26 July 2013

25th July - AC/DC's Back in Black

Artist – Album: AC-DC – Back in Black
Released:  25th July 1980
Sounds Like: It's like, how much more black could this be? and the answer is none. None more black.

It’s hard to listen to pre-Spinal Tap hard rock and not conjure up images of miniature Stonehenges, spontaneously combusting drummers, and amps that go all the way up to 11. Almost everything I listen to from the early metal era brings to mind ‘Big Bottom’. In the proud history of parody bands, from the Rutles to Lonely Island, Spinal Tap are the most hilariously accurate, perfectly executed and stunningly realised. Undeniably, one of the reasons that it was so successful was because the genre itself, unlike the often pretentious indie rock or the are-you-looking-at-me hip hop, is just plain fun. As good as A Mighty Wind (a similar film by the same guys) is, folk and country music is just too self-effacing to be laugh out loud. However, although rock music back then may have been dominated by sweaty, overly hairy men who either like to sing about dungeons and dragons or sex and drugs and rock and roll (and that in itself is funny), it also contained bombastic drumming and exhilarating guitar solos designed solely to make you clench your hand into a fist and punch the air in delight. 
No album in history has better captured the sheer adrenaline rush of rock at the time than Back in Black. It foregoes the obsession with myths and legends and just goes for the old sex and drugs (and drink), and its made all the better for the knowledge that they truly were living it. It’s almost something of a disappointment that they didn’t write the seminal ‘Life in the Fast Lane’, as it so aptly sums up their lifestyle. That being said, however, they did compose some absolute classic anthems, with the likes of ‘Back in Black’, ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’, ‘Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution’ and ‘Hells Bells’ all appearing here. Yes, it is a all a bit Spinal Tap-py – ‘Givin’ the Dog a Bone’ isn’t far removed from ‘Lick My Love Pump’ – but that’s all just part of the fun.
Following the death of legendary lead singer Bon Scott in 1979, there was a danger that this album could have been funereal, particularly given the uniformly black album cover. In actual fact, the album is more like the most celebratory wake ever.
Albumaday... rating: 9/10

1.       Hells Bells – 5:10
2.       Shoot to Thrill – 5:17
3.       What Do You Do for Money Honey – 3:33
4.       Given the Dog a Bone – 3:30
5.       Let Me Put My Love Into You – 4:16
6.       Back in Black – 4:14
7.       You Shook Me All Night Long – 3:30
8.       Have a Drink on Me – 3:57
9.       Shake a Leg – 4:06
10.   Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution – 4:15

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