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Power and the Glory.
Powerage - AC/DC
Member Name: blackbob
Powerage - AC/DC
Date: 18/01/06, updated on 18/01/06 (506 review reads)
Advantages: Every song a classic.
Disadvantages: If you think of one,let me know.
AC/DC,is a band where what you see is what you get.Apart from the odd cannon or bell here is a band whose whole approach was all about their songs and their ability to perform them live,the pyrotechnics came from the solid backing of the rhythm section and the sheer exuberance of lead guitarist Angus Young(and was there ever a more energetic and iconic lead guitarist than Angus) and frontman Bon Scott,a frontman in the best traditions of rock and roll.
1977 saw the release of 'Let There Be Rock'.This album had several songs destined to become real AC/DC classics - 'Whole Lotta Rosie','Bad Boy Boogie' and of course 'Let There Be Rock' but was still essentially Chuck Berry on speed.
There next offering,Powerage,released in 1978 saw them come together and produce an album that expresses their true personality and potential like never before.So why is it one of their least known and appreciated?
The cover has a black background with a picture of guitarist Angus being electrocuted.Wiring snaking up his sleeves with the title 'powerage' in large yellow and red lettering,the lettering in a jagged style.The bands name is also written in this style intstead of the classic AC/DC logo.
The rear cover shows the band standing around in a group looking threatening as if their about to kick your head in,well they are really just a bunch of bad lads,the kind who spent their schooldays behind the bikesheds - so did I so maybe thats why even 20 years on I love this band so.Also there is the usual track listing and credits.
3.Gimme A Bullet.
4.Rock and Roll Damnation.
2.What's Next To The Moon.
4.Up To My Neck In You.
5.Kicked In The Teeth.
'Riff Raff' is a piece of pure AC/DC,fast and full on and to become a staple of the live set.
'Downpayment Blues' as it suggests is a bluesy number but what stands out apart from the finely crafted rhythm guitar is the humour of Bon Scotts lyrics,ever the storyteller.
'Gimme a Bullet' is a real gem,more melodic and as ever Bon's lyrics and delivery are fantastic,one for the jilted.
'Rock and Roll Damnation' another one that would later become a live classic.
'Sin City' slower,heavier,darker,brilliant.
'What's Next To The Moon' possibly the best song on the album?It's one of my favourite DC songs of all.Great lyrics, wonderful guitar.Awesome.
'Gone Shootin' bluesy,funky,a brilliant riff from Angus and packed full of Bon's unique lyrics - another album highlight.
'Up To My Neck In You' fast and full on.
'Kicked In The Teeth Again' a great,heavy number to close the album with those plaintive vocals from Bon.A fitting end to a masterful album.
In a career now in it's 4th decade(can that really be!!!),AC/DC have a back catologue of albums that range from very good to outstanding.With many,many albums to listen too and so many great songs it is understandable that some albums will stand out and others be overlooked.What I find so hard to believe though is that this album seems to be one of the latter.
I am a moderately capable guitarist and regularly jam with friends and have noticed that many of the bands I love,AC/DC,Led Zeppelin etc will always be popular with musicians,even ones 15 years my junior but the younger generations of fans never seem to rate the older AC/DC albums,they are constantly overlooked for some reason.
If you read this review,if you like AC/DC then get this album,listen to it.This is when AC/DC hit their straps,Powerage is the first album in which they definetively laid down their own particular style and sound and what a sound it was.
After this came Highway To Hell(probably,in my opinion,one of the finest rock albums of all time)and then the groundbreaking Back in Black but Powerage is where it started,the guitar playing cannot be faulted,soulful,exciting,expressive,never too much.Bon Scott's lyrics are witty and human,his vocal delivery,full of emotion,expression and definetly tongue in cheek.
Buy it,listen to it,i think you will agree.BB
Summary: The Shape of Things To Come