Few bands in the world can claim that they have a unique sound like AC/DC. You can call it Blues Rock, Hard Rock, simple Rock and Roll and even Heavy Metal, but it’s impossible to surely label it.
Whatever you choose to call it, the fact is the Thunder from Down Under are one of the most important and successful bands of all time with a rather interesting discography.
Some detractors (rather few, actually) might say that AC/DC recorded basically the same record since their debut. So what? It’s the same great record and the sound is peerless.
Granted, Krokus, the Swedish Bullet, Airbourne and even early Accept have a lot of AC/DC in their sound, but even so it doesn’t quite match the Australians – although only their original drummer is actually Australian. The Young brothers and Bon were Scottish, Cliff Williams and Brian are English – class.
Anyway, the fact that the band changed singers after Bon’s death makes their discography even more interesting and ranking their albums is a rather entertaining job.
Check it out my opinion.
After celebrating Brian Jonson’s years with the killer AC/DC Live in 1992, there was a lot of expectation surrounding the next studio album. And all expectations were met. Opening with the anthemic “Hard as a Rock” followed by the sexual innuendo of “Cover You in Oil”, Ballbreaker showed that AC/DC still had gas in their collective tank. The slow-blues of “Boogie Man” and the catchy choruses of “Hail Caesar”, “Whiskey on the Rocks” and the title-track are other highlights.
#4: Let There Be Rock
Only AC/DC could open a record with an ode to oral sex and get away with it. And that’s exactly what they do in Let There Be Rock, with “Go Down”. This is one of the very few albums in history that doesn’t have fillers (actually, like the following three on this list as well). After the opening we are presented with “Dog Eat Dog”, the brilliant title-track and “Bad Boy Boogie”. The thing is the second part of the album could be a Greatest Hits for many lesser bands. At least four timeless classics: “Problem Child” (re-recorded from Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap), “Overdose”, “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place To Be” and one of the greatest songs in the history of Rock and Roll: “Whole Lotta Rosie.”
#3: Highway to Hell
Many things make “Highway to Hell” iconic: it’s the last album featuring Bon Scott on vocals, the Devil Angus on the cover, the story that surfaced later about a serial killer that liked to listen to “Night Prowler” and the debut of “Mutt” Lange producing the band. However, the most important thing is the songs. And here we have plenty of great ones to go around. Again, the band wrote a timeless Rock classic with the title track and the immortal line “I’m on my way to the Promised Land” meaning Hell. That’s Bon in his most ironic and sarcastic. Elsewhere we have “Girls Got Rhythm”, “Walk All Over You”, the almost Glam overtones on the perfect “Touch Too Much”, “Shot Down in Flames”, “Get It Hot” , “If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)” (using the title of the live album released one year prior) and the aforementioned “Night Prowler”. It seemed that nothing could stop them.
#2: For Those about To Rock (We Salute You)
Okay, I can hear you cussing me and calling me all kind of names for putting this album ahead of HTH. The thing is: this is MY list and this album had a major impact on me because it was the first AC/DC album I ever bought. MAYBE HTH is better but I still have a special place in my heart for this album. And c’mon there are some wonderful moments here not least the monumental title-track with the canon shots, another sexual innuendo with the delicious “Put The Finger On You”, “Let’s Get It Up”, one of the greatest AC/DC riffs ever “Inject the Venom”, and some great choruses in “Evil Walks”, “C.O.D.”, “Breaking the Rules” and the reference to the night Hitler rose to power in Germany, “Night of the Long Knives”. It was a tough job to follow a huge success like “Back in Black” and they managed to do it.
#1: Back in Black
You have reached your peak and then your singer dies. How can you come back from that? For AC/DC the answer was simple: record one of the best albums ever (at least a Top 5 in my opinion) that would went on to become the second best-selling record of all time (second only to Michael Jackson’s Thriller). After Bon’s death, nobody knew what to expect, but certainly nobody expected something of this magnitude. Brian’s voice fitted perfectly and the songs showed how the band had reached the next level. Regardless of classics of such stature like “Hells Bells”, “Shoot to Thrill”, the title-track and “You Shook Me All Night Long” (probably AC/DC greatest hit), you still have some wonderful songs in between. All choruses are catchy, all melodies are beautiful, all riff are perfect and the production is pristine (next to Def Leppard’s Hysteria, “Mutt” Lange’s greatest job). If you never actually paid attention to the less hailed tracks, you should go back and listen again to “What Do You Do For Money Honey”, “Given the Dog a Bone”, “Let Me Put My Love Into You”, “Have a Drink on Me”, “Shake a Leg” (Probably the greatest Rhythm guitar EVER) and the anthem “Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution”.
Fleetwood Mac – Rumors
Scorpions – Animal Magnetism
Bolt Thrower – War Master
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