN! THEY NEED ALL THE HELP THEY CAN GET WHEN THEY ARE UP AGAINST AC/DC!

QUESTION: WHO IS SELLING THE ALBUMS? ANSWER: NOT YOUR FAVORITE BAND!!!

FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK_RIAA SALUTES AC/DC
- 01/31/2001
Australian rockers AC/DC received a belated holiday gift from Elektra Records when 14 titles were upgraded increasing their certified sales from 46.5 million to 63 million according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Representing actual units in excess of 70 million, the band is now tied for ninth place on the RIAA's Top Grossing Artist list and stands as the fifth highest certified band in U.S. music history behind The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Elektra label mates The Eagles.

"After more than 20 albums, entertaining legions of fans around the world and being certified for sales of more than 63 million records in the U.S. alone, this simply confirms what everyone already knows," said RIAA President and CEO Hilary Rosen. "That AC/DC is one of rock and roll's greatest assets and has truly earned the right to be called legendary."

Leading the charge was the band's 1980 hard rock classic, "Back In Black," which is now certified for sales of 19 million copies and is currently the sixth highest certified album of all time. Also climbing the multi-platinum ladder were "Ballbreaker" (two million), "For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)" (four million), "The Razor's Edge" (four million), "Who Made Who" (five million), "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" (six million), "Highway To Hell" (six million) and "Live" (three million) while the double disc "Live -- Collector's Edition" simultaneously certified gold, platinum and two times multi-platinum.

In addition to their latest release, "Stiff Upper Lip," four other titles reached platinum status including "'74 Jail Break," "Bonfire," "Flick of the Switch" and "Fly On the Wall." The band also scored their first ever platinum video with "Live at Donnington" while the 1996 video "No Bull" was certified gold for sales in excess of 50,000 copies.

choff4444@netzero.net
I have a few bones to pick w/a certain person who posted on the Stiff Upper Lip site. Mr XKISSArmyX, first, let me start by saying you are entitled to an opinion. However, may I also state that YOU HAVE FUCKING COMPLETELY ABUSED THE PRIVELEDGE!!!! The bullshit that you have dropped on this fine website is absurd and an abomination and I wish I could gouge out my eyeballs for having read that. Now it is one thing to say that you don't like AC/DC. I don't have a problem with that. I may even turn the other cheek if you say their music is stupid (which it's not..although simple it's pure genious and TRUE ROCK N ROLL) But, when you begin to criticize the fans, that's when I get REALLY ANGRY! First of all, you should be the LAST person to make fun of mentally challenged people. Judging by the lack of insight and intellegence presented in your post, I come to the conclusion that YOU are more retarded than a redneck, hillbilly inbred gorilla with Downs Syndrome who would marry his own sister. (no offense to the rednecks, hillbillies, gorillas, people with Downs Syndrome or people who have married their own sisters -I am not trying to degrade you all by comparing you to this sorry excuse for a carbon-based life form) Really. I know LOTS, TONS of AC/DC fans that are much MUCH MUCH smarter than you. And you should also be the last person to criticize other rock bands. You listen to KISS! KISS!!! The biggest GIMMICK in the world. All they are is more makeup than a Tihuana CRACK WHORE with HIGHER HEELED BOOTS too and a overhyped stage show THAT ANY BAND COULD PULL OFF. Their riffs and their songs are just as simple as AC/DC's...it's their gimmick and they're OVERLOAD of UNNECCESSARY merchandise that keep's them putting along. Seriously HOW MANY FAREWELL TOURS have they done??! Every Farewell tour's just another GIMMICK to MAKE MORE MONEY! cuz everyone thinks "Oh no! They'll be gone for good! Quick spend all your life savings on tour merch cuz it'll be priceless in 20 years!" Then 5 years later...Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley come around and Gene pulls his cow's tongue out of Paul's ass crack long enough to say "Hi! We're back!" and then in another couple of years they have ANOTHER FUCKING FAREWELL TOUR! So you should be the last person to criticize the originality or morality of a rock band. Also, I have not met ONE AC/DC fan w/ a drooling problem and you think they can't speak English well? Think again. My grandmother's an English teacher and English is my best subject. I can spell better than you and probably have a better vocabulary too. And I know how to type to. I probably typed this long piece of hate mail quicker than it took you to write that short, senseless piece of garbage. And how long did it take your TINY, MINISCULE, DEGENERATED WORTHLESS BRAIN to come up with those weak insults? Seriously, you should be eradicated from the face of the planet for such udder stupidity. I think I've wasted more than enough of my time catering to putting up with your pointless BULLSHIT. Have a fucking crappy day and I'll see you in hell...

Oh, and Mr cockanator, the DICKHEAD who posted after the other DICKHEAD, to call AC/DC garbage and liken them to Backstreet Boys is the most STUPIDEST Thing to say when there are AC/DC fans around. You might as well say "Hi! Im a fucking idiot! Stab me in the head!!" Cuz that's what some fans might do. Im not saying we're barbaric - no far from it, as I explained to XKissmyassArmyX, it's just that some are more violent than me. You are lucky that I chose to come back at you with verbal attacks rather than seeking you out and ripping you to shreds with a butcher's knife. I want you to know that you are 100%, COMPLETELY WRONG when you say AC/DC is laughing all the way to the bank because they are "ripping off idiots with their shit" Number One - AC/DC, unlike ANY ACT IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS TODAY care about their FANS not their MONEY! It is no lie when they say they'd rather hear happy people cheering than the chaching of cash. AC/DC fans are not "simple minded blue-collar grungy white trash gullible imbeciles." We are good people with good tastes in music AND WE HAVE THE COMMON DECENCY TO NOT BASH OTHER PEOPLE FOR THEIR TASTES IN MUSIC JUST CUZ WE'RE IMPOTENT RETARDS WHO CAN'T GET OFF ANY OTHER WAY AND THEY FIND THEIR JOY IN POSTING STUPID POINTLESS DRIVEL ON WEBSITES CUZ THEYHAVE NO FUCKING LIVES. I am only bashing you people and your poor choice in words and comparisons out of retaliation. I normally don't do this. I usually have a broad mind. My reasoning is "I don't care what you think, just don't bother me and you won't get hurt" Well you bothered me. This is your punishment. I could bash you some more with my words but I think I've wasted too much time. Besides you and the Ass KISSer probably don't have the mentality to comprehend what I'm even saying. You'll probably come back with a weak response like "Duh...you're an idiot, or something" So Im just gonna stop now before I blow a fuse out in your pathetic brain. Have a nice day, go fuck yourself, and don't stare at the sun too long.

mtrier@optonline.net (Michael Trier)
SUL is a good disc...but that's about it. It's consistent and solidly enjoyable, but not a classic, although the title song is their best tune since "Thunderstruck". I'm glad to see that it went platinum - some people still have taste.

The most frustrating thing with AC/DC is that you can feel that these guys still have what it takes to make a really great disc again, but they just aren't taping into it. My suggestions:

1) Let me start by saying that I love Brian Johnson in his prime. I think he's better than Bon - but it's time for him to hang it up. He should step down for the good of the band and let them replace him with someone younger who can still belt it out - the guy from Jackyl comes to mind. Listen to the duet between him and BJ called "Locked and Loaded." It sounds like a young Brian Johnson singing with an old Brian Johnson. When I first heard it I was hoping it was a sign of the torch being passed...but no.

Anyway, AC/DC could gain ten years of life or more with a new singer.

2) Start writing a third verse again. Too many tunes use up the lyrics in the first minute and then repeat the chorus ad nauseum to fill out the song. The tunes on BIB came back to a third verse after the solo - or the tempo changed at least. They need to add something different in the final third of most songs to add more punch. "Stiff Upper Lip" is a good example of this

3) Write better lyrics - I know most fans don't listen to DC for the lyrics, but they've got to do better than "I look at my watch to find out the right time of day, look at her libido hey, hey, hey!" Every album until FOTW had lyrics you didn't feel stupid belting out. Even Razor's were pretty good. You'd think with five years to write they could do better.

Anyway - my wishes for a new and improved DC that will likely go unfulfilled.

DinoSergakis@aol.com
When I read this review for this album I thought the same is AC/DC washed up. Well not on this album I mean God himself is probably listeneing to this album saying it KICKS ASS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Angus and Malcolm are great and so is Brian and the rest of the rythym section Phil and Cliff kick ass like always. To me the best song is "I Feel Safe In NeW York City"(even with the September 11th attacks). I don't care what people think of AC/DC my dad was 50 and he listened and danced to "You Shook Me All Night Long" which is his AC/DC favorite song.

mooretallica@msn.com (Bryan Moore)
My DEEPEST apologies from something sent a year or so earlier. I was XKISSArmyX claiming what AC/DC fans were dumb as shit and their music sucks.

Well the fans i'm not sure about, but I will fully admit I was 100% wrong about their music, and my lvoe for them has gone beyond even that of KISS. I will strike down any man who trashes AC/DC for being cock rock. You're damn right its cock rock, and its what makes it so charming. AC/DC is the only band in the world who can pull off using the same riff on 10000 different songs yet having it sound original and great each time. The voices of Bon Scott and Brian Johnson are perfect for power rock, and the Youngs' guitar skills are amazing. The riffage in songs ranging from TNT to Thunderstruck demonstrate a key combination of simplicity, blues-based metal, and power enough to kick anyone's ass. While they lyrics are not to be compared to Bob Dylan, I find it impossible not to smile while singing to myself "Come on come on listen to the money talk!" If only every band could sound so great after putting out so many similar songs, the music world wouldn't be forced to sit through attrocities such as Metallica's Load and Re-Load, concept albums like Music from the Elder by KISS (Though I personally like it), and other types of re-invention (or selling out depending how you look at it) like Pantera! Not only would I say that AC/DC is 100x better than I originally credited them as being, but would hold them up along with bands like Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones and THe Who as being guys who have achieved pefection for playing what they do.

rlinco@guampdn.com (Randy Linco)
Just some comments on the sorry state of society and the rampant grammatical atrocities present in many of these postings. If you can't fully argue your case with decent points, then bugger off. AC/DC is a fine band and we all have our own opinions. At least allow Mr. Prindle to have a little fun. I still think "The Jack" sounds a lot better live, if and when y'all do get the joke.

gwilymed@supanet.com
This album totally rules. Its got some great feel good tunes like "Satellite Blues", "Stiff Upper Lip" and "Cant Stand Still". Its a return to the bluesy rock they made their name with and it kicks ass. But Powerage is still the best. Also to all the "fans" moaning about Brian, if he wasnt here we wouldnt have a fucking band that still has that distinctive sound. No one could replace Bon so give the guy a break. Plus, Ballbreaker aint the best album but surely it cant be as bad as Fly On the Wall.

slayerrob@yahoo.com (Rob DelMedico)
anybody who considers ac/dc heavy metal is on crack. they're pure unbridled rock 'n roll, nothing more!

annekel@tritek.ac.za (Anneke Laurie)
Reviewing individual AC/DC albums are a waste of time. No-one minds admitting that they're all basically the same. And they're all 7, except for: A)the rip-off recycle (NOT a greatest hits) Who Made Who (6), the classic is If You Want Blood (9), and probably the best studio album Stiff Upper Lip(8).

robchaundy@yahoo.com
This album doesn't have much of the raw power of old AC/DC. It's based around clever, catchy riffs rather than deafening, devastating ones. The songs are well-written, witty and distinctive. And whilst Brian's voice is still nowhere near the power of the 1980-84 period, he does at least seem to have arrested his decline - he sounds quite good at times. In other words, this sounds the way AC/DC ought to sound as they approach their fourth decade. It's impressive. They're not hell-raising 20 year-olds any more, but they've adapted, and on this evidence they are flourishing, which I find incredibly encouraging somehow.

The one criticism of this record that I will listen to is that the 'choruses' consist of single lines repeated ad nauseam... ad nauseam, really. Yes, this had been a problem for them since at least Fly On The Wall, but it's really noticeable here. With proper choruses, this would have been an unqualified triumph. As it is, it was a qualified triumph.

(Which reminds me - what other album by a group of world-famous aging rockers released in 2000 featured chorus lines repeated hundreds and hundreds of times? Brave New World of course! But I think that's a great album too, so I obviously have a pretty high tolerance for this kind of thing)

I've not listened to Stiff Upper Lip for over two years, probably, and on the (admittedly rare) occasions that I put it on my mental jukebox, the overwhelming impression I get is that this is a jazzy record. It has the blue notes, flowing bass and warm melodies which to my mind characterise good, high-quality jazz rock. (BTW, I'm pretty ignorant of music - those of you who aren't are free to shoot me down if you want.)

AC/DC had been here before - I'm thinking specifically of Gone Shootin' and perhaps other isolated moments on the second side of Powerage. That's one of the great things about this band - their music has been so monolithic, uniform and utterly unchanging over the past three decades that it is really good, rewarding sport to seek out the rare moments where they did branch out and try something a little different. To wit: garage tendencies on the mighty Flick of the Switch, metal leanings on the not-quite-so-mighty Ballbreaker, blues-rock on the very early Bon material, faint traces of a simple form of prog rock on the severely underrated Blow Up Your Video. AC/DC are an interesting, talented band, who did (do) a lot more musically than some would have you believe.

But my point (if you can call it that) is that Stiff Upper Lip is a fine record. If we're being brutally honest, it's their first good album since 1988 (Razor's Edge was weak, if you think it was good, you're wrong), and the closest they have come to a great one since 1983.

Ha'way fellas - nice wurn.

jimjoecoyle@yahoo.com
sorry to bug you again but there are a few things i would like to say with regard to some of your reviews. like i said before i think your site is superb and as i browsed reviews of some of my fave bands one or two things struck me.

i was reading your reviews of ac/dc and its easy to see that you are quite a fan as am i. you gave good reviews to them all and i have no problem with that, however on reading your u2 reviews, you say htdaab is a band playing obvious music and out of ideas. now i love my bit of rock music as much as the next and i also love a band who try something new, but surely ac/dc are one of the most formulaic rock bands ever! when you buy a record you know exactly whats comin, fast heavy riffs plenty of strong growly vocals etc.are they a band who made a career out of just one idea? similarly with the boss whom i have great time for, its either slow folk or rocked up americana.

its no big deal, i just think its slightly hypocritical on the basis of liking ac/dc more and a lack of impartiality which marks a good critic, tellin it like it is. for what its worth i agree with most of your ac/dc reviews but 'stiff upper lip' is shite!

e3s8@kirkco.org
I canít figure out why you dislike Ballbreaker so much, but praise Stiff Upper Lip so highly. Theyíre so SIMILAR! Theyíre both back-to-roots, mid-tempo, bluesy rock albums. Songs like ďCanít Stop Rock Ní RollĒ, ďSatellite BluesĒ and ďDamnedĒ sound like they could have been lifted straight from Ballbreaker. And Brianís singing is just like it is on Ballbreaker: Raspy, graveled-mouth and kick-ass. The main difference between the two albums is that Ballbreaker is darker and has more atmosphere...which is why I think itís a better album. Itís closer to Powerage in that manner; plus in its angrier vibe and lyrics. Thatís another thing; some of the songs on Ballbreaker are actually ABOUT THINGS (not that rock & roll songs have to be about things, but itís a nice bonus). The Stiff Upper Lip songs arenít about anything; which is fine, since itís just a fun boogie-woogie album. And itís solid, man. Iím not knocking it at all. Stiff Upper Lip is a solid and groovy follow-up to Ballbreaker. But itís not the restless, nocturnal, savage beast that Ballbreaker is and thatís why Iíd rank it lower. Funny, that everyone thinks this album is livelier...maybe in spots...but thereís not one song on Stiff Upper Lip that has the fervor of ďBallbreakerĒ. Thereís no thunderous mack truck of misogyny like that one. Even the fast-and-nimble ďSafe In New YorkĒ sounds tame by comparison. Iím surprised from reading your other reviews, youíd put more stock in the lighter album. Thatís the main difference between the albums; Stiff Upper Lip has a lighter mood...and thereís more fret-board tapping. Is that all it takes to move an AC/DC up several points in your book? Is lighter mood and more fret-board tapping the key to your heart? Again, Iím not knocking Stiff Upper Lip. Iím really proud of the boys; I feel bad for abandoning them for so long. I had no idea they had a back-to-roots, creative renaissance in recent years (one that BEGAN with Ballbreaker). I think the return of Phil Rudd is one factor; itís not a coincidence that their shaky period (1984-1994) was to a different beat. Phil Rudd has proven his importance to the AC/DC sound; heís like Charlie Watts to the Stones: A rock, an anchor. Another factor for the strength of their newer material is that Brian Johnson found his second voice. The shaky period (1984-1994) was like puberty to Brian; his voice was changing and it made everything awkward as a result. But with Ballbreaker, he decided to embrace the grit and take a bluesman approach. It was the right approach; so was the band getting bluesier. This is where their hearts are. The Young brothers always cited Powerage as their favorite album. And itís my favorite album too. So Iím thrilled that Ballbreaker and Stiff Upper Lip are continuations of the Powerage hard evil blues sound. AC/DC is my favorite working band again. How many rock bands return to coolness in their old age? I canít think of any besides AC/DC. These last two albums are the type of albums the Rolling Stones should have started making after 1975. And I bet Keith Richards feels the same way.

Benjamin Burch
Nice to see AC/DC getting their shit together. After an uneasy decade in the 90's, they pulled it together for this one. Full of great songs, it's easily their best album since "Flick of the Switch."

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Rareties IX - Phoenix 2002
Rating = 7

It was during the Great Northeastern Blackout of August 2003 that I found myself swept up in "Looting Fever" and joined hillions of my neighbors in reducing the entire city of New York to a pile of rubble covered in an American flag. As luck would have it, one of the record stores I looted had this wicked collection of rare Brian Johnson-era AC/DC material! I looted the store, rooted a whore and booted my computore so I could tell you about how exciting it is to hear great songs by one of your (my) favorite bands that you didn't know existricated. I'll review it quietly so the Piggs don't try to take my looted booty away from me.

Speaking of which, last night I picked "Who Made Who" as one of my 6 jukebox choices in the Blue and Gold Bar (east village) and some FUCKHEAD bartender cut it off after the first verse! What's up with THAT!? Granted, AC/DC aren't as frat-cool as The Clash and The Stooges these days, but why then did he let my other two hilariously outdated choices -- Yes' "Leave It" and The Kinks' "(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman" -- play all the way through? I have a theory, but it has to do with the bartender taking it up the ass against the jukebox, so I'll save that for my children's TV show.

A few brief yet brilliant observations about these tracks you don't own:

SNAKE EYE - Great riff! Like early Aerosmith! "Blow Up Your Video" era b-side, I'm guessing?
DOWN ON THE BORDERLINE - Great song! Doesn't even sound like an AC/DC riff! The notes stutter and jump up and down an octave in a bouncy nervous happy day jubilee!
WHO MADE WHO (REMIX) - Not much point to it, but man what a song!
BOOM BOOM - Brian on some TV show with presumably Angus - if so, Angus plays the old blues riff made famous by the Animals, Brian sings the wrong words and Eric Burdon digs up a grave so he can jump in and roll around in it. It's terrible!
YOU SHOOK ME ALL NIGHT LONG (DANCE REMIX) - Presumably created by a 13-year-old on his computer, this humiliating track pits the classic riff against a really loud Casio keyboard drumbeat, mixing in some poorly segued G'n'R and Van Halen riffs as it goes. It's so bad, you'll realize that music sucks!
BORROWED TIME - More like "Borrowed Riff," assuming this was recorded after Van Halen's "Best of Both Worlds" came out.
CYBERSPACE - Judging from the subject matter and horrid state of Brian's unvoice, this was recorded around the time of Ballbreaker, but it has about five billion times more energy than any song on that record. Basic r'n'r riff, but played with glee! A winner! A LOTTERY winner! Like YOU'RE going to be one day!!!
BIG GUN - Self-parody. A riff so lame, it might as well be by Body Count. This was from a surprisingly entertaining comedy film called The Last Action Hero, starring a funny Austrian comedian named Arnold Schwartzenneger. I wonder what ever happened to that guy? Went the way of Gallagher, I guess!
YOU SHOOK ME ALL NIGHT LONG (ACOUSTIC VERSION) - The only living documentation that AC/DC are aware of the existence of acoustic guitars. I'm not sure who's actually playing the guitars on here, but the result is nice, peaceful and campfire folksy, except for Brian shrieking like he's dangling a stick full of his own testicles over the roasting flames.
LET IT LOOSE - Riff is slightly reminiscent of "Girls Got Rhythm," which might be why this one never made it past the demo stage. I love it though! Also sounds like "Burn" by Nomeansno. The final .04% of Brian's decaying voice is pumped through the most ridiculous amount of vocal echo you're ever not going to hear in your life.
ALRIGHT TONIGHT - Underwritten demo. A slow simple riff that needs more parts, sung by a slow simple man that needs throat surgery.
Four live tracks - including the never-before-played live "Nick Of Time"!
Closing with two Bon Scott songs -- "Johnny B. Goode" with Cheap Trick and "Ride On" with Trust (apparently the last musical recording he made before the aspiration of vomit led to asphyxiation or the poisoning of the respiratory center in the brain, both of which can result in death).

It's a spittingly good CD with just a few horrible horrible horrible horrible songs bringing its grade down from the "perfect" 10 (named after Bo Derek) to 7"th Heaven" (named after the mythical fairyland to which cultists believe their "spirits" ascend upon death). If you didn't already buy this, don't let my approval stop your planning procedures! One thing though -- the tray liner says "Rareties IX: "The Bon Scott Decade." I don't even know if I can COUNT how many things are wrong with that statement.

Reader Comments

oldpantsnewjersey@hotmail.com
Sorry this has nothing to do with AC/DC and everything to do with Blue and Gold jukebox bashing. I once put money in to play the Slayer version of "Inna-Gadda-Da Vida" and it got completely skipped over. I'm still mad about this 3.5 years later.

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Sun Devils - Bootleg 2000
Rating = 8

With Mr. (Dick) Johnson's voice back up to at least a reasonable imitation of a human voice, some radio station people realized that this would be the PERFECT time to make a pristine recording of an A-1 number 1 Grade A AC/DC live concert program for air to a local audience. And they were right except for one fairly major and unforgivable Fas Paux: they waited until the very last week of the Stiff Up Her Lip tour. And you know what happens to Mr. (Dick) Johnson after a few weeks or months on the road, correct? It happens here tonight, in all of its bleeding throat agony. September 13th, 2000 at the America West Arena in Phoenix, AZ will be known to future generations as "The Day The Music Dyed (Brian Johnson's Throat A Horrifying Shade Of Red)."

The band performance is collosal, but the vocals are colostamy. He just can't do it! He begins in great shape, doing fine hard rock justice to the newly refangled "You Shook Me All Night Long" (introduction intact - and repeated as an outroduction!), but from then on, he sounds as if hundreds of frogs keep jumping into his mouth and he's too busy trying to hack them up, chew them into little green bits and spit them out onto the stage to bother keeping to a key of any sort (including a DON-key! Sorry, Tangalayo! Heh heh. Little "Tangalayo" humor for all the "songs about donkeys" fans out there in the audience tonight). In fact, part of the reason I rated the disc so highly is that the vocals' sheer grotesquery actually add to the good time "horror movie" vibes pre-established by the inclusion of THREE different "Hell" songs in the set list ("Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be," "Hells Bells" and a cover of Lionel Richie's "Hello"). However, somebody should warn you that three of the songs were left unbroadcast by Mr. Fancy Radio Station Guy, leaving Bootleg Records Incorporated to replace them with a ridiculously unlistenable audience recording. I have other things to say too, though. Like "Whole Lotta Rosie" is played at a slower pace than usual, swaggering rather than rocking. And "TNT" seethes and stalks. I have some other things to say too, but most of them have to do with today being the 4th of July and nobody having bought me a Flag Cake. What does a guy have to do to get a Flag Cake around here?

(*receives answer telepathically*)

No no, I said "FLAG Cake," not "FAG Cake!"

Which reminds me of the first "dirty joke" I ever heard. I don't remember the joke itself (I was only like seven years old), but I know the punchline was "I said PING-PONG balls!" I of course immediately made up a hilarious one of my own, culmninating with the unforgettable punchline, "I said 'PEPE, did he miss?'"

Look, it's not my fault none of the other kids were in med school.

2 TNT, 1 Dirty, 4 Let, 2 Highway, 5 Back, 1 For, 1 Razor, 1 Ball, 3 Stiff and NOT A GOLDFINGERED THING from High Voltage, Powerage, Flick Of The Switch, Fly On The Wall or Blow Up Your Video. Come on! No "Heatseeker"? Why bother holding a concert at all?

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21 Gun Salute - Bad Boy 2002
Rating = 8

Do you ever feel like you're just spinning your wheels? Like puttering around every day is just a big waste of energy? That's because you're a CAR!

There, now that all the cars have left the room, let's get down to the business of running a government. Now, you all know how I feel about making Carl Yastrzemski Secretary of Baseball, so all that's left is to name a new Pair Of Pants Czar. WHAT THE!?? WHY AM I SURROUNDED BY WORDS ABOUT AC/DC??? HEY, THIS ISN'T THE BLUE HOUSE AT ALL!!!!

Ah yes, now I remember. I'm a shitty record reviewer. You know, a lot of people might wrongly disagree, but this double-CD bootleg was recorded live at the Olympiastadion in Munchen on June 14, 2001. Angus and the late Bon Scott couldn't have known that just four months later, Munchen would be torn apart by two terrorist-driven airplanes crashing headlong into its famous "Twin Towers," but had they known, I'm sure they would have warned everybody. Perhaps, in fact, that's precisely what they were attempting to do by playing such propaganda-heavy hits as "Stiff Upper Lip (And Entire Body, Because I Died When A Plane Crashed Into My Office Building)," "You Shook Me All Night Long (By Ramming Your Airplane Into My Building And Making It Reverberate)," "Problem Child (Drove A Plane Into My Building)," "Thunderstruck (Unless That Was An Airplane Running Into My Building)," "Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be (I Know Because I Died And Went There When A Plane Ran Into My Building)," "Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution" and "Up To My Neck In You (Because Your Guts Exploded All Over Me After You Jumped Out Of That Flaming Office Building)." On a lighter note, FUCK YOU!

No seriously. We can joke about human tragedy all day, but isn't it about time you DID something about it? Hi. I'm Mark Cardhall of Hallmark Cards. If somebody you know dies in a car accident, be sure and send a condolence card to the victim's family. Here's a nice one - it says, "Our thoughts are with you during this painful time." Then you open it and there's a hilarious photo of an overweight cat saying, "I'm not fat - I'm pleasingly plump!" HA HA HA! See? Do you see how good you'll feel if everybody you know dies and you get this card? It's a pick-me-up! You might call it a "pick-me-up"!

As for the CD itself, apparently you're supposed to listen to it but I held it up at my goddamned ear for months at a time and heard nothing but my own ear mites so obviously there's some sort of manufacturing glitch at work here. Oh wait! Here we go. I didn't realize I was supposed to insert it into the television. Let's see what we hear. Mm-hhm. Mm-hmm. Yes, that's good. Okay, this double-disc has amazing recording quality. It sounds like it was professionally recorded for release as a live album. The guitars are loud and stereo-separated, you can hear all the instruments clearly and Brian sounds fresh and revived after a full season of Cloret sucking. He's hitting almost all the right notes, sounding younger than ever and ruining only one or two songs ("Thunderstruck," for example. Those original notes were too high to begin with!).

Wait a second -- is this the Olympic Stadium where those Israeli athletes were kidnapped and murdered? How could AC/DC support that kind of behavior? Shouldn't they have been helping the police instead of playing their frivolous little party tunes? Oh, here we go again with the "past, present, future" argument. Look, if HG Wells can -- and DID -- invent a time machine, then Phil Rudd can bleeding bloody well overpower a bunch of swarthy Mexicans in 1972.

But it's about the music, not the politics. The music is great. All the hits are here (except "Who Made Who," "Heatseeker," "MoneyTalks," "Are You Rea - hey, wait a minute! NONE of the hits are here!), and some of the non-hits too ("Up To My Neck In You"!? From Powerage!!?? Powerage by AC/DC!?!?!? AC/DC, featuring ANGUS YOUNG!?!?!? Angus Young, brother of that guy in the EASYBEATS!?!?!? I can't tell you how surprised I am by all of these developments). Also, there's this funny commercial at the beginning.

On this night, AC/DC performed 2 TNT, 2 Dirty Deeds, 4 Let There Be Rock, 1 Powerage, 2 Highway, 6 BIB, 1 FTATR, 1 Razor's Edge, 1 Ballbreaker and 1 Stiff Upper Lip. Once again, BIB got the gold mine and High Voltage, Flick Of The Switch, Fly On The Wall and Blow Up Your Video got the shaft. What the hell kind of world are we living in where we can attend an AC/DC concert and go home not having heard "Go Zone"? I mean, come on - it's "Go Zone"! Ready to fly! In the "Go Zone"! Standing up high! In the "Go Zone"! Don't you people hear the rock in my insistence???

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Highway To The Hall - Bootleg 2003
Rating = 8

I'm in a tremendous amount of physical pain right now, so I'm going to make this snappy. My entire sinus/nasal passage from my nose down the back of my mouth into my throat feels like it's on fire, and it's hard to find the wherewithal to do much of anything. This double-CD is great. A goodly portion of it is made up of a show performed at New York's Roseland Ballroom on March 12, 2003. Although it's a slightly quiet audience recording, Brian sounds fantastic in nearly every song (not "Thunderstruck though), they pull some insane song choices out of their catalog ("Rock 'N' Roll Damnation"! "What's Next To The Moon"! "Gone Shootin'"! That's THREE from Powerage!) and most incredibly of all -- NONE OF THE SONGS ARE OVER SEVEN MINUTES LONG. There is not a SINGLE long, boring guitar solo on here!!!!

Then, as if that isn't enough reason to jesus christ my throat hurts. Rather than clogging up the remainder of disc B with similar live material, the Bootleg Firm included the entire AC/DC induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, where they received several trophies for Brian Johnson's 400-mph curve ball. HA HAHAHHA See? Emotional pain is one thing - you can sort of sometimes think your way out of it. But physical pain is just THERE. I can't be witty, smart, clever or in any worthwhile when I'm in physical pain. So let me finish describing the OWWWW!!

Steven Tyler is a dumbfuck who gives a gross dumbfuck induction speech, closing with the "hilarious" line, "And now ladies and genitals..."

Then there's two acoustic performances on Howard Stern's shitty boring radio show, where Brian Johnson humiliates himself trying to entertain Howard with "The Jack," a stupid, boring song that Howard had never even heard. But then they do "You Shook Me All Night Long" for the third time on the package and a funny guy imitates Bran Johnson and it's funny and they have a fake cannon that they keep blowing and we all laugh and then there's angus 7 malcolm dicking around with the boring stupid old shitty rolling stones on a boring stupid shitty stupid shitty stupid shitty.

I love this CDR. Any negativity you're picking up is due to every ounce of space above my chest being racked in flaming fire pain. OW. OWOWOWOWW. Sinus? More like "ASSHOLE."

Actually my asshole feels okay. But everything nose, throat, head-related is covered in nitric acid and dropped into the core of the earth, passing through an active volcano to get there. On an August day in Florida. Howard Stern's not very funny. I don't hate the guy by any means, but he sure isn't very funny. I heard they're replacing him with Alan Thicke though, so that'll be good. Can you listen to "Hard As A Rock" without singing "Every Day Is A Winding Road"? I can't. This is a really seriously quite darn good bootleg if you're looking for one. But don't look for one in all the wrong places. Here's a question I've already asked some of you, but it's never too late to ask more of you: You know what would suck? Having a ballsac full of diarrhea. Can you imagine how bad it would stink every time you made love? Yuck!

Reader Comments

Cardile3@aol.com
ac/dc is the greatest fucken band out their and for you people who think they arent well fuck you because you shouldent be live then.ac/dc is the best they have amazing songs like big balls,hells bells,back n black,dirty deeds done dirt cheap,rock n roll anit noise polution,and highway to hell ect. so for all you fuck people who thinks ac/dc fucken sucks well igot news for you you fucken suck. AC/DC is the best band that was ever born and will never die.

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A Classic Album Under Review: Back In Black DVD - Sexy Intellectual 2006
Rating = 7

I love AC/DC. As such, I literally contracted "The Jack" when I heard that this DVD was coming out. Then I literally picked a "Whole Lotta Roses," literally "Blew Up My Video," and literally hopped in a giant blender that "Shook Me All Night Long." As such, I spent the weekend vomiting, scratching my dick, picking thorns out of my fingers, and staring at an exploded television. Did the DVD ever come out?

Hi, Dave Prindle here on the Dave Prindle Record Review Site. Although not a record, this DVD is about a record and therefore is thus as a result the second best thing as a result, thusly. There - FORE! Heh heh, little golf joke for all you "Hole Nuts" out there. This is a 2-hour review and critical analysis of the godlike Back In Black LP. It begins with a few minutes of band history (with some terrific rare interview footage of Bon Scott), but then goes right into Brian Johnson's hiring and the resultant meisterwurk of hard rock. Each of the 10 songs is discussed in great detail by a variety of AC/DC experts, while additional segments focus on the recording locale, the band's mood at the time, their live experience, and other thingies of interest to AC/DC fanatics.

Although no members of AC/DC were interviewed or in fact contacted in any way for this DVD, an AC/DC tribute band was so it's pretty much the same thing because as a tribute they answered all the questions exactly the same way AC/DC would, you really have to go the extra mile to be a convincing tribute band in today's society so I'd like to hand it to them for that.

Did you hear that Robert Christgau got fired from the Village Voice? That's pretty wild. That guy's a record reviewer.

In addition to the members of "Dirty DC," experts on display include AC/DC biographer/experts Clinton Walker, Paul Stenning, Jerry Ewing and Malcolm Dome, as well as - best of all - Tony Platt, who engineered the Highway to Hell and Back in Black sessions! Aside from some rare footage of the 1980/81 tour, Platt's many insights are the clear highlights of the disc, as he was actually THERE when it all went down. Did you know that the "Hells Bells" bell was recorded live and then slowed down to half-speed? Tony did. Because Tony DID IT! Also, !!!

One thing though -- this is definitely not a disc for your average music listener who sorta likes a few AC/DC songs. This disc is intended for the die-hard AC/DC raving fanatic weirdo. And I say that as a pretty darn big fan of the band who nevertheless couldn't help but notice that I was basically watching two hours of chit-chat about a 40-minute record. I could have listened to Back In Black THREE TIMES in the time they spent yackin' about it! I wouldn't have, because I've heard it a million times already, but we're just speaking of potential alternative activities here. I also could have had sex 200 times during the course of the film, if I had 200 penises on my body. Again, we're speaking of potential alternative biologies here; I'm not saying that I would have done this. Just that all that yackin' sure is a lot of yackin'!

Having said that, the yackin' is pretty interesting because the yackers themselves are a pretty interesting lot o' blokes down the pub. The tribute band discusses (and demonstrates) the unique quirks that rendered BIB's riffs and instrumental interplay so exciting, the engineer offers BIB anecdotes galore, and everybody makes fun of the fact that nearly every song on BIB is about having sex with a woman. Say, all this talk about BIB is making me want to have a baby and buy it a bib!

(*has baby*)

OWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reader Comments

v10hosna@du.se
I actually saw this documentary a few weeks ago. I had no idea it had been reviewed on here.

I loved the format. Counting out the some of the stuff, it was almost 90 minuters of just talking about the actual songs... Every single one of them. This way I liked it even if I'm usually bothered by too much ass-kissing in these situations, where everything has to be so black and white to serve a good story, it worked on here. I'm not even a huge fan of Back In Black (it's very good but Let There Be Rock is better) but at least they kept it straightforward because of the substance that comes with having clear references (in this case, to the songs).

And by the way Malcolm Dome is GOD. I don't follow his journalism but since he pops up in just about every hard rock/metal documentary made, I've become familiar with him and he's great. He's the only guy (besides you, Mark) who can make me wanna watch a program about a band if I know he's in it. I don't have a problem with the other guys in the program, but they come across as "mates" or "fans" of AC/DC, whereas he is like a totally focused rock historian or something.

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Black Ice - Columbia 2008
Rating = 8

First of all, let me stress that this album doesn't by any stretch of the imagination deserve an 8.

Secondly, let me add that I gave it an 8.

In conclusion, sorry about that.

The reason that Black Ice doesn't deserve an 8 is because it is far too long (15 songs, 55 minutes) and nearly every song is performed at the same medium tempo. But the reason I gave it an 8 is because when I sit down and listen carefully to each song - on its own, as an individual track - I honestly love 2/3rds of them, and even the lesser tracks all have at least one aspect that makes me happy, gets my rocks off, leaves me torn and frayed, rips this joint, shakes my hips, lets it loose, shines a light, stops breaking down and makes me drop a turd on the run(ning track). Sorry, Equinox!

However, if you're unwilling to make this commitment (listening closely to each song as if it were a 45-RPM single rather than a small portion of a way too goddamned long and samey album), don't bother. When I tried listening to the CD as a whole, I went through the following three stages of despair: (1) "Wow, these first five songs are fantastic!"; (2) "Jeez, how many midtempo songs did they put on this thing?"; (3) "END!!! FUCKING END!!!! I HATE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!"

Also -- and this is important -- play it LOUD. If you play it at normal room temperature (volume), the guitars sound too trebly and wimpy (ditto for their last two albums, actually). But pumped out loud with an appropriate bass setting, it kicks some sounding-good ass!

Aside from its BPMs, Black Ice is pretty diverse for an AC/DC album. There's also a lot more melodic creativity than you'd expect from a group of 92-year-old men. Along with the usual anthemic power chords and mean low-down dirty riffs, we get:

- a couple of Scottish-inflected melodies, as if to celebrate the Young family's Scottish heritage!
- a few '70s boogie-rock tracks from the Chuck Berry-influenced Foghat/Grand Funk school of goodtime boogie woogie rock'n'roll!
- some happy -- and vocally tuneful(!!!!!!) -- melodic rockers more reminiscent of Brian Johnson's Geordie than Malcolm Young's AC/DC!
- several instances of downright beautiful guitar interplay (including arpeggios, ringing held chords, and chord tappings like the intro to "For Those About To Rock")!
- a pissy tuff guy lick that I didn't recognize as sounding like early ZZ Top until I read it in Spin!
- a slide guitar riff that I didn't recognize as Led Zeppelin's "In My Time Of Dying" until I read it in Spin!
- an album I didn't recognize as AC/DC until I read aifdjfSplort

Brian's voice sounds as rejuvenated as it did on Stiff Upper Lip, especially in songs like "Anything Goes" that find him actually singing instead of shouting (an excellent suggestion from producer Brendan O'Brien). Angus and Malcolm are split into clean stereo separation as they should be. Cliff is actually allowed to groove wildly away from the root notes in "She Likes Rock 'N Roll." And Phil needs to take some fucking lessons or something; he nearly singlehandedly destroys this CD with his bland selection of middling beats.

We will probably never again hear the likes of Back In Black, For Those About To Rock and Flick of the Switch. Those were phenomenal, exciting, loud rippin' metallic rock albums recorded by a band at the peak of its (post-Bon Scott) powers. But if you like rock and roll music - and particularly if you enjoyed Stiff Upper Lip - you should be thankful that AC/DC came out of retirement to offer us another batch of catchy singalongs. And doubly thankful that Brian Johnson no longer sounds like he's vomiting up a basketball!

As such, I give Black Ice a 7.

Congratulations on your 8, Black Ice! I gave it to you!

Reader Comments

mmorris61@comcast.net
Iíve been a fan for 30 years and tend to favor Bon era songs. After fifteen listens - here is my two cents worth.

ROCK & ROLL TRAIN ScoreÖÖÖ...8 / 10 A good toe tapping song. Gets a two point deduction for being poppy, slow and a bit repetitive (i.e. Highway To Hell). I usually burn out on poppy songs rather considerably. Best part is Malís part during Angs second solo.

SKIES ON FIRE ScoreÖÖÖ...9 / 10 A big time grower of a song. What is that annoying snare background sound at the intro?

BIG JACK ScoreÖÖÖ.11 / 10 ďYehÖ.but this one goes to elevenĒ. Can a song get any better? Fucking fist pumping fury of awesomeness!!! I get goose bumps every time I listen to this track. I havenít heard a song this good from the boyz since Shoot to Thrill. This should be the title track.

ANYTHING GOES ScoreÖÖÖ...9 / 10 This song suffers a bit from being right after Big Jack. Donít tell anybody, but I secretly love this song. Very catchy riff. However, again I usually burn out quickly on poppy songs. A one point deduction for its poppy nature.

WAR MACHINE ScoreÖÖÖ...10 / 10 Whatís not to like. Fast & Furious and the goose bump are back!! I canít keep my head from shaking. This would have been a great song on BIB. Better then Givin The Dog & Hail Caesar combined.

SMASH N GRAB ScoreÖÖÖ...10 / 10 Cliffís bass is immense on this. This song grew on me big time.

SPOILIN FOR A FIGHT ScoreÖÖÖ...10 / 10 ďI see trouble comminĒ. The first time I heard it I didnít think much of it, but after a few listings, this rapidly has climbed the chart. In time this could become my fav on the album.

WHEELS ScoreÖÖÖ...5 / 10 Could have been left out.

DECIBEL ScoreÖÖÖ...5 / 10 See Wheels.

STORMY MAY DAY ScoreÖÖÖ...8 / 10 Can someone pass the gumbo? This one has a hint of Night Prowler in it - slow heavy chord changes coupled with the superb slide guitar. I Love the lyrics. Stormy MayÖ.Stormy May Day!! I applaud the boyz for tryin something a little different.

SHE LIKES R&R ScoreÖÖÖ...9 / 10 Typical raunchy AC/DC the way I like em. Cliff gets creative.

MONEY MADE ScoreÖÖÖ...9 / 10 Slow and hard. Thereís some good background stuff goin on here. Big time grower.

ROCK N ROLL DREAM ScoreÖÖÖ...7 / 10 Is that Have A Drink? HuhÖ..em?!?! At first I hated this song; now I love it.

ROCKIN ALL THE WAY ScoreÖÖÖ...10 / 10 This one grew on me big time. Most underrated song on the album.

BLACK ICE ScoreÖÖÖ...4 / 10 Weakest track for me. Iím tryin my damndest to grab onto something here. Not sure this should even be on the album let alone the title track. What were they thinking? However, sometimes the worst songs have a way of becoming my favorites in time.

SummationÖÖÖ How often do you have an album with ten killer tracks?

ALBUM SCORE 9/10

ALBUM RANK BIB>H2H>BI>PA>LTBR

A huge triumphant come back. I got to be honestÖ.I had thought the boyz had run outa ideas after Stiff Upper Sleep. Thank you Mal n Ang - the wait has been worth it. Best album - by a mile- since BIB.

OUT

spydabass@gmail.com
I just noticed that you listed all those Exile songs for no apparent reason. Nice work.

I haven't heard the album yet but I really dig "Rock 'N Roll Train." I guess it's pretty much the same 'ol same 'ol but I'll be damned if it's not addictive. Also Brian Johnson's voice sounds really good! And he's over 60!!

888mmx@googlemail.com (Mark, UK)
Hi Mark

I'm sorry to say this... especially as I always -religiously- buy every new AC/DC album... but... Black Ice blows. And -apart from the terrific Rock n Roll Train- it blows completely. AC/DC LIVE was the last 'DC album I could play more than a half dozen times, and that record was shafted by the stupid gaps between the songs. For me, AC/DC gave up the studio ghost in 1981, barring a few fun singles. Why do I keep buying their records? I'm praying for another Back In Black. Did it once, maybe they'll do it agai... oh, I gotta wake up.

Does anyone want to buy 8 recent AC/DC albums?

Thought not.

sacicc@yahoo.com
This album is definitely too long at 15 tracks and 55 minutes. The best thing to do with this CD is rip it, throw out five tracks, then re-burn yourself a 10-track 40-minute CD. Then you'll like it a lot more!

simon@niatrox.com
What more do you want from a band that has been around this long? I saw them in NYC and the live show was awe inspiring. And Iíve listened to this album more than any since FTATR. Incredible that anyone is less than ecstatic about this record. An incredible achievement and it gives groups like Metallica something to think about their output in 2015. Big Jack is the best song on the album, no doubt, but there is no way that Skies On Fire, Rock and Roll Train, and War Machine will not become classics. What is wrong with you people? And this is from someone who listens to smooth jazz radioÖ

jennydickermann@yahoo.de (Hugo Baer)
Hi Mark!

Sorry to rain on your parade but "Black ice" is not very good. The drumming sucks, and the songwriting is not at all original. Have we waited 8 long years FOR THIS? Even for AC/DC standards, this is a lot of hot air. Play "Back in black", "Hard as a rock" or "Guns for hire" and then ANY of these songs: Bummer. Like "Stiff upper lip" this is nice blues rock, but not AC/DC - their name makes you think of Speed and Power! They told us they were drinking tea before recording the tracks. Maybe they should've tried coffee. Espresso, maybe, I don't know. Whatever AC/DC once was, it's long gone. They reached their peak with "Back in black" and went downhill ever since. Even "For those about to rock" was a BIIIG letdown then, when expecting a second "Back in black". But that's not only AC/DC's fate - it seems, every band which was great once, begins to suck more and more. Except Iron Maiden or Bruce Dickinson or Motorhead, they still rock the house.

Sorry but i LOOOVE ac/dc and it makes me sad to listen to tunes a third-class cover band could've brought up. If this album were not labeled AC/DC I would've gladly skipped it.

edm1213@msn.com
this album has songs called "Rock n Roll Train", "Rock n Roll Dream" and "She Likes Rock n Roll"... there's also one called "Rockin All The Way". Those titles alone make it worthy of a 7, but i'm givin it an 8 because it's another AC/DC album. That rocks. Like a rocker. A rocker who likes to rock n' roll. I even liked some of Ballbreaker so what do i know. But I like this one as much as Stiff Upper Lip and Razor's Edge at least, and maybe the mid-late 80s albums as well. Rock.

elliotimes@yahoo.com
15 songs certainly is waaay too much. But I'd just like to say two things: I absolutely love "Anything Goes" and "Stormy May Day." Those songs are divine.

Also, AC/DC is coming to Des Moines and it's sold out and I was a pussy about buying the $93 ticket until after it sold out. I'm a pussy and I can't see AC/DC.

Benjamin Burch
This is easily my favorite ac/dc album. 15 songs and 55 minutes of doing what they do best. 'Stiff Upper Lip' showed a promising step in the right direction, but it would take almost 9 years before they would come out with another album. It was all worth the wait, the band sounds excellent here, and even Brians voice is back to normal. If you need one ac/dc album, this is the one to get.

Add your thoughts?

Backtracks (Standard Edition) - Columbia 2009
Rating = 8

You ever have one of those days when things just don't seem to be working out, no matter what you do or how hard you try? That's been my year. I cannot find a job. The unemployment rate is above 10% for only the second time since WWII, most economists put the actual unemployment/underemployment rate at more like 18%, and some predict that the majority of these jobs will never come back. On the one hand, my inability to land full-time work can obviously be blamed on the recession, but on the other hand it can also be interpreted to mean that, even with 13 years of experience, I'm simply not good enough to beat the other candidates. I don't post on industry blogs, I don't use Twitter enough, and worst of all, when potential employers Google my name, four billion entries about my web site show up -- thus creating an image in their minds of a person more interested in his hobby than his career.

Don't misunderstand me; I'm extremely proud of my web site and violently appreciative of all you fine folks who regularly venture here and keep me from feeling like a complete loser. But see, when I started the site, employers didn't use Google. I don't even think it existed! These days it's a prerequisite though, and I feel like I've really typed myself into a corner. I certainly have no intention of taking the site down, but I have to find some other way to face the issue.

Maybe I'll luck out and find an employer who's impressed by my 'underground cache,' but that seems unlikely. Even more irritatingly, when you start typing my name into Google, one of the search subjects it automatically offers up is "Mark Prindle Attack Attack," an association I really don't need. In fact, when a recruiter pointed that out to me today, I immediately removed that entire stupid Red Eye clip from YouTube. Oh sure, I'll miss the death threats, but life is about more than death threats. It's about jobs too. American jobs. American jobs for Mark Prindle.

I've always feared failure, and I have now been experiencing failure on a daily basis for nearly an entire year. I do have some freelance work going on (thank you, C.G.!), but it's not anywhere near enough. This simply isn't how I envisioned my life at age 36. Will I ever work again? At what point will my wife get sick of me 'living off her?' And why won't any paying music publications or web sites let me write for them?

Then there's Henry The Dog, the greatest dog in the world. He's as sweet as always, but he's also nine years old now, which puts him in the 'elderly dog enjoying his golden years' category. I took him to the vet a few weeks ago and his kidneys are still holdin' in, but now two of his liver values are high. This may have just been due to something he ate (he actually threw up both the night before and the night after his vet visit), but if it isn't, that's just more stress for me.

I do still have my health, but what consolation is that when my self-esteem and confidence are swimming around in the toilet bowl?

On a lighter note, this box set features two CDs and a DVD. I haven't seen the DVD, so this review is CD-only. Disc one represents AC/DC finally getting off their Australian dingo-dongs and compiling all those b-sides and rare tracks I discussed in reviews of the Australian albums, Bonvoyage and Rareties IX earlier on the page. For those with brief memories and small wallets, here are italicized reprints of my original comments, along with some updated thoughts of today. Use them wisely to determine whether to pay 27 dollar for this box set (or "sex bot," if you switch the first two letters):

"Stick Around" - a catchy pop metal number. I still feel this way. There's no reason for a song based on the two simplest chords in the world to be so catchy; maybe it's the friendly bass line?

"Love Song" - qualifies as the only normal love ballad that this band ever tried to do. It's entertaining. Indeed it is. AC/DC would never again record such a straight-faced heart-on-sleeve song, which is probably a good thing! Still, this is a surprisingly pretty song.

"Fling Thing" - A cute little Scottish instrumental with some hooting and hollering from the Penis Gallery.

"R.I.P. (Rock In Peace)" - "There's Gonna Be Some Rockin'" and "R.I.P." are pretty much the same song. Indeed they are. The band must've been awfully desperate for material to include both on the same album.

"Carry Me Home" - This pissed-off hard rocker features one of Bon's growliest and most malevolent vocal deliveries of all time! The ironic man might note that had Bon's friends followed this advice rather than leaving him passed out in the backseat of a car, he might not have choked to death on his stomach contents.

"Crabsody In Blue" - The far less annoying of the two AC/DC blues songs about venereal disease (the other being, of course, "The Clap" by Steve Howe).

"Cold Hearted Man" - This tuff rocker isn't a favorite of mine. The verse is a strange mix of the cliche'd and the awkward.

That's it for the Bon Scott rarities. The remaining five are from the Brian Johnson era. Let's continue:

"Snake Eye" - Great riff! Like early Aerosmith!. Agreed to this day. A very strong tune that was inexplicably left off of Blow Up Your Video, while "Go Zone" was left on.

"Borrowed Time" - More like "Borrowed Riff," assuming this was recorded after Van Halen's "Best of Both Worlds" came out. That's the same thing I wrote in my notes this time! Clearly this song's similarity to "Best Of Both Worlds" is an eternal and unchanging quality.

"Down On The Borderline" - Great song! Doesn't even sound like an AC/DC riff! The notes stutter and jump up and down an octave in a bouncy nervous happy day jubilee! Yes yes yes! It's absolutely astonishing that songs as wonderfully hooky as this and "Snake Eye" wound up as b-sides.

"Big Gun" - Self-parody. A riff so lame, it might as well be by Body Count. Okay, I've come around on this one. It's certainly not the most innovative riff in the world, but it's spirited and lots of fun. It also bears a hilarious similarity to the old Low-Maintenance Perennials' song "Hey Kids! Next Time You See A Policeman, Shoot Him In The Face, Chop Him Up With A Machete And Bury The Remains In Front Of An Elementary School, Okay?" So perhaps this riff just has guns in its DNA.

"Cyberspace" - Judging from the subject matter and horrid state of Brian's unvoice, this was recorded around the time of Ballbreaker, but it has about five billion times more energy than any song on that record. Basic r'n'r riff, but played with glee! A winner! Again, I can't disagree with my brilliant original observation. This is standard boogie rock, but played with so much energy that you can't help but wonder, "Why the hell did they name a standard boogie rocker 'Cyberspace'?!"

Notice they still haven't re-released their first single -- probably trying to avoid paying royalties to Dave Evans!

The second disc is just more live stuff -- four Bonners and 11 Brians (although four of Brian's were originally Bon's). The by-album breakdown is 3 Back In Blacks, 2 each TNT (High Voltage U.S.), Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Let There Be Rock, Highway To Hell and Flick Of The Switch, and 1 each For Those About To Rock We Salute You and Stiff Upper Lip. The live disc is predictably marred by Johnson's usual throat problems, but at least the recordings are good. They might have reconsidered the 13-minute version of "Jailbreak" that has four minutes of nothing but a drumbeat and cheering in the middle (maybe Angus was doing his strip tease?), but otherwise the song choice is solid and the band plays well. I really must ask though -- if they like "This House Is On Fire" and "Guns For Hire" enough to include both on their new live disc, why they hell don't they ever PLAY them!? (*shakes angry fist at the tiny, tiny dwarf men of AC/DC*)

(*and Bruce Dickinson too, the conceited midget*)

(*oh, and Ronnie James Dio, the arrogant elf man*)

But for REAL value, pick up the Deluxe edition of Backtracks, which comes with a second live CD, a second live DVD, a vinyl LP of the rarities, a 164-page photo book, original reproductions of classic buttons, stickers, tour fliers, etc., and an ACTUAL WORKING AMP! But don't get too excited, the British -- 11.7 pounds is the shipping weight. The PRICE is 250 smackeroos!

Which is unfortunate, because the 'smackeroo' is a type of currency used only in Uganda. Strange marketing decision really.

Reader Comments

edoslan@gmail.com
have you considered making your site password only access?

The AC/DC songs I've heard from the box set are cool!

adriantilley@hotmail.com
Hi Mark I found your honest description of your current employment stuation very touching. I was unemployed for 6 months between graduating from university and landing my first proper job. I would say that the first 2 months were great, the next 2 months were OK and the last 2 months were pretty crappy. I feel bad for anyone who is unemployed that doesnít want to be unemployed. From over here (Iím writing from Australia) the situation in the US looks pretty grim. Have you considered moving overseas? There are a lot of countries that are in the same dire predicament as the US, but others are doing OK (eg, Australia). Australiaís economy is still (slowly) growing, we have stuff like coal and iron ore which other countries (especially China) are buying, and the unemployment rate looks like it has peaked and is far less than the US (5.7%). Australia currently accepts over 200,000 immigrants each year. It is likely that there are factors that would make it difficult for you to leave the US such as your wifeís job and ageing pet but given your current state of mind and the economic situation in the US it doesnít hurt to consider all sorts of possibilities. And lastly, the Young brothers emigrated from Scotland to Australia and it didnít seem to do them too much harm!

wadedh14@aol.com
Hey, Mark! I visited your site today to inform you of an incredible find I made the other day at Best Buy. Seems you made the same find. Perhaps even earlier.

The short version: I found Backtracks on the shelf and thought to myself, "Shee! It looks like an amp!" Then imagine my surprise when I turn the case over and the first title that catches my eye is "Love Song". "But wait, us Americans aren't supposed to have access to that! '74 Jailbreak is the best we've ever gotten of the Australian rarities! This is some sort of joke." But no. "Crabsody in Blue". "Cold Hearted Man". "R.I.P.". Maybe not top Jimmy all of them, but more Bon Scott, especially stuff I never thought I'd ever hear = better Bon Scott. I still have yet to hear them, and maybe once I can get my bank account out of the garbage disposal, I'll consider grabbing a copy. Hooray for Backtracks! Now we can all finally rock in peace.

The long version: (copy and paste previous text; mash keyboard for an hour)

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