4 out of 5 Stars!
I’ll never forget how I discovered this band…back in 1979, I found myself in the hospital for several days—nothing too serious, thankfully—and coincidentally, my roommate just happened to be a high school buddy whom I hadn’t seen since our graduation the previous year. Not only did the poor guy have a nasty, dysfunctional appendix, but before leaving for the hospital, he had the foresight to bring along with him a bunch of cassette tapes, two of which were by an unknown (to me) band from Australia called AC/DC.
One afternoon after his inevitable appendectomy, he played Let There Be Rock (along with the band’s follow-up release Powerage) on his portable cassette player, and needless to say, I found myself immediately hooked. So within days after being released from the hospital, I headed to the record store and purchased both albums, and I must say, I have never grown tired of either.
On Let There Be Rock, AC/DC’s fourth studio effort, the band displayed a raw and dirty, no-holds-barred style of barreling and bluesy Boogie Rock, the rhythm guitars (thanks to Malcolm Young) blasting and metal-tinged, and the bass and drums (respectively assaulted by Mark Evans and Phil Rudd) punchy, pounding, and pumping. Meanwhile, Angus Young’s six-string solos sliced through the thundering chaos like feisty bolts of melodic lightning, as if he used razor blades as guitar picks, while singer Bon Scott’s roaring and shredded tonsils helped to provide the band with not only an instantly recognizable sound, but a discernible and unapologetic attitude, one of rebellious, punk-like belligerence.
The tracks “Dog Eat Dog,” “Problem Child,” “Whole Lotta Rosie,” “Go Down,” “Overdose”—heck, every single tune, as it turned out—left a profound impression on me that day in the hospital, but it was the rollicking title track that truly seared its way into my brain, and I sensed it would one day be recognized by Hard Rock fans as an undeniable classic. Add to all of this Angus Young’s unusual image and fashion sense, not to mention his antics being that of a hyperactive schoolboy on acid, and it came as no shock to me that AC/DC would quickly become a driving force on the worldwide music scene.
So to this day, whenever I hear this band—especially Let There Be Rock and Powerage—I instantly think of my friend Rollo and his near-bursting, seeming worthless appendix, which (in a truly bizarre and macabre way), ended up being quite valuable to me regarding my further musical enlightenment.
(RIP Malcolm Young & Bon Scott)