AC/DC – High Voltage

Scott, our Heavy Metal Overlord, sent me this one, and it’s a corker. It was exactly what I needed to hear, today!

It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll) is a great fist-pumping blues rawk opener, and probably the best use of bag pipes in a rock song this side of Dropkick Murphys. Rock ‘n’ Roll Singer is cut from the same hard marble template as most AC/DC songs. This is an album fave, for me. Freakin’ fantastic track.

The Jack gets over-played on our local, animal-themed rawk radio station. Honestly, I’m a bit done with it. It’s not the best riff they ever slapped together (just a 12-bar with fills and solos), and it plods along tiredly. Plus, its nasty subject matter is blech, and all of its dumb card game double entendres were only funny the first time or three, AND this could have gotten the job done in three minutes instead of six. Yeah, not  bad track, not great either.

Live Wire’s throbbing bass and guitar flirtation intro soon becomes a fairly straight-on rocker that sounds like only this band can sound. ‘Holy smokes!’ haha, fun. Angus is endlessly great to listen to, that guitar tone is amazing, and his riffs must surely come from a pantheon of gods. I couldn’t help but hear that noodly Thunderstruck riff over top of this one, though. It’s like they stole this song from themselves and updated it later. Interesting.

TNT is a bona fide classic. man, I don’t need to tell you anything about this greatest hit track. Oi! Oi! Oi! Up next is Can I Sit Next To You Girl, a track I’d never heard before and I love it! It’s a total barroom blues rocker, and sounds like a hundred other songs of this type (Thorogood, anyone?) while still sounding like pure AC/DC.

Little Lover is a blues throbber, as close (I’d imagine) as this band comes to a balld or slow song. Of course, it totally works. What a ripping guitar solo here, too. She’s Got Balls stomps along menacingly. It’s got a meditative quality to it, in its repetition. Just let your brain go along with it and you’ll find that the song is over long before you’re ready for it to be.

And finally, High Voltage sounds like a lost Stones song, to me. It just has that jangly guitar thing to it, you know? It’s a jagged (but not Jagger?) blues rocker that brings this record to an arena anthem-worthy  shout-along close.

In sum: I am drenched in the blues, I’ve banged my head against the rock, and I’m completely happy to have taken the ride. It was also a pleasure to spend a sustained period of time with the vocals of Bon Scott. It’s not something I’ve been able to do, short of a track here and there, until Scott sent these discs.

I would give this album two thumbs up if I didn’t already have both hands held high in metal horns.

Thanks so much, Scott. This was great!


Posted on February 25, 2014, in posts by aaron and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I’m totally done with The Jack too. It’s merely OK and I might even still like it if they hadn’t run it into the ground by seemingly playing it at every bloody show they ever do! Honestly, the number of amazing tracks that they overlook so they can play that instead… and just so Angus can do his wee strip-tease schtick. That was only funny once too. Beh.


  2. I go back and forth all the time, but for a long time this was my favourite album. Now it’s back to Dirty Deeds.

    I agree with both you guys on The Jack.


  3. One of my Top 5 LPs ever, easy. Probably would be even if it only had ‘It’s A Long Way..’ and ‘Live Wire’ and 26 minutes of the band breaking bottles and farting into the microphone.


  4. Agree with the Jack dig the live version on If You Want Blood …but yeah it gets tiring….
    This album is just them plugging in and letting it rip….loved the letters sent to the band members on the back cover….hahaha
    Cool riffs ….Cool songs …..Cool Vibe…..
    My third ACDC album purchased after Back In Black and Powerage back in the crazy yr of 1980!!


    • Agreed, the letters are hilarious, well done. I have the If You Want Blood here (also thanks to Scott, so it’ll be an upcoming review in the Thanks Heaps series) which means I’ll be giving it a listen in the near future. Thanks for the recommend!


  1. Pingback: AC/DC: All The Everything Pt.10 | keepsmealive

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