Review Summary: Young fellas playing some rockin' music.
Released in ’76, High Voltage
was AC/DC’s first international album, introducing the world to their electrifying brand of rock. ‘It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock ‘n’ roll’
, lead singer Bon Scott proclaimed in the album’s opening song. And a long way it was indeed, but AC/DC got to there. They didn’t do it by being amazing as musicians. They did it by being amazing as performers, with a type of instantly catchy and simple music that took more heart to write than the majority of the commercialised music that comes out today.
Leading the whole party is of course Angus Young, the rare occasion of a guitarist being the face of the band (see album covers for proof), giving the music its basic power with his ever-effective three-chord riffs and ditto solos, while Malcolm can always be expected to provide great rhythm interplay with his brother. On High Voltage
, the band simply plays about being in a rock ‘n roll band, something which, as we all know, they have never ceased to do. Scott is already throwing out his typical lyrical wit: ‘I hear it pays well’
, he sings about his profession in Rock ‘n’ Roll Singer
, but the simple shout of ‘high voltage rock ‘n roll!’
on the title track is just as effective. Otherwise, we are entertained with more AC/DC traditions that were there since the start: self-empowering anthems (Live Wire
), and their infamous sexual innuendos (The Jack
, Little Lover
). It’s the band’s signature traits, and they will force you to either love or hate them.
What is certainly true is that AC/DC are and have always been good at what they do. The music is simple, the music is catchy, the music just rocks. High Voltage
was an excellent worldwide debut that showed us all perfectly well what these boys from Australia were capable of: creating high voltage rock ‘n’ roll. It was something they would continue to do for quite a few years to come.
High Voltage Rock ‘n’ Roll Songs:
It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll)
High Voltage’s AC/DC was:
- Ronald Belford ‘Bon’ Scott ~ Lead Vocals, Bagpipes (R.I.P.)
- Angus McKinnon Young ~ Lead Guitar
- Malcolm Mitchell Young ~ Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
- Mark Whitmore Evans ~ Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals
- Philip High Rudd ~ Drums