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  • If the title of my review is a bit misleading, let me start by clarifying that in my view, 1978’s “Powerage” is the best of AC/DC’s era with the late singer Bon Scott (God rest his soul). But be warned, all you narrow-minded rockers who only expect the standard guitar-driven salutes to booze and women, “Powerage” is different, and far exceeds the limitations of AC/DC’s previous works (and even some material after it). This record is far more accomplished, making it the most progressed and traditionally intelligent album of their ’70’s era. Graced with Bon Scott’s sneering howl and an unexpected bluesy spark, “Powerage” shows AC/DC at one of their peaks; the tracks are excellent and fit the band perfectly. ‘Rock and Roll Damnation’ is one of the most poignantly written blistering rock songs of all time, while ‘Down Payment Blues,’ ‘Riff Raff,’ ‘Gimme a Bullet,’ and ‘Kicked in the Teeth’ make it seem as if a Delta blues band attended an AC/DC concert and changed their tune. ‘Sin City’ is a growling and dare I say forewarning look at Las Vegas infidelity, while ‘Up to My Neck in You’ and ‘Gone Shootin’ (a true classic) are superb. But the highlight of “Powerage” is no doubt ‘What’s Next to the Moon,’ which is sheer poetry from the view of a gritty rock and roller.It’s a shame that “Powerage” has been slightly obscured by its predecessor (1977’s “Let There Be Rock”) and its follow-up (the hit “Highway to Hell”) because this set exceeds both of them. And though it is superior than AC/DC’s other 70’s material, it still matches them perfectly–even if it shines brighter.

    Posted on December 13, 2009