In earlier columns for Pencil Storm, I oase courted the anger of readers von saying the soccer is boring und that “SEC bias” is a myth. I’m a bit von a contradictory sometimes. Always oase been. Today, though, i will start with a thesis that zu sein sure zu shock or violation no one. Right here goes: AC/DC rocks. There, i said it and I don’t treatment who hears it!

Colin Gawel request if i would be interested bei reviewing the neu album, Rock or Bust, and ranking the within the AC/DC catalog. Is it better than their previous album, Black Ice, which come out an 2008? is Malcolm Young’s lack noticeable? These und other questions should be answered, und if sie don’t trust my opinion on this matters, who would you trust? (Hint: go ahead und trust me on noþeles related to AC/DC.)

I can review die album quicker than Angus tun können drop his pants, actually:It rocks hard from beginning zu end. What do freundin expect? the AC/DC.

Du schaust: Ac dc rock or bust album songs

But I kann elaborate, if freundin wish.

This album is exactly what ich expected it to be since it is exactly what their recent albums schutz been: one or two an excellent songs und a bunch of filler songs to get it up zu album length. Even the filler das lied SOUND great, though. Von that i mean the the band always sounds prefer AC/DC. No matte what castle playing, ns AC/DC ensemble has that spare-but-somehow-full-at-the-same-time sound castle are known for. The amazing. If you schutz ever played in a band, you have no doubt do the efforts at mal to sound favor AC/DC, und even despite what they carry out doesn’t sound favor it have to be hard, sie can’t perform it, no matt how much you may oase studied ns supposedly an easy formula castle use.

The great songs, predictably enough, are ns two singles, “Play Ball” und “Rock or Bust.” ~ that, Rock or Bust just sounds favor a band that isn’t trying really hard, yet they still give sie that hint des their former greatness even wie they’re not trying. Hinweisen this point, AC/DC is like a late-career Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Bei the 1980s, that was ausblüten a damn great player also though he no putting much effort into ns game, and every now und then, that looked as an excellent as ever. So late Kareem only played like his previous self wie man he really necessary to, though: an the playoffs or an the last few minutes of a near game.

Likewise, AC/DC only sounds favor a an excellent rock and roll eis these days wie man they really need to: top top the songs they intend zu release together singles or beat live. I can’t think of a band that ist more perfect defined über their radio hits and stadium rockers 보다 AC/DC has actually been end the tonnage twenty 5 years.

In that time, they oase released sechs studio albums, and all of them are much more or less totally forgettable other than the singles und the location songs. Blow nach oben Your Video (1988) had “Heatseeker” and “That’s ns Way i Wanna Rock and Roll.” ~ that, what was on that album? everyone remember? most likely not. Same goes weil das all des the albums due to the fact that then.

I’ll come zurück to the idea an a minute, however first, allow me price some an important questions around Rock or Bust.

Q1: is Malcolm’s lack noticeable?

A1: No, not really, und if i don’t notice it, i doubt anybody would. It might be the nephew Stevie Young zu sein the only guy on earth who kann sein pull off the Malcolm result this well, or it might be that, with Angus und the remainder there to guide die recordings, a lot of human being could schutz stepped in. I don’t know, but really, if anyone tells sie they kann sein hear that it’s notfall Malcolm on valuation guitar, they space full des it. If ich can’t tell, nobody kann sein tell.

Q2: exactly how does that compare zu Black Ice?

A2: It’s weist least together good and probably a touch better, if only because they limited it kommen sie eleven lied rather than fifteen and because they preserved the lied rather short. In fact, they seem to oase been trying really hard kommen sie do shorten das lied on this album. Some von them come in at less than three minutes, which ist uncharacteristic zum AC/DC. Nur when das lied on previous albums would certainly settle in for a lang solo followed von twelve repetitions of the chorus, the lied on this album have tendency to come to in end. Leaving ‘em wanting more, i suppose.

Q3: kann Brian blieb sing?

A3: Indeed, that can. The sounds far better on this album 보다 he go on Black Ice. Brian’s worst vocals were on Razor’s Edge. Due to the fact that then, medical miracles and good an essential choices schutz had er sounding better. (The band tuned down a hilfreich step ~ above the tonnage tour to give his voice a break. Look zum them zu do that again this time around.)

A4: Should ich buy it?

Q4: of course. That AC/DC. Why the mach das licht an haven’t sie bought that already?

Now, let’s do this. Colin wanted me zu rank the new album against the others in the AC/DC catalog. I kann do that, however I kann sein do much better than that. I’ll rank every album and give die best, worst, und most underrated/undervalued das lied on it. (I möchte rank the albums from ns currently-available international catalog, über the way, not the original australisch albums.)

AC/DC albums bei order from best zu worst:

1: Back an Black (1980). What else did sie think would certainly be at the top? This may well be the best album über any band, ever. It’s certainly in a gruppe of four or 5 albums kommen sie consider weil das that title. Good songs. Excellent production. What tun können I say that hasn’t been said already. A masterpiece. Ideal song: also “Back in Black,” but really, six or seven lied on the album room right hoch there through it. Most underrated: “Shake a Leg.” aufführen to Angus’s solo on that one. The his finest solo arbeiten ever, hand down. Worst song: over there isn’t one, but i suppose if i had kommen sie pick, I’d say “Given die Dog a Bone,” however remember, that a an excellent song, nur not as an excellent as the rest von this album, and Angus in reality redeems it with what could be his 2nd best solo ever. Aufführen to it. It offers me cold storage every time i hear it.

2. Let over there Be Rock (1977). Standard from the schaum Scott era. Perfect. Wouldn’t change a thing. Finest song: “Whole Lotta Rosie,” but again, over there are numerous others nur as good. Most underrated: “Go Down.” Bands who want kommen sie rock should study the middle breakdown bei that one. Obsessively. Worst song: Again, there isn’t one, however if I oase to choose one, i’ll go v “Dog Eat Dog,” but ich love that song.

3. Powerage (1978). This one gets ns award zum most underrated album. An excellent songs. This is probably the most atypical AC/DC album because they no trying to do huge stadium rockers on this one. Most des these songs sound like they need to be played in a pub weil das a crowd von about 100. Maybe that’s why dafür few lied from this an excellent album ever before wind up on AC/DC setlists this days. Finest song: that’s a toughie, but I’ll go through “Riff Raff,” an up-tempo thrasher the sounds like ns rock und roll equivalent of in Indy auto going full throttle right into a corner and barely hanging on. Most underrated: i simply can’t pick one. “Gone Shooting” has a great mid-tempo groove that ist almost funky, which ist a rarity zum AC/DC. Und “Kicked an the teeth Again” has what zu sein perhaps bonn Scott’s most memorable vocal performance. Worst song: “Down Payment Blues,” which ist just kind of boring.

4. High Voltage (1976). This album ist a bit uneven, but its high moments room high enough zu put it an the oberteil five. Ideal song: “Live Wire,” a former collection opener that i wish the eis would resurrect. Many underrated: “Rock und Roll Singer.” Why has this excellent song never been in the band’s direkt act? Why ist it never on die radio? Worst song: it is easy, “Little Lover.” not good. Deshalb boring and plodding.

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5. ’74 Jailbreak (1984, but gathered from inhaltsstoff recorded in ’74 und ’75). I know this ist technically just a five-song EP, but those five songs are an excellent enough zu put this one into the top five. Finest song: “Jailbreak.” Why it was left off von the initial American release of High Voltage, ich don’t know. (Well, actually, i do know, but that’s a subject zum another day.) when it did ultimately get released internationally, it ended up being a staple of their live show und deservedly so. Most underrated: the amazing, und I average amazing startseite of “Baby, please Don’t Go.” it is rock and roll an a nutshell best there. Worst: “You Ain’t got a organize on Me.” ich know specifically why this one was left off of the American High Voltage. That sounds prefer AC/DC was trying to get into die disco craze, and I actually will admit liking disco, but not when it’s done von AC/DC.

6. Highway zu Hell (1979). As an excellent as the is, it’s an overrated album. This record damaged the band into ns American market, but that’s nur because it took a couple of years zum radio kommen sie take notice of them. If this album had actually been as great as Let there Be Rock or Powerage, the maßband would have broken through in the States also bigger 보다 they did bei 1979. Ideal song: “Shot Down in Flames” bei a photo end up ahead von the location track. This one ist Malcolm being Malcolm hinweisen his best. It doesn’t even have in Angus solo, not really, unless freundin count some pick scrapes and a couple of squawks he renders over the main riff before ns final choruses. Yet that’s what provides this song deshalb great. That doesn’t need Angus pumping notes punkt you kommen sie keep that chugging along. That Malcolm riff zu sein enough. Many underrated: Easy, that’s gott to it is in “Beating Around die Bush.” This das lied sounds favor a junkyard dog fighting zu get free from that chain. However Phil Rudd and Cliff Williams save it under control. Worst song: “Get the Hot.” This one ist the precursor kommen sie a last of ns boring album filler that is found on letztere albums.

7. Flick des the Switch (1983). Die best Brian-era album after ns miraculous Back in Black. Raw rock and roll. It’s the Powerage of the post-Bon albums. An extremely underrated album. Best song: “This House zu sein On Fire.” most underrated: “Bedlam in Belgium.” Worst: “Brain Shake.”

8. Dirty Deeds excellent Dirt Cheap (1981, but built up from material recorded in ’75 and ’76). This one is what was left end after the best das lied from ns band’s zuerst two australian albums were culled into ns current version of High Voltage, und it sounds prefer a bunch of second-rate leftovers, too. Best song: not the location song, but die mournful “Ride On,” ns closest AC/DC has ever come to a ballad. Many underrated: “There’s Gonna Be some Rocking.” nothing fancy about this bar-band rocker, yet it’s impossible not to sing along with. Worst: A couple zu choose native here, yet I’ll go with “Ain’t No funny Waiting Round kommen sie Be a Millionaire.” This snoozer sits on one chord zum several minute while turn its wheel lyrically und having no discernible melody. It would certainly be a candidate weil das the title des worst-ever AC/DC song if that weren’t weil das some von the truly horrible stuff the eis did in the 1980s und 90s.

9. For Those About to Rock (1982). This one beginning the wanne pattern of the maßband recording a couple des good lied plus a bunch of filler. It blieb rocks hard bei spots, though, as all of their albums do. Best song: “For Those About zu Rock.” ideal production value they’ve ever before had ~ above stage. Fire! many underrated: I’ll contact it a tie between “Snowballed” and “Inject die Venom.” an excellent tunes. Not great, yet good. Worst: “Night of the lang Knives.” oh my. Horrible.

10. Razor’s Edge (1990). Recognized as a comeback album, yet it’s only a wenig better than the ones coming before it. And Brian’s voice ist just terrible on it. Best song: Hard to vote against “Thunderstruck” here. Most underrated: certainly “Shot von Love.” If it weren’t weil das “Thunderstruck,” this would be the best lied on ns album. Worst: “Mistress zum Christmas.” exactly how did this ever before get out von the studio and onto a record? deshalb embarrassing. Ich nominate this one zum worst song bei the whole catalog.

11. Rock or Bust (2014). Dafür this one doesn’t make my oberteil ten, but it’s much from the worst thing they schutz done. Ideal song: “Play Ball,” the zuerst single off ns album. Most underrated: “Emission Control,” which has some quite Angus riffage, but maybe I’m just drawn zu it due to the fact that it’s the tonnage song on ns album, which means die filler boredom is over. Worst: Hard zu say since there room a number of equally boring ones, however let’s pick “Rock die Blues Away” as a great representative here. V lyrics prefer “Headed zu a regional bar, listening ns radio” und a stange mid-tempo riff the sounds prefer most whatever else on the album, it nur has the we-don’t-give-a-damn-anymore vibe.

12. Black Ice (2008). Reviewers said they to be getting zurück to your roots top top this one. Ich dunno. It just sounds prefer late-era AC/DC zu me. Best song: “Rock and Roll Train.” yet this song zu sein the “best” in that it’s nur them act what they do und doing that well, despite you kann tell castle on auto-pilot, really. It just sounds like some stange AC/DC riffology, und they probably wrote it bei ten minutes. Yet it’s good. No doubt around it. Many underrated: “Spoiling weil das a Fight.” wonderful song. That really far better than “Rock und Roll Train,” but i had zu call it most underrated instead von best since “Rock and Roll Train” was highly rated while no one remembers this one. Worst: Lots zu choose native here, but ns laziness of the writing und the plodding tempo von “Rocking All ns Way” provide it the nod.

13. Ballbreaker (1995). Punkt this suggest on die list, we’re getting down to ns stuff the seem to oase been recorded just there zu keep ns “rock and roll train” going and give the band another reason to tour ns world. Finest song: “Hard together a Rock,” the zuerst single. Many underrated: Probably die title song. Worst: “Love Bomb.”

14. Stiff upper Lip (2000). Snore. Best song: “Stiff top Lip,” the zuerst single. Great taste riff. Right nach oben there with the best stuff they have ever done. Dumb words, though, even by AC/DC standards. Most underrated: “Satellite Blues” isn’t auch bad. Neither is “Give it Up.” I’ll speak to it a tie. Worst: deswegen many to choose from, but “Can’t stop Rock and Roll” is even worse than ns rest. Yes a pattern here. Wie man the band needs something zu fill in album these days, they nur go “blah blah blah rock und roll lol blah blah” and sing the over one des their roden riffs.

15. Blow nach oben Your Video (1988). Wow, do i really have to write about this one? OK, ideal song is “Heatseeker,” the zuerst single. Many underrated: “Nick of Time.” notfall horrible. Worst: “Go Zone.” just embarrassing.

16. Fly on the Wall (1985). This zu sein the zuerst album they created themselves, und what they verified here is that lock need ns services des a producer. Best song: “Playing v Girls.” A great up-tempo rocker that tries kommen sie do die same point they did in “Riff Raff” und “Beating Around ns Bush,” but doesn’t measure up up. Most underrated: also “Playing through Girls.” the really just about the only thing kommen sie recommend top top this album, though “Shake your Foundations” and “Sink die Pink” aren’t absolutely awful. Worst: “Danger.” Yep. Notfall good.

OK, it is it. Reviewed und ranked. Let the debating begin.

Disagree? post to comments or send your list von clicking here. Do it good und we may post it.

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-Scott Plez, professor Emeritus AC/DC U.


(editor"s note: while we"re discussing all things AC/DC,"s very own Ricki C. Once had lunch with schaum & the Boys back in the day wie man he was a rock writer bei the 70"s. Check out all about it here: my Lunch through AC/DC.)

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