Who Made Who



by PsychicChris USER (492 Reviews)
March 21st, 2023 | 4 replies

Release Date: 1986 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “This machine just called me an asshole!”

In 1986, Stephen King directed his first and only film, Maximum Overdrive, and asked his favorite band to provide the score. It’s a quirky pairing that writes itself; the master of horror was riding a wave of creative (and literal) highs through the decade and AC/DC was no doubt tailor-made for B-movie schlock about machines gaining sentience and killing every human in sight. While the movie proved to be a box office bomb turned to hilariously bad cult classic, at least the band came out of it with the successful accompanying soundtrack, Who Made Who.

The compilation’s main point of appeal is the new material written for the film, which included the title track and two instrumentals. Considering how spotty the band’s last couple albums had gotten to be, it’s almost a relief to see ”Who Made Who” turn out to arguably be the strongest songs from this era with a throbbing bass line, bright metallic guitars, and vocals whose heavy reverb actually plays into the man versus machine theming.

The instrumentals are a rarity for AC/DC, maybe not the most developed ideas but still packing plenty of power; you gotta love the heavy druns and crashing guitars on “D.T.” and “Chase the Ace” is an appropriately driving slice of speed. The film also included some guitar snarls and incidental noises, but one can imagine this would be a more fragmented listen had they been featured here.

While the other six songs were all previously released, it’s still interesting to see them in different contexts. “You Shook Me All Night Long” and “Hell’s Bells” are old hat at this point but fun to see, the former gaining second life as a reissued single at the time and the latter serving as an ominous midway number. “Sink the Pink” and “Shake Your Foundations” also come with slightly spruced-up production, effectively rendering Fly on the Wall obsolete, and the mad lads even made “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)” the closer!

Most interesting of all was the decision to include “Ride On” as the sole representation from the Bon Scott era. There’s likely a simple explanation; maybe the film needed something for a mellow scene and the Johnson era isn’t exactly known for mellowness. Maybe the most aggressive Bon songs weren’t metallic or contemporary enough to be considered. Either way, it’s almost refreshing to see a release like this focus so much on the band’s eighties efforts. For all the talk of every AC/DC album being the exact same, the two eras can often by regarded as distinct entities.

With that, Who Made Who makes for a rather fascinating AC/DC time capsule. The film soundtrack repurposed as greatest hits package angle may not be the most encompassing experience, but it manages to feel well-contained. The song choices work well with each other and even end up addressing some of the flaws that had cropped up in recent years. Along with the obvious Back in Black, this is the album to check out for a glimpse of the band’s best work during the eighties.

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Comments:Add a Comment 
March 22nd 2023


Album Rating: 3.5

this music made Maximum Overdrive a lot better then it should have been

March 22nd 2023


did not know AC/DC was Stephen King’s favorite band

March 22nd 2023


I remember he namedrops them in The Stand with a weirdly out of place line, like "he was not an ac/dc fan", also the dedication page on Different Seasons

March 22nd 2023


Album Rating: 3.5

Who made who is a top 5 dacca song for mine

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