No matter how many different musical genres and sub-genres that exist in the history of music, there are still only two types of bands: bands that are good in the studio, and bands that are good live. AC/DC’s “If You Want Blood You’ve Got It,” proves AC/DC to be a live band, and a damn good one at that. “If You Want Blood…” was recorded at the Apollo in Glassgow in 1978 after putting out 5 LPs since 1974. By this time, AC/DC was beginning to make a name for themselves, opening for bands like Kiss, Aerosmith, Styx, and the Blue Oyster Cult, and even co-headlining with Cheap Trick. AC/DC was beginning to develop a reputation for putting on incredibly energetic live performances, and it shows through “If You Want Blood…”
While I’m not personally a big fan of live albums in general, this album in particular is a special case. There are three things I look for in a good show or concert: Good music, good stage presence of the band, and an energetic crowd. The crowd is an issue in live performances because often times the energy of the crowd is reflected by the band and vise versa. If the crowd doesn’t get into the music, the show usually tends to be pretty boring. Anyway, I bring these up because in my opinion, in order for a live album to be worth the purchase, the album needs to make up for the lack of stage presence with some pretty rockin’ tunes and a lot of energy from the band and the crowd. This album provides both. I’m not even a huge AC/DC fan, but this album definitely produces some good, straight up rock and roll with some awesome energy, especially from the crowd who’s singing along to virtually every song and going nuts when the music isn’t playing.
1. Riff Raff
- AC/DC starts off the album with the song Riff Raff from their album “Powerage” which came out in May of that year. It’s a fast, simple song and a great way to start off a live album. The band opens to the screaming of an excited crowd, which again is always fun in my opinion for a live album. This is one of my favorite songs of the album.- 5/5
2. Hell Ain’t a Bad Place
To Be- This song is pretty typical AC/DC: an intro with alternating g and d major chords, a 2-3 chord verse, and lyrics about women/sex/drugs/hell. This is a pretty straight-up rock song, but its nothing special- 3/5.
3. Bad Boy Bogie
- This song is another typical AC/DC song with a 3 chord verse. While it’s pretty typical, it does have a nice rhythm you can stomp your feet to, and a pretty catchy riff in the chorus. The solo fits nicely in around the middle of the song and transitions into a breakdown with another solo that lasts for a few minutes, then continues with the rest of the song. It’s a pretty catchy tune overall.- 4/5
4. The Jack
- This is a lovely little tune about getting gonorrhea from a girl who claimed to be a virgin. The song starts out pretty slow with a 12 bar blues riff throughout the entire song. Pretty boring overall. The solo didn’t do much for me either.- 2/5
5. Problem Child
- AC/DC continues to rock their signature 3 chord verse riff for Problem Child. This song is a little more upbeat than The Jack, so it’s a little more fun to listen to. There’s something different about the first solo that I can’t put my finger on, but I like it.- 3.5/5
6. Whole Lotta Rosie
- The album continues with the band’s hit “Whole Lotta Rosie” from their “Let There Be Rock” album. Rather upbeat song with a chorus that contains a chord that isn’t A, E, G, or D, so that’s always plus for an AC/DC song. There’s a pretty cool little riff towards the end of the song where Angus and the band go back and forth with a catchy little line. This is followed by one of the best solos in the album as Angus starts to get into his groove. Probably one of the best songs of the album.- 5/5
7. Rock and Roll Damnation
- This song is just a classic example of the whole rock ‘n roll attitude of “yeah I play loud, yeah I look like a bum, but that’s rock ‘n roll,” opening with the lyrics “they say that you play too loud baby that's tough they say that you get too much can't get enough they tell you that you look a fool baby I'm a fool for you they say that your mind's diseased shaky stuff.” A very high-energy song with some solid back ground vocals, and just an overall good song. 4/5
8. High Voltage
- Another “rock ‘n roll attitude” song. Another one with a lot of energy both from the band and the crowd. Towards the middle of the song, Bon Scott gets the crowd to start chanting “high” as he screams louder between the crowds’ chants. The solo could have been a little stronger, but the overall energy makes up for it. 4.5/5
9. Let There Be Rock
- As I stated earlier, I’m not a huge AC/DC fan, but this is a pretty awesome song. The verses consist of a fast drum beat with Bon Scott growling at the crowd the history of rock according to the song, building into a wail. The main riff of the song is pretty catchy, and, though not terribly complicated, was different from the other typical AC/DC riffs. The song ends with a 2 minute solo Angus Young is known for- something somewhat structured based on a pentatonic scale, and eventually erupting into chaos. Overall great song. 5/5.
- The band finishes the night with the encore of “Rocker.” Not the best choice of finale for an album let alone a concert. While it wasn’t a terrible song, I just felt they should have gone with something like “Let There Be Rock” to end the song. Rocker was a pretty basic 12 bar blues rock song. Nothing special.- 2.5/5
Bad Things about the Album
: I was a little disappointed with the choice of “Rocker” for the end of the album. They had such a solid second-half of the album; I was just let down at the end. Some of the songs were also a bit repetitive and were a little boring, but I guess that’s just classic AC/DC.
Good Things about the Album
: The energy of the album started off solid and just got stronger and stronger as it went on. I wish I would have been alive to see this concert, because based on what I’ve listened to it would have been incredible to watch.
Overall Grade: 4/5
Vocals- Bon Scott
Lead Guitar- Angus Young
Rhythm Guitar- Malcolm Young
Bass- Cliff Williams
Drums- Phil Rudd
*Also, this is my first review, so commentary would be greatly appreciated.