Review Summary: Who Made This?2 of 8 thought this review was well written
It's 1986 and heavy metal and hair rock are enjoying mainstream success. Even a ton of established bands at this point would, ahem, 'adjust' their sound the current musical climate, to some extent. Judas Priest with 'Turbo' has flat-out sold out to the masses, and while it is kind of an enjoyable album from time to time, the band is musically unrecognizable at this point. Scorpions with 'Savage Amusement', which is cheese cheese cheese. Ozzy with 'Ultimate Sin', but that album has decent songwriting and for the most part avoids the usual cliches of sex and women and partying. Deep Purple with 'House of Blue Light', but that album is still Deep Purple sound-wise. Still, from here on it would get worse.
It was a period of selloutery. Sell out is the word, and that is what most bands did.
But not AC/DC. No way. Or would they? Well, kinda yes and mostly no.
Who Made Who is a compilation album, which served as the soundtrack to some cheesy 80s horror movie, which I haven't seen because 99% of 80s movies suck, and from what I've heard I'd better not ever try it out.
Let's go over it track-by-track, as in, let's just review the one new song:
- Who Made Who: An extremely weird AC/DC song.
First of all, the drum sound. It sounds like they were TOTALLY going for that weak, muddy, washed in reverb 80s arena rock drum sound, but in the worst possible way. It almost sounds like it was programmed with some cheap made-in-China drum computer. So when I first heard the drums I wuz liek wuuuut. Phil Rudd would've never ever allowed this, his hard hitting presence is sorely missed during this time.
Then comes the simplest three chord Malcolm riff ever (obviously Malcolm, it's so basic my 5 yo niece played the same thing when I first put a guitar in her hand, having never even heard the song before). But hey, it kinda works.
Then comes Brian with some pretty sweet vocal melodies, more melodic and focused rather than the usual loosey bluesy stuff he was sh*tting out.
Then comes this kinda lame riff by Angus, which sounds like he's trying too hard to write a speed metal hammer on and pull off-type of riff (though the notes are picked). It just doesn't sound right.
Then comes one of the lamest AC/DC choruses in history. The hair metal influence is getting obvious here. It almost sounds like a hard rock/power ballad hybrid from here on. And then, of course in typical Angus hypocrite fashion, the guy who likened EVH to a wanky guitar player at the time (later praising him, though), does two handed tapping for the first time in his career. Can you say: "MAN THAT IS EIGHTIIIIIES!"
That is the icing on the cake, and makes Who Made Who one of the most un-AC/DC songs in history. The ending riff is kinda retarded too. I have no idea why so many people like this song. The only one that somewhat saves this song is Brian, hats off man.
AC/DC's popularity was dwindling at this point, what with the weak albums they were putting out at this time (Flick and Fly, Flick I don't like, Fly I like half of the album) and the popularity of hair metal throughout the US. Sure, they were still playing arenas, but that was most likely because they were still riding on the success of Back In Black, however, that success wouldn't last forever and if they didn't do anything about, it might not have been a pretty ending.
So it's no wonder they slapped 'You Shook Me All Night Long' on this disc, because it was probably their biggest hit at the time, and reissuing it would be a smart move to revive mainstream interest in the band, even though it's kinda sellout-ish and it shows that the band needed to fall back on BIB's success to get things going again. Well, Who Made Who ended up selling 5 million copies in the US alone, so go figure. I myself wouldn't have rewarded the band for this POS.
Also, the newly made music video for that single would be the first (along with the song Who Made Who) of the few signs of hair metal influences that AC/DC would show in the mid-80s to the early 90s. I negatively hate that video. But it did get them a new audience once again, this time consisting of hair metal fans, most likely.
Overall, I don't have much to say about Who Made Who. It's a filler release and a half assed compilation album and probably a psuedo-greatest hits (Iron Man 2 is a much better compilation with an excellent track selection). Can't see why the band did this, although it's probably easier to blame the record label, as always. The one new song is sh*t and the instrumentals, well, I don't care for instrumentals, I'm a song guy, so there you go.