TITLE: High Voltage
YEAR RELEASED: 1976 (International Version)
CHART ACTION: #146 US, #31 Australia (source albums went to #7 and #2)
SINGLES: It’s a Long Way to the Top (#9 Australia), High Voltage (#10 Australia), TNT (#19 Australia)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Rock & Roll Singer, The Jack
LINEUP: Bon Scott, Angus Young, Malcolm Young, Mark Evans, Phil Rudd
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Popular Australian rock band releases combination of first two Australian albums to an unaware public. Chaos ensues. Heads are banged.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: In 1974, the Young brothers and Scott’s band released High Voltage in Australia, and in 1975 they released TNT and they were quite popular. Finally, in 1976 Atlantic decided to release their records internationally, and took a little column A and a little column B for a while in making international versions.
Most of this record is from TNT, which found the band already in peak form. You know the formula – infectious guitar riff, solid and uncomplicated beat and bass guitar, an Angus solo and Bon Scott being lewd and lascivious. What more do you want?
The big issue with early AC/DC albums is that the album filler truly is filler. Even on an amalgamation like this, a few cuts fall short. Still, though, it was a great introduction to the world. Yeah, critics at the time didn’t like it – they didn’t know how to deal with it. Especially Bon Scott. No one else sounded like him.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: The producers were George Young and Harry Vanda, the brother of Malcolm and Angus and his bandmate in the great Easybeats.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No. But if you have a streaming service you can make the Australian versions of High Voltage & TNT.
GRADE: B+: The first side is great, and “TNT” leads off side two. From then it’s kind of a fall off until the closing cut.