…I was caught
In the middle of a railroad track
I looked round
And I knew there was no turning back
I’m really, really excited. It is partly because Wales have just beaten South Africa at rugby* but mostly I’m excited at the fact AC/DC’s Rock Or Bust is released on Monday and I’m hoping against hope Amazon** deliver it tomorrow instead. I’m not daft I know this album is not going to change my life, that it will be full of songs with lyrics so predictable that I’ll be able to sing along the first time I hear them and I’d be surprised if it has more than 2 really good tracks on it. That’s what I know, not what I feel.
My mind raced
And I thought what could I do
And I knew
There was no help, no help from you
AC/DC are too much a part of me to deal with in a rational manner, we have too much history – too many air guitar sessions in various mirrors, too many great gigs, too many T-shirts, posters and badges decorating my life. My first ever band T-shirt? AC/DC; first band I ever paid to go see? AC/DC; first adolescent fumbles (soundtrack to)? AC/DC^; only band I’ve paid to go see three nights in a row? AC/DC. It’s funny all the mainstream press which have, for most of my life, reviled them are now fawning all over them and the travails of Phil Rudd and Malcolm’s illness has made them big news.
Sound of the drums
Beating in my heart
The thunder of guns
Tore me apart
You’ve been …
So I thought I’d pick a single of theirs, slavishly purchased by me in two different formats of course, that really excites me.
Funnily enough when I bought this in October 1990, I thought I was through with buying their new stuff Blow Up Your Video having been such a disappointment to me, in fact I actually avoided hearing Thunderstruck for a while. It wasn’t until a friend sat me down and made me listen to it that I realized that what we had here was a bona fide hard rocking act of God. That diddly, diddly, diddly picking thing at the beginning of the track is worth every penny I have ever spent on this band, only one guitarist would ever have built a song around it, with his brother.
The whole track just sounds brilliant, big credit to producer Bruce Fairbairn for that, he captures all the instruments perfectly so you don’t notice all the joins where a ghost Angus is playing the songs main riff AND doing the diddly, diddly in the background simultaneously. It’s also a really good performance from Brian Johnson at a time when his vocals were a bit hit and miss too, he’s better now in fact. I love the bit where it all breaks down into the ‘nerr-nerr-nerr-ner-ner’ chant – sorry if I’m getting a bit too technical for y’all there. It’s still a really strong shot in their, umm, canon; bottled lightning live too.
I was shaking at the knees
Could I come again please
For some mystifying reason ATCO teamed ‘Thunderstruck’ with The Razor’s Edge second best track as a B-side on the 10″ picture disc, ‘Fire Your Guns’. Another really great fast-paced out and out rocker, you can hear the whole band just revelling in their collective firepower – which is just how a bunch of hard rockers should be. This really should have been the second single instead of ‘Money Talks’, which I also like, but still.
Casually exploiting myself in the name of commerce I also bought the 12″ version despite the fact that all it contained apart from the above two tracks were the instrumentals of the Who Made Who album ‘Chase the Ace’ and ‘D.T’. In my defence it did have a great big poster, that I was never going to put on my wall, with a bunch of great images, particularly of Angus. Hey, I’m a fan, what else was I going to do?
Broke all the rules
Played all the fools
Yeah, yeah they, they, they blew our minds
And I was shaking at the knees
I saw them three times on the tour for The Razor’s Edge, supported a bit incongruously by King’s X and ‘Thunderstruck’ was pretty much the highlight of each show.
479 (struck) Down.
PS – Just watched a great documentary on Marshall Amps^^ where Pete Townsend was singing AC/DC’s praises – never heard that before.
*a bit like the rebels blowing up the Deathstar, this is a good thing.
**I know, I’m a hypocrite, I’ll just park my views on their tax issues until they deliver my LP, if that’s okay.
^you know like, umm, you know, with someone else! Who Made Who, since you ask so nicely.
^^All hail BBC 4 !!