Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

September 1, 2010

AC/DC ~ Back In Black

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Style: hard rock, heavy metal, blues-rock
Label: Atlantic
Year: 1980
Home: Australia

Members: Brian Johnson ~ vocals
Angus Young ~ lead guitar
Malcolm Young ~ rhythm guitar/b. vocals
Cliff Williams ~ bass/b. vocals
Phil Rudd ~ drums

There are certain songs that have a distinct opening, often a guitar riff, that is so well known it'll turn the head of an entire crowd. For a band with a bassist that moving through four notes never varying the rhythm, with an equally predictable rotating drummer, a singer that has a worse rasp than Rod Stewart or Melissa Ethridge, a rhythm guitarist that's appreciated as much as that guy in Aerosmith who does the same thing, songs that are basically rocking blues & a guitarist who at nearly 60 wears school boys clothes, there are at least two tracks on this album that will have the audience moving, shouting & singing along in pure metal joy. I've actually seen it happen a couple times. It might just be luck cause the songs are relatively simple & don't immediately appear to be hits. On the other hand, it might be the fact that they are so simple compared to every other band that they hit the core of what music is all about across the board, from the sing-a-long memorable lyrics, lots of sexual energy, a head-banging beat & lots of crazy solos. AC/DC have it all, though when they made this now classic album they were debuting a new singer & might have felt that they were on the verge of losing all they worked for. Some albums are so classic it's impossible to touch them. This is one of them. Even if I tried to find something not good about it I don't think I could or at least the act would freeze me with sacrilege. Personally I prefer Brian Johnson over predeccessor Bon Scott. For me this is the highlight of the band. What came after was good but never as solid overall as this initial release that was raw, questioning, a bit restrained & a tribute to a late singer. They made some good albums but no classic like this one. For me, the free-spirited wildness of the earlier stuff all came together here into something tempered & addicting. I hate to say this, but I can't imagine the zany Bon Scott singing these songs with the same effect. But, rest his soul along side Ronnie James.

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