Saturday, October 25, 2008

Five Star Review of 'Black Ice' by AC/DC - the 13.99 version

Last night I had a well deserved break from spreading the socialist revolution and my scholarly investigations into age discrminiation in the Edwardian era. Husband and I drove over to Leek to attend my ex-boyfriend's granny's 90th birthday. Quite by coincidence AC/DC released what is quite possibly their best album since 'Back in Black' - which was released a whopping 28 years ago. 'Black Ice' is the ideal antidote to almost anything, apart from a good night's sleep. Great for recessions, long-ish car journeys into sunsets, uniting young and old alike and musical riffs, lead guitar solos and simplistic sing-along lyrics. I've already listened to it five times and I only bought it at 2pm yesterday. I love 'Skies on Fire' the second track. 'I know you. And you know me. Tell me what is you want it to be. What you want to be. What you need in me'. The band are getting so old now that I'm constantly wondering if these songs are now written about conversations they've been having with their kids. Gone are the crude and to be honest over the top potentially -illegal lyrics about underage sex. (Squealer and 'Can I sit next to you Girl? spring to mind from the 70s). It's all rock and roll, war, the weather and gigs. I don't think they're getting it as much as they did 30 years ago. 'War Machine' spells it out nicely. For true AC/DC fans it's a total plagiarisation of one of their 1980 tracks 'Giving the Dog a Bone'. But if you are such a dedicated fan, you don't mind of course them replicating their masterpieces with a militarisatic rather than sexual overtone. The booklet which comes with the 13.99 version is even more intriguing. For an extra four pounds you get all the lyrics, AC/DC in grey rather than red on the front, and some glossy colour photos. Worth every penny. Although not sure Americans agree. Their tour sold out in ten seconds over here. You can still get tickets over there.

Angus is still in his obligatory school uniform and pulling faces like the naughty school boy nicking from the tuck shop he isn't. But the rest of the band - who must now be approaching their 60s - have been working out (possibly in my dreams, a 'rock and roll dream') but anyway, they're all smiling. Probably smiling because of all the money they've made out of us suckers. Even more of a giveaway to this fact is the title of one of the songs 'Money Made', 'You keep it up, you get it made'. On this ocassion, they have kept it up. I have to disagree with my ex on the issue of 'Fly on the Wall' being up to this standard - it ain't.
But I think we wouldn't be 'Spoilin for a Fight' on why this is probably their best album for nearly thirty years. It's possibly because it's the original line-up since the 1980 'Let There be Rock' tour - apart from Bon Scott who died from a drinking overdose then. Angus Young on lead guitar, Malcolm Young (whose name I had emblazoned in Celtic script on my cut-off denim jacket, ahem some time ago) on rythym guitair, Phil Rudd on drums and Cliff Williams on bass. Brian Johnson 'vocals'. His voice has actually improved. But it's amazing the difference the steady drums and dominant bass make. Phil Rudd only came back in 1994 after scrapping with Malcolm.

And 'Decibel' - track 9. A track presumably written by Angus about playing in open air stadiums. 'Love in the rain, they're in there rocking standing proud, Decibel. That's the history of rock and roll'.

And the birthday party? 'She likes Rock N Roll'

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