The wait is over as arguably the greatest Rock ‘N’ Roll band the world has ever known bring the Rock ’N’ Roll train extravaganza steaming into your stereo and park it right up your buffers.
The album represents AC/DC’s first official live album release since ’Live’, a mere twenty years ago, and was recorded at the famous River Plate stadium in Buenos Aires in December 2009, where the band played to 70,000 fans for three nights running, that’s around a staggering 200,000 in total. First released in DVD format in 2011, fans now get the chance to listen to the amazing AC/DC experience on CD and limited edition vinyl.
The Black Ice world tour was indeed a bit of a monster, the second highest grossing tour ever, over 5 million fans along the way in over 28 countries, it was most definitely a period of the bands history that demanded to be recorded for posterity and thankfully has been.
And so what does your hard earned cash get you when buying this album? Well only 19 tracks, every one a true classic played and recorded in a way that sends shivers down your spine. From the opening riffs of ’Rock ’N’ Roll Train’ it’s a non stop journey through Rock history, as Brian Johnson says “We don’t speak very good Spanish but we speak Rock ’n’ Roll pretty good”, and never was a truer word spoken ’Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be’ still sounds as fresh as ever, and if you think you could tire of hearing the riff for ’Back In Black’, think again. Latest studio album ’Black Ice’ is represented again next with the excellent ’Big Jack’ which sees Cliff Williams plucking the bass strings as if there was no tomorrow. ’Dirty Deeds…’ follows, which although is of course a Bon Scott song, seems to fit the old flat capped Geordie to a tee. ’Shot Down In Flames’ is surely one of the best DC tracks ever written, pure energy and a guaranteed get up and dance moment on this album. The by now integral ’Thunderstruck’ keeps things ticking along, followed by ’Black Ice’ and the sing a long classic ’The Jack’ before the demonic chimes of ’Hells Bells’ draws disc one to a close.
The set list on the ’Black Ice’ tour was a well oiled machine, never wavering, never changing, always performed in a precise and methodical fashion. Which epitomises the band in many respects, the old adage of “if it ain’t broke…” sits really well here, and when you consider that the 40th anniversary is fast approaching on the horizon, who are we to say different. AC/DC’s appeal has always been their no nonsense brand of Rock, played the way they think it should be played and to hell with changes in musical tastes and fashions.
Disc two kicks off with ’Shoot To Thrill’, followed by ’War Machine’ before we arrive at another timeless classic ’Dog Eat Dog’, a track I first heard live on vinyl played to around 50 people on the ’Live From Atlantic Studio’ album but this version has a slightly bigger audience. ’You Shook Me All Night Long’ comes along next and is the latest song from the album to get the video treatment to coincide with this release before we move breathlessly in to ’T.N.T.’ and of course the inevitable ’Whole Lotta Rosie’, complete with mandatory ’Angus’ chanting from the hyper South American crowd.
If you’re an AC/DC nut like me, then you’ll know the order of the last three songs of an AC/DC set off by heart. Yes that’s right a 17 minute long ’Let There Be Rock’ (yes, you did read that right) featuring Angus at his almighty best as he ducks, dives and spins through one of the greatest solos known to mankind, so long in fact, we used to joke that you would have time to fight your way to the bar, get a round in , get back to your seat and still be able to listen to half of it! ( not that we ever did leave of course). The anthemic ’Highway To Hell’ a song known and loved from ages 12 to 70,and with the classic Brian Johnson line at the end when belting out the “All The Way” lyric “Hang on ,I think I’ve got one more left in me” and of course, what show would be complete with out a dose of ’For Those About To Rock…’, complete with canons. A fitting end to an amazing concert and an amazing album.
If your already a fan, then I guess from a material point of view there’s nothing new but I’m sure you’ll still buy it. If you’ve not listened to AC/DC live before then you can find no better way than this to get started.
This album, without doubt will go to number one in the charts in just about every country on the planet and more than likely on a few other planets as well, so pick up your balls and load up your cannons for the 21 gun salute.
1. Rock ‘N’ Roll Train.
2. Hell Aint A Bad Place To Be.
3. Back In Black.
4. Big Jack.
5. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.
6. Shot Down In Flames.
8. Black Ice.
9. The Jack.
10. Hells Bells.
1. Shoot To Thrill.
2. War Machine.
3. Dog Eat Dog.
4. You Shook Me All Night Long.
6. Whole Lotta Rosie.
7. Let There Be Rock.
8. Highway To Hell.
9. For Those About To Rock (We Salute You).
Brian Johnson – Vocals.
Angus Young – Guitar.
Malcolm Young – Guitar.
Cliff Williams – Bass.
Phil Rudd – Drums.
Released, November 19th on Columbia Records.