.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/ca27ba16e67b7bee32cef0d00c5323a21814f6dc.jpg High Voltage

AC/DC

High Voltage

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3 0
February 25, 2003

When Bon Scott leered, "Lock up your daughter, lock up your wife, lock up your back door," on AC/DC's North American debut album, High Voltage (1976), he wasn't so much issuing a threat as celebrating his inalienable right to be crass. AC/DC showed how much fun true tastelessness could be and how liberating it could sound. These Australian delinquents played their bloodshot blues rock with the venom of punk rockers and the swagger of drunken lechers.The first batch of remastered reissues from AC/DC's catalog captures the band at its politically incorrect peak.

High Voltage and Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (1976) find the quintet already sure of its strengths: The guitars of brothers Angus and Malcolm Young bark at each other, Phil Rudd swings the beat even as he's pulverizing his kick drum, and Scott brings the raunch 'n' wail. The subject matter is standard-issue rock rebellion; Scott pauses only once to briefly contemplate the consequences of his night stalking in "Ride On."

The boys graduate from the back of the bar to the front of the arena on Highway to Hell (1979), with a cleaner sound courtesy of Shania Twain's future husband, producer Robert John "Mutt" Lange. The songs are more compact, the choruses fattened by rugby-team harmonies. The prize moment: Scott closes the hip-grinding "Shot Down in Flames" with a cackle worthy of the Wicked Witch of the West.

A year later, Scott drank himself to death. Yet the band went on to make its 1980 landmark album, Back in Black, in which his iron-lunged replacement, Brian Johnson, bellows, "Have a drink on me" without a shred of shame. From the ominous "Hell's Bells" to the bawdy "You Shook Me All Night Long," AC/DC flipped off the Reaper and gave Scott and his fans the best tribute they ever could have desired.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Bleeding Love”

    Leona Lewis | 2007

    In 2008, The X Factor winner Leona Lewis backed up her U.K. singing competition victory with an R&B anthem for the ages: "Bleeding Love," an international hit that became the best-selling song of the year. The track was co-penned by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder (whose radio dominance would continue with songs such as Beyonce's "Halo" and Adele's "Rumour Has It") and solo artist Jesse McCartney, who was inspired by a former girlfriend, Gossip Girl actress Katie Cassidy. Given the song's success, McCartney didn't regret handing over such a personal track: "No, no," he said. "I'm so happy for Leona. She deserves it. There are really no bad feelings."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com