Category: AC/DC

AC/DC – Let There Be Rock

ARTIST: AC / DC  220px-ACDC-LetThereBeRock

TITLE: Let There Be Rock

YEAR RELEASED: 1977

CHART ACTION: #154 US, #17 UK

SINGLES: Dog Eat Dog, Let There Be Rock, Whole Lotta Rosie (#68 UK)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Go Down, Problem Child, Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be

LINEUP: Bon Scott, Angus Young, Malcolm Young, Mark Evans, Phil Rudd

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: AC / DC’s best early album gives them a UK fan base.

 SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: After Atlantic refused to release Dirty Deeds, AC/DC went back to the studio, determined to give the world an album that no one could resist, without compromise. They succeeded.

From the opening notes “Go Down” to the end of “Whole Lotta Rosie”, the boys cranked out a loud and fierce record that illustrated all of the high points of the band. Bon Scott’s leering vocals are on point, Malcolm and Angus Young burn out riffs and guitar magic, and Phil Rudd’s drums give everyone a unwavering platform. In the midst of the beginnings of punk, the rise of disco, and the decline of glam and prog, AC/DC delivered uncompromising, ugly rock-and-roll. Let_There_Be_Rock

Of the eight tracks, nearly every single one is recognizable as an AC/DC staple. For a band that’s gone on as long as they have, that’s praise indeed.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Soon after the release, Cliff Williams replaced Mark Evans as bassist.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Kinda – Atlantic replaced “Crabsody in Blue” with “Problem Child” from Dirty Deeds. That’s an A+ replacement.

 GRADE A: An essential Bon Scott AC/DC recording. Play loud, of course.

AC / DC – Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

ARTIST: AC / DC                                                                220px-Dirty_Deeds_Done_Dirt_Cheap_(ACDC_album_-_cover_art0

TITLE: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

YEAR RELEASED: 1976 (except for the US, where it was 1981)

CHART ACTION: #3 (finally, in 1981). Top 5 in Australia!

SINGLES: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (#4 Mainstream, #47 UK), Love at First Feel, Ride On. Jailbreak was on the Aussie album and hit #10 there.

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Big Balls, Problem Child

LINEUP: Bon Scott, Angus Young, Malcolm Young, Mark Evans, Phil Rudd

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Now a classic piece of wax, this was passed over by their US record company until AC/DC became too big to ignore.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Somehow, the geniuses at Atlantic Records thought an album “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” and “Problem Child” wasn’t worth releasing. Well, that wasn’t too bright was it? 220px-ACDC_Dirty_Deeds_Done_Dirt_Cheap_Aus_Front

Sure, some of the filler is definitely filler, and “Big Balls” is fine for 12-year olds everywhere, but there’s enough good stuff here to forgive some of the puerile stuff. Most of the tracks rock despite the cringe on your face, and it’s all in good fun, innit?

The Australian version and the International / US Version had some big differences, and really the latter version flows better but loses two good tracks and adds just one.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: The International Version added “Love at First Feel” (a plus) and “Rocker” (meh) and loses “RIP (Rock In Peace)” and “Jailbreak” (both minuses).

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No unless you count the two versions.

 GRADE B: Any record with “Problem Child” gets an upgrade!

AC/DC – High Voltage

ARTIST: AC/DC Acdc_high_voltage_international_album
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. 220px-Acdchighvoltageeur

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.  220px-AustralianHighVoltage_ACDC

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.220px-ACDC-TNT

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.