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Let There Be Rock is the fourth studio album by Australian hard rock band AC/DC. It was the band's third studio album released internationally and the fourth to be released in Australia. It was also the last AC/DC album to feature Mark Evans on bass. It was originally released on 21 March 1977 in Australia on the Albert Productions label. A modified international edition was released on 25 July 1977 on Atlantic Records.
In late 1976 AC/DC were in a slump. "It was very close to being all over", manager Michael Browning said. "Things were progressing very well in London and Europe. We'd been through a whole thing with the Marquee where they broke all the house records. We'd done the "Lock Up Your Daughters" UK tour and the Reading Festival. It was all shaping up really well." "In the middle of the tour, I get a phone call saying Atlantic Records in America didn't like the Dirty Deeds album", said Browning. "That, in fact, they were going to drop the group from the label. And that's when things got really bad."
"There was always a siege mentality about that band. But once we all found out that Atlantic had knocked us back the attitude was: 'Fuck them! Who the fuck do they think they are?’ So from that point onwards it was: 'Fuck, we’ll show them!’ We were seriously fucking pissed off about it. It didn’t need to be discussed. We were going to go in and make that album and shove it up their arse!”
— Mark Evans
The Australian cover features the fingers of guitarist Chris Turner, from Australian band Buffalo. "There was a bloke called Colin Stead, who was in Buffalo for about ten minutes," Turner recalled. "He was also the centrefold photographer for Playboy. He phoned me up and said he was doing the album cover for Let There Be Rock, but AC/DC were out of town, so could I help out? He wanted a flash guitar run up and down the neck. Apparently, when he saw it, Angus said, 'He's got fat fingers, hasn't he?'"
The cover of the international version, released on 25 July 1977, marked the first appearance of the band's now iconic logo, designed by Gerard Huerta. The photograph used for the international cover was taken at a concert on 19 March 1977 at the Kursaal Ballroom, Southend, Essex, UK, by rock photographer Keith Morris. The band were on tour in England on the date of the earlier Australian release and were scheduled to perform at Hemel Hempstead Pavilion, UK, although the date was cancelled.
Reception to Let There Be Rock was generally positive; according to AllMusic, which gave the album a rating of four and a half out of five stars in a retrospective review, AC/DC played "sweaty, dirty, nasty rock" and the band had "rarely done that kind of rock better than they did" on Let There Be Rock. In 2001, Q magazine named Let There Be Rock as one of the 50 Heaviest Albums of All Time.
Eduardo Rivadavia of AllMusic enthuses, "Let There Be Rock sees AC/DC's religious-like respect for the simple art of making rock & roll brought to its logical conclusion: a veritable gospel to the glory of rock, canonized here in hymn-like worship. The near-epic title track to what is widely regarded as the best Bon Scott-era album, the song is a holy testimony, bringing good news to all those who believe in the healing power of rock & roll - amen! Oh yeah, it also kicks unholy ass!" David Fricke of Rolling Stone wrote of the album in a 2008 cover story, "AC/DC's early albums were perfectly frenetic, but inconsistent. Their second U.S. LP was almost all killer. Scott sings 'Bad Boy Boogie' and 'Problem Child' like he's the enfant terrible...Angus' solos are true white heat." Amazon.com calls the LP "a break from the early 'novelty' approach to songwriting and a move to the more focused album-oriented view that the band would perfect." In 2006, AC/DC biographer Murray Engleheart wrote that Let There Be Rock "elevated AC/DC to the status of an album band, something that had previously been the exclusive domain of the likes of The Rolling Stones, The Who and Led Zeppelin." In 2000, Angus Young recalled to Guitar World that producer Mutt Lange once told him "of all the many albums we'd done with my brother George and his partner, Harry Vanda, the one Mutt wished he would have done, where he was envious of George, was Let There Be Rock." Band biographer Jesse Fink writes, "Wherever AC/DC ended up in the annals of rock history, this album would stand for all time as an expression of their unrivalled might as a guitar band."
Track Listing (International Release)
- Go Down
- Dog eat Dog
- Let There Be Rock
- Bad Boy Boogie
- Problem Child
- Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be
- Whole Lotta Rosie
Blow Up Your Video is the eleventh studio album by Australian hard rock band AC/DC. It was the band's tenth internationally released studio album and the eleventh to be released in Australia. The album was re-released in 2003 as part of the AC/DC Remasters series.
Writing sessions for Blow Up Your Video took place in London's Nomis Studio in July 1987, with the band convening at Studio Miraval in Le Val in Provence in the south of France in August and September with Harry Vanda and George Young, the production team behind the band's early albums. This was also the final studio album to feature drummer Simon Wright.
In a 2008 Rolling Stone cover story, George Young admitted to David Fricke that the Blow Up Your Video session was when he realized his brother Malcolm, who had always been a heavy drinker, was in the grips of alcoholism: "I saw the signs. Malcolm had a problem. I said if he didn't get his act together, I was out of there. I don't recall it having any effect."
The band recorded 16 tracks during the sessions, including the unreleased songs "Let It Loose" and "Alright Tonight", as well as other versions of "Heatseeker", and "That's the Way I Wanna Rock 'n' Roll". Two additional songs, "Snake Eye" and "Borrowed Time", were recorded but not featured on the album. The song "Down on the Borderline" was recorded, but not released until 1990 as a B-side. All three of these songs were later included on Backtracks in 2009. Demo tracks for the songs "Let it Loose" and "Alright Tonight" were stolen and bootlegged, so they were omitted from the final album cut.
Although he wrote all the lyrics on the album, it was the last on which Brian Johnson was credited as a songwriter (all songs on subsequent albums were written by the Young brothers).
The title of the album was taken from a line in the song "That's The Way I Wanna Rock 'n' Roll". In 1988 Angus Young explained the title to MTV Australia: "We were probably a band that's best seen in a live situation and that's how the title came about... 'Cause everything's automatic these days. A kid can flick on the button on a TV, he's got a remote control and he can zoom through everything and get it coming in from all over the world. You can turn on your radio and get rock coming in from America. For us, the best thing as a band it was always we were great onstage."
The band began a world tour in Perth on 22 February, playing 16 dates in Australia for the first time in seven years. The band played live four tracks from Blow Up Your Video on the tour: "Heatseeker", "That's the Way I Wanna Rock 'n' Roll", "Nick of Time" and "Go Zone".
On the eve of the North American leg of the tour (a long stretch that would run from May to November), Malcolm Young decided not to participate in order to deal with a by-now problematic alcohol addiction. Unlike Angus, who had always been a teetotaller, Malcolm enjoyed drinking but in recent years it had escalated to the point where it began to affect performances. The band's former US agent Doug Thaler recalls seeing the band at one of the Monsters of Rock shows in 1984: "I'd gone into AC/DC's dressing room and had a scotch with Malcolm and Jonno [Brian Johnson] while Mötley Crüe played. When AC/DC went out to take the stage, Malcolm had clearly had too much to drink. And they were playing the song that Angus used to do his guitar solo and strip to, and Malcolm would just barely keep a steady rhythm—he couldn't even do that. And he fell into the drum kit, and I thought, 'Oh boy, this is not headed any place good.'"
By April 1988, Malcolm recognised he had a problem and, ever mindful of his former bandmate Bon Scott's premature passing (the previous AC/DC singer died of alcohol poisoning in London in 1980), he began attending AA meetings, confessing to VH1's Behind the Music in 2000, "My drinking overtook my whole thing. I felt like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I had a talk with Angus... I was letting people down... I wasn't brain-dead, but I was just physically and mentally screwed by the alcohol." Filling in for him was Malcolm and Angus' nephew, Stevie Young, although Malcolm was present on the rest of the tour and in the Blow Up Your Video promotional videos. Stevie would also step in for Malcolm in 2014 when it was disclosed that the guitarist was suffering from dementia.
After their last few albums underperformed commercially, this tour brought AC/DC back into the spotlight and their following album, The Razors Edge, proved to be a greater commercial success.
The album was the band's biggest-selling album of new material since For Those About to Rock We Salute You, being certified Platinum in the US. Blow Up Your Video reached No. 2 in the UK and No. 12 in the US. The album was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrumental in 1989. In the original Rolling Stone review, Jim Farber wrote, "Fortunately, the Young brothers continue to come up with enough inspired riffs to make the tunnel vision justifiable. In fact, the riffs here add up to the band's catchiest work since its classic album Back in Black." Greg Prato of AllMusic called the album "unfocused" and "glutted with such throwaways as "Nick of Time"." Canadian journalist Martin Popoff found the album "frustrating" and the band "looking too deeply for a new enigmatic direction". Author Paul Stenning however described the album as, "the sound of a group remaining current but still defining the rock art form on their own terms."
- That’s The Way I Wanna Rock n Roll
- Go Zone
- Kissin Dynamite
- Nick of Time
- Some Sin for Nuthin
- Ruff Stuff
- Two’s Up