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fastbob72

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  1. fastbob72

    AC/DC

    Well there was a handful of questions asked in one post but heyho I'll answer them as there's nothing I enjoy more than talking guitars and cars.lol. I got into AC/DC at age 15 or so which would have been around '86 or '87 and I've never stopped loving them to this day.I've found myself getting a little snooty and dismissing them as a little too simple and 'one domensional' around the time I was getting into all that late 60s kind of music and disappearing up my own arse lol. That would have been because I hadn't put any of the records on in a while conveniantly forgetting just how tremendous a band they are.My attitude didn't last long though,one listen to Powerage again brought me right back to adoring this band. I don't know so much about now but in the late 80s early to late 90s it was fashionable to label them as a one trick pony playing the same few songs over and over again aswell as rolling the eyes and dismissing Angus as a very generic player but that is just the biggest pile of crap I've heard,well except for the shite about there being racist lyrics in the song Highway To Hell.Let me clue you in before I go any further,they aren't any racist lyrics in any AC/DC song rather it was made up by that d**khead Howard Stern,why? already referred to that the man is obviously a d**khead . Another thing I remember that used to be said was AC/DC were no better than Status Quo (for those not from the 80s or the UK Status Quo were a sort of boogie band that wrote some popular songs in the 80s very much based on 12 bar blues shuffles but with a catchy twist.) For one thing,Status Quo were actually pretty good and a far wider range than the 12 bar I,IV,V chord progressions they were slagged off for always playing,especially the early 70s stuff - listen to Status Quo Live or Piledriver and you'll see what I mean. As for Angus and the boys they just knew what they wanted to play and they did the best they could which amounts to some of the greatest rock albums of all time.My favourites are Let There Be Rock,Powerage,Highway To Hell,Back In Black,For Those About To Rock and the 1978 live album If You Want Blood (you've got it).That run of 5 studio and one live album is in my opinion them at their peak. The album begins this run is Let There Be Rock which is the first album that demonstrates they are growing out of the 'Jacked up Chuck Berry' stuff which typified alot of the High Voltage,Dirty Deeds era.The first of the true AC/DC anthems came from this album Bad Boy Boogie,Problem Child,Hell Ain't a Bad Place To Be,Whole Lotta Rosie plus obviously Let There Be Rock.In saying that I'm a huge fan of Overdose,I love that song. This was followed by Powerage which is one of my all time favourite AC/DC albiums because it demonstrates again a band now confident,finding it's own way and stepping up with an album that blows you away.You've got the classics Riff Raff.Rock n Roll Damnation and Sin City but every track on this is one that would be the top song on whtever album it appeared,so getting a whole record full of these songs has to be a winner. Downpayment Blues is amazing especially Bons Lyrics 'can't even feed my cat,social security.I've got a Cadillac but can't afford the gasoline' then there's a tight little rocker that's one of my all time songs of any album and that's Gimme a Bullet.Side B has some more unique tracks especially at the start with What's Next To The Moon and Gone Shootin'.Despite getting more hard rock/rock and roll there's still an enormous foot in the grooviest blues music and done AC/DC style it's hard to claim it has ever been done better. Highway To Hell again is probably one of the finest rock albums of all time.Ten songs that are so damn good it almosts makes,it does make the heart ache when you realise where they may have gone next if Bon hadn't of died.They do say some of the songs for Back In Black were written while Bon was still alive but I really imagine the change in circumtances in hiring Brian Johnson as Bons replacement had much to do with the more classic hard rock sound of Back In Black which like Highway is one of the very best rock albums ever produced.If you think of how quickly Brian Johnson had to fit into Bons shoes it makes the album just that little bit more special when you hear it.I'm sure it was something like the 2nd most selling album of all time behind Thriller Michael Jackson for years.The sound is much tighter and harder than the still blues rock of Highway to Hell listen to Beating Around The Bush and Night Prowler to hear it most prominantly but every song is again a winner with no weak tracks amongst them.Walk All Over You is another absolute favourite of mine as well as Get It Hot. With Back In Black the sound is much harder and points the way towards what rock music would become in the 80s.The band must have pulled their hair out trying to find a replacement for Bon Scott that could hopefully take his place but then they must have cottoned on that Bon was utterly unique in his voice,persona etc so chose to go for someone totally different but equally possessing a unique persona and a highly distinctive voice.I really don't think anyone else but Brian Johnson could have pulled it off with such style and charm. !981s For Those About To Rock carries on where Back In Black left off.An evolution rather than a revolution but hey,when you release something like Back In Black how the hell are you meant to follow it up.Well AC/DC made a fine job of that with this album.Is it as highly regarded as it should be,probably not but it is a fantastic album with great songs.For Those About To Rock (We Salute You) is absolute golden anthemic AC/DC right down to the canons but there's alsoa good few of the groove that they're capable of with Breaking The Rules or Lets Get It Up.Some real hard rockers like Inject The Venom along with plenty of bluesy rockers such as Evil Walks or COD.This is one album that deserves a proper listen because it's a true gem. Later albums like Flick Of The Switch,Fly On The Wall,Blow Up Your Video and Razors Edge are great listens too but as time goes on they seem to have lost that real edge that put them head and shoulders above the rest.In saying that many,many bands would have killed for a Fly On The Wall or Flick Of The Switch. Then we come to that age old perennial - who was the better singer? Both having so unique and distinctive voices plus very different personas on stage you could very legitimately say they are so different there's no way to claim one is better than the other.All the same the question is constantly brought up so I think you have to bite the bullet and fly your colours on this one. I will say that despite claiming one as the best the difference between them is smaller than a midgie's testicles and that I love them both......who was the worst singer - Axl Rose,of course I don't know what they were thinking of with that one lol. So after much contemplation and a last minute count,well no not really I've always known who I preferred and always have and that's Bon Scott.There was a certain devilish look in the eye and with the smile,to my mind the all round best rock frontman of all time.He was the epitome of what a Rock n Roll frontman is meant to be.A bit of a badboy with a heart,from the wrong side of the tracks who lived to sing,party,chase women and drink.You always felt he sang from experience.They used to claim Freddie Mercury was the best frontman of all time and I don't deny he had a vooice like no other and a stage presence to match but when he spoke he was too middle class,art school educated which is not really what rock and roll is meant to be about especially if you go back to the likes of Presely etc.Bon Scott was authentic,the real deal but most of all he gave the impression that he was living his dream being the singer of AC/DC and unlike so many others the dream WAS all it was cracked up to be,he loved every minute of it.Also he had that voice that just like Ozzy Osbourne it was so unique it's almost impossible to mistake it for anyone else even if it's not a classic vocalists voice,or even what you would call a great voice but it was THE voice for the band at that time and never bettered. More up my street,being a guitar player for years,is the old matter of how good is/was Angus Young as a guitar player ? That's a very difficult one to answer without upsetting many people and it's not even a well defined question.What do you class as good? Playing the appropriate leads and solo that's all for the song taking it for 90 odd percent to a round 100? Is it flashy,memorable onstage trick? lightening fast runs or perhaps developing your own personal style and tone that is instantly recognisable? On every count Angus did all of those above with absolute style making his mark on rock history.Providing the world survives Coronavirus and there's still a substantial human society on earth in 250 years time then Angus will still be a musician that's instantly recognised.There are so many different and unique guitarists out there it's almost impossible to compare them like for like. How does he stack up against Hendrix or Page ? what about Gary Moore or Dave Murray from Iron Maiden ? Yngwie Malmsteen or Satriani/Vai etc,etc.I don't think,as a guitarist especially so,that once you're discussing this level of musician comparisons and league tables achieve anything but points to argue over.Angus is a fantastic,truly individual guitar player who instantly sounds like no one else but Angus Young.His sheer energy on stage with the headbanging,duck walking and running up and down the stage would kill most folk who weren't thoroughly in shape.Then add playing the guitar to the mix aswell.His live performances with the thrashing around on the floor or the the one handed playing is pure showmanship at it's best. As a song writer he's co-responsible for some of rocks best loved songs ever written and despite sounding dead easy to play they're in fact quite challenging at times to get 100% right because of the metronomic sense of timing from both the rhythm section and Angus himself.He regularly comes in behind the beat emphasising the riffs etc that he's laying.Also uniquely for a hard rock guitarist he uses a lot of open chords making them sound powerful and forceful.his actual guitar sound is surprisingly clean with pretty much a vintage SG through Ampeg earlier on and later Marshall amps.There's few guitarists who have achieved the heights that Angus has so was he good guitarist,great even ? Absolutely,one of the best. As for seeing them live I saw them in the Glasgow SECC on the Money Talks tour 1991.it was one of the best gigs ever up there with Page & Plant and Metallica. I think it's safe to say I have been and very much am a huge lover of AC/DC Btw,Happy 65th Angus
  2. I hate it when I'm forced to agree with the majority but sometimes the majority,inexplicably,get it bang on as in this case. Van Halen were good,great even and obviously they had one of the most unique and better guitarists of the 80s but as I read in the verdict of someone above (commented above not some mythical creater lol) AC/DC is AC/DC. You could argue that EVH is the better guitarist between him and Angus but as great as EVH is/was I don't think he is as instantly recognisable as Angus.Besides almost every single solo and lead part that Angus played throughout AC/DCs career was the right solo and the right time. Could EVH create better solos on Powerage,Highway,BIB or For Those? I'd argue he couldn't. AC/DC have been accused of being a Status Quo like one trick pony,they had one song and played it 150 different ways but as a guitar player myself don't dismiss their music as simple or generic.The key to AC/DCs music is often the rhythm sections solid backing and Angus's percision timing playing the lead parts and ryhthms behind the beat with percision.I'd say it's easy to play AC/DC but to play it well takes a surprising amout of work AC/DC are also the ultimate good time rock n roll band that any lad who was a naughty schoolboy is going to love.
  3. Mmm, ok is Jimmy Page sloppy or not. At times yes but that doesn't lessen his ability and fluidity when he's on his true form nor somehow reflect on him as somehow a less accomplished or 'agricultural' player not in the technical skill or true musical ability of the Vai's and Satriani's that have been touted as true virtuosos many times throughout this topic. Think of it this way.The likes of said technique junkie, fret wanking, whammy bar, two handed tapping, scale burning maestros come from that Neo-Classical school of guitar player pioneered by I'd hesitantly say EVH and Randy Rhodes who you could say were the ones who if not the founders of that offshoot of rock/metal guitar style then the ones who truly brought it to a wider audience and set the early rules for the Paul Gilberts, Marty Friedmanns,Dave Mustaines to follow. I hesitate, again, to loudly champion one of that styles heaviest hitters and most sneered at, that loveable and oh so modest retiring Swedish gent Yngwie Malmsteen because I've always felt he had a great deal more substance behind the shiny metallic crap of his outward image.He genuinely was Classically inspired,living and breathing Classical music in a way the others tipped their hat to.I always felt they used it as a vehicle, Vai and Satriani in particular where as it was Malmsteens alpha and omega.His playing does move me in a way Vai and especially Satriani completely fail to.Not in anyway does that detract from their incredible ability. Anyway, I digress or I did some way back. That whole. discipline of guitar with it's fundamental roots more entrenched in Classical Music than traditional blues and folk inspired rock is by it's very nature going to be infinitely more structured,theory and protocol based than the very freeform, spontaneous and DIY nature of folk music and blues that inspire the likes of Jimmy Page. So to compare them like for like and say that Page isn't as technically proficient is understandable but to then go on to suggest that therefore he isn't quite as musically able or somehow lesser than those of the more modern types doesn’t follow because their fundamentally different despite being guitarists. Another way to put it is Mr James Marshall Hendrix is the only man I've seen who never once looked close to playing near the limit of his ability, if he had such a limit which I truly doubt. His like come along every few centuries and he truly stands beside Mozart in the genius states. I say that with no ironic intent, fully understanding the claim I'm making and fully believing it as true incase anyone wonders.The point being, even Jimi would possibly 'seem' less technically proficient next to the Vaitriani's yet there's two of them in the same time frame, one Hendrix every few centuries so tearing the fretboard apart with a modified Japanese Mixolydian/Aeolian Mode (if that remotely exists) isn't a true hallmark if your musical or even playing ability, just your mastery of the rules perhaps. Jimmy Page was such a groundbreaking guitar player in a number of ways that he almost seemed to set him self up to be knocked down by all the lesser players, jealous guitarists that were made to stand aside while Jimmy was brought in to play the solos on their own singles. Pete Townshend on I Can't Explain springs to mind for which he'll bear that grudge to the grave but it happened with The Kinks and countless others in the period before becoming a Yardbird. The fact he was in a league above all those players he was brought in as a sessions man on their records pissed off many of the guitarist of his times. He fell out with Clapton over some home made recordings they taped too so there was plenty of appetite to make the claim he was actually over rated, not as musically adept or technically accomplished as believed by those who don't really know better and definitely nowhere near as good as he believed himself to be. The odd thing is how that idea has seeped into the consciousness of genuine rock fans outside of the music industry in recent years. Much like anything else the good old interweb has disseminated these ideas out into the real world with understated efficiency without anyone really noticing or deliberately setting it in motion. Yes he drops bum notes,has periods where it's plain to hear he hasn't been putting in the hard practice to hone his skills and get back into true form. Drugs, fame and who knows what other distractions were often at the root of why he wasn't putting in the 100% dedication you'd expect. Maybe complacency too because when you're at the pinnacle of the music world and enjoying the unheard of rewards and success Zep earned at their peak then you could imagine someone perhaps not feeling that raw hunger to improve and progress they felt climbing to that height. Besides he was much more than simply the guitar player of the band. He was a serious songwriter/composer,engineer,had the drive and vision for so many aspects of their music from how it was recorded, presented, marketed etc. In many ways although their were four equal members in the band Jimmy Page was Led Zeppelin. Like I say, for every mortal musician below JH it's at best subjective and more often stormy and fraught with insensed feelings to start judging one guitarist against another. On what exact criteria do you judge, we wouldn't agree on that, who to fairly judge against who I doubt 3 real rock lovers would find a real consensus there either. Do we compare players of similar styles, eras or just a massive free for all. Even. if we could agree the terms on how to judge the results would cause world war 3. Probably half of you reading this think I'm talking out my arse by raising Jimi Hendrix up so high so to expect to navigate our way to a rough narrative about what Page's rough bits of playing mean, if anything at all isn't that likely to occur...... but who expected it to anyway. lol. What annnoys me in a silly but not really important way is the idea that he's sloppy because he's about feel rather than ability or skill. That sounds so much like making excuses for a man who absolutely has nothing to make excuses about. Feel is such a nebulous and vague phrase that sounds so good but doesn't really mean much or more truthfully means something a little different to each one of us. I'd sooner say that his playing often had real movement and plain groove to it that very few rock bands ever managed to capture. Almost a funkiness to the monolithic riffing unlike the Sabbaths and Purples of the time. While being unashamedly blues drenched rock Jimmy wasn't bound by those confines. Some of his live lead work could feel a bit disjointed compared to on vinyl but it wasn't the same music despite being the same song. How do you play 3 or 4 guitar tracks that were overdubbed in the studio om one 6 stringer on stage. Often he found different and new approaches that breathed a new and fresher life to the music when it was played live. Afterall music is of the present moment, it's not set in stone like a novel or a painting but in it's truest form it's living and breathing. Each time it's played or sung it's created anew. It ia about feelings, stories, being alive, life at it's best and worst. That's the essence of the blues but also real folk music before it began to stand for wooly jumpered,crafty arty types. Traditionally it was about the pain of the poor downtrodden folk of England, Scotland, Ireland etc who suffered at the hands of the rich n powerful just like the singers of the blues did in more modern times but being white,from centuries past and British it obviously doesn't resonate the same despite being part of where the Blues itself came from. All these many disperate strands are woven into Jimmy Pages music in ways not always immediately apparent but none the less making it stand out from all the rest that came and went between then and now. Again as for his playing style I really cannot see how anyone could say he wasn't at times at the very peak of guitar playing ability. SRTS has some moments of playing that will stand alone even 150 years from now, just aslong as are still beings around who can appreciate music. As for sheer quality to rival anythong else on vinyl you can't ask for better than his playing on No Quarter. After listening to that and Since I've Been Loving You is the question of sloppiness or lesser ability remotely relevant.
  4. Totally off topic I know but in regard to EC I've always felt his biggest break post Cream was Peter Green losing it completely to the point of growing his fingernails into talons because that man was exceptional and overshadowed EC in every way.
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