AC/DC
Flick of the Switch


4.0
excellent

Review

by Pedro B. USER (303 Reviews)
November 8th, 2005 | 19 replies | 10,351 views


Release Date: 1983 | Tracklist


4 of 5 thought this review was well written

Along with Fly On The Wall, Flick Of The Switch is probably the most maligned AC/DC album. However, for those people who speak ill of this album, I have some startling news: it�s good!

Actually, FOTS is my third favorite AC/DC album, right after Highway To Hell and The Razor�s Edge. Yes, I do like it better than Back In Black, and that�s because it�s a more consistent album.

On Flick Of The Switch, AC/DC aimed for a return to their roots, i.e. to the time when they played small clubs and weren�t famous at all. Of course, for the biggest touring rock outfit of 1983, this was a difficult task to accomplish, and it wasn�t fully achieved. Still, the group deserve merit for the effort, especially since this album follows up the incredibly mediocre For Those About To Rock�We Salute you, released two years previously.

The first thing hardened AC/DC listeners will notice is that Angus� and Malcolm�s riffs have regained their crunch. While on FTATRWSY the pair had gone for far more melodic approaches, on this one they just let it rip, causing the listener to unrepentantly tap his or her foot on the floor while keeping up with the song. Additionally, Phil Rudd�s strong drums add to the catchy factor, making a few of these songs clear 80�s-period AC/DC standouts.

One factor, however, is mind-boggling: Angus� solos are incredibly average (except for the one on Rising Power, of course). In many of these songs, it�s Malcolm�s rhythm guitar that truly shines, keeping strong backbeat riffs that often overpower his younger brother�s soloing. Such is the case on Nervous Shakedown, for example, or Guns for Hire.

Another interesting factor is that this was the first time the Young brothers took production in their own hands. However, rather than the drenched-out sound of Fly On The Wall or Blow Up Your Video, the production here is quite decent. Brian�s voice is a bit muffled, and the bass is criminally chopped (not that it was ever that important, anyway), but the guitars and drums more than make up for it, sounding absolutely bombastic.

Unfortunately, not all is good on this album. The first six or seven songs are great, but then the album starts to steadily decrease quality. The last three tracks, Bedlam In Belgium, Badlands and Brain Shake are each worse than the previous one, with the latter rating as the low point of the album.. however, by this stage, the album is too far forward for this to matter; we have enjoyed the previous songs so much that we just good-naturedly endure or skip the aforementioned three tracks.

Another low point on this album are Brian�s lyrics. Everybody know AC/DC�s current singer isn�t a patch on Bon Scott, as far as lyrics are concerned. Where the latter wrote socially conscious little stories, with the occasional sex lyric thrown in, the former writes sex lyrics with the occasional socially conscious little story thrown in. Here, most of his lyrics are about hanky-panky, and not always that subtle � c�mon, Guns For Hire? You don�t exactly have to be a rocket scientist.

Still, however flawed, this is still a pretty decent little album from AC/DC, especially if we put it in its proper time frame and consider what came immediately before and immediately after this. Sure, it isn�t a patch on Highway to Hell or, arguably, Back In Black, but AC/DC fans should give it a go. It�s a very enjoyable listen.

NOTE: Those of you who know my reviews will state that I�m totally biased towards AC/DC. Well you�re right. I am. But I try not to let that get in the way when I�m writing a review. So there: rest assured I am not being biased here.

Recommended Tracks:

Rising Power
This House Is On Fire
Nervous Shakedown
Guns For Hire



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user ratings (285)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
NickGrouwen (2)
I'm like, "meh"....

wakeupdead (4)
Flick Of The Switch may not be Back In Black 2, but it's damn good rock and roll....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Electric City
Staff Reviewer
November 8th 2005



15693 Comments


For callint eh album decent, you still gave it a 4. For a fellow like me who doesnt know much about AC DC, your review didnt really tell me all that much.

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins [AMDISCS]

Rudd13
November 8th 2005



952 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is a pretty good review for another very underrated album by the band. The title track is genius in my opinion, and a big Stand Out. Nervous Shakedown is also another one of my favorites and Rising Power featured more great material from the Malcolms. Good job, Beginner, and I agree with your rating. But alittle more detail cant hurt. This Message Edited On 11.08.05

DownPaymentBlues78
November 8th 2005



278 Comments


I love this album, along with Powerage, I'd say the most underrated AC/DC album. I disagree with the statement of the last three being weaker, in fact, Brain Shake has some good vocals by Brian.

Brewer14
January 30th 2006



24 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is way underrated. Good review

anguspage007
May 19th 2006



64 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

True. This had a lot of good material, but is often overlooked for BiB or FTATR (WSY).

zeroman089
October 21st 2006



76 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

For those about to rock wasn't mediocre at all

wakeupdead
November 30th 2006



2196 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is an awesome album! The title track is my favourite song on here.

hard_rocker89
January 7th 2007



278 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just got this album the other day. WHOA! This album sure surprised me! It's awesome! Way better than I expected for sure.

Songs I'm really diggin' so far are: This House Is On Fire, Flick Of The Switch, Nervous Shakedown, Guns For Hire, & Badlam In Belgium.

zeroman089
February 22nd 2007



76 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Bedlam in Belgium has really grown on me for reason...

TheNovster
July 5th 2009



4 Comments


Good CD. Have to disagree about For Those About To Rock, though, I think that's one of ACDC's strongest. Certainly Snowballed and Night of the Long Knives were weak, but FTATR has some killer licks and some of Angus' better solo's. Flick of the Switch was ignored largely because it had come off the heels of For Those About to Rock and Back In Black, and by contrast was incredibly stripped down. Good CD, though, Angus' solo on Guns for Hire is killer

thetempler
September 18th 2012



52 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

a good album i think its nice and balanced and very enjoyable put it on and enjoy after all its an ac/dc album maybe not the best but no way the worst i gave it 4 on its merit but when i consider where it would go on the ac/dc album table on reflection maybe a 3.5 would have suited better,but then again the album im rating not the back catalog so you a 4 from me

NickGrouwen
November 19th 2012



80 Comments


Well, guess what, AC/DC is now on iTunes, lordy hallelujah!

lopanchein
December 29th 2012



19 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

mediocre at best

manosg
December 26th 2013



4670 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's a good, enjoyable album but not much more for me. Not many memorable moments out of this one.

Digging: Jan Akkerman - Tabernakel

rockandmetaljunkie
December 26th 2013



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah, after "Back In Black" AC/DC lost their inspiration.

manosg
December 26th 2013



4670 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Agreed. I'm going through their discog and there are a few albums which I haven't listened for maybe 10 years or so but you're right they lost steam. I think that my favorite post-BiB album is Stiff upper Lip though.

rockandmetaljunkie
December 26th 2013



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"The Razor's Edge" had some sweet moments too.

manosg
December 26th 2013



4670 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'll take your word for it since I can't remember but I'll know in a few days once I revisit the album ;)

rockandmetaljunkie
December 26th 2013



3302 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

It isn't that much better from the previous albums but tracks such as "Thunderstruck", "Got You By The Balls", "Moneytalks" and the T/T, make "The Razor's Edge" a distinguisheble effort.



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