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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 :) 

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1977 was a transitional year in many respects. It was the Summer of Punk, of course. Led Zeppelin returned to the U.S. and showed they were so huge that they basically were a genre unto themselves...no mere label like 'hard rock' or 'heavy metal' or 'blues rock' could contain them. Pink Floyd showed with their concert at Anaheim Stadium that they were rapidly becoming Roger Waters and his slaves...a bunch of morose sourpusses.

Most of the new bands on rock radio were corporate schlock...Boston, Kansas, Styx, Foreigner, The Babys, etc. As for the old guard, most of them were on a treadmill to oblivion by 1977...Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, Foghat, Blue Öyster Cult, Jethro Tull, Chicago, Elton John, Bad Company, Black Oak Arkansas, Nazareth, at al.

Lynyrd Skynyrd was about to have their tragic end. Queen was going disco. 

There were signs of life from some newer hard rock/metal bands...Thin Lizzy, Scorpions, Judas Priest, Motörhead, Heart and UFO. But primarily the excitement for the future came from punk and two bands I saw for the first time in 1977. Van Halen's shows at the Whisky I have already talked about and I saw them for the third time in August of 1977. It was the waning days of summer and I was just about to start my sophomore year of high school.

That last week of summer also included the Runaways & Weirdos gig at the Whisky August 26, Kiss & Cheap Trick at the Forum August 28, Fleetwood Mac at the Forum August 30, and ending the summer with a bang, AC/DC & The Dogs at the Whisky August 31.

It was my first time seeing AC/DC and I think this was AC/DC's first U.S. tour. This was the real Bon Scott-era AC/DC. Pure adrenalized power rock. The tightest bands I have ever seen were James Brown, ZZ Top, and AC/DC. You could set your watch to Phil Rudd's right foot and Malcom Young's right hand. Bon brought Angus out on the Whisky floor on his shoulders. Malcom's and Angus's guitar sound was one of the best I had heard up to that point...a nice, thick roar with loads of sustain.

Seeing AC/DC and Van Halen at the Whisky in 1977 really was the announcement that the 1980s had arrived. Tragically, Bon Scott only had a year and a half left and wouldn't live to see the 1980s.

@badgeholder you were doing sound or lights at these shows right? Were soundboard tapes made?

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Hey Strider. As always, I'm amazed at how many fucking shows you have seen! Shit, I don't know how I missed AC/DC at the Whisky. I only worked for VH, so I can't speak to any tapes made of the other shows. I hate to say this but I never recorded any of their Whisky shows. Of course in retrospect I wish I'd recorded all of them. But they kinda saw it as "taking" from them, like Paul's grandpa in A Hard Days Night selling 8 X 10's. You also saw Tom Petty at the Whisky too, right? 

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Hey Strider. As always, I'm amazed at how many fucking shows you have seen! Shit, I don't know how I missed AC/DC at the Whisky. I only worked for VH, so I can't speak to any tapes made of the other shows. I hate to say this but I never recorded any of their Whisky shows. Of course in retrospect I wish I'd recorded all of them. But they kinda saw it as "taking" from them, like Paul's grandpa in A Hard Days Night selling 8 X 10's. You also saw Tom Petty at the Whisky too, right? 

Yeah, Tom Petty & Blondie at the Whisky in February 1977. But for every show I did manage to see, there were a ton I had to miss...especially ones that fell on school nights when I was younger.

It just so happened that the summer of 1977 was a fruitful time for shows and I was lucky to cram a few in before school started. From P Funk and Led Zeppelin in June to Van Halen and AC/DC in August. You gotta strike while the iron's hot. You never knew when a band would break up or someone would die.

Case in point...the Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ted Nugent, REO Speedwagon all day blast at Anaheim Stadium that summer. Can't remember the exact date but it was on a Saturday. Either Labor Day weekend or sometime in August.

Some girls were planning a pool party that day and invited my friend who was going to the show with me. He decided to ditch the concert and sold his ticket and he tried to get me to do the same and come with him to the party.

He said we could catch Lynyrd Skynyrd next time...that there was plenty of time for concerts in the future. My reasoning was the opposite. We lived in California where there was constant sunshine and millions of girls and swimming pools. There would always be a pool party to go to in the future.

But there was no guarantee on how long a rock band would last.

He went to the party. I went to the concert. You know the rest of the story. He was kicking himself in the head after the plane crash October 20, 1977.

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