Let There Be Rock, Live In Paris: AC/DC

Rating: 95%

Ac_dc_let_there_be_rock_the_movie.jpg“Let There Be Rock” was a motion picture released in 1980 by AC/DC. It was later released with the “Bonfire” box set as CD discs Two and Three that was first released in 1997 and remastered in 2003. This live performance was part of the tour that supported the 1979 release of “Highway to Hell.” It featured lead vocalist Bon Scott, lead guitarist Angus Young, rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, bassist Cliff Williams and drummer Phil Rudd.

I have always enjoyed watching this movie when I first picked it up in 1989. I loved watching Angus Young running back and forth on stage, while kicking his feet and headbanging not missing a single note on his Gibson SG guitar. I still laugh during the song “Rocker” when you see Angus Young heading backstage and hitting up some oxygen before being taken out into the crowd. Or during “Bad Boy Boogie” when he performs a strip tease.

Musically, for the video, they flowed nicely. I didn’t care for the interviews, although some of the content was funny to watch. But when the “Bonfire” box set came out, I excited about the chance of getting the actual CDs rather than relying on the video cassette and the VCR to hear the performance. The music sounded much better through my stereo rather than a TV.

Musicianship is very good and tight sounding. The backbone of the band’s sound is the rhythm guitar, bass and the drums. Out in front of the band is the lead guitar and the vocals. A pretty simple concept. Everyone sounds great, but I do notice that Angus’s guitar does drown out parts of his brother’s guitar which is heard faintly in the background. The sound quality for the time is not bad. I do like the raw electric power that the band generates on stage. That to me is what AC/DC is all about.

Performance wise, AC/DC is a hard hitting, high energy, and heavy sounding. The music itself, is gritty, raw, perhaps muddy in spots, but loud. This is a crank it up performance. One thing that the viewer and the listener will come to realize, is the fact that Angus Young steals the show. He is a damn good guitarist. There’s lots of improvising on many songs with regards to the music during the solos.

Bon Scott sounds absolutely great. He is another one that helps to steal the show. He seems very happy and is always smiling on stage and off stage. You can tell he really enjoyed being part of one of the greatest rock n’ roll bands of all time. It’s a shame that he was that brilliant and he died shortly after this performance.

The strength supporting Bon and Angus is the main part of the band. Rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young, bassist Cliff Williams and drummer Phil Rudd. These three band members are the ones who set the pace for the music on stage and in the studio. Malcolm Young’s guitar may not be heard closer to the front, but it is there. His style and sound is very good. Then you have Cliff Williams who keeps time on the bass more along the lines of the DC-_Let_There_Be_Rock_VideoCover.jpgMalcolm’s rhythm. His bass is heard clear as day through every song on the stage. Then you have the talented Phil Rudd keeping the tempos moving. I don’t think this guy gets enough credit and is an overshadowed musician.

Bottom line, this is an important piece of AC/DC history. It’s the only live performance aside from “If You Want Blood, You Got It” that documents the band in concert, that has Bon Scott on vocals. I will take this live performance and it’s flaws over the 1990’s AC/DC live recordings and movies that has Brian Johnson on vocals.

Movie Music Tracks:

“Live Wire” – 5:23
“Shot Down In Flames” – 3:18
“Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be” – 3:54
“Sin City” – 3:52
“Walk All Over You” – 2:30
“Bad Boy Boogie” – 11:08
“The Jack” – 5:21
“Highway To Hell” – 3:10
“Girls Got Rhythm” – 3:09
“High Voltage” – 5:27
“Whole Lotta Rosie” – 4:41
“Rocker” – 8:57
“Let There be Rock” – 7:17

Bonfire Let There Be Rock, the Movir Soundtrack:

Bonfire_ACDCboxset.jpgDisc 1
1. “Live Wire”  8:04
2. “Shot Down in Flames” 3:39
3. “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be”  4:31
4. “Sin City” 5:25
5. “Walk All Over You” 5:07
6. “Bad Boy Boogie”  13:21

Disc 2
1. “The Jack”  6:05
2. “Highway to Hell” 3:31
3. “Girls Got Rhythm” 3:20
4. “High Voltage” 6:32
5. “Whole Lotta Rosie”  4:55
6. “Rocker”  10:45
7. “T.N.T.” 4:14
8. “Let There Be Rock” 7:34

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