AC/DC: Classic or Dud

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Sooooo then...unreconstructed, beery, lowest common denominator misogynists or stripped-down, no-frills, balls-out brilliance.

I can't help but love the silly buggers, to be honest.

Venga, Sunday, 22 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

>unreconstructed, beery, lowest common denominator misogynists or stripped-down, no-frills, balls-out brilliance.

Do you really have to choose? I think they can be both. I have to admit that I can't really take much AC/DC at any one sitting, but it's hard to deny the hip-shaking power of something like "You Shook Me All Night Long". Earlier material, while revved up through the amplifiers, is really classic blues with a nasty bent (not that blues can't already be pretty explicit and nasty): Mark Kozalek played this to the hilt with his folked-out reworkings of early AC/DC numbers on his What's Next to the Moon album.

In a way, though, AC/DC is much like the Ramones: if you have one or two of their albums, you probably have all you really need. I'd probably choose Back in Black and Dirty Deeds. Anything post-Back in Black is probably best avoided, though there are sporadic moments worth noting.

Sean Carruthers, Sunday, 22 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link


Let's see how many of us get to that age and can still rock even slightly, I say. Classic, natch. The Ramones comparison is apt, to be sure, but I feel that all the Bon-era stuff and the first couple of Brian Johnson albums belong in every home. Also, the bottle opener key chain that came with the box-set has proven incredibly useful over the years.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 22 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Unimpeachable classic.

Only strike against them - ditto Sean above - is they've lingered so long, consequently made more good albums than you'd need. But, y'know, some of those less celebrated albums - POWERAGE, FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK - are solid as all get out.

(Also, totally inappropriate to apply the word misogynist to songs about fucking, liking women, and liking to fuck women. Albeit AC/DC's are crudely worded - "Up to My Neck in You," "Inject the Venom" etc. The doggerel's part of their charm. More apt to call 'em "human naturists".)

AP, Sunday, 22 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Good point AP. I was wondering exactly how the mysogyny came in - I tend to be attuned to that type of thing usually, but have always found AC/DC to be pretty harmless. They kind of crack me up, to tell the truth.

Grim Kim, Sunday, 22 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

"Classic" in the old skool sense of the word I think, i.e. I respect and like the idea of them but I never listen to the two records I've got.

Tom, Monday, 23 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Classic as in the Rolling Stones, ABBA sense. Amazing rhythm section, brilliant riffs and Angus solo's at times really sound as if he's being electrocuted. Favorites: If you want blood you got it (also one of the greatest live albums of all time), Highway to Hell and Back in Black. But...I remember they were the uncoolest band for some time in the mid to late 80s, although Thunderstruck (?) helped to bring them back to some sort of critical adoration. So another band on which history is doing a 180.

Omar, Monday, 23 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Absolute classics. One of my all time favourites, from as long as I've been listening to music. At the moment I'm all about the Bon Scott era stuff, and nothing else, but I might drag my way through the discography at some point. The Mark Kozelek covers record is also great, but for all the wrong reasons. If I figure out what that means, I'll let y'all know.

alex thomson, Monday, 23 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

'Highway to Hell' was the teenage Racer's going out music.

Geordie Racer, Monday, 23 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Omar - what's "classic in the Rolling Stones, Abba sense" ?? Classic, but not cool? (If so could an artist be cool but dud?) Or Classic but ancient? Or Classic, but in a separate pile, just behind the Royal Trux albums? ;)

Dr. C, Monday, 23 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Hahaha...the last one of course ;) No I would say classic in the sense of as "essential as the air we breath", or as cornerstones on which we built our civilizations, or so classic that you hardly notice anymore how good they really are. That sort of thing. Actually Abba, Stones & AC/DC indeed seem to form my holy trinity of what it's all about, although one could make a case that Chic should be in there too, but then it wouldn't be trinity ;)

Omar, Monday, 23 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

Classic. So much so that if you can't recognize their genius, you should have your pulse checked and your head examined, you may well have had a humor-ectomy with prock-appreciation-extraction surgery without knowing it.

alex in nyc, Monday, 23 April 2001 00:00 (nineteen years ago) link

one month passes...
Check out Mark Kozalek's album of covers and you'll see the greatness of their lyrics, stripped bare of the dudness of their over-the-top half classic/half dud.

Geoff, Friday, 22 June 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) link

one year passes...
Thunderstruck is an all-time classic.

Roger Fascist, Wednesday, 31 July 2002 00:00 (seventeen years ago) link

seven months pass...
Saw them play Roseland last night. I honestly didn't harbor very many high hopes about securing tix for this particular gig (a quasi-secret "industry" gig to celebrate the band's illustrious induction into the R'n'R Hall of Fame). The only way to procure tickets -- if you weren't some record company slickster in a satin tour jacket -- was via promotional gimmickry, ala radio call-in giveaways or
multiple purchasing schemes at Tower Records (buy six of the new AC/DC
re-masters and get a chance to win, etc. etc.) When my high school "partner in Metal" pal Rob called me up, *DEMANDING* that I try to pull a few strings, I figured: why not? Besides, not too long ago, I sort've let Rob down when he jumped through a few major hoops to get Rush tickets, and I bailed at the last minute due to some co-op board emergency. So, it was kinda my turn to do the footwork.

ANYway, I zapped an e-mail to my New Yorker editor with the flimsiest of hopes that he might be able to hook us up. I don't generally like to exploit this particular avenue, as my connection with the magazine seems TENUOUS at best, and I don't want to ask for extra favours or rock the boat. But, to my considerable surprise, John wrote back (the subject header read: "YOU RAWK TONIGHT!") and all was a go! Trouble is, being that this gig was at the Roseland Ballroom (a large-sized venue for mid-level bands, but tiny for AC/DC), the tix were being distributed in a scalper-defying voucher system. Once I heard from John that there would be two tix in my name at the box office, I trucked on up to Roseland and waited
for a chilly HOUR in the cold with a gaggle of other middle-aged,
leather-clad mooks, only to be turned away when I finally got in with the news that: "Press tickets won't be available `til this evening!"

I went back at 6:00, and the street was crawling with scalpers, mounted police, crestfallen metalheads and grown men with paunches and thinning hair dressed like pre-adolescent Australian schoolboys. After unspooling a giant ball of red tape, I finally got my envelope of two tickets (thank god, I was expecting to get stiffed with only one, and having to explain that to Rob would've been unpleasant and awkward). I jogged over to Ye Olde Tripple Inn on 54th street and celebrated with a few pints of Yuengling while I waited for Rob to show up. Huzzah!

After a quick bite, we repaired back over to Roseland where the mob scene was in full swing. We'd heard rumours that the opening "mystery band" was going to be some sort've R'n'R Hall of Fame amalgam featuring members of the Clash and the Police, but suffice to say.....I didn't really expect as much (can you imagine Paul Simonon and Sting playing at an AC/DC show? Me neither.) It wasn't. Instead it was some nobody band called, I think, Momento, who insisted on chiding the capacity crowd with taunts of "old people" and "how come there are so many old fat guys here tonight?" What did they expect? This is AC/DC, not fuckin' Linkin Park. They left the stage to a smattering of indifferent applause.

The floor was packed like a massive cannister of hirsute sardines. Our press tix got us, however, up to the Mezzanine level, which afforded a bit more elbow room and comparitively unobstructed views (although we were still behind the VIP section, which featured little tables on the balcony.) We settled in, grabbed a few more beers and readied ourselves for rock. I spotted Rick Rubin, but no other notables. The crowd was peppered with a truly diverse cross-section. Aging metalheads, guys in business suits, a few hipsters who could've been Strokes roadies wearing "ironic" shirts featuring bygone luminaries like Rainbow and Dio, a couple of legit Hell's Angels, a few mohicans, a mixed bag.....though no hip hop kids. Surprise.

Promptly on-time, the band hit the stage, opening with "Hell Ain't A Bad Place to Be." Bassist Cliff Williams hasn't aged a day. Malcolm is
significantly trimmer and less goblinesque than before. Phil Rudd on the drums is the *SPITTING IMAGE* of Iggy's bizarre. Brian Johnson -- complete with signature cap and indecipherable Geordie accent -- still has the pipes, and comes across as possibly the most grounded, nicest guy in rock. And then, of course, there's Angus.....Australia's finest embodiment, now almost fully bald save a friar tuck ring and a thinning widow's peak. His trademark "dance" while playing (massive, gleaming guitar at trunk-level, left knee-raised, shoulders back phasing into shoulders forward, head down, right-knee raised, full-on rocktastic grimace all the while) is a bit less feverish than in years past...but, y'know, the man's fuckin' in his fifties, for god's sakes, and still rocking absolutely furiously. Majesty.

The set list was a bit soft on momentum. Lots of older numbers, like "Gone Shootin'," "The Jack", "Rock'n'Roll Damnation", "If You Want Blood". They, of course, did do stand-bys like "T.N.T.", "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap," "Thunderstruck," "Back in Black" (the second number of the evening), "Shoot to Thrill", "Hells Bells" (the track that got me into them way back in Eighth Grade), "Highway to Hell" and "Whole Lotta Rosie." I was somewhat struck by the absence of "Who Made Who", "Let There Be Rock" and "For Those About to Rock", yet they insisted on playing "Stiff Upper Lip" from their most recent album. After a to-the-minute hour and a half set, they only did one encore (knowing full well that no one paid to get in, save the poor slobs who paid ridiculous scalper fees...I was offered three hundred for my pair) with "You Shook Me All Night Long". To be honest, I've never really liked that song. It's kind of their "Whip It," y'know? Their one "hit single."

After that, following a bit of a tease, the house lights went up, and that was it. Personally, I could've standed a few more tunes, but hey.....I can't complain.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 13 March 2003 00:42 (seventeen years ago) link

CLASSIC. I'll definitely take Bon over Brian, but since I HAVE to settle, I will. I'm gonna be buying lots of the new reissues (though ironically, I had all but one of the first batch already).

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Thursday, 13 March 2003 00:48 (seventeen years ago) link

Great review Alex!

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Thursday, 13 March 2003 00:49 (seventeen years ago) link

I would say the Young brothers are classic while particularly Brian Johnson is heavily dud

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Thursday, 13 March 2003 01:03 (seventeen years ago) link

a "heavily dud[e]"

Tracer Hand (tracerhand), Thursday, 13 March 2003 01:17 (seventeen years ago) link

Lucky you Alex! Cool set list. Man I've seen them three times and they've NEVER done "Gone Shootin'" or "If You Want Blood". They probably skipped "For Those.." because they couldn't use the cannon!

What the heck is with these new reissues? I guess they sold the rights to Sony or something? Ok fine, great, an opportunity to finally put the catalog in order. But no, they're re-releasing the same stupid American versions! So we're going to once again end up with "Problem Child" stupidly on both Let There Be Rock and Dirty Deeds Done Done Dirt Cheap, and a half-assed Jailbreak EP, while great Australia only cuts like "R.I.P", "Stick Around", and "Carry Me Home" languish. How idiotic.

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Thursday, 13 March 2003 01:42 (seventeen years ago) link

my favorite exchange about AC/DC:

me: do you like AC/DC?
coworker: duh. i'm a guy.

john fail (cenotaph), Thursday, 13 March 2003 03:21 (seventeen years ago) link

totally, john. Classic, obviously. I once nearly got into a physical confrontation at some barbeque a few years back when a friend of a friend and i got into it about who was better, AC/DC or Kiss.

roger adultery (roger adultery), Thursday, 13 March 2003 04:03 (seventeen years ago) link

Still have the bottle opener key chain. Still incredibly useful!

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 13 March 2003 05:45 (seventeen years ago) link

The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that Malcolm Young is one of the greatest guitarists around. Complely unerring and unstoppable rhythm work with laser accuracy.

Chris Barrus (xibalba), Thursday, 13 March 2003 05:45 (seventeen years ago) link

Yeah, and Malcolm really is the genius behind the band. He founded it, it was his conception and I believe I read he actually writes most of the riffs.

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Thursday, 13 March 2003 06:07 (seventeen years ago) link

Still have the bottle opener key chain. Still incredibly useful!

Good lord, so do I.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 13 March 2003 15:08 (seventeen years ago) link

I also adore the inherent tastelessness of the bottle-opener keychain as box-set tchotscke. I mean, Bon Scott drank himself to death, for chrissakes.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 13 March 2003 15:09 (seventeen years ago) link

'have a drink on me' is on back in black, which i also though was tasteless.

a drummer friend often says that phil rudd is his favorite drummer. he plays the same beat on every song but he's tight as hell and doesn't try to steal the spotlight or do anything flashy.

j fail (cenotaph), Thursday, 13 March 2003 15:13 (seventeen years ago) link

Could it be... consensus?

(Oh, yeah, classic, btw.)

TMFTML (TMFTML), Thursday, 13 March 2003 15:29 (seventeen years ago) link

So, what album should I get?

Nick A. (Nick A.), Thursday, 13 March 2003 15:30 (seventeen years ago) link

All of them! Dude!

Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Thursday, 13 March 2003 15:38 (seventeen years ago) link

(The ones that were just reissued are definitely not a bad place to start: High Voltage, Highway to Hell, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Back in Black. I'm eh on the Live album.)

Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Thursday, 13 March 2003 15:39 (seventeen years ago) link

POO: Dirty Deeds
PO2: Above plus Highway to Hell
P03: Above plus Back in Black

There's no need for any more than that.

TMFTML (TMFTML), Thursday, 13 March 2003 15:42 (seventeen years ago) link

The version of "Thunderstruck" on the LIVE album (`92) is positively celestial, however.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 13 March 2003 15:42 (seventeen years ago) link

cummon. 'jail break' all the way

dyson (dyson), Thursday, 13 March 2003 15:59 (seventeen years ago) link

a drummer friend often says that phil rudd is his favorite drummer. he plays the same beat on every song but he's tight as hell

This is so true. I'm glad they got him back in the fold after the years with "the bald guy from the Firm" (as everyone used to call him).

If I had to OPO it would probably be Let There Be Rock. Which sort of a weird choice because it probably has the least amount of Bon's signature humor. Which is of course one of the main reasons I love the band so much. That side is best featured on Dirty Deeds and Highway to Hell.

But Let There Be Rock - it's just so relentlessly heavy. The production is weird, the guitars just crackle with electricity. The album really shows off the way the twin guitars play off each other to create those glorious riffs. Like on "Overdose" which has the long intro w/ the arpeggios and the crashing drums. Then one guitar picks up the riff, then the next one locks in. It just becomes this churning monolith. Like space-rock or something. Yet for all of that there is still space in the music; they don't let the chords ring too long, they clip them off. This sound is nothing like the happier music, still tethered to the blues, on earlier records like High Voltage.

But yeah, every Bon Scott era record is a classic, and a decent number of the Brian Johnson ones as well (I'll take everything up to and including Flick of the Switch, and I actually really liked Ballbreaker).

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Thursday, 13 March 2003 18:41 (seventeen years ago) link

Holy cow - I just read a review of the show Alex attended, accompanied by a picture of Angus, and Alex wasn't kidding about Angus' hair! He looks pretty goofy. I guess he's always looked goofy.

Also, they played "What's Next to the Moon"!

Mr. Diamond (diamond), Friday, 14 March 2003 21:53 (seventeen years ago) link

Yes they did.....and it was ELECTRIFYING!

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Saturday, 15 March 2003 02:31 (seventeen years ago) link

i'll second tracer's 'great review'! because it was.

Dave M. (rotten03), Saturday, 15 March 2003 02:47 (seventeen years ago) link


Alex in NYC (vassifer), Saturday, 15 March 2003 02:52 (seventeen years ago) link

three years pass...
Classic all the way. If I had to pick only one, it would be Show Business, but thankfully I don't have to!

shorty (shorty), Wednesday, 25 October 2006 11:45 (thirteen years ago) link

DUD. Music for "macho" idiots.

The Real Esteban Buttez (EstieButtez1), Wednesday, 25 October 2006 12:13 (thirteen years ago) link

Shouldn't you be out on a ledge somewhere Buttez?

shorty (shorty), Wednesday, 25 October 2006 12:36 (thirteen years ago) link

My apologies; that was a flippant comment.

However, isn't it possible for you to express your opinion about the band without directly insulting the vast majority of the people who have posted to this thread?

shorty (shorty), Wednesday, 25 October 2006 12:46 (thirteen years ago) link

"macho idiots"?

AC/DC is, other than Zep, the only hard rock band that every single woman I know —and probably many, many I don't— likes, if not loves.

veronica moser (veronica moser), Wednesday, 25 October 2006 13:35 (thirteen years ago) link

We live in the best of all possible worlds, with one minor exception: "Highway to Hell" should hold the spot in all-time sales that is occupied by "Back in Black".

bendy (bendy), Thursday, 26 October 2006 01:15 (thirteen years ago) link

o esteban how could you deny your heritage like this

H2-H4 (H2-H4), Thursday, 26 October 2006 05:59 (thirteen years ago) link

one year passes...

so Black Ice is now out there, any fans?

Bee OK, Wednesday, 8 October 2008 23:17 (eleven years ago) link

official release date it October 18, 2008.

1. Rock N' Roll Train (4:21)
2. Skies On Fire (3:34)
3. Big Jack (3:57)
4. Anything Goes (3:22)
5. War Machine (3:09)
6. Smash N' Grab (4:06)
7. Spoilin' For A Fight (3:17)
8. Wheels (3:28)
9. Decibel (3:33)
10. Stormy May Day (3:10)
11. She Likes Rock N' Roll (3:53)
12. Money Made (4:15)
13. Rock N' Roll Dream (4:41)
14. Rocking All The Way (3:22)
15. Black Ice (3:25)

Bee OK, Wednesday, 8 October 2008 23:20 (eleven years ago) link

two months pass...
AC/DC are about to be paid a glowing tribute at Holyrood in recognition of the rock band's Scottish roots.

South of Scotland MSP Christine Grahame has lodged a parliamentary motion calling for the achievements of the group to be acknowledged.

Founding members Angus and Malcolm Young were born in Glasgow before the family moved to Australia in 1963.

And former frontman Bon Scott was born in Kirriemuir, where there is a memorial plaque in his honour.
AC/DC were formed in 1973 and have sold more than 150 million records worldwide, with songs such as Highway to Hell, Back in Black and For Those About to Rock (We Salute You).

In 2003, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Glasgow gig

They recently released a new album called Black Ice and will play Hampden Park in Glasgow next year as part of a world tour.

Ms Grahame's motion - entitled AC/DC, We Salute You - calls on the Scottish Parliament to recognise the band's Scottish roots; note that their popularity continues to grow and welcome their forthcoming performance in Scotland; and to acknowledge the musical inspiration the band has provided to thousands of Scottish musicians.

Ms Grahame said: "It is clear Scott had a strong sense of his identity, from the 'Scotland forever' tattoo he had on his arm to his playing the bagpipes on the AC/DC track It's a long way to the top.

"When they played Glasgow in 1978 the whole band wore the Scotland national football strip as their concert took place just ahead of the World Cup finals and it would be fitting if they were to do the same when the band play Hampden national football stadium next June.

"After 35 years AC/DC are still contributing to music and giving fans enjoyment worldwide.

"I think they have long deserved official recognition from their homeland for that major musical contribution and my parliamentary motion will go some way towards recognising that."

Angus and Malcolm Young are guitarists and songwriters in AC/DC. Bon Scott died of alcohol poisoning in 1980, aged 33.

Pfunkboy Formerly Known As... (Herman G. Neuname), Friday, 19 December 2008 17:49 (eleven years ago) link

So.... Against all odds, this crazy thing seems like a home run, I don't think Axl's sounded this good in years and by all accounts was super respectful and professional.

rockpalast '82 (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Sunday, 8 May 2016 11:41 (four years ago) link

Is it the difference between Axl running the show and Axl being, in effect, an employee who has to do a proper job?

Matt DC, Sunday, 8 May 2016 11:46 (four years ago) link

Yeah probably, and I suppose even for Axl Rose there some element of wow this is what 13 year old me dreamed about. Also as chachi mentioned elsewhere he actually asked way more together and rational in interviews lately maybe he's in a good place?

rockpalast '82 (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Sunday, 8 May 2016 11:53 (four years ago) link

Yeah, those clips sounds pretty good! He's more Bon Scott than Brian Johnson, surprisingly.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 8 May 2016 15:28 (four years ago) link

I think it could be that time also also mellowed out Axl. I think for most 54 year old guys, you aren't the same lunatic you were in your 20s and 30s. Axl was a like a rapper, he had beefs with all sorts of people going on for years.

earlnash, Sunday, 8 May 2016 18:34 (four years ago) link

Wait is Tommy Hamilton in the band now too?

Wrecka Stow Ralph (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 8 May 2016 18:50 (four years ago) link

I guess the lesson here is that people shouldn't be so hasty to assume Donald Trump will be a bad president

badg, Sunday, 8 May 2016 20:14 (four years ago) link

At the least I am sure the Oval Office would finally get a throne.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 8 May 2016 21:25 (four years ago) link

two months pass...

Man, what a shitty way for this band to grind to an end (Cliff's fine, but as aware as the rest of us that AC/DC isn't what it once was).

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Monday, 11 July 2016 14:26 (three years ago) link

, if Williams does indeed retire it would leave guitarist Angus Young as the only original member of the group

literally one paragraph earlier you said he joined in 1978

Shakey δσς (sic), Monday, 11 July 2016 14:33 (three years ago) link

AC/DC underwent several line-up changes before releasing their first album, High Voltage, in 1975; Malcolm and Angus were the only original members left in the band

Mark G, Monday, 11 July 2016 14:35 (three years ago) link

See, The brothers Young started off different bands. George was in The Easybeats, Malcolm the Velvet Underground, and Angus Grapefruit.

Mark G, Monday, 11 July 2016 14:36 (three years ago) link

one month passes...

literally one paragraph earlier you said he joined in 1978

― Shakey δσς (sic), Monday, July 11, 2016 10:33 AM Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

hah, yeah. technically Phil wasn't an original member either. Obviously Phil and Cliff were in the band for 99.8% of its existence but I do find it funny that a lot of the rockist fanbase who has been loudly whining about the departure of "original members" hurting the authenticity are forgetting that the Australian version High Voltage was recorded with Bon, Angus, Malcolm, and a handful of no-names on bass/drums.

Neanderthal, Tuesday, 23 August 2016 21:55 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

Ah man, sad news: George Young has passed:

Ned Raggett, Monday, 23 October 2017 21:56 (two years ago) link

You scared me by bumping this one and the Easybeats at the same time.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 23 October 2017 22:10 (two years ago) link

A legit scare in this case.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 23 October 2017 22:13 (two years ago) link

I was annoyed today that not many people were acknowledging George's death, especially with regards to his influence on AC/DC. He was greatly responsible for the raw sound of the band's pre-Highway to Hell output, and Let There Be Rock has one of the gnarliest, aggressive guitar tones ever recorded. Here's a great story about the recording that album via wiki:

In a 1991 interview with Guitar World, Angus recalled, "The song "Let There Be Rock" was unusual for me. I remember my brother, George, saying in the studio, 'C'mon Ang, let's get something different here'...I had great deal of fun on that whole album. On the last track, I remember the amp blowing up at the end. I said, 'Hey, the speakers are going!' You could see it in the studio, there was all this smoke and sparks, and the valves were glowing. He kept yelling at me, 'Keep playing, keep playing!'"

A. Begrand, Tuesday, 24 October 2017 00:46 (two years ago) link

I didn't know Vanda and Young were Flash and the Pan until the day George passed. It's funny because I've had the song "Down Among the Dead Men" going through my head, it's a great little 60s "death ditty" pop tune disguised as new wave.

The Fortnightly Intruder (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Sunday, 5 November 2017 10:34 (two years ago) link

Flash and The Pan are completely classic for "walking in the rain" and "California"

brimstead, Sunday, 5 November 2017 17:14 (two years ago) link

RIP Malcolm Young

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Saturday, 18 November 2017 13:36 (two years ago) link

aw fuck rip

what a shitty couple of weeks for angus

wow. that was truly the minecraft of sex. (bizarro gazzara), Saturday, 18 November 2017 13:44 (two years ago) link

I was about to say, how miserable to lose two brothers like that.

But man...Malcolm's rhythm work, you almost just want to stare and point at it in awe. It's that good.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 18 November 2017 14:01 (two years ago) link

There used to be a YouTube video of Malcolm's isolated guitar track from "Let There Be Rock" - it was breathtaking in its metronomic precision and force. Made Michael Rother sound like some kind of jam-band hippie by comparison.

grawlix (unperson), Saturday, 18 November 2017 14:11 (two years ago) link

Yeah, krautrock comparisons really are the ones to make. Anything that values utter focus.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 18 November 2017 14:17 (two years ago) link


Still amazes me just how spectacularly the wheels came off AC/DC after all those years, and so quickly.

Gholdfish Killah (Turrican), Saturday, 18 November 2017 14:34 (two years ago) link

RIP. Never heard a rhythm guitarist that could match him. And lest we forget, within the band, he was known as "The Riffmaker", being the point of origin of so many of their greatest songs.

Vast Halo, Saturday, 18 November 2017 14:53 (two years ago) link

unperson and Ned OTM, a huge part of what converted me to AC/DC was the precise energy and leanness of the rhythm section. RIP.

Gavin, Leeds, Saturday, 18 November 2017 14:57 (two years ago) link

Wow. There are ample interviews with Angus describing Malcolm as the better of the guitarists. It's also Malcolm who imposed (in the best way) the band's open chord minimalism. I love his rhythm playing on "Thunderstruck" so much. RIP.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 18 November 2017 15:19 (two years ago) link

\m/ RIP \m/

bumbling my way toward the light or wahtever (hardcore dilettante), Saturday, 18 November 2017 16:08 (two years ago) link

good interview with Angus re Malcolm from a year or so ago

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 18 November 2017 17:39 (two years ago) link

so sad to lose Malcolm

shaping that sound so precisely, right out of the gate and then making it so unassailable for so long <3

absolute legend

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 18 November 2017 17:42 (two years ago) link

There used to be a YouTube video of Malcolm's isolated guitar track from "Let There Be Rock"

Here, credited to Angus.

new noise, Saturday, 18 November 2017 18:23 (two years ago) link

If you read the nerdy comments, people are pretty sure that's Angus's rhythm part.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 18 November 2017 21:11 (two years ago) link

This is from a few years ago, but it's still kind of freshly sad:

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 18 November 2017 21:18 (two years ago) link

Dunno if this has been posted upthread since it’s a few years old but great interview with their first lead singer Dave Evans here:

Includes this A+ photo from ‘74 featuring Malc in amazing knee high boots & satin jumpsuit <3

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 19 November 2017 03:21 (two years ago) link

i mean... everything in this photo is amazing

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 19 November 2017 03:22 (two years ago) link

I had no idea Cliff had retired! So no Malcolm, no Brian, no Cliff, no Phil. That leaves Angus to sole AC/DC anchor, which ... I dunno.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 19 November 2017 03:33 (two years ago) link

yeah seems sadly rudderless

i mean i like Angus but

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 19 November 2017 03:38 (two years ago) link

Even if Mal was still there, you can't expect now to be 1977 or 1987 for that matter. Hard to know if Angus will continue, but I kind of hope he still keeps playing music in some form. Whatever happens from now on really can't change what has already gone down.

I'd just hope peace to the Young family for losing two members so close together, that is not easy however it goes.

There is a funny thing in one of the ABC/BBC documentaries about AC/DC where their mom figures there is no way the two brothers will be able to play together for long without killing each other. It was a surprise to the family that they were able to make it work together in the same band since they fought like cats and dogs as kids.

earlnash, Sunday, 19 November 2017 06:17 (two years ago) link

yeah there’s stories in the Dave Evans interview abt Angus’ temper & him & Malc punching on a fair bit

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 19 November 2017 06:47 (two years ago) link

This is fucking monumental:

attention vampire (MatthewK), Sunday, 19 November 2017 09:35 (two years ago) link

nine months pass...

Seems like the new album is essentially Angus getting the most long-standing members in to put songs on top of demos that Angus and Malcolm recorded in 2003; so a final album with Phil Rudd, Cliff Williams, Brian Johnson, Stevie Young, Angus Young, and Malcolm rhythm guitar on every track. If Angus does a farewell tour with none of those players except Stevie, plus Axl or rotating allstars as singer, good luck to him.

(one hopes that "final" and "farewell" are the crucial modifiers. this band have been characterised by forward momentum in the face of appalling challenges, but closure would probably be appropriate for fans and Angus by then.)

▫◌▫ (sic), Monday, 3 September 2018 21:48 (one year ago) link

I still think the best would be to tour with just backing tracks and make the stadiums shriek along collectively in tribute.

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 3 September 2018 23:28 (one year ago) link

haha yeah, would work

maybe some cool live footage on big screens

niels, Tuesday, 4 September 2018 09:03 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 13:21 (two weeks ago) link

So good

chr1sb3singer, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 13:34 (two weeks ago) link

ass and roll ain’t no Mona Lisa !!

budo jeru, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 18:25 (two weeks ago) link


Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 18:32 (two weeks ago) link

Last year on the 40th anniversary of Highway to Hell, I was commissioned to do a special piece about bit for Invisible Oranges to commemorate the occasion. This is the direction I took it

I was only ten years old when Highway to Hell came out. Though this still puts me several decades older than most Invisible Oranges readership (and, um, editors), it means we all shared discovery of the album and the original AC/DC vocalist Bon Scott long after its release 40 years ago.

My 17-year-old son Matthew is among the latest to get into AC/DC. He heard the band initially through pop culture -- their songs are still trotted out for Hollywood blockbuster soundtracks, the radio plays a dozen or so songs on the regular, Jack Black emulated Angus Young’s riffs and schoolboy fashion sense in School of Rock, and women still gyrate to the band for fun and profit. (Not that Matthew knows anything about that! Though he did say “Girls Got Rhythm” was his jam which I think shows pretty good parenting, even more so than not showing him that video.)

Between asking him to do his chores, I asked him how it was that he was enjoying Highway to Hell at the same age when I was doing so when kids are supposed to hate their parents’ music and vice-versa.

“No matter what a lot of people say, I think of AC/DC as the definition of rock-'n'-roll,” he said as prideful tears welled up in his dad’s eyes. “They may on paper sound generic, but try finding a band that sounds anything like them. It’s just rock in its essence. This is some of the most faithful stuff I’ve seen. Truthfully it hasn’t aged. It won’t die, it doesn’t really change, and it fits with every generation.”

Fucking classic.

We're also posers.

Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Tuesday, 19 May 2020 23:11 (two weeks ago) link

I don't think I read that piece at the time, but it's good, and you're absolutely right that they do a lot of different things on H2H; "Touch Too Much" and "Get It Hot" are very much pointing the way toward the New Wave AOR of the early 80s, "Beating Around the Bush" is pretty much exactly what Ted Nugent was doing on his late 70s/early 80s albums like Weekend Warriors and Scream Dream, and "Night Prowler" is maybe the slowest blues they ever recorded; it's almost biker doom. AC/DC always had more ideas than they were given credit for, and most of them were good ones.

but also fuck you (unperson), Wednesday, 20 May 2020 00:49 (one week ago) link

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