AC/DC - High Voltage
It could very well be that it's a long way to the top of Rock N' Roll, but here thirty years after the release of their debut album, AC/DC is at the very peak of Rock music and have been there for what seems centuries.
AC/DC is without a doubt one of those that have had the strongest influence on my life. I did and still do idolize this band's attitude, stubbornness and commitment to the music and fans they love. I treasure the band highly and every new release is awaited with a special anticipation.

High Voltage originated in Australia in 1975 with a quite different tracklist than the 1976 worldwide release of the album. Many years ago I stumbled upon a box set containing the Australian versions of the band's first releases, featuring the enjoyable and hard to get tracks Stick Around, Love Song (High Voltage) and R.I.P. (Rock In Peace) (Dirty Deeds). I thought the reason span of re-releases would be a logical opportunity to bring those songs to the masses, sadly that didn't happen. The bonus material featured through the ConnecteD technology is sparsely too, if you can get it to work at all that is, and where have the lyrics gone?
On the positive side, some corners have been sharpened in the 2003 remastered edition. Overall this sounds vintage but there lies also some of its soul, fact is that the sound is remarkably transparent and rather detailed.

The addition of Bon Scott to the group meant a mature and experienced singer and songwriter. That he developed into one of the most unique and coolest personalities the world had ever seen helped in making the band as big as they shortly would become. You have got to love the chap and his positive position towards life, this man was Rock N' Roll.

I will go as far as to say that It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll) ranks among the most important and coolest songs the band has ever written. The twin guitar work bounces of each other as two giant pillars of rock and the incorporation of the bagpipe is not only a hail to the band's Scottish roots but also gives the song that extra inch of exotic taste.

Bon's charismatic vocals in Rock 'N' Roll Singer is enough for this one to rule. The balance between his bad boy attitude, his expressiveness and overall competent abilities made his voice so utterly thrilling. The easy-going refrain and diverse mid-section add to the feeling of a great song.

The Jack soon established itself as a live classic and who can blame them for keeping it on the setlist. A bluesy, provocative and groovy piece of sleazy Rock N' Roll with a chorus everybody can sing along to.
If you listen carefully you can hear how the Young brothers experiment in each speaker, teasing leads and raw rhythm guitar action of the very dynamic kind.

An unbreakable bass line sets the stage for the fantastic guitar riff to start off Live Wire; Angus throws in some dynamic soloing in this high groovy mid-tempo cracker. I'm somehow not too fond of the chorus, which seems a bit dull and uninspired.

The high explosive T.N.T. represents Bon in so many ways; he was clearly not someone to mess around with, unless it was a hot girl of course.
The pulsating drumming is an important aspect in this slow but no less heavy composition, remaining powerful with simple means.

Can I Sit Next To You Girl is an uplifting rocker with a great melodic lick, this is a very good, uncomplicated and to the point Rock N' Roll song that nevertheless becomes a bit monotone in the end.

Little Lover stands out from the regular formula, being a tense, groovy and moody track with a very slow rhythm, it's kind of a dark love song, just the way the guitar squeezes its way forth is pure genius. The solid bass and creative drumming lift this underrated song an inch higher and the ingenious guitar solo is also brilliant.A true AC/DC gem.

She's Got Balls is my least favourite in this collection, no doubt that is has got bite but I also find it too simple and missing that recurring element of excitement.

The anthem High Voltage lifts the album in to the classic status. The jamming guitar backbone, the strong choirs and the powerful bass and drum work make up a thrilling and memorable whole.

AC/DC's lyrics are about as predictable as the music: Standing up for yourself and the Rock N' Roll way of life, having a good time but also an ambitious wish for making what you love into something big. The lyrics have a humours touch and fit the music extremely well.

Even though the band was quite Young and green, the material on this album is just as solid and competent as the stuff they do nowadays and the execution immensely tight, makes me wonder. was it Rock N' Roll that made AC/DC or was it the other way around?

If you got a hard rocking soul in there somewhere, these tunes should make it come forth in a split second. AC/DC and High Voltage meant the beginning of a new era in Rock music, a very rebellious and hard-hitting one.

Written by Tommy
Wednesday, October 5, 2005
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Tommy: 7.5/10

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RevelationZ Comments

Comment by Mads Aanum (Anonymous) - Thursday, October 6, 2005
AC/DC rules and I really like the older ac/dc, my fave album by AC/DC is POWERAGE... everytime I listen to that album i get an urge to drinsk som beer and whisky...

Comment by Sophie (Anonymous) - Monday, June 4, 2007
i love your music

Review by Tommy

Released by
Atlantis - 1976

1. It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)
2. Rock 'N' 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

Hard Rock

Related links
Visit the band page

Other articles
Stiff Upper Lip - (Tommy)

Back In Black - (Tommy)

Book review - AC/DC - A Definitive History - (Jonah)

Live In Horsens. June 5th, 2010 - (Tommy)

Highway To Hell (2003 Remaster) - (Steen)

Back in Black (2003 Remaster) - (Steen)

The Razor's Edge (2003 Remaster) - (Steen)

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