no-cover

AC/DC – [Album]

Like
475
0
Friday, 16 April 2010

As every fan of the band knows, AC/DC has gone on the record several times over as saying that the release of a greatest hits compilation would be tantamount to conceding their career is at its end; they'll do a retrospective examination like that when they have no intention of continuing on. Of course, reverse psychology being as effective as it is, such an announcement has had their record label looking very closely at options to compile such a set but, outside of reissuing albums in novel packaging (the collector's crate that came out a couple of years ago is a good example), the band has stuck to its guns and repeatedly quashed quashed the idea, unless it's topical (as was the case with the Bonfire box set or the Backtracks box) or it is mortally impossible to go back to a particular period.

Then Columbia Records, Sony Music and Marvel Comics came up with a compromise the band couldn't refuse. The three companies secured the rights to the lion's share of the band's catalogue, compiled a set of the band's most raucous signature material and made that the sole focus of the Iron Man 2 soundtrack. The disc (and accompanying DVD) is all hard and all AC/DC, all the time.

The set is precisely what the film – not necessarily diehard fans – need it to be. Each of the songs are staple, instantly recognizable and revered tunes (“Thunderstruck,” “Highway To Hell,” “T.N.T.” and “If You Want Blood (You've Got It)” all appear, and more) so that covers the best-of base, but the set also includes a few tracks that could be considered topical for the movie; “War Machine” (also th name of Tony Stark's black-clad counterpart in both the film and comics), “Back In Black” and “Guns For Hire” might not qualify as 'greatest hits' material for the band, but point to the plot line for the film. In effect, AC/DC and their label can have their cake and eat it too as the cover the bases for fans of the band as well as genuinely supporting the film.

Really, if someone was going to put together a single-disc best-of, this fifteen-track album's not bad and there's no arguing that it works as the score for the film. While it's unlikely that some would be included on a best-of and some (like “You Shook Me All Night Long” and “Hell's Bells”) are obviously absent for such a comp, it does work pretty well no matter which way a listener chooses to take it. If fans are undecided whether this set is more about the band or the film however, one run through the DVD portion removes all doubt. Other than a look at the video for “Shoot To Thrill” revamped in conjunction with Marvel (and a 'making of' segment to boot) the live performance footage of classic songs including “Highway To Hell” and “Back In Black” culled from performances and promotions ranging in vintage from 1978 to 2009 are definitely more AC/DC's show than they are Iron Man's, thus making the true point of the package clear: AC/DC is given the luxury of saying they didn't go back on their word, the label gets what they've been waiting years for, and both Marvel and the film get a cool cross-promotion – everybody wins. You can't argue with that kind of sense; it all works, everybody's satisfied. To quote Iron Man's creator, “'Nuff Said.”

Artist:

www.acdc.com/

www.acdcrocks.com/ca/home/
www.ironmanmovie.marvel.com/intl/au/mainsite/


Album:

The Iron Man 2 OST comes out on April 19, 2010 through Columbia/Sony Music/Marvel. Pre-order it here on Amazon .

no-cover

AC/DC – [Album]

Like
1
0
Friday, 17 October 2008

It has been said so often at this point that it might as well be a mantra in music criticism: “Of course AC/DC records still sell well – they`ve made the same one nineteen times.” On the surface, it certainly seems that way – one can construct a representative record of theirs from memory: take blues and Chuck Berry riffs, add a bunch of sexual energy and innuendo and a diminutive guitar god, shake well and serve. It seems easy enough, but as Black Ice illustrates, there have been changes along the way – there must have been – because the band hasn’t sounded quite like this in two decades and most of it has to do with the quality of Brian Johnson’s vocals.

Over the last couple of records, Johnson’s rasp has more and more resembled an angry and lecherous old sailor’s as the grunts and gravel-laden growls have gotten more pronounced with age and abuse but, whether he’s had surgery to shave down the polyps and nodes in this throat or producer Brendan O’Brien discovered a way to turn back the clock, the singer hasn’t sounded this spry or vocally potent since Blow Up Your Video. He comes out swinging in the opening chug of “Rock N Roll Train” and never backs down through the militant “War Machine” and the come-ons of “Spoilin’ For A Fight”  and cruises through “Wheels” before cashing the cheque in “Money Made” and examining the spoils in the title track.

The song titles alone tell you that all the major food groups are present to produce another classic AC/DC album, save one: sex. Wisely, AC/DC has finally awakened to the fact that, now pushing sixty pretty hard,  sex would be the one subject in the band’s canon that would be hard for them to pull off (who wants to hear about bumpin’ uglies from their grandpa?) and so leaves it alone for the most part or, at the very most, treads very lightly upon it in Black Ice. It isn’t missed though – AC/DC makes up for curbing its’ carnal urges by delivering some of the best, innuendo-free (exception being “She Likes Rock N Roll”) but incendiary songs they’ve done in ages. Angus and Malcom Young throttle their guitars here like they’ve got something to prove and, really, maybe they do; Ballbreaker and Stiff Upper Lip found the brothers treading water at best and exhibiting none of the hot licks they had in their prime – leading some long-time fans to believe that decrepitude was the unavoidable direction that the band was headed in. Here though, while there isn’t a song of the anthemic cloth that “Thunderstruck” or “You Shook Me All Night Long” were cut from, but they do at least brim with the energy and muscular delivery (not to be confused with the rather flabby stuff on The Razor’s Edge, Ballbreaker and Stiff Upper Lip) of the album cuts on Back In Black, For Those About To Rock and Who Made Who.

With that much name-dropping of excellent albums, this review is beginning to sound like a sales pitch and maybe it is – judging by the over-touched photos of the band that grace the liner notes, it’s pretty clear that the band is trying to rejuvenate its’ fan base and pull some new fans that aren’t aware the men in AC/DC are old enough to be their grandfathers. The truth is, it’ll work too – this is the best, strongest batch of songs that the band has released in a very long time. Black Ice rewards the faithful and could draw in new blood to boot.

Artist:

AC/DC Official site

Second AC/DC Official Site
AC/DC myspace

Comments are closed.