Monday, October 20, 2008

Black Ice Rocks The World

Forever a schoolboy, Angus Young.


Well, fans, today's the big day as Black Ice has finally been completely released across North America. AC/DC fans in other countries have been enjoying the album for two or three days now, the lucky devils.

Now that the band's new album is available to the whole world, I'd love to hear what the readers of this blog have to say about Black Ice. So, please leave your comments below after you check out all the latest AC/DC News.

AC/DC 2008

For starters, the USA today has a fairly interesting piece on the band called That's still the way AC/DC wants to rock 'n' roll that you might want to peruse. I just want to know if Malcolm Young combed his own hair for the publicity shot above?

In fact, USA Today has devoted a special page to their coverage of the release of AC/DC's Black Ice. You can even vote for your favorite AC/DC song there though, unfortunately, the choice is only limited to 7 tracks.

Incidentally, Mike Devlin of the Victoria Times Colonist has put together his list of AC/DC's 10 best hits. It's a fun read, so check it out here and see if you agree with his picks.

In other AC/DC tidbits, The Toronto Sun has posted a song by song review of Black Ice which you might find interesting. There's also a pretty good little article from The Daily Record called AC/DC takes it to the road one more time.

Paul Cashmere reports that AC/DC has debuted at number 3 in the Australian record charts this week. Undoubtedly, Black Ice would have been #1 except that only one day of sales could be counted in this week's charts due to the timing of the album's release.

Those with a religious bent might enjoy reading What the Church Can Learn From AC/DC over at the Voyage Blog. However, if you're a Christian fundamentalist, you may want to avoid the article in case you fear God might strike you dead for reading it.

AC/DC display at Wal-Mart

The Boston Herald has a fairly interesting spin on AC/DC's new record which includes the corny line "if you want riffs, they got 'em." Check it out here, if you like. They also have a companion article about the band's exclusive sales deal called, appropriately enough, Wal-Mart and AC/DC agree: Moneytalks!

In other news, footage of the AC/DC Live at Donington Pack for Rock Band 2 has appeared on the web already. Here's one video courtesy of Slashgamer. I wonder how many people will completely strain their voices trying to keep up with Brian Johnson's vocal thunder?

Anyway, I must admit, the game looks like a lot of fun so are you reading this out there, Santa Claus? I swear I've been a very good boy most of this year!



Perth Now has an excellent article from Kathy McCabe called Vintage rock: Back in black which is definitely worth your time if you're a true AC/DC fan, though some of her material may have been previously available elsewhere.

Speaking of ladies, I want to personally thank Natalie Sparks for the fantastic set of photographs she posted today of her modeling an AC/DC belt. This link is definitely NSFW so don't click on it if you're under 18, okay?

Anyway, getting back to the business at hand, the Vancouver Sun's contribution to AC/DC News today is deftly titled AC/DC's back -- and is as gnarly as ever a sentiment which, I believe, most fans of the group would tend to agree with today. However, Stuart Derdeyn of The Vancouver Province doesn't much like Black Ice. In fact, he basically just said that AC/DC has lost it's juice.

Finally, The Daily Telegraph has published their review of Black Ice today. The highlight of which is rock critic David Cheal's video attempting to explain the rock 'n roll phenomenon which we call simply, AC/DC.



Well, that about raps it up for now, ladies and gentlemen. As always, check back frequently during the day for the latest AC/DC News updates.

Keep rockin, Jon

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Black Ice rocks I love it! Dont know what is my favorite song on the album yet becouse there all great!

chickengeorge said...

i went to walmart today, saw that same layout, bought a tshirt for 7.50 and a cd, humm not bad for under 20 bucks, this is aimed at the mass consumer, i say rock on with it,but after readin your blog, i was depressed to learn Brian wants to quit and this might be AC/DC last album, Why!, the album is very roadhouse blues, there are a couple of pop rock tunes on it but, over all i like it better than the last three, i have to see how long the album sticks with me after the years worth of hype, but this band cann't die, i am not ready for that yet,

Muhammad said...

I pre ordered the album from both Wal Mart and ACDC.com, and have received neither.

Lynn said...

Just found this from the Guardian here in the UK. I was quite surprised actually!

"What difference can an age make? Back in 1980, then a young Mancunian, I'd swap all kinds of LPs with schoolmates - Joy Division for the Jam, the Fall for the Specials, Dead Kennedys for Vienna by Ultravox. And then someone lent me AC/DC's Back in Black. At first I squirmed - AC/DC surely belonged to the headbangers, fans of Whitesnake, Rainbow or Judas Priest. Oh no, not for me. They weren't cool at all.

But Back in Black was different. Its sharp, staccato riffs and punkish screams broke down my self-conscious nearly-teen taste. It, I had to admit, was 'skill'. Now, 28 years later, that catchy monster has returned. AC/DC have rolled back the years and the trouser legs: Black Ice is nearly Back in Black II, and easily their best effort since. And what timing. With Metallica and Kings of Leon selling like hot (rock) cakes, music's tectonic plates seem to have shifted slightly to an age of harder rock.

Of AC/DC's astonishing 200 million album sales, 42 million alone came from Back in Black. But in the mid-Eighties they began to lose momentum

and potency. Their last two albums - the boogie-ish Ballbreaker (1995) and Stiff Upper Lip (2000) - remained in Black's shadow.

So what's changed? It may have been deja vu, or strong coffee, but Black Ice actually made my heart beat faster - no small thing for a non-metal fan. The opener and single, 'Rock'n'Roll Train', is precisely that - Angus and Malcolm pump out red-hot riffs with remorseless momentum, Brian Johnson's high-pitched throatiness is stoked up on rock'n'roll steam, 'living on the ecstasy'. Despite that inevitable Eighties cliche - the overblown chorus ('laid back on the track') - it's all as tight as a gnat's chuff.

But Black Ice, in one sense, is laid back on every track. Springsteen producer Brendan O'Brien has brought a cleaner, more pared-back sound, less crammed with noise, but just as voluminous. So while there are one or two duffers, the new album bristles with belters. 'War Machine' begins sparsely, before building to a menacing climax. And while its title suggests otherwise, 'Decibel' is quieter, and cleverly sculptured, with Johnson's voice lower and smokier.

'Stormy May Day' begins with a Zeppelin-esque slide guitar, before a sturm und drang eruption. 'Big Jack' is simply enormous, 'Money Made' is industrial-strength and 'Rock'n'Roll Dream' possesses, improbably, an eerie wistfulness, as Johnson muses that 'it could be the very last time'. Wistful? Well, in a sledgehammer sort of way.

Black Ice could have been a cock-rock disaster or a Derek Smalls-type 'jazz odyssey', but, much to their credit, AC/DC have stuck to their guns with electrifying results. Chiefly, this is thanks to Angus Young, the diminutive, school uniform-wearing, stage-hopping guitar hero. Now, more than ever, he resembles wee Jimmy Krankie, but his contribution to Black Ice is... well, fandabidozi. He, along with the rest of AC/DC, can still teach the kids a thing or two about rock'n'roll.

chickengeorge said...

lynn , well said, the distortion is up on this album, i wish they would have had like this on the last two, they have this under tone of distortion an rhythm, something where you get lost in the album, its like, "big gun"-"lets make it" and "cough with your pants down"- and "ballbreaker" the song , could have been traced over to this, but the additive is the singing and tensions on the beet, which is what was vacant on the Ballbreaker album.

davidbmclaughlin.com said...

Thanks for the plug about the Voyage Blog! I was wondering what the heck happened when my viewership skyrocketed!

Thanks,
David

bulletman said...

FYI. I live about 10 miles from the Wacovia Arena in Wilkes-Barre PA. Drove through the parking lot today and saw 10 tractor trailers unloading what I assume was the bands' gear and stage set. No sign of the boys but I'm sure they must be here by now. I'm keeping my eyes open.

Mickey Ciokajlo said...

Early favorite: "Anything Goes." It sounds like Geordie, Brian's old band. A very different sound and way of singing for AC/DC fans.
Overall, after one listen, the album is superb. It's amazing how the band is able to be so creative within the musical structure it created for itself 35 years ago.

Leper Jack said...

Well, I think it might be the best they've done in quite a while. I don't want them to change, but subtle change is good. Like Rock n roll dream, Anything Goes. The background vocals. The crisp clear sound.

Here's what I think.

Brian Johnson era

1. BIB - 80
2. Black Ice -08
3. BUYV -88
4. FOTS -83
5. FTATR -81
6. TRE - 90
7. SUL - 01
8. BB - 95
9. FOTW - 85

---

Bon Scott era

1. LTBR - 77
2. Powerage - 78
3. HTH - 79
4. HV - 76
5. DDDDC - 76
6. Jailbreak