AC/DC – If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)

Scott, our Heavy Metal Overlord, sent me this CD amongst the many AC/DC discs in the parcel he sent. It’s an ass-kicker! I have never seen AC/DC live. It’s an oversiiight that requires correction.

I had some odd moments listening to this record. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it and it’s an excellent document of the band in action. But I had several moments where I was sure I heard songs by other people, or references to others. Heck, even the album title is a nod to the Stones. But, please bear with me if I mention such things, and know that I am a (relative) AC/DC noob. I’m working on it. 

Riff Raff blasts off at a helluva pace. It’s obviously been re-done in a studio afterwards, as the crowd comes in and disappears (around 4:35). I dislike when bands do that. Anyway, it hardly matters, this is a solid introductory track. And, to my untutored ears, I thought it sounded a lot like Led Zeppelin’s Rock ‘n’ Roll. 

Hell Ain’t a Bad Place To Be is a pure AC/DC classic track. Once again, the crowd disappears, though. Sigh. Just leave it in, warts and all, and let it all be there. It is a live album, after all. I don’t know why I’m distracted by this, I’m simultaneously rocking out! Bad Boy Boogie rips us another one, talk about great energy. I’m picking up ZZ Top from this riff. Man, I’m at it again. Which came first, though? WHO CARES. Turn it up! Great solo here, too. 

Now, Deke said if I’m tired of the album version of The Jack, I should give this live version a spin. Well, it’s bluesy as hell, still good, just… it’s just not grabbing me. What is it about this song? I am pre-programmed and built to love tracks like this! So why am I not feeling it? I just don’t know. Anyway, the audience participation was cool, you can tell they have the crowd in the palm of their hand. Lots of huge solos, I loved that part.

Problem Child picks the pace back up, so hold on to yer tits. Man, this band can really rock! This is pure jock rock bliss. Go! Go! Go! And then we hit Whole Lotta Rosie, which is a classic track we all know well. This version gives the album cut a high-energy run for its money. And hot damn, that solo! Fingers a-flyin’! This is a stand out track on the record, for sure.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Damnation is not a song I’ve heard before, but it’s a decent track that hasn’t quite got the lift-off of some of the others. You know, though, that I could totally hear the Black Crowes  doing this song. And finally, it’s High Volatge, which I heard as a potential Stones track when I (recently) reviewed the album of the same name. Good version here, tons of fun.

So, in sum? WHOA. What a show! Shame about editing out the crowd noise, and The Jack. But there’s way more to love here than I maybe let on in this wrote-up. Let’s put it this way: for every minor point I made about this or that in this review, there were ten points in this listening session where I was falling in love with early AC/DC. Hard.

Thanks heaps, Scott! This is a really cool live reacord. Hard to believe I was 4 years old when they recorded it. 🙂

5 thoughts on “AC/DC – If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)

  1. Deke says:

    Considering at the time of release it was a full yr before Highway To Hell it’s a fair representation of ACDC….I hear ya about leaving the warts in all on it but compared to the two Kiss live albums least this was live…
    Pretty good though……

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    1. keepsmealive says:

      In retrospect, maybe this write-up sounds a bit harsh. I seem to have focussed on the bits that bugged me. But there were many things I loved and, taken as a whole, it’s a pretty smashing live record. Right at the end, there, I mentioned thoughts along these lines, that it’s got lots of lovely bits too. Wahoo!

      I think the point of AC/DC is not to think about it too much. It’s blues-drenched rawk, and very unapologetic about it. They aren’t going for anything terribly cerebral, really, they just wanna knock you backwards, and they’ve been doing it (very well) for a long time. So, jump on the bus and turn it the hell up! 😉

      My many thanks again, almighty HMO!

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      1. Heavy Metal Overload says:

        Didn’t read harsh to me. Dunno… for some reason this album doesn’t quite do it for me. Some of the songs here are brilliant and Riff Raff and Whole Lots Rosie are probably the definitive versions here but I just don’t enjoy it that much. I blame The Jack! Glad you enjoyed it though!

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