Friday, May 1, 2015

Fossils: AC/DC's Let There Be Rock (1977)

AC/DC's Let There Be Rock
(click to embiggen)
 AC/DC – Let There Be Rock

Save for a few gas-huffing, head-banging hard rock fans, America didn’t really discover Australia’s AC/DC until the band’s 1979 album Highway To Hell, the first of three red-hot, high-charting LPs produced by Robert “Mutt” Lange (including 1980’s blockbuster, ten-times-platinum pancake Back In Black). Let There Be Rock was the band’s fourth album, and the first to see international release (AC/DC’s first two Aussie efforts were released stateside in 1976 as High Voltage, whereas the band’s legitimate third album, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, wasn’t released in the U.S. until 1981, by which time AC/DC had become bona fide world-beaters).  

Let There Be Rock is also, perhaps, the best representation of the band’s original line-up, with leather-lunged singer Bon Scott and bassist Mark Evans alongside guitarists Angus and Malcolm Young and drummer Phil Rudd. Building on the boogie-blues blueprint that the band adheres to, roughly, to this very day, Let There Be Rock offers up all of the typical AC/DC lyrical tropes, from sexual abandon (“Whole Lotta Rosie”) and the joys of rock ‘n’ roll (“Let There Be Rock”) to the sort of mindless, greasy, guitar-driven pomp ‘n’ boogie that has become the band’s stock in trade (“Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be,” “Problem Child”). Although the album would only graze the bottom quarter of the Billboard magazine Top 200 chart upon release (hitting #152), it has since gone double-platinum for an amazing two million+ Frisbees sold.

The label’s ad for Let There Be Rock perfectly captured up the band’s public image – lewd, crude, and sexually obsessive – which was also the agenda of the punters and miscreants that made up the band’s target (i.e. teen and young adult) audience.

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