Metallica's Lars Ulrich: My 15 Favorite Metal and Hard Rock Albums

Drummer goes deep on classics ranging from AC/DC's 'Let There Be Rock' to System of a Down's 'Toxicity'

AC/DC, 'Let There Be Rock' (1977)
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AC/DC, 'Let There Be Rock' (1977)

This is AC/DC's heaviest record, AC/DC's densest record, AC/DC's most energetic record. Four or five of the songs are just staple AC/DC live, between "Let There Be Rock," "Bad Boy Boogie," "Whole Lotta Rosie," and "Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be." I don't even want to try to comprehend how many times these songs have been played live. 

Obviously, this is before AC/DC hooked up with [producer] Mutt Lange on the Highway to Hell album and started crafting to perfection the idea of the three-to-four-minute rock song as a radio hit. Here, it was the perfect balance of two guitars: just endless guitar solos and the riffs and Angus and Malcolm playing. A lot of the songs would start with one guy playing a riff, the other guy playing open chords. Then, after 16 bars or 32 bars or whatever, both guitars would lock in on the same riff. Then Bon [Scott] would come in with these cheeky, great, almost cartoon-like lyrics about women and bad behavior and illicit experiences. It's one of those albums where it sounds like you're sitting in the studio with them. At the beginning of the songs, you can hear the amplifiers buzzing, and there's, like, count-ins and you can hear the talking in the studio, and all that kind of stuff. This is raw, blues-based hard rock at its absolute peak.

And there's one song on here which may potentially be my favorite AC/DC deep cut, which is "Overdose." On that song, when the two guitars lock in, it's just the fucking heaviest thing ever. To my knowledge, they have never performed it live. I think for a lot of AC/DC fanatics and purists like myself, it's at the very top of the left-out songs. I've never gotten far enough to ask Angus why they haven't played it [laughs], but now that Axl's in there ... he seems to get them to play stuff they haven't done in a long time. Maybe instead of asking Angus, I'll see if I can get Axl to throw it in there.