For Those About To Rock We Salute You



by PsychicChris USER (478 Reviews)
March 18th, 2023 | 10 replies

Release Date: 1981 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A great album flawed by its execution

Having endured the loss of a brother in arms on Back in Black, AC/DC then had the equally arduous task of following up one of the highest selling albums ever released with For Those About to Rock. The band understandably opted to stay the course with Mutt Lange producing for the third time, new guy Brian Johnson getting a little more acclimated with his role, and the cover art even using a similarly minimalist image in that totally-not-phallic canon. They may not be one for drastic changes in general but this feels like the first time they were consciously playing it safe.

At any rate, the opening title track is pretty damn awesome. The introduction’s gradually escalating guitar fanfare and climactic drum hits are a glorious combination and the verse/chorus set rides out a hefty mid-tempo stomp, culminating in an epic finish where the faster beats and flailing leads are supplemented by bombardments of cannon fire. It’s easily the most triumphant AC/DC song ever released and perhaps the greatest concert closer that a hard rock group could ever ask for.

Did you notice I specifically said “closer” in that last sentence?

Unfortunately, the album’s biggest strength ends up becoming a crippling setback as starting off with the title track just causes the other songs to get blown right out of the water. When the smoke clears and “Put the Finger on You” comes trickling in, the steady beat and slapdash vocals come off as limp compared to the onslaught that just transpired. It’s an otherwise good song with a memorable chorus but the momentum has noticeably faltered. Is this why Let There Be Rock didn’t open with its title track?

The power never quite reaches that level again, but there are some enjoyable songs once you get adjusted. “Let’s Get It Up” and “Inject the Venom” inject some dumb fun attitude, the former getting some flimsy pirate imagery on a catchy groove and the latter digs into a particularly heavy crunch. I must admit a couple other tracks come off like Back in Black rewrites as ”Evil Walks” shares sinister DNA with “Hell’s Bells,” ”C.O.D.” attempts some acronym wordplay on top of a light ”You Shook Me All Night Long” beat, and the closing “Spellbound” plays like “Let Me Put My Love Into You” is a disorienting haze. Not too many classics but certainly some tight deep cuts.

Overall, For Those About to Rock is ultimately a great album flawed by its execution. Overlooking the jumbled track order and somewhat safe composition, the album sees AC/DC settling into their new role as seasoned veterans with plenty of those tried and true riffs and catchy hooks to go around. Perhaps the songs could’ve been restructured or a punchier production job would’ve made for a more cohesive listen, but it was strong enough to keep the band’s commercial momentum going. At the end of the day, it’s a success worth saluting.

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user ratings (842)

Comments:Add a Comment 
Staff Reviewer
March 18th 2023


Album Rating: 3.5

Great album, first encounter with AC/DC too.

March 18th 2023


classic radio rock will always be cool with me

March 19th 2023


Album Rating: 2.5

How the hell do you tell a difference between these albums they're basically the same formula.

March 19th 2023



March 19th 2023


Album Rating: 3.5

this album has noticeably better/heavier prod than the other ones so it does actually stick out.

March 19th 2023


Album Rating: 3.5

A little uneven, but the highlights are amazing. Title track, Evil Walks, Snowballed and Spellbound are absolute bangers.

March 19th 2023


Album Rating: 3.0

good review. Album is very solid.

March 20th 2023


What other albums blow their load on the opening track and spend the rest of the album in a refractory period? There's a decent discussion to be had.

March 21st 2023


Album Rating: 4.0

Dragonforce’s Inhuman Rampage is definitely one of those type albums for me. Through the Fire and the Flames is such an all-encompassing track that the rest of the album just ends up feeling redundant in comparison.

March 21st 2023


Album Rating: 3.5

Great read again Chris. I have much nostalgic value for this one as it was one of my first albums on vinyl.

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