AC/DC is, first and foremost, a real band. They made it to the top because of their tight, energetic, powerful, ballsy sound that reaches down your throat and grabs hold of your heart from the inside.
Too many bands have created their sound with the aid of expert producers, engineering wizards and borrowed musicians who spent hours tweaking, over-dubbing, and over-producing the record until you are left with nothing but a cookie-cutter pop album that could have been released by any number of the “hot” artists of the day. But not AC/DC. Hand them their guitars, amps, and drums, and stay out of their way, and you’ll get one heck of a performance. This album is proof that they don’t need effects and gimmicks to sound good.
When recording in the studio the typical band records the instruments one at a time. AC/DC usually records the entire band all together. The reason? This is the best way to capture the energy of their live performances. Individually they may not be virtuoso musicians, but collectively their styles perfectly mesh to create a sound that has made AC/DC one of the greatest hard rock bands of all time.
As I said, this is a real band who can put on a live performance that matches the best of the best, and this recording captures that energy very well. “Riff Raff” is one of my all-time favorite songs from any band, of any era. It is fast, energetic, ballsy, and extremely well written. I respect the song so much that if I cannot listen to it at full volume I will not listen to it at all. The studio version of the song from “Powerage” is excellent, but AC/DC is at their best when performing live, and they push it over the top on this recording.
If you are a younger fan just getting into the old AC/DC this should be your first buy. It has several classic hits (i.e. “Whole Lotta Rosie”), and it captures Bon Scott in his prime. If you’re already an AC/DC fan then this review is moot because you probably already own it!
AC/DC Live? This is absolutely a must buy.