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Old 11-02-08, 09:34 AM   #1
Applejack
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Let there be Rock: The AC/DC Album by Album thread

Well, I finally decided to go ahead and make the AC/DC album by album thread for the band who has made the same album for 35 years now

First Up: High Voltage (Australian Edition)



Track List:
1. "Baby, Please Don't Go" (Big Joe Williams) – 4:52
Spoiler:


2. "She's Got Balls" – 4:52
Spoiler:

3. "Little Lover" – 5:39
Spoiler:

4. "Stick Around" – 4:42
Spoiler:

5. "Soul Stripper" (Angus Young, Malcolm Young) – 6:27
Spoiler:

6. "You Ain't Got a Hold on Me" – 3:35
Spoiler:

7. "Love Song" – 5:11
Spoiler:

8. "Show Business" – 4:46
Spoiler:


All music Guide review:

Quote:
One of the perennial complaints about AC/DC is that they've never changed -- and if that's true, High Voltage is the blueprint they've followed all their career. Comprised of highlights from their first two Australian albums -- 1975's TNT and its 1976 follow-up, also entitled High Voltage -- the album has every single one of AC/DC's archetypes. There are songs about rock & roll, slow sleazy blues, high-voltage boogie, double entendres so obvious they qualify as single entendres and, of course, the monster riffs of Angus Young, so big and bold they bruise the listener upon contact. It's those riffs -- so catchy they sound lifted when they're original, so simple they're often wrongly dismissed as easy -- that give the music its backbone, the foundation for Bon Scott to get dirty, and rockers never got quite as dirty as Bon Scott. Scott sounded as if you could catch a disease by listening to him. He sounded like the gateman at hell, somebody who never hid the notion that lurking behind the door are some bad, dangerous things, but they're also fun, too, and he made no apologies for that. But for as primal as High Voltage is, it's also a lot weirder and funnier than it's given credit for, too -- those are bagpipes that solo on "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Want to Rock & Roll)," and "She's Got Balls" is a perversely funny dirty joke. This is music so primal that it's enduring -- it feels like it existed before AC/DC got there, and it will exist long afterward. And if AC/DC did wind up bettering this blueprint in the future, there's no question that this original is still potent, even thrilling, no matter how many times they returned to the well, or how many times this record is played.

Album notes:
Record Label: Albert
Producers: Harry Vanda / George Young
Length: 39:51
Release Date: 11/17/1975

The first AC/DC album release from Australia. This, as is probably obvious, is missing many songs from the International Release of High Voltage which, to a completist, can be maddening. You can still buy this CD from australia or on the internet, though if you buy the american releases, you can get all of these songs with the exception of love song.

My thoughts to follow... I would like to listen to it again before giving thoughts.
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Old 11-02-08, 05:27 PM   #2
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I love the Bon Scott era way more than Brian Johnston. The songs are so much cooler and original. The I actually think everything after Back In Black sounds the same.
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Old 11-02-08, 05:36 PM   #3
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I like Brian Johnson more as a front man, but I like the Bon era songs better.
Bon had a creepy-vibe about him....
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Old 11-02-08, 07:13 PM   #4
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Thanks, Applejack, for starting this up. I was going to do it, but I've been a bit busy lately. Also, because of one point you've already brought up, when covering the early albums in particular, there are big differences between the original Australian releases, and the latter International ones. That ends up being a lot of ground work to cover, and was proving to be more time consuming than I had time available. So again, thanks for doing the hard part.

Quite like the way the early Beatles albums were chopped up and re-assembled when released outside of their native country (albeit for different reasons), so too were the early album releases in AC/DC's catalog. I think it's safe to say that outside of the die-hard fans, most people aren't even aware of the existence of this original release of High Voltage.Compared to the more commonly known International release of the same name, which would follow a year later, both album's only share two songs in common - "Little Lover" and "She's Got Balls". People who didn't get the original import version, wouldn't really hear most of the album's other tracks - "You Ain't Got A Hold On Me", "Show Business", "Soul Stripper" and the band's decent cover take on "Baby, Please Don't Go" - until the were posthumously released on the '74 Jailbreak EP some nine years later.

As for this version of the album, its' a good start, but shows itself to be what it was - an album recorded in ten days time, with lineup changes occurring around the time of it's making. Bon Scott had only joined the band six weeks before it was cut. I do prefer the International version to it overall, but since it's practically a different beast altogether, more on that later, though. My favorite song on this version made it onto the other as well, which is "Little Lover", a nice dirty slow burn blues.
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Old 11-02-08, 07:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cactusoly View Post
I love the Bon Scott era way more than Brian Johnson. The songs are so much cooler and original. I actually think everything after Back In Black sounds the same.
I'm just the opposite - I prefer the Brian Johnson era.

I do like the Bon Scott stuff, though.

What has been really perplexing to me is the different versions of the albums. I've got the Atlantic U.S. releases and I've never heard a few of the tracks from the Australian version.

I still haven't gotten around to getting the '74 Jailbreak CD (one of those releases I've been meaning to buy but just haven't done it), so the first couple of years in AC/DC's recording career are a bit cloudy at best for me.

The material from that era is good, it's more raw, and more diverse in some ways, but still reflecting a band growing into their sound.
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Old 11-02-08, 07:45 PM   #6
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I love every track by the group through and including "Flick of the Switch". After that, it was a good track here and there, but no good complete albums, IMNSHO.
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Old 11-02-08, 09:51 PM   #7
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Great album -- I have the original Austrailian LP. Soul Stripper is my favorite track. Love Song grows on me every time though.

Last edited by Geofferson; 11-02-08 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 11-03-08, 07:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cactusoly View Post
I love the Bon Scott era way more than Brian Johnston. The songs are so much cooler and original. The I actually think everything after Back In Black sounds the same.
I agree with you. Though Brian is an amazing singer indeed, I think Bon had so many more qualities that helped to make this band the success it eventually turned out to be. His voice, the attitude, the devilish charm, the life experience, Bon was just the perfect frontman for the group.

Though on the surface the international and Australian editions may not sound too different in production or style (the songs are from the same '75 era after all), the Australian tracklisting gives it a stronger old school blues/r&b vibe that I prefer. This is a much better sequencing, it's what they meant originally too.

And yes, it's true that AC/DC has basically written the same song for 35 years, but I think there are small nuances throughout the Bon Scott era that make the individual albums stand much more. This record is basically them having their long time road material kicked out in the studio as unadorned as possible, the way rock 'n' roll should always strive to be.
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Old 11-03-08, 08:22 AM   #9
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I like the Bon Scott era also. I realize they have gotten older also and probably have changed a bit. But give me High Voltage, Let There Be Rock, Powerage and the last one that I bought from them that I liked was Back n Black w/ Johnson.
After that I lost interest. I'm not even going to pay attention to this new cd.
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Old 11-03-08, 08:22 PM   #10
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I love both eras, but they were more consistent w/ Bon Scott.
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Old 11-04-08, 02:22 PM   #11
Applejack
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Well, I listened to the Aussie High Voltage and I think it is good but not great.

A good precursor to what they would become.

Stand outs for me are Baby Please Don't Go and Show Business. This is probably not the album I reach for when I am wanting to listen to Bon Scott's AC/DC, but you could do much worse. I vastly prefer the international version
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Old 11-04-08, 03:35 PM   #12
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For me, this is not the typical AC/DC most of us know and love...and that is not a bad thing. This is one of those records (a lot like Judas Priest early stuff) where you can hear the footprint of what is to come, but it simply isn't there yet.

I also prefer Bon Scott era to Brian Johnson era, although I grew up with Brian. But I think the comparison of the two is silly. They are two totally different singers in the same band. Listen to Brian on the Bon Scott stuff, you can hear the difference. And I am 100% sure it would have been the same if Bon was still alive. However, there is not a bad album in the bunch in the Bon Scott era, there are at least three in the Brian Johnson era. I suppose it all comes down to taste, there will be fans that love Bon Scott and other that love Brian Johnson.
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Old 11-04-08, 03:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOE29 View Post
I like the Bon Scott era also. I realize they have gotten older also and probably have changed a bit. But give me High Voltage, Let There Be Rock, Powerage and the last one that I bought from them that I liked was Back n Black w/ Johnson.
After that I lost interest. I'm not even going to pay attention to this new cd.
That is a shame...the new one is actually pretty damn good. Far better than the last two. There are a few dull moments (who's idea was it to sing the chorus for War Machine that way...or putting Stormy May Day in the middle of the album?) but overall it is probably the best Brian era album since Back In Black.
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Old 11-05-08, 06:56 PM   #14
Applejack
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Album Number 2: Another Australia only release


T.N.T.



Track Listing

1) It's a Long Way to the Top (If you Wanna Rock 'n Roll)

Spoiler:


2) Rock 'n Roll Singer

Spoiler:


3) The Jack

Spoiler:


4) Live Wire

Spoiler:


5) T.N.T.

Spoiler:


6) Rocker

Spoiler:


7. Can I Sit Next To You Girl

Spoiler:


8. High Voltage

Spoiler:


9. School Days

Spoiler:


All Music Guide Review

Quote:
1975's TNT was AC/DC's second full-length release in their native Australia, and when its highlights were combined with the previous year's High Voltage, it would result in the band's 1976 international debut, also entitled High Voltage. Confused yet? Quite understandable, as it was the songs culled from TNT that provide the backbone of that international release, including its title track and the flawless first album side, containing such classics as "The Jack" and "Live Wire." The proto-punk crunch of "TNT" is also introduced, along with a remake of the group's very first single, "Can I Sit Next to You Girl," first released two years earlier with original singer Dave Evans. While of little interest to the casual fan, this hard-to-find package does offer completists some choice treats, including a faithful cover of Chuck Berry's "School Days" and a first glimpse of concert favorite "Rocker," later re-recorded for the Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap LP.
Album Notes:

Record Label: Albert
Producers: Harry Vanda and George Young
Length: 41:55
Release Date: December '75
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Old 11-05-08, 07:00 PM   #15
Applejack
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IMO, a pretty good album with some bonafide classics.

Of course there are T.N.T., The Jack and High Voltage, but some other songs on there I really like

For one, I really like the cover of School Days. Really a good example of the roots of AC/DC, and where their sound came from

Rock and Roll Singer is an excellent song, IMO with a really good riff throughout the song. The only song on this that i'm not a huge fan of are Can I Sit Next to You Girl. Even though the All Music Guide gives this lower ratings than the previous Australia release of High Voltage, I really think it is a superior album
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Old 11-05-08, 08:09 PM   #16
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As macnorton had previouly said, High Voltage didn't still show clearly the footprint of what this band was capable in terms of developing their own brand of rock 'n' roll, but T.N.T. is where they truly start peaking out that potential. The title track and It's a Long Way To The Top obviously rank with all the well-known songs from their more appreciated '77-'80 period, but I'd also dare to put The Jack, Live Wire and High Voltage among them. What I like is how T.N.T. sees them moving ever so slightly to that classic sound we love from them. The songs overall are more confident this time around and Bon really steps up his sleaze factor here. Hopefully it'd get even much better as they kept cranking out the records.
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Old 11-05-08, 08:42 PM   #17
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Yes, T.N.T. is a far superior album to the Aussie version of High Voltage.

While the debut album showed promise, T.N.T. delivered on it full force, with much stronger songwriting and performances. No doubt the tightened focus was because by this time the band had settled on their first solid line up - of Angus on lead guitar, Malcolm on rhythm, Bon on lead vocals, Phil Rudd on drums and Mark Evans on bass - which would remain intact for at least the next two Aussie releases, before Evans departure/dismissal from the band.

There's a lot to like on T.N.T., including some tunes that would become AC/DC staples like "It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'N' Roll)" (one of the best uses of bagpipes in a rock song), "The Jack" (although much tamer here than it's racier liver version), "High Voltage" (recorded just after it's namesake album's release) and of course, the title track.

My other faves are "Live Wire" (which builds to explosiveness), "Rock 'N' Roll Singer", "Rocker" (which contrary to what the AMG says was not re-recorded, but just held aside for the eventual U.S. release of Dirty Deeds) and even their cover of Chuck Berry's "School Days".

Take off the latter two songs, and replace them with "Little Lover" and "She's Got Balls", and you then have the international version of High Voltage, which would hit the UK in May, and the U.S. in October of 1976. By that time, though, the band already had it's next Australian release - Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap - recorded and sitting on the shelves, waiting for the success of T.N.T. to abate before being released the following year. (It would be an even longer wait, five years and in altered form again, before it finally hit the U.S.)
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Old 11-06-08, 11:39 AM   #18
macnorton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polietilen View Post
As macnorton had previouly said, High Voltage didn't still show clearly the footprint of what this band was capable in terms of developing their own brand of rock 'n' roll, but T.N.T. is where they truly start peaking out that potential. The title track and It's a Long Way To The Top obviously rank with all the well-known songs from their more appreciated '77-'80 period, but I'd also dare to put The Jack, Live Wire and High Voltage among them. What I like is how T.N.T. sees them moving ever so slightly to that classic sound we love from them. The songs overall are more confident this time around and Bon really steps up his sleaze factor here. Hopefully it'd get even much better as they kept cranking out the records.
+1, well put
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Old 11-09-08, 06:59 PM   #19
Applejack
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Finally, getting to the international releases that everybody is familiar with...

Album 3: High Voltage (International Edition)



For Brevity's sake, I am going to skip putting the youtube links in for this one. If you want to see or hear the song in question, check the posts for T.N.T. and the Australian version of High Voltage

Tracklisting
1) It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock & Roll)
2) Rock & Roll Singer
3) The Jack
4) Live Wire
5) T.N.T.
6) Can I Sit Next to You Girl?
7) Little Lover
8) She's Got Balls
9) High Voltage

All Music Guide Review

Quote:
One of the perennial complaints about AC/DC is that they've never changed -- and if that's true, High Voltage is the blueprint they've followed all their career. Comprised of highlights from their first two Australian albums -- 1975's TNT and its 1976 follow-up, also entitled High Voltage -- the album has every single one of AC/DC's archetypes. There are songs about rock & roll, slow sleazy blues, high-voltage boogie, double entendres so obvious they qualify as single entendres and, of course, the monster riffs of Angus Young, so big and bold they bruise the listener upon contact. It's those riffs -- so catchy they sound lifted when they're original, so simple they're often wrongly dismissed as easy -- that give the music its backbone, the foundation for Bon Scott to get dirty, and rockers never got quite as dirty as Bon Scott. Scott sounded as if you could catch a disease by listening to him. He sounded like the gateman at hell, somebody who never hid the notion that lurking behind the door are some bad, dangerous things, but they're also fun, too, and he made no apologies for that. But for as primal as High Voltage is, it's also a lot weirder and funnier than it's given credit for, too -- those are bagpipes that solo on "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Want to Rock & Roll)," and "She's Got Balls" is a perversely funny dirty joke. This is music so primal that it's enduring -- it feels like it existed before AC/DC got there, and it will exist long afterward. And if AC/DC did wind up bettering this blueprint in the future, there's no question that this original is still potent, even thrilling, no matter how many times they returned to the well, or how many times this record is played.
Album Notes:
Record Label: Atlantic
Producer: Harry Vanda & George Young
Length: 44:37
Release Date: May 14, 1976
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Old 11-10-08, 10:06 AM   #20
JOE29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macnorton View Post
That is a shame...the new one is actually pretty damn good. Far better than the last two. There are a few dull moments (who's idea was it to sing the chorus for War Machine that way...or putting Stormy May Day in the middle of the album?) but overall it is probably the best Brian era album since Back In Black.
Well, maybe I should of stated it another way. I won't buy anymore AC/DC until after I hear it. I do have everything before Black n Black but after that they went a bit commericial for me. I would buy some AC/DC but i'd have to hear it first. Then if I liked it I would buy it. No more blind buy's for me.
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Old 11-10-08, 11:24 AM   #21
macnorton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOE29 View Post
Well, maybe I should of stated it another way. I won't buy anymore AC/DC until after I hear it. I do have everything before Black n Black but after that they went a bit commericial for me. I would buy some AC/DC but i'd have to hear it first. Then if I liked it I would buy it. No more blind buy's for me.
Yeah that certainly changes my response...check it out though you might like it.
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Old 11-11-08, 10:18 AM   #22
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Not sure what the consensus is but I prefer the International release of High Voltage. As stated some of the other tracks would eventually find its way onto '74 which is/was fine by me.
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Old 11-11-08, 10:41 AM   #23
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I too prefer the intl. High Voltage -- It's a Long Way to the Top... and the title track are too good to lose.
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Old 11-11-08, 07:54 PM   #24
Applejack
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I strongly prefer the international version of high voltage.

If you guys were going to make your own "international version" of high voltage between TNT and the Australian version, what tracks would you substitute off of the existing international version.

For me, it would look like the following:

Tracklisting
1) It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock & Roll)
2) Rock & Roll Singer
3) The Jack
4) Live Wire
5) T.N.T.
6) Baby Please Don't Go
7) School Days
8) Show Business
9) High Voltage
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Old 11-12-08, 01:28 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Applejack View Post
I strongly prefer the international version of high voltage.

If you guys were going to make your own "international version" of high voltage between TNT and the Australian version, what tracks would you substitute off of the existing international version.
I might substitute "School Days" or "Show Business" for "She's Got Balls", but that's about it. Pretty much, though, the International version of High Voltage works fine for me just the way it is. I think I strikes just the right balance.
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