’74 Jailbreak: AC/DC

Rating: 100%

Ac-dc-74-jailbreak-coverAlthough, released in America in 1984, this EP contains some of the early AC/DC songs that weren’t released on the High Voltage and Dirty Deeds albums. Which is a shame because, these songs are awesome. Some of the best early AC/DC songs in my opinion. Well, I’m just glad that they were eventually released in American.

I’m not going to go over the musicians, simply because of the fact that there were numerous ones. Three different drummers and two different bassists. But, listening to the songs, one would never pick up on the fact that the line ups were totally different from song to song.

What makes this EP so special? It’s a powerhouse of raw sound, great riffs, and yes, whiskey soaked high pitched vocals of Bon Scott. Every song on here is a good song. Lot’s of Blues and Rock N’ Roll influence. It contains those killer riffs, melodies, and those signature Angus Young leads and solos. It’s a wonder that these songs were released on the American media sooner than AC/DC’s 10 year birthday. Lyrically, these to me are some of the best written songs of early AC/DC.

Track listing:
1. “Jailbreak” 4:40
2. “You Ain’t Got a Hold on Me” 3:31
3. “Show Business” 4:46
4. “Soul Stripper” 6:25
5. “Baby, Please Don’t Go” 4:50

Who Made Who: AC/DC

Rating: 75%

Whomadewho.jpgSo, AC/DC did the 1986 soundtrack to the movie “Maximum Overdrive.” There’s only a few new songs here and two of them are instrumentals. Something that I thought I would never hear from AC/DC, but, this is a soundtrack album. This sound track produced another popular AC/DC song called “Who Made Who.” Other than that, nothing else to report here. Everything else, has been around plenty for a while. I think the song collection could have been a bit more exciting.

Track listing:

Who Made Who 3:23
You Shook Me All Night Long 3:29
D.T. 2:59
Sink The Pink 4:12
Ride On 5:47
Hells Bells 5:10
Shake Your Foundations 4:08
Chase The Ace 3:00
For Those About To Rock (We Salute You) 5:44

For Those About To Rock: AC/DC

Rating: 80%

ForThoseAboutToRock_ACDCalbum.jpgReleased in 1981, as the follow up to the “Back In Black” album, AC/DC has created something of a international anthem. But then, as you listen to the rest of the album, it becomes more or less a hit or miss album.

The musicianship is lacking here. It’s like the morning after when you are suffering from a major hangover, and you don’t feel like doing anything. Brian Johnson’s vocals are a bit weak, but still impressive. After this album, Brian’s vocals really start going downhill as AC/DC matures. His vocals are still strong with some rasp as he hits those mid to higher level notes with in the soprano range. The guitars are seem to be coping and pasting the same styles throughout many of the songs. I can’t hardly hear Cliff Williams on bass. Phil Rudd to me is the only one that is saving this record. 

The music is lacking the raw power and intensity of explosive melodies. The music tempo is very slow, compared to the previous AC/DC albums.  It’s almost to the point, that I find myself wanting to push the skip button to fast forward to another song. Lot’s of filler on this album. The overall sound is heavier than prior albums, but there’s no drive to half of the album.  

But not all is lost on this album. Take the opening track, “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You).” This is over five minutes worth of pure Hard Rock. It has a powerful guitar riff. This song has become one of the best international anthems of all time. “Inject the Venom” is another good song on this album that stands out. “Evil Walks”, “C.O.D.”, “Night of the Long Knives”, and “Spellbound” are also good songs with decent riffs, but they too lack that power driven guitar that AC/DC is always known for.

Track listing:

1. “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)” 5:43
2. “Put the Finger on You” 3:25
3. “Let’s Get It Up” 3:53
4. “Inject the Venom” 3:31
5. “Snowballed” 3:23
6. “Evil Walks” 4:23
7. “C.O.D.” 3:19
8. “Breaking the Rules” 4:23
9. “Night of the Long Knives” 3:25
10. “Spellbound” 4:28

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap: AC/DC

Rating: 100%

ddddc.jpgIn 1976, “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheep was released to the world, except for the U.S. which would have to wait until 1981. This album is excellent! It’s got the right dosage of Rock N’ Roll, Blues, and yes, Country music all blended into one bold sound. Angus Young is really tipping his hat to Chuck Berry.

The musicianship is super tight. I love the quirkiness of Bon Scott’s whiskey soaked vocals. Behind the power switch is Angus and Malcolm Young on the guitars. Angus really knows how to through out the best solos. Then bringing up the rear and yet, establishing the fuel for the power is bassist Mark Evans and drummer Phil Rudd.

This is a great album lyrically because of the humor in the songs. Take “Big Balls” for example. It’s full of tongue in cheek humor making one think is he talking about those parties or what’s between his legs. Simple, yet funny! Just look over the song titles. There’s a lot of great riffs and leads. The rhythm and melodies are raw and yet, explosive when you give this album a listen to. This is an example of what a Rock band should sound like. 

Track listing:

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap 3:46
Love At First Feel 3:05
Big Balls 2:39
Rocker 2:46
Problem Child 5:43
There’s Gonna Be Some Rockin’ 3:14
Ain’t No Fun (Waiting Round To Be A Millionaire) 6:51
Ride On 5:47
Squealer 5:12

If You Want Blood: AC/DC

Rating: 90%

Acdc_If_You_Want_Blood_You've_Got_It.JPGRecorded in 1978 during the world tour of “Powerage”, AC/DC released this live album. I manged to pick this gem up on vinyl over at Hanover for under $6.00 near mint.  This record has a lot of power and energy behind it. The raw sound of AC/DC during this concert can be summed up as “sheer raw power.” The entire band sounds great. This live album showcases the best that the band is and greatest was yet to come.

Bon Scott’s whiskey soaked vocals are at his greatest. Musically, the songs are well balanced and engaging. Angus Young on lead guitar is an entertainer. His style of power is just mind blowing. His leads are on top of the world. Malcolm Young on guitar is just as good as his brother, pumping out the grooves. Cliff Williams on bass and drummer Phil Rudd are the backbone of this band on stage.

After listening to this on vinyl, it was like hearing the concert as it was meant to be heard. The sound of the concert is clear with very little background noise. If you’re into early AC/DC, then go out and find this record. It’s awesome!

Track listing:

1. “Riff Raff” 5:59
2. “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be” 4:10
3. “Bad Boy Boogie” 7:29
4. “The Jack” 5:48
5. “Problem Child” 4:40
Side two
6. “Whole Lotta Rosie”  4:05
7. “Rock ‘n’ Roll Damnation” 3:41
8. “High Voltage” 5:05
9. “Let There Be Rock” 8:33
10. “Rocker” 3:24

Strikes: Blackfoot

Rating: 95%

Blackfoot_-_Strikes.jpgSo the year was 1979 and Blackfoot released “Strikes” which is by far one of my favorite records by this band. Most of Southern Rock was dead or it was changing drastically. After 1977 when the plain went down and with all of the styles of music about, Blackfoot was not ready to throw in the towel. Instead, they released one of the most kick ass, hard rocking, whiskey drench albums of their career

This album has plenty of sound fused with hard hitting riffs, leads, drumming, and harmonica. Rickey Medlocke and his vocals are top notch. Between his guitar and the guitar of Charlie Hargrett, they throw riff after riff followed by lead and solos all over this record. Even the song “Highway Song” which begins with some picking, turns into a racetrack at the end and the guitars just dance around. You throw in the drums of Jakson Spires and Greg T. Walker’s bass, you’ll have a band that is powerful, exciting, and energetic.  But Rickey’s grandfather, Shorty steals the spotlight with Blues influenced harmonica on the opening of “Train, Train.” 

Track listing:

1. “Road Fever” 3:07
2. “I Got a Line on You (Spirit cover)” 3:17
3. “Left Turn on a Red Light”  4:35
4. “Pay My Dues” (Blues Image cover) 3:03
5. “Baby Blue” 2:33
6. “Wishing Well” (Free cover) 3:11
7. “Run and Hide” 3:24
8. “Train, Train (prelude)” 0:36
9. “Train, Train” 2:56
10. “Highway Song” 6:50

Bad to the Bone: George Thorogood & The Destroyers

Rating: 95%

George_Thorogood_&_The_Destroyers_-_Bad_To_The_BoneSo, George T. only wrote three of the songs on this 1982 “Bad To The Bone” record. Who cares, right? Not when the other songs are done up in George Thorogood fashion and style. So grab a few beers and get ready for a party down memory lane.

So, it’s Blues mixed with dash of Country and Rock n’ Roll. Great mixture of genres for George Thorogood’s style of slide guitar. The way George adopts these songs from other artists and creates arrangements to suit his band is amazing. It’s got soul, it’s got talent, and it’s got swing. It’ll leave you thirsty for more.

The musicianship is very tight.  Billy Blough’s bass lines are very good. The drumming of Jeff Simon is good and the added saxophone by Hank Carter makes the music even more energized. You add that along with the whiskey drench vocals and the beer soaked style of the guitar, you have a true sound unlike any other. To this day, I still think that Thorogood is under rated and unappreciated by Rock n’ Roll. 

Track listing:

“Back to Wentzville” (George Thorogood) – 3:30
“Blue Highway” (Nick Gravenites, David Getz) – 4:44
“Nobody but Me” (The Isley Brothers) – 3:28
“It’s a Sin” (Jimmy Reed) – 3:32
“New Boogie Chillun” (John Lee Hooker) – 5:03
“Bad to the Bone” (George Thorogood) – 4:52
“Miss Luann” (George Thorogood) – 4:13
“As the Years Go Passing By” (Deadric Malone) – 5:03
“No Particular Place to Go” (Chuck Berry) – 4:00
“Wanted Man” (Bob Dylan) – 3:12