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

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The Song Remains the Same: Led Zeppelin

Rating: 90%

Led_Zeppelin_-_The_Song_Remains_the_SameSo, when I was younger I owned the cassettes to this sound track. Now, I own the DVD movie, the original vinyl, and the 2007 remaster CD set with unreleased songs of this concert. I no longer have the cassettes, they were lost many years ago.

Now, I’ve heard from both sides about the content of this live performance. Many people say it’s not their best because of the fact that many of the songs are drawn out. Or, because of the stardom has taken the band over. On the other end, I heard those in favor of this album say it’s one of Zeppelin’s best performances. Either way, this album has pros and cons. Forget about the movie. The movie was OK, but that’s what bands did back then before MTV. They were entertainers first, and not movie directors. Even “Let There Be Rock” by AD/DC has it’s slow parts during the interviews that makes no sense of the actual concert.

What I like about this album is Jimmy Page’s guitar solos and his performance. Forget about the fact that Robert Plant can’t hold a single note on here or keep up with the music. What Jimmy Page showcases is talent that is undeniable. He plays based upon feeling and not by perfection. John Paul Jones on is a talented bassist. His bass is clearly heard all over this performance. Then, you have John Bonham the master of the skins. His performance too is outstanding. It’s amazing to hear how in tuned he, John P. Jones, and Jimmy Page are playing together. This performance is almost a solo album for each of the musicians in so many ways. The improve of each musician is something that most bands can’t do today.

Track listing:

Side one
1. “Rock and Roll” 4:03
2. “Celebration Day” 3:49
3. “The Song Remains the Same” 6:00
4. “The Rain Song” 8:25
Side two
1. “Dazed and Confused” Page 26:53
Side three
1. “No Quarter” 12:30
2. “Stairway to Heaven” 10:58
Side four
1. “Moby Dick” 12:47
2. “Whole Lotta Love” 14:25

You and Me: Glenn Danzig & the Power and Fury Orchestra

Rating: 100%

danzig.jpgIn 1987, the Glenn Danzig did something different since Samhain was pretty much on hold. He contributed the song “You & Me” to the movie “Less Than Zero.” The results were big. Glenn vocals for the first time in the studio really shined. Using the influences of the likes of Elvis and Morrison, Glenn proved that he can not only do Punk music and Heavy Metal, but he could rock with other styles of music.

The vocal work is amazing. The song structure with the Power and Fury Orchestra is fantastic. The song itself, still remains somewhat dark in nature, but it’s so enlightening at the same time. This song also kind of sets the stage for the band Danzig and the direction that Glenn is going for.

In fact, the entire “Less than Zero” sound track is pretty good, even with Slayer performing “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” originally released by Iron Butterfly.

Black Hell: Danzig

Rating: 95%

DanzigBlackHell12Web.jpg“Black Hell” was released on the sound track for the 2011 movie “The Hangover Part II.”  It opens on a lone almost out of tune and heavily distorted guitar. Then Glenn’s classic low vocal style, almost to the point of a spoken word, comes in. Between the vocal and the guitar, the song becomes a very dark, eerie, and evil to listen to.

The lyrics are very dark. The music and song structure is also very dark. The song itself has a great slow and mid level tempo. The chorus has some outstanding harmony between the vocals and the music itself. This is classic Danzig at it’s best.

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