Year 5, Day 14: AC/DC – High Voltage
- It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll)
- Rock ‘n’ Roll Singer
- The Jack
- Live Wire
- Can I Sit Next to You Girl
- Little Lover
- She’s Got Balls
- High Voltage
About the Album
High Voltage is the first internationally released studio album from Australian hard rock band AC/DC. The album was recorded from 1974 to 1975 and released on April 30th 1976 through ATCO Records (Atlantic Records). The album peaked at 146 on the Billboard 200, however, it sold over three million copies in the United States alone and thus has been certified triple-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Thoughts on the Album
There is an age-old adage about life: it’s a long way top, if you wanna rock and roll. Oh wait, while it’s not so much of an “age-old adage” as much as it is warning to those who want to play rock and roll for living. Today album brings the High Voltage (both literally and figuratively) from Australian hard rock band, AC/DC.
For as much as Rolling Stone lambasted and decried this album (and band) time once again always makes fools of us all. The album has stood the test of time, seeing as it has sold over three million copies (in the United States alone). But don’t get me wrong, one of the many complaints against AC/DC is that they never changed. However, if that were to be true, then High Voltage is the blueprint that the band has followed for their entire career.
High Voltage takes the best of their two Australian only releases (T.N.T and High Voltage) and fuses them into one convenient body of music.The album opens with one of most iconic AC/DC songs of the Bon Scott era, It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll). Complete with a bagpipe solo at the end of the song, it really is one of staples of the album. Opening with just a loud and simple riff from Malcolm Young, it builds when his brother Angus kicks in. A song about the trials of life as a rock and roller, musically could be better. The bagpipes softens the notion that all songs by AC/DC sound the same.
T.NT. is one of my all time personal songs. One of the more iconic rock and roll songs, with it’s “oi!” gang vocals and simple chugging guitar riffs. From the “oi!” gang vocals, to the lowdown dirty lyrics, to the chorus, and it the magnificent solo. Everything about this song is excellent. AC/DC are masters at taking a simple formula making it absolutely perfect. The album closes out with the titular track, High Voltage. While somewhat shorter than some of the tracks on the album, it gets the job excellently. It is one of the most energetic songs on the album, and it is fitting that is the closer.
This music feels almost primal… like it was here before and will be here long after AC/DC has come and gone. With High Voltage, you get an excellent view of the simple formula that started it all for AC/DC. And even if they did master that formula and expand upon it on future releases, the original is still quite full of potency, still thrilling, still exciting, still full of high voltage. There are songs about rock and roll, slow, low, down and dirty sleazy blues songs, some many double entendres that are so obvious they just qualify as single entendres. Powered by the monster, and yes they are, monster riffs from Angus Young that could bruise the listener they are so big and bold. Everyone has a beginning, and this one put the band on the international stage.
(Next Post – Previous Post)