ACDC en Update: Malcolm Young "Taking a Break" from AC/DC <!--paging_filter--><p>It seems there's some sad truth behind the <a href="">speculation</a> surrounding AC/DC's imminent breakup due to Malcolm Young's health issues.</p> <p>The classic hard rock band may not be breaking up, but their rhythm guitarist is, for the moment, stepping down to deal with health issues.</p> <p>Here's the official statement from the band, which appeared earlier today on their <a href="">official Facebook page</a>: </p> <p>"After forty years of life dedicated to AC/DC, guitarist and founding member Malcolm Young is taking a break from the band due to ill health. Malcolm would like to thank the group’s diehard legions of fans worldwide for their never-ending love and support.</p> <p>"In light of this news, AC/DC asks that Malcolm and his family’s privacy be respected during this time. The band will continue to make music."</p> <p>Our thoughts go out to Malcolm and his family.</p> <p>We'll keep you posted as we hear more.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/acdc">AC/DC</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> ACDC Malcolm Young News Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:34:44 +0000 Brad Angle Let There Be Rock: AC/DC Lead Guitarist Angus Young on Picking Hard <!--paging_filter--><p><em>The following is from Angus Young's classic </em>Guitar World<em> column, "Let There Be Rock." Interview by Nick Bowcott.</em></p> <p>AC/DC are more than just a great rock band, they're an institution. </p> <p>Trends may come and go, but their unique brand of rhythm 'n bruise has proven to be timeless. Angus Young, the band's lead-playing livewire, has also deservedly attained a legendary standing in the business. In fact, one of modern rock's leading lights, Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains recently referred to him as "the absolute god of blues-rock guitar."</p> <p>In the first of a series of exclusive lessons with <em>Guitar World</em>, Angus talks about his unique playing style ... </p> <p>"Style? I didn't think I had any!" laughs Angus. "I just plug in and hit the thing really hard. That's my style ... or lack of one! That's why I use extra-heavy Fender picks-there's a lot of plastic in 'em so it takes longer to wear 'em out! Actually, because I'm so small, when I strike an open A chord I get physically thrown to the left and when I play an open G chord I go right. That's how hard I play, and that's how a lot of my stage act has come about. I just go where the guitar takes me."</p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: Did you play that hard from the moment you started or is it something that evolved?</strong></p> <p>I've always liked to really hit the strings. I grew up with Mal [Mal is Angus' nickname for his brother Malcolm], who, besides having a great right [picking] hand, really understands how to get the most out of a guitar. He would always tell me, "don't tickle it, hit the bugger!" </p> <p>The funny thing is, when you learn to play really hard you also learn the instrument's limitations. I honestly believe that you have to be able to play the guitar hard if you want to be able to get the whole spectrum of tones out of it. Since I normally play so hard, when I start picking a bit softer my tone changes completely, and t hat's really useful sometimes for creating a more laid-back feel.</p> <p><strong>The verse of "Sin City" [<em>Powerage</em>] is a good example of this being put into action.</strong></p> <p>Yeah, we belt out the main riff pretty hard during the intro and the chorus, but when the vocal comes in we ease back on it a bit. Doing that adds a bit of color and dynamics to the song. You can't always be going for the throat, mate! You need some relief from time to time.</p> <p><strong>Do you ever reach for your guitar's volume pot and turn it down a tad when you're easing back on the intensity?</strong></p> <p>Yeah, I'll roll it back just a hair for that kinda part sometimes. It depends if I think I'm being cool-which is pretty friggin ' rare, actually! [laughs] Normally, I'm too lazy to do that, so I just pick a little lighter instead. Or, sometimes I might even sit out for a while, like I do at the start of "Livewire" [<em>High Voltage</em>]. Mal starts the thing off with the chords and then I just jump in when the rest of the band comes in. That's the beauty of having another guitarist there, I can nip off for a quick smoke and leave Mal to it! [laughs)</p> <p><strong>Do you ever switch to your neck pickup to create a different tonal vibe?</strong></p> <p>I used to do that a lot; I'd be fiddling about with the [pickup selector] switch all the time. I still hunt back and forth sometimes now, but only if I'm in a diddly mood. </p> <p>On stage though, I rarely do it. Hell, you can do a lot to alter your tone just by changing where you pick the strings -- you don't even have to flick that switch! If you pick near the bridge you get more top and as you move further away from it your sound gets more bassy.</p> <p>Another thing I' ll do to add a bit of color to a part is pick it with my fingers. I do that quite a bit, and so does Mal.</p> <p><strong>Like at the start of "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution" [<em>Back in Black</em>] for example...</strong></p> <p>Exactly. I kick the thing off by picking out the riff using my pick and my fingers together [a technique known as hybrid picking]. Then, when the band comes in, I just hammer it out to get a more dynamic thing happening.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/acdc">AC/DC</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> AC/DC ACDC Angus Young Let There Be Rock Blogs Interviews Mon, 31 Mar 2014 12:26:38 +0000 Nick Bowcott Video: 2Cellos Perform AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" <!--paging_filter--><p>2Cellos — Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser — have filmed a new music video for their just-released cover of AC/DC's "Thunderstruck."</p> <p>You can check it out below.</p> <p>These guys might look — and sound — familiar to a good portion of our readers. </p> <p>They're the Croatian cellists who had a huge taste of online success when their dueling-cellos version of Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" went viral a few years back. They've also covered Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze," Guns N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle" and a whole lot more.</p> <p>Their latest album, <em>In2ition</em>, was released in early 2013 via Sony Masterworks. The disc features Elton John (who sings Fleetwood Mac's "Oh Well") and covers of tunes by Prodigy and, of course, AC/DC. In fact, Steve Vai even guests on an inspired version of AC/DC's "Highway to Hell."</p> <p>"Thunderstruck," however, cannot be found on <em>In2ition</em>. It was released as a standalone single earlier this week — and you can check it out <a href="">on iTunes here.</a></p> <p>For more information about 2Cellos, <a href="">check out their official website.</a></p> <p>P.S.: We've also included AC/DC's version of "Thunderstruck" for reference. Enjoy!</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/acdc">AC/DC</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> 2Cellos ACDC Videos News Fri, 21 Feb 2014 20:56:16 +0000 Damian Fanelli AC/DC Planning New Album and 40th-Anniversary Tour <!--paging_filter--><p>If it feels like you haven't been hearing a lot about AC/DC of late, that's about to change in a big way this year.</p> <p>This past Friday, in an interview with a Florida radio station 98.7 "the Gater," AC/DC's Brian Johnson said the band is about to head into the studio. He also said they're in the process of planning a 40th-anniversary tour.</p> <p>"Well, you’ll be the first one to know," Johnson the Gater's Andy Preston (as reported by <em>Ultimate Classic Rock</em>). "Really, because we’ve been denying anything, 'cause we weren’t sure … but I think we’ll be going into the studio in May in Vancouver. Which means, we should be getting ready." </p> <p>The new album will be AC/DC's first studio release since 2008's <em>Black Ice</em>.</p> <p>"It’s been 40 years of the band’s existence," Johnson said. "I think we’re gonna try to do 40 gigs, 40 shows, to thank the fans for their undying loyalty. I mean, honestly, our fans are just the best in the world, and we appreciate every one of them. </p> <p>"So, like I said, we’ll have to go out, even though we’re getting a bit long in the tooth. You know what?! It’s been four years [since we last went out on the road], and I’m really looking forward to it."</p> <p>What's that? Can't picture AC/DC in 1974? Check out the clip below. It's the video for "Can I Sit Next To You Girl," their first single, from July 1974 featuring Dave Evans on vocals. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/acdc">AC/DC</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> ACDC News Mon, 17 Feb 2014 20:49:22 +0000 Damian Fanelli Video: Bruce Springsteen Performs AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" in Australia <!--paging_filter--><p>This past Friday night, Bruce Springsteen got in good with his Australian audience when he started his show with a surprise rendition of AC/DC's 1979 tune "Highway to Hell."</p> <p>The show took place at Perth Arena, not far from where the late AC/DC singer Bon Scott grew up. </p> <p>The fan-filmed video, which you can check out below, features four guitarists — Springsteen, Nils Lofgren, Steven Van Zandt and Tom Morello, who also performs on Springsteen's new album, <em>High Hopes</em>.</p> <p>What do you think of their version?</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="365" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/acdc">AC/DC</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/tom-morello">Tom Morello</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> ACDC Bruce Springsteen Tom Morello Videos News Mon, 10 Feb 2014 15:29:44 +0000 Damian Fanelli The Record that Changed My Life: Dave Mustaine Discusses AC/DC's 'Let There Be Rock' <!--paging_filter--><p><em>FROM THE ARCHIVE: Megadeth mainman Dave Mustaine chooses (and discusses) the record that changed his life.</em></p> <p><strong>AC/DC</strong><br /> <em>Let There Be Rock</em> (1977)</p> <p>I was 16 or 17 when I got this album. I remember taking it home, putting it on my cheap turntable and dropping the needle down on the vinyl. The first couple of notes of "Overdose" just blew my mind. </p> <p>The sound of the guitar was so untamed, and it lit a fire inside me to approach the guitar like a weapon. The lore behind <em>Let There Be Rock</em> is that Angus and Malcolm Young would face a Marshall against the wall and crank the sucker all the way up. You can tell the amp was turned up unbelievably loud: you can practically feel Angus' fingerprints rubbing against the strings.</p> <p>[Singer] Bon Scott instantly became a hero of mine, too, because of the words he was using. I was a teenager and here was this guy singing about blowjobs, overdosing and dating fat chicks! I'm thinking to myself, Well, I haven't had the misfortune of dating fat women yet, but I sure do relate to the rest of it. Bon was singing my song!</p> <p>The more I got into AC/DC, the more I started to develop as a musician. When I was a really young kind and learning music, I was very influenced by the British Invasion: the Beatles, the Who and the Stones. But when it came to developing my own guitar playing style, it was all about the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. </p> <p>Some people will argue whether or not AC/DC were a part of this new wave, but I do know there was a void between the British Invasion and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, and that AC/DC fell into it. When I think of how my style evolved, it was certainly influenced by bands like AC/DC, Diamond Head and Iron Maiden. If you listen to my style — even though it's sloppier — it contains essences of Jimmy Page, Michael Schenker and Angus Young. </p> <p>But while Angus was always a hero of mine, I identified more with Malcolm. Rhythm is really important in rock and metal, and taking a percussive approach to the guitar is an art that's vital to the sound of that music. That's what Malcolm brings, and that's why AC/DC is his band.</p> <p>To this day, I listen to <em>Let There Be Rock</em> and it motivates me. That album marked the defining moment in my life when I made my mind up that I was gonna do this, no matter what.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dave-mustaine">Dave Mustaine</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/acdc">AC/DC</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/megadeth">Megadeth</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> ACDC Articles Dave Mustaine GW Archive Megadeth The Record that Changed My Life Interviews News Features Tue, 14 Jan 2014 16:47:47 +0000 Dave Mustaine Top 10 Best (and Worst) Comeback Albums of All Time <!--paging_filter--><p><em>"Don't call it a comeback / I've been here for years."</em> </p> <p>So said LL Cool J in the title track from 1990's <em>Mama Said Knock You Out</em>, which came out when many fans and critics thought his career was just barely limping along. </p> <p>The album turned out to be a massive critical and commercial success. So, with our apologies to Mr. Cool J, we <em>are</em> calling it comeback. Because a comeback — as defined here at <em>Guitar World</em> — is any critically and/or commercially successful or significant album that follows a career-altering absence (breakup, retirement) or low point (death of band members, "dead" careers, being dropped by your label, critical uber-flops, telling a London audience that you're ashamed that George W. Bush is from Texas ...). </p> <p>So, with that in mind, here's our list of the 10 best (and worst) comeback albums of all time. </p> <p><strong>10. U2 — <em>All That You Can’t Leave Behind</em> (2000)</strong> </p> <p><strong>The Set-Up:</strong> Sitting-on-top-of-the-world stadium rockers U2 took some chances in the '90s, releasing three adventurous, occasionally bizarre albums. The last of the bunch, 1997's <em>Pop</em>, the techno-, dance- and electronica-influenced culmination of their self-inflicted reinvention, was harshly panned and widely misunderstood. It was as if fans and critics collectively said, "Enough already, guys." </p> <p><strong>The Comeback:</strong> <em>All That You Can't Leave Behind</em> was, in every respect, a homecoming. With producers Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno back at the helm, the band returned to its classic sound (although brilliantly updated) with an emphasis on grand melodies and a renewed reliance on guitar, bass and drums. <em>Rolling Stone</em> called it U2's third masterpiece, next to <em>The Joshua Tree</em> and <em>Achtung Baby</em>.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>09. Allman Brothers Band — <em>Brothers and Sisters</em> (1973)</strong> </p> <p><strong>The Set-Up:</strong> Allman Brothers Band co-founder and slide guitar master Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident in late 1971 while the band was recording <em>Eat A Peach</em>. As if that wasn't terrible enough, bassist Berry Oakley was killed the same way — in the same Georgia town — one year later. Although the band — fortified by talented replacements — forged ahead, it was as if a dark cloud had found them and decided to stick around for a spell. </p> <p><strong>The Comeback:</strong> The album that would follow the band's tragedies, <em>Brothers And Sisters</em>, was, by far, their greatest success, settling in for five longs weeks at No. 1 on the U.S. albums chart. It also was a high point for guitarist Dickey Betts, whose composition, "Ramblin' Man," would become the band's only hit single, reaching No. 2 on the charts. The album featured two more eternal FM radio staples, "Southbound" and "Jessica," both written by Betts. Simply put, it was the band's — and Betts' — commercial high point.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>08. Foo Fighters — <em>Foo Fighters</em> (1995)</strong> </p> <p><strong>The Set-Up:</strong> There's no doubt that Nirvana changed everything, and that by 1994 they were one of, if not <em>the</em> biggest band in the world. For a few years, all of the United States felt like Seattle, and the sale of thrift-store sweaters was at an all-time high. That is, until the suicide of lead singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain in April of that year. </p> <p><strong>The Comeback:</strong> It would take one hell of an effort for anything Dave Grohl released from that point on to not be considered a mere footnote in the history of Nirvana. The fact that we now know Grohl as one of the biggest personalities in rock — who also has shared the stage with the likes of Jimmy Page and plays in a band with John Paul Jones — is a testament to his tenacity and talent for crafting memorable hooks. </p> <p>It could be argued that the second Foo Fighters album (and their first as a real band), <em>The Colour and the Shape,</em> is better suited for this position because it spawned the first mega-hits for the band, but the first Foos album was Dave Grohl playing everything himself, a lone man trying to forge ahead and create something meaningful after the demise of the biggest band on the planet. If that's not the meaning of a comeback, we don't know what is. </p> <object width="620" height="360"><param name="movie" value=";hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="360" src=";hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object> <hr /> <p><strong>07. Metallica — <em>Death Magnetic</em> (2008)</strong> </p> <p><strong>The Set-Up:</strong> Napster, Tom Cruise film soundtracks, <em>St. Anger.</em> Let's face it, the turn of this century was not kind to Metallica when it came to public opinion. </p> <p>Their latest, guitar-solo-free album had left fans more confused than betrayed, and the follow-up film, <em>Some Kind of Monster</em>, showed the band in a new, vulnerable light that left fans of <em>Ride the Lightning</em> scratching their heads. It would take one hell of an album to get the image of the band in group therapy talking about feelings out of the heads of fans. </p> <p><strong>The Comeback:</strong> Enter <em>Death Magnetic</em>. While the album itself was met with some criticism -- mainly for its over-compressed sound — there's no doubt that it re-ignited interest in the band's thrashier roots and made people forget about "I Disappear," perhaps for good. One might even venture to say that, had the band made another <em>St. Anger</em> or <em>Load</em>, the Big Four shows might not have ever happened. Can anyone imagine Kerry King, Dave Mustaine, Charlie Benante and others joining James and crew onstage for a rendition of "Tuesday's Gone"? Didn't think so. </p> <object width="620" height="360"><param name="movie" value=";hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="510" src=";hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object> <hr /> <p><strong>06. Johnny Cash — <em>American Recordings</em> (1994)</strong> </p> <p><strong>The Set-Up:</strong> Although Johnny Cash never really went away (much like LL Cool J), during the 1980s, record sales and support from his longtime label, Columbia, were at all-time lows. After putting out a string of fine yet occasionally overproduced albums (Check out his cheesy cover of CCR's "Have You Ever Seen The Rain" from 1985's <em>Rainbow</em> album), Cash found himself without a label in the early '90s. </p> <p><strong>The Comeback:</strong> Enter Rick Rubin. The producer, known for his work with A-list hip-hop artists and heavy metal bands, offered Cash a contract with his label, American Recordings, and got right to work, stripping the Man in Black's sound down to the basics: voice and acoustic guitar. The album, considered his finest release since the late '60s, transformed Cash from museum piece to the ultimate in cool.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>05. Aerosmith — <em>Pump</em> (1989)</strong> </p> <p><strong>The Set-Up:</strong> The early '80s were not kind to Aerosmith. The had band lost both their guitarists by the time of the recording of <em>Rock in a Hard Place</em> (you know, the album with Jimmy Crespo and Rick Dufay) and were in serious danger of being a footnote of '70s American rock. </p> <p>Aerosmith in the mid-'80s can be summed up as this: When the movie <em>This Is Spinal Tap</em> came out, Steven Tyler actually thought the movie was about Aerosmith. In a 1997 interview, Brad Whitford was quoted as saying, "The first time Steven saw it, he didn't see any humor in it." </p> <p><strong>The Comeback:</strong> Sure, Run DMC gave them another taste of the spotlight, and <em>Permanent Vacation</em> gave us "Dude Looks Like a Lady" and "Rag Doll," but if anything is going to be called a comeback album for Aerosmith, it would have to be 1989's <em>Pump</em>. </p> <p>Commercially, <em>Pump</em> does have a slight edge over <em>Permanent Vacation</em>, with the latter going a measely five-times platinum as opposed to <em>Pump</em>'s seven-times, good enough to make it the second-best-selling Aerosmith album of all time behind <em>Toys in the Attic</em>. But beyond numbers, <em>Pump</em> just <em>felt</em> like an Aerosmith album (yes, even the horn section). That's not to knock the strong numbers on <em>Permanent Vacation</em>, but Steven Tyler singing about needing to get away to St. Tropez when the whole world was still wondering "Where were you?" may have been a bit premature. </p> <object width="620" height="360"><param name="movie" value=";hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="360" src=";hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object> <hr /> <p><strong>04. John Lennon and Yoko Ono — <em>Double Fantasy</em> (1980)</strong> </p> <p><strong>The Set-Up:</strong> The mid-'70s weren't the best of times for John Lennon. He had endured a separation from Yoko Ono and a complicated lawsuit filed by Morris Levy (regarding breach of contract and the messy <em>Roots</em> / <em>Rock 'n' Roll</em> scandal), not to mention the disappointing — by former-Beatle standards — sales of his 1975 greatest-hits album, <em>Shaved Fish</em>. </p> <p>So, after taking part in a recording session for Ringo Starr's 1976 <em>Ringo's Rotogravure</em> album, Lennon made the shift from rock star to house husband, living a private, tame existence at the Dakota in New York City with Ono and their 1-year-old son, Sean. </p> <p><strong>The Comeback:</strong> In 1980, after taking several years off, Lennon felt it was time to get back to work. Inspired and/or awakened by new music by Madness, The Pretenders and the B-52s, he decided it was "time to get out the old axe and wake the wife up," as he told <em>Rolling Stone</em>. The album he and Ono made, <em>Double Fantasy,</em> was the perfect comeback, representing a fresh start for a well-rested couple who were ready to greet the world again. The irony is that when Lennon was killed on December 8, 1980, <em>Double Fantasy</em> went from comeback to sad farewell.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>03. Deep Purple — <em>Perfect Strangers</em> (1984)</strong> </p> <p><strong>The Set-Up:</strong> After releasing a string of heavy, successful albums between 1969 and 1973, including <em>Deep Purple In Rock, Made In Japan</em> and <em>Machine Head,</em> the classic "Mk II" lineup of Deep Purple — Ian Gillan (vocals), Ritchie Blackmore (guitar), Roger Glover (bass), Jon Lord (keyboards) and Ian Paice (drums) — basically just fizzled out. By the mid-'70s, when only Lord and Paice remained (David Coverdale, Tommy Bolin and Glenn Hughes had come onboard), the band was just a shell of its former self. Their lackluster late-1975 album, <em>Come Taste the Band,</em> was sonic proof of that. Deep Purple disbanded in 1976.</p> <p><strong>The Comeback:</strong> In 1984, Deep Purple regrouped — with the Mk II lineup, thankfully — and released <em>Perfect Strangers</em>, a major worldwide hit that went platinum in the U.S. The band reached back and dusted off its classic sound, spotlighting Gillan's ageless vocals and Blackmore's lightning-fast snake-charmer scales. The album spawned several radio hits and a tour that just kept on going — because people just couldn't taste enough of the band.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>02. Ozzy Osbourne — <em>Blizzard of Ozz</em> (1980)</strong> </p> <p><strong>The Set-Up:</strong> After two less-than-stellar releases from Black Sabbath — 1975's <em>Technical Ecstasy</em> and 1976's <em>Sabotage</em> — Ozzy Osbourne took a brief break from the band to work on a project he called "Blizzard of Ozz." At the request of the band, Ozzy dropped the project to return to the band for the recording of 1978's <em>Never Say Die!</em>, which brought tensions in the band to a new high. </p> <p>A myriad of drug problems and mounting tensions between Osbourne and Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi led to the group unanimously deciding to fire Ozzy. Within two years, the band had recorded <em>Heaven and Hell</em> with new vocalist Ronnie James Dio, which proved that the band could remain relevant without Osbourne. The question then became, could Ozzy pull himself out of the gutter and remain relevant as well? </p> <p><strong>The Comeback:</strong> It turns out all Ozzy needed was new management. Of course, not just any manager would do. It took then-girlfriend Sharon Arden (daughter of Sabbath manager Don Arden) to pull Ozzy out of his haze and set him to work on his "Blizzard of Ozz" project. With the help of bassist/lyricist Bos Daisley and a young guitar prodigy named Randy Rhoads, Ozzy finally finished the album, <em>Blizzard of Ozz</em>, which would re-ignite his career and eventually lead to his being one of the biggest personalities in rock and metal.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <hr /> <p><strong>01. AC/DC — <em>Back in Black</em> (1980)</strong> </p> <p><strong>The Set-Up:</strong> In late 1979, AC/DC unleashed <em>Highway to Hell</em> on the world. While not a departure in sound from their previous albums, the production efforts and arrangement contributions of producer Mutt Lange, alongside the wry lyricism of lead singer Bon Scott and always-fiery guitar efforts of Angus Young, made <em>Highway to Hell</em> the band's most commercial success to date. Less than six months later, Scott was found dead in the back of a car, having choked to death on his own vomit. </p> <p><strong>The Comeback:</strong> Whether or not to continue the band without their charismatic frontman wasn't an easy choice for the remaining members of AC/DC, but after much soul-searching, the band recruited former Geordie singer Brian Johnson to try and fill the void left by Scott's death. </p> <p>Johnson had his own troubles after joining the band, struggling to pen lyrics he felt were up to the lofty standards set by his predecessor. As fate would have it, a storm rolling in one night over the Bahamas, where the band had retreated to in order to write, inspired the opening lyrics to "Hells Bells," the opening track from the ultimate comeback album — not to mention the second-highest-selling album of all time — <em>Back In Black</em>. </p> <p><iframe width="620" height="360" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p> </p> <p><strong>Next: Honorable Mentions</strong></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Honorable Mentions</strong> </p> <p>Iron Maiden – <em>Brave New World</em> </p> <p>Eric Clapton – <em>461 Ocean Boulevard</em> </p> <p>Avenged Sevenfold - <em>Nightmare</em> </p> <p>Alice in Chains – <em>Black Gives Way To Blue</em> </p> <p>Van Halen – <em>5150</em> </p> <p>Red Hot Chili Peppers – <em>Californication</em> </p> <p>Celtic Frost - <em>Monotheist</em> </p> <p>Heaven &amp; Hell - <em>The Devil You Know</em> </p> <p>Judas Priest - <em>Painkiller</em> </p> <object width="620" height="360"><param name="movie" value=";hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="620" height="360" src=";hl=en_US&amp;rel=0" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object><p> </p> <p><strong>Next: The Top 10 Worst Comeback Albums of All Time</strong></p> <hr /> <p><strong>Top 10 Worst Comeback Albums</strong></p> <p>01. Guns N' Roses - <em>Chinese Democracy</em> </p> <p>02. Iron Maiden - <em>The X Factor</em> </p> <p>03. Kiss - <em>Psycho Circus</em> </p> <p>04. Queen + Paul Rodgers - <em>The Cosmos Rocks</em> </p> <p>05. Aerosmith - <em>Done With Mirrors</em> </p> <p>06. Tony Iommi - <em>Seventh Star</em> </p> <p>07. Motley Crue - <em>Motley Crue</em> </p> <p>08. Poison - <em>Hollyweird</em> </p> <p>09. Ozzy Osbourne - <em>Down to Earth</em> </p> <p>10. Judas Priest - <em>Angel of Retribution</em></p> ACDC Aerosmith Allman Brothers Band Black Sabbath Dave Grohl Deep Purple Foo Fighters John Lennon Johnny Cash Metallica Ozzy Osbourne U2 Guitar World Lists News Features Fri, 11 Oct 2013 15:25:29 +0000 Damian Fanelli, Josh Hart Greatest Rock Singers of All Time Readers Poll, Round 1: Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) Vs. Bon Scott (AC/DC) <!--paging_filter--><p>Why should guitarists have all the fun?</p> <p> recently launched a new readers poll in partnership with <a href="">Samson</a>: the Greatest Rock Singers of All Time Readers Poll.</p> <p>We're certain that, even though our core readership is mainly made up of guitarists from different genres, locations and age groups, you — like us — have strong opinions about the skills (or lack thereof) of some of rock's most legendary singers.</p> <p>And although we had hundreds of rock singers to choose from, we decided to narrow things down to a mere 16 names, all of which were carefully chosen by <em>Guitar World</em>'s editorial staff. We took great care in choosing what's essentially a Sweet 16 starting point. Rock singers from every decade, starting with the 1960s, are represented, as are several rock sub-genres.</p> <p>Here are our 16 rock singers in alphabetical order:</p> <p><strong>Phil Anselmo, Randy Blythe, Kurt Cobain, Chris Cornell, Bruce Dickinson, Ronnie James Dio, Rob Halford, James Hetfield, Mick Jagger, Maynard James Keenan, Freddie Mercury, Jim Morrison, Ozzy Osbourne, Robert Plant, Axl Rose</strong> and <strong>Bon Scott.</strong></p> <p>From there, we drew singers' names out of a hat (It was, in fact, a Black Sabbath baseball cap) to help us create our opening 16-singer bracket, which is available for your viewing pleasure below. Obviously, none of these of singers are ranked or coming from a previously compiled list, so we chose purely random matchups to have as little impact as possible on the final outcome. We're actually pretty pleased with the way the bracket turned out.</p> <p>Remember that, as with any poll, sub-genre might occasionally clash against sub-genre, so you'll just need to decide which singer has or had the most to offer within his genre and time period, which one has or had more natural talent or technical skill, which one had the biggest influence on other singers or rock in general — maybe which one was simply the stronger frontman.</p> <p>Let's get started! As always, you can vote only once per matchup (once per device, that is), and we'll post two matchups per week, continuing with today's shootout, <strong>Robert Plant</strong> of Led Zeppelin against <strong>Bon Scott</strong> of AC/DC. </p> <p><span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">Latest Results</span></p> <p><strong>Winner:</strong> Bruce Dickinson (59.14 percent)<br /> <strong>Loser:</strong> Rob Halford (40.86 percent)</p> <p><span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;">Today's Samson Greatest Rock Singers Round 1 Matchup (2 of 8)</span><br /> <span style="font-size:18px;font-weight:bold;"><em>Robert Plant Vs. Bon Scott</em></span></p> <p><img src="/files/imce-images/Screen%20Shot%202013-09-25%20at%201.02.33%20PM.png" width="125" height="182" align="left" style="padding:10px 20px 10px 0;" alt="Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 1.02.33 PM.png" /><strong>ROBERT PLANT</strong></p> <p><strong>Born:</strong> August 20, 1948, West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England<br /> <strong>Associated Acts</strong>: Led Zeppelin, Band of Joy, The Honeydrippers, Page and Plant<br /> <strong>Website:</strong> <a href=""></a><br /> <strong>Quote:</strong> "I don't know how much more expressive you can get than being a rock and roll singer."</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="400" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p><br /><br /> <img src="/files/imce-images/bon.png" width="125" height="189" align="left" style="padding:10px 20px 10px 0;" alt="bon.png" /><strong>BON SCOTT</strong></p> <p><strong>Born:</strong> July 9, 1946, Forfar, Angus, Scotland<br /> <strong>Died:</strong> February 19, 1980, East Dulwich, London, England<br /> <strong>Associated Acts</strong>: AC/DC<br /> <strong>Website:</strong> <a href=""></a><br /> <strong>Quote:</strong> "All the songs we do are basically about one of three things: booze, sex or rock and roll."</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="400" src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <h1>Voting Closed!</h1> <p><strong>Winner:</strong> Robert Plant (71.84 percent)<br /> <strong>Loser:</strong> Bon Scott (28.16 percent)</p> <p><strong><a href="">Thanks for voting! Check out our current matchup (and every matchup that has taken place so far) right HERE.</a></strong></p> <h1>The Bracket</h1> <p>Check out the latest version of the 16-singer bracket below. We'll update it after each Samson Greatest Rock Singer of All Time matchup.</p> <p style=" margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;"> <a title="View Guitar World Greatest Rock Singers Bracket, September 26, 2013 on Scribd" href="" style="text-decoration: underline;" >Guitar World Greatest Rock Singers Bracket, September 26, 2013</a></p> <p><iframe class="scribd_iframe_embed" src="//;view_mode=scroll&amp;show_recommendations=true" data-auto-height="false" data-aspect-ratio="undefined" scrolling="no" id="doc_86387" width="100%" height="425" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/robert-plant">Robert Plant</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/acdc">AC/DC</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/led-zeppelin">Led Zeppelin</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> ACDC Bon Scott Greatest Rock Singers of All Time Led Zeppelin Poll Polls Robert Plant News Features Thu, 26 Sep 2013 08:39:05 +0000 Guitar World Staff AC/DC Release Entire Catalog on iTunes <!--paging_filter--><p>AC/DC, one of the last big holdouts in terms of making their music available on iTunes, have finally relented.</p> <p>Starting today, the Australian hard-rock band's entire catalog is now available digitally, exclusively on iTunes.</p> <p>The news was announced this morning on <a href="">the band's official website</a>: </p> <p>"From their 1976 debut <em>High Voltage</em> to seminal classic <em>Back In Black</em> and 2008 smash hit <em>Black Ice</em>, every one of AC/DC's 16 studio albums, along with four live albums and three compilation albums, are available for the first time ever on the iTunes Store. All tracks are mastered for iTunes, and fans have the ability to download full albums or simply purchase their favorite individual songs. </p> <p>"Fans can also choose from two specially packaged digital compilations: <em>The Complete Collection</em>, the complete iTunes-exclusive AC/DC catalog; and <em>The Collection</em>, which includes all 16 studio albums."</p> <p>It's not clear what prompted AC/DC to change their minds, but they're not the only act to relent: Kid Rock also recently lifted his boycott of the digital service with his new album, <em>Rebel Soul</em>. Other big-name holdouts include Garth Brooks and Tool. </p> <p>For more information, check out the band's landing page at iTunes, <a href="">right here</a>.</p> <p><iframe width="620" height="465" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/acdc">AC/DC</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> AC/DC ACDC Angus Young iTunes Malcolm Young News Mon, 19 Nov 2012 17:27:51 +0000 Damian Fanelli AC/DC's Angus Young Tops Australian Poll for Best Aussie Guitarist <!--paging_filter--><p>Eternal schoolboy Angus Young is still at the head of the class.</p> <p>Readers of <em>Australian Guitar Magazine</em> recently named the AC/DC axeman the best Australian guitarist of all time.</p> <p>The poll, which the <a href="">Sydney Morning Herald</a> calls "a highly scientific survey of Australia's musical terrain," was put together by three Australian guitar-playing music writers, including <a href="">frequent contributor Peter Hodgson</a>. </p> <p>The report says they troubled themselves less with the guitarists' origins (Young was born in Scotland, for instance), genre and gender (only two women made the original list of 50 players) than with what sounds awesome.</p> <p><strong>Here are the top-10 vote-getters:</strong></p> <p>01. Angus Young<br /> 02. Tommy Emmanuel<br /> 03. Ian Moss of Cold Chisel<br /> 04. Chris Cheney of The Living End<br /> 05. Rick Brewster of The Angels<br /> 06. Slava Grigoryan<br /> 07. Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman, The Visitors)<br /> 08. Jim Moginie of Midnight Oil<br /> 09. Lobby Loyde (Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs)<br /> 10. Ross Hannaford of Daddy Cool.</p> <p>A bit closer to home, Young recently beat out Ace Frehley in a Round 1 matchup in's ongoing Greatest Guitarist of All Time poll. In today's blues-themed Round 1 bout, Albert King squares off with B.B. King. <a href="">Vote here!</a></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/acdc">AC/DC</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> ACDC Angus Young Midnight Oil Peter Hodgson News Wed, 16 May 2012 15:33:09 +0000 Damian Fanelli Interview: Former AC/DC Bassist Mark Evans Talks About His New Book, 'Dirty Deeds: My Life Inside/Outside of AC/DC' <!--paging_filter--><p>"It's a long way to the top if you wanna rock 'n' roll." Truer words have not been spoken.</p> <p>And no one knows the value of those words better than Mark Evans. From the time he joined AC/DC at age 19 right up until today, Evans has seen the highs and lows the rock 'n' roll lifestyle has to offer.</p> <p>In his new book, <em>Dirty Deeds: My Life Inside/Outside of AC/DC</em>, Evans details his upbringing and how he came to join a little bar band in Australia that would eventually blossom into an international tour de force. Along the way, he paints a picture of the Young brothers and Bon Scott that few, if any, who weren't in a band with them would have been able to do. </p> <p>After spending three years touring and recording with one of rock's all-time great bands, Evans was unceremoniously dismissed in 1977 while the band was on a break in London. The split proved difficult but also rejuvenating for Evans, who would later go on to play with Finch, Swanee, Cheetah, Heaven and the Party Boys. Today, Evans enjoys a passion for collecting and dealing in vintage instruments and performs alongside singer Dave Tice in an acoustic blues duo.</p> <p>I recently had the chance to catch up with Evans to talk about the timing of his new book, his time in AC/DC and why the Telecaster hasn't changed much since the 1950s.</p> <div style="width:250px;float:left;padding:10px 20px 10px 0px;"><img src="" width="250" /></div> <p><strong>What made you decide that now is the right time to get your story out there?</strong></p> <p>Well, the motivation behind it, basically, was all the punters and supporters coming to gigs and asking me, "What was it like being on the road with AC/DC?" and "What was Bon Scott like?" </p> <p>It's my way of paying the punters for all the support over the years. I decided to put some stories down, and it just grew from a book that was just about my time with the guys into a complete memoir, a complete autobiography. It just came along at a time when I really wanted to immerse myself in something, so the timing was right. The way book turned out, I'm very, very happy with it.</p> <p><strong>It's definitely been one of my favorite reads this year.</strong></p> <p>So you've read the full thing?</p> <p><strong>Yes.</strong></p> <p>Oh, good! Then you know it came along at a time when I had a real need to immerse myself in something. It was a great opportunity to sit back and take stock of what's happened so far and look forward to what's going to happen next.</p> <p><strong>What were your first impressions of the Young brothers?</strong></p> <p>Riveted. From the get-go, standing in the hallway seeing AC/DC in Melbourne, I knew from playing the first 12 bars of the first song, a song called "Soul Stripper" from the Australian version of <em>High Voltage</em> -- it was just the biggest lightbulb going off in my head -- I just knew that's where I was supposed to be.</p> <p>As far as a two-guitar-player setup goes -- and I'm biased, of course -- I don't think there's two guitar players that mesh as well as those two. They're something else. Great players, man. Malcolm's credibility is unquestionable because of his rhythm playing, but I don't think he gets enough recognition for his guitar playing. He's an amazing guitar player.</p> <p><strong>I've read a couple of interviews where Angus said the Malcolm was actually the better lead player and that he just wanted to play rhythm because being a lead guitarist interfered with his drinking.</strong></p> <p>[laughs] Yeah, that's a great one! Both of them, though, great guitar players.</p> <p><strong>With guitar being so up-front in AC/DC, how did you approach finding your place in the sound of the band as the bass player?</strong></p> <p>The strategy was very easy, just nail the grooves down. Play it straight, you know? When you're playing in a band like that, and you've got Phil Rudd on the drums and Malcolm playing rhythm, if you can't play bass for those guys, then you're on the wrong career path! You're flying first class with those guys. </p> <p>My first conversation with the guys, Malcolm asked me what my thoughts were on bass playing, and I said that I just wanted to tie it down. I pointed to my favorite bass player at the time, a guy named Gerry McAvoy, who was Rory Gallagher's bass player. He just played it straight, you know? And that definitely struck a chord with Malcolm, so to speak.</p> <p><strong>I always thought you and Phil were one of the more underrated rhythm sections in rock simply because neither of you overplayed. Phil was a drummer who knew he didn't have to hit a crash on every downbeat.</strong></p> <p>It's interesting you say that, because I've seen AC/DC play a number of times on different tours when Phil wasn't in the band and I don't think people realize how important Phil is to the band. I'm probably the worst person to comment on this, because when I hear AC/DC in my head it's always Phil playing. All respect to Simon [Wright] and Chris [Slade], but it sounded like a different band to me. Phil's the heartbeat of that band, along with Malcolm, of course. In my mind he's an indispensable part of AC/DC, no question about it.</p> <p><strong>Malcolm had been playing bass in the band prior to you joining. Was there ever any added pressure when auditioning for him considering he was the guy you'd be replacing?</strong></p> <p>No, not at all. Malcolm's rhythm playing is so intrinsic to the sound of the band. He was just looking from playing bass, and the style of bass playing the band were after was not necessarily the way that Malcolm would play bass. Malcolm is probably like George Young, his brother; when they play bass, they're both great bass players, but they tend to be a bit more notey, a bit more busy than what the job called for. </p> <p>When I saw the four-piece AC/DC with Malcolm on bass, they were phenomenal. Malcolm's bass playing was probably kind of similar to Andy Fraser's. Killer bass player. I don't think I've ever seen Malcolm attempt something that he couldn't master quite quickly.</p> <p><strong>What do you remember about the recording process in those days? In the book, you talk about some albums being done in as little as two weeks.</strong></p> <p>Yeah, pretty much! The three studio albums I did with the guys -- the Australian <em>T.N.T.</em>, which eventually became part of <em>High Voltage</em>, <em>Dirty Deeds</em> and <em>Let There Be Rock</em> -- were all recorded in a two-week period. </p> <p>The first week would be set aside for putting the backing tracks together -- which would include writing them, I might add. We never did demo recordings; we never had the time because we were constantly on the road in those days. The backing tracks were recorded all in a week and written in the studio. George would get together with Malcolm and Angus and they would knock the structures of the songs together. We would sit down and groove 'em out and get the backing tracks recorded that first week, and then after that it would go straight over to Bon, who would start fitting up words for it.</p> <p>It's incredible, but those three albums were recorded in a two-week period. We'd record and then leave it with George and Harry [Vanda, producer] to mix it. It's amazing to think in those three years, we recorded basically three albums in a six-week period. It's pretty mind-numbing when you look at how albums are recorded today. But it was because of time; that was the maximum amount of time we could attribute to recording. I remember talking to the guys and for the Australian version of <em>High Voltage</em>, they would have to go into the studio after gigs at like midnight to record the album. There's nothing wrong with the band's work ethic. They've never been scared of working hard, let me tell you!</p> <p><strong>AC/DC have always had the feel of a working-class band.</strong></p> <p>I think there's an honesty to the band, too. I think people going to gigs can smell "real" about a band, and they can smell when they're getting bullshitted by bands, too.</p> <p><strong>It's a good thing you had that realness factor; if there had been any bullshit, the last thing a rowdy audience would have stood for is a guy on stage in a schoolboy uniform!</strong></p> <p>[laughs] It wasn't always a bowl of strawberries for us. When that schoolboy thing started, there was a lot of eyebrows raised. But you know right at the start, the schoolboy persona is the one that won over, but there there was a number of personas that Angus had. He was Zorro for a while, then he was Super Angus with a big "A" and a cape and he used to come out of a telephone box. He had a gorilla suit, he was a fireman for a while with a fireman's hat -- there was a whole bunch of personas, but the one that actually stayed and made sense was the schoolboy. Probably because of his size; he's a tiny little guy.</p> <p><strong>Getting back to the recording process a bit, how did songwriting happen? Were all the songs written on the road?</strong></p> <p>No, no, no. Angus and Malcolm may have come up with some ideas and lyric ideas along with Bon, but the songs were all written in the studio. Phil and myself wouldn't really have too much of an idea of what was going to be going on at all until we got into the studio. Angus and Malcolm might have had a guitar riff that they showed us at a soundcheck or something, but then they'd take it into the studio and George would get a hold of it and what would come out would probably be something very different anyway.</p> <p>Everything was written in the studio, that's the amazing part.</p> <p><strong>It is amazing given the bands now will take five years between studio albums, especially considering how fast you guys were working, how fast Zeppelin were working, how fast Sabbath were working.</strong></p> <p>I just finished reading Ozzy's autobiogrpahy, and the first Sabbath album, they went in and recorded that in an afternoon. It's bizarre how now you get a band in the studio for six months doing pre-production, demoing songs. I'd rather be at the dentist! [laughs]</p> <p><strong>One of my favorite parts of the book was when you talked about the band's tour of Scotland, how you could kind of relax and be tourists for a bit. I imagine there are some good stories of sight-seeing with AC/DC ... </strong></p> <p>When we first got to Glasgow, we went to a place a little bit out of Glasgow called Stirling Castle, and that's where Mary, Queen of Scots was made the Queen of Scotland in the 1500s. We had Angus and Malcolm going around giving us a lesson on Scots history -- and Scots history back in those days was pretty much England invading Scotland, then Scotland getting the crap beaten out of them and them turning around and beating the hell out of the English and sending them south again.</p> <p>It was just a great vibe watching Angus, Malcolm and Bon reconnecting. I think it's well documented that sometimes Angus and Malcolm aren't the most outgoing of guys. It was really cool getting to see them back in Scotland, because they hadn't been back to Scotland since they immigrated in the early '60s. It was really refreshing to see. </p> <p><strong>It was during an unplanned break between the European and American legs of a tour when the band was in London that you were let go from the band. Do you think if the break hadn't happened and the band had gone straight to America that you'd still be in the band?</strong></p> <p>Yeah, I think so. There was a whole bunch of tension around the band at that point with getting kicked off the Sabbath tour and having the <em>Dirty Deeds</em> album rejected by the American record labels. There was a lot of tension, and I'll stop short of saying I was the scapegoat for it, but I think if we had gone straight to the States, it would have been different.</p> <p>But I don't think it would have changed what happened in the long term. I think what happened would have happened anyway. The way I look at it is that if I was the right guy for the band, I'd still be there.</p> <p><strong>In many ways, your departure from the band might have been a blessing in disguise as you seemed to get closer with Bon after leaving. Can you share a good Bon story that didn't make it into the book?</strong></p> <p>Bon was just one of those guys who would constantly be able to surprise you. We used to work in Melbourne at this place called Icelands, which was a small ice hockey stadium where they'd have bands on after the games on Sunday night. Bon was always watching the hockey games and saying, "Oh that's a great game, I'd love to play that game." And we'd say, "Oh right, fine, sure." And then after a gig one night, he said, "I'm going to go get some skates." And I'm thinking, "This is gonna be good," because I thought he'd get on the ice and be like a giraffe on ice.</p> <p>So he comes back and Bon -- he wouldn't hide things from you, but he wouldn't tell you a lot about his past. So he's putting these skates on and everyone's going, "Oh man, he's gonna go on his ass." And then he just took off like a rocket! I've never seen anyone skate faster in my life, and he was doing twists and turns -- he would have gotten like a 9.9 from the Russian judges! [laughs]</p> <p><strong>Do you think if you had still been in the band when Bon passed away that you would have been in favor of continuing without him?</strong></p> <p>Man, I don't know. I don't have an answer to that question. When the guys got back to Sydney -- I can't comment on how they felt, but I would have questioned whether or not to continue. I'm so glad that they made the choice to continue, and I think the transition from Bon to Brian was handled really well. They just got on with the business of being AC/DC, which you would expect them to do, and I've got a lot of respect for how they handled it.</p> <p><strong>It was really surreal reading how you describe seeing AC/DC for the first time with Brian Johnson. What were your first impressions of him as a frontman?</strong></p> <p>I think he did a fantastic job. The first gig I saw with him was his first gig in Sydney, and I know as far as the punters go, they consider Sydney the home of the band. So for Brian to go in and to be received as well as he was, and just come across as part of a band, I don't think he could have hoped to be received any better. He was welcomed with open arms. He must have been pretty nervous before the gig, but I gotta tell you, once the band started, you wouldn't know it had been any other way than what it was.</p> <p><strong>So in recent years you've gotten pretty heavily into collecting vintage guitars and basses. What are some of the gems of your collection?</strong> </p> <p>I've got a few favorites: A '59 Gretsch 6120 in a cowboy case, which is a beautiful guitar. I've got a lot of Fender Precision basses, I'm terminally addicted to Precision basses and Gibson J-200s, because I do a lot of acoustic guitar playing. I'm a blues duo right now with a singer by the name of Dave Tice. I saw Elvis use a J-200 when I was a kid and I thought, "Well, that's the guitar for me." So I just use J-200's when I'm working with Dave.</p> <p>I have a very nice '52 Tele, which is an original '52 in beautiful condition. I've got a '63 Candy Apple Red Strat I really like. I just love guitars, and they tend to be nice, old vintage things. I've got a real passion for '50s and '60s Fenders. I've had some nice Les Pauls -- a '56 Les Paul Custom, which is a really beautiful guitar. I just love the color, those things are so black! [laughs]</p> <p><strong>It really is amazing when you think of those vintage guitars from the '50s -- the Les Pauls, Teles and Strats. How many other things that we still use today have barely changed their designs in more than half a century? You certainly can't say that about cars or appliances.</strong></p> <p>It's amazing Leo Fender engineered all those guitars without even being able to play guitar himself. They're sort of technology-proof. They work so purely. They're like a hammer; a hammer's always going to be a hammer, you know what I mean? </p> <p><em>Mark Evans' new book, </em>Dirty Deeds: My Life Inside/Outside of AC/DC<em>, is out this month via Bazillion Points.</em></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/acdc">AC/DC</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> AC/DC ACDC Angus Young Mark Evans Interviews Features Mon, 21 Nov 2011 11:38:40 +0000 Josh Hart Angus Young of AC/DC Discusses Guitar Riffs and Brown Gibson SG's in 1991 Guitar World Interview <!--paging_filter--><p><strong>Here's an interview with Angus Young of AC/DC from the February 1991 issue of <em>Guitar World</em> magazine.</strong> <a href="">To see all the Guitar World covers from 1991, click here.</a></p> <p>He wrenches solos from the neck of a battered Gibson SG with all the grace of a drunken dentist; his fingers practically trip over the frets. </p> <p>Hands like his are most often found on pork butchers, pinball players and wrist wrestlers. Yet Angus Young's hands have fashioned some of the most memorable guitar riffs in rock history, driving such classic scorchers as "Whole Lotta Rosie," "Highway To Hell" and "You Shook Me All Night Long." </p> <p>These signature licks not only defined AC/DC 's garage-power boogie, but laid to rest any notion that rock and roll requires anything more than three chords -- and a whole lotta volume -- to be hot, hot, hot.</p> <p>At the moment, Angus is relaxed. In fact he's sitting down. It's difficult to envision him doing anything but flailing at his guitar and duck walking like some hyper stepchild of Chuck Berry. </p> <p>Even his famous kneecaps-skinned and scarred from too many losing encounters with the dread Mr. Floor -- are covered by simple blue jeans; his trademark knickers are locked away. AC/DC's new album, <em>The Razor's Edge,</em> is rapidly climbing the charts, and Angus is all set to shred the countryside as he and the band prepare to embark on a world tour.</p> <p>The guitarist tells jokes, frequently grins his goofy, rubber-lipped grin, and speaks in torrents. But everyone knows he does his best talking with a guitar. And three chords.</p> <p><strong>GUITAR WORLD: It's quite an honor to be able to speak with the great Angus Young.</strong></p> <p>Oh, I wouldn't know about it being a great honor!</p> <p><strong>Well, I still have one of those <em>For Those About To Rock</em> cardboard promotional cannons. And all your albums.</strong></p> <p>Then it must be a great honor. [laughs]</p> <p><strong>Now that we got that out of the way, are you still using Marshalls?</strong></p> <p>Mainly. In the studio, my brother and I have always used a lot of Marshall amps. We like to keep it pretty basic. We just use a couple of cabinets each -- sometimes just one, if we think that's enough. We mainly go for 100-watt and 50-watt heads.</p> <p><strong>That's been your set-up for quite awhile now, hasn't it?</strong></p> <p>Yeah, well, we've always found that it works.</p> <p><strong>It used to be that all a guitar player needed was an amplifier and a volume knob.</strong></p> <p>Well that's it, you know? Have fingers, will play.</p> <p><strong>What do you think of all the high-tech guitar gadgetry on the market? It seems that a guitar player doesn't necessarily even have to know that much about playing to sound better than he actually is.</strong></p> <p><strong>If you notice, a lot of that equipment comes from Japan. And AC/DC has never been a band which likes to sound Japanese.</strong></p> <p><strong>Have you actually tried any of the new gear that's out there?</strong></p> <p>I've seen a lot of it over the years. I might pick up a drum machine or something. In general, though, I've always found equipment -- especially technical gear that comes from America -- to be better-sounding. Put it this way: I think that a lot of stuff that comes from your side of the world is always in plain English. [laughs] A lot of Japanese stuff, they have to sell you the manual. It's like reading <em>Wuthering Heights!</em></p> <p><strong>Do you do anything special in the studio, such as tilting your speaker cabinets or miking them in a certain way?</strong></p> <p>A lot of it has to do with the mike placement. I think that for any band, especially a guitar band like ourselves, it's always worth it to spend that bit of time with the mike -- rather than depending on the board. Or using any little gadgets that spring to mind. We always like to get the best, basic raw sound that we can. I think that if you spend a few days to get these sounds, in the end you'll save yourself a great deal of headaches. When you go through effects -- well , it's easy to put an effect on, but a lot harder to get it out.</p> <p><strong>What steps do you take to prepare your solos in the studio? It sounds like you just plug in …</strong></p> <p>... and let 'em rip! I only know one solo [laughs], and I made a career of it!</p> <p><strong>Many young guitar players aspire to be "Guitar Stars" these days -- they go for technique, above all.</strong></p> <p>There 's always going to be a lot of that. But I really don 't look at these new guitar players. I can be a flash when I want to. But, as I always used to say, I can practice at home; here, I'm playing before the public. I bet half the audience wouldn't even know it if a guitarist is thinking, I’ll play this lick. Oh, I messed it up. I'll play it again." [laughs]</p> <hr /> So how do you keep coming up with those great riffs? <p>I've got great ears.</p> <p><strong>You are responsible for some of rock's greatest <em>guitar</em> riffs ...</strong></p> <p>With guitar riffs, we always look for something that 's a little bit special. We've always found that it is harder to come up with something that's nice and simple without getting something that's hard but easy. And a lot of it has to do with rhythm. We tend to go for, if we can, a bit more blues, a more rhythmic thing. Our riffs transport you. We don't know where, though.</p> <p><strong>What's your favorite key to write or solo in?</strong></p> <p>It 's usually the first one that I can get my fingers on. I don't mind doing things in "A" or "E" -- maybe the occasional "B" isn't bad. Some guitars, like the [Gibson] SG, seem to be built for "B." I don 't know why that is.</p> <p><strong>I've never seen you play anything but an SG.</strong></p> <p>They're light, easy; you don't have to think about them.</p> <p><strong>Have you ever played anything else?</strong></p> <p>I tried a Les Paul when I was a lot younger. I tried the Les Paul and because of the weight of the thing it nearly dislocated my hip. I've always found with SG's that if you are a short guy -- about five foot two [laughs] -- you can get your hands around them.</p> <p><strong>Have you ever tried any of the newer guitars?</strong></p> <p>Motor cars! [laughs] That's what they look like to me. They've got these wild designs and colors. Whatever happened to the plain colors like black and brown? None of this Art-Deco shit, you know? I bet these new guitars come from east Africa.</p> <p><strong>You've probably been responsible for selling more SG's than just about anyone in the world.</strong></p> <p>Yeah, well I have been thinking about opening a store, a brown SG shop. We've got every color you want -- as long as it’s brown!</p> <p><strong>What are three components that the typical AC/DC song must have?</strong></p> <p>It's got to have a good rhythm. It's gotta rock. That's the first requirement. I also like the songs to be, for my own preference, uptempo. If the song's slower, perhaps a bit moody, it has to have something extra. And we like it to be a <em>song</em> -- not just a collection of riffs. I think it has to flow and be very natural. Most songs these days seem like excuses to put a riff around. In songs written by the lead guitarist -- the <em>loud</em> guitarist, I call him -- the poor singer's got to sing in-between this guy 's chops. It makes it kind of tough on some of those guys if you only leave the bar in the end. [laughs]</p> <p><strong>What do you consider to be your best solo on The Razor 's Edge?</strong></p> <p>It's probably the title song; I think it 's got a little different sort of punch. I tried my hand at finger-picking in little spots here and there. I like that one very much.</p> <p><strong>I've never seen you do any tapping.</strong></p> <p><strong>You mean tapping with the feet? [laughs] Or something on the head? Seriously: no, I don't do that. There's enough people out there already doing it. So I figure, hey, while they're doing that, I'll do this. There's no competition.</strong></p> <p><strong>How about your best solo, overall?</strong></p> <p>The album on which we got to do the most guitar stuff was probably <em>Let There Be Rock</em>. Throughout that album, there are many guitar solos and many breaks. I really like some of them very much. The song "Let There Be Rock" was unusual for me. I remember my brother, George, saying in the studio, "C'mon Ang, let's get something different here." And every day, he <em>would</em> come in with something different. I had great deal of fun on that whole album. On the last track, I remember the amp blowing up at the end. I said, "Hey, the speakers are going!" You could see it in the studio, there was all this smoke and sparks, and the valves were glowing. He kept yelling at me, "Keep playing, keep playing!" [laughs]</p> <p><strong>Your albums all sound like that, though -- like you played in a great big garage, cranking it up and jamming.</strong></p> <p>Yeah, well that's what we do the best. We don't like a big studio production. We always like to capture that raw energy.</p> <p><strong>Did you have any fun experimenting during the recording of this album?</strong></p> <p>I think "fun" is getting us all to start at the same time! [laughs] You always have a bit of the 'ol fool-around now and again. I think the funniest song on this album is "Mistress For Christmas." That song's about Donald Trump. He was big news at the time, so we thought we'd have a bit of fun and humor with it.</p> <p><strong>You've referred to the importance of rhythm in your songs. Your new drummer, Chris Slade, really locks in on the AC/DC groove. That must make things easier for you.</strong></p> <p>That's right. He's not carrying a lot of extra weight. If he had hair, it might weigh him down a bit. He does bang 'em away. And he looks menacing, too. I don't know if you've seen the video for "Thunderstruck." You can see my leg shakin'! [laughs]</p> <p><strong>You enjoyed yourself on that video.</strong></p> <p>Those cages that you see in the video weren't there to keep the audience away from the band, but to keep the band away from the audience. [laughs] We had to come in before they shot the video, which we found to be a bit strange. They said, "We got to set the cameras so we know where you're going, Mr. Young." I actually had to bring along a tour guide to show them.</p> <p><strong>Your video is refreshing to watch because it 's pure AC/DC.</strong></p> <p>Right, there's not a miniskirt in sight! One thing I have noticed about videos you see on TV nowadays: you can't tell the difference between them and the commercials.</p> <p><strong>As much fun as you seem to be having in the studio and with video making, it had been quite awhile since you last went in to record.</strong></p> <p>That's true. When we made our last album, <em>Blow Up Your Video</em>, we were on tour all through '88. Roughly, we had maybe four weeks off in the whole year. That was in-between countries. That's usually what happens with AC/DC; you make an album and then you 're on the road flatout. And the only time you ever get near a studio is generally after you've done a year of touring.</p> <p><strong>Seems like it's been almost three years.</strong></p> <p>Which is not bad. I mean, look at the Rolling Stones. I think it 's good that they can still get out there and hammer it out.</p> <p><strong>I saw the Stones last year. Keith Richard still plays out of tune.</strong></p> <p>[nodding] The only way to fly.</p> <p><strong>Much of your new material sounds like it could have come from the <em>Back In Black</em> or <em>For Those About To Rock</em> period. The song "Thunderstruck" even reminds me a bit of "Who Made Who."</strong></p> <p>With AC/DC, we've always started with rock, and we've just kept it going. The critic's view is always , "They just made an album and it's the same as the last one." I'll have fifteen of them, anytime.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/acdc">AC/DC</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> AC/DC ACDC Angus Young GW Archive Interviews Features Fri, 14 Oct 2011 14:44:52 +0000 Jeff Gilbert Angus Young of AC/DC Opens Up in His First Guitar World Interview from 1984 <!--paging_filter--><p><strong>Here's our interview with Angus Young from the March 1984 issue of <em>Guitar World</em>. The original story by Steven Rosen ran with the headline "Angus Young: The Man in Short Pants is Long on Guitar Chops. But Don't Ask Him What Equipment He Uses," and the story started on page 28.</strong></p> <p><a href="">Click here to see the cover of the Angus Young issue -- and all the Guitar World covers from 1984.</a></p> <p>In an industry gone mad with detail, where every guitarist knows to the Nth degree not only the gauges of his strings but the alloys which made them up, where every player has a rack of pedals, gadgets and gizmos which would befuddle most any NASA representative, Angus Young stands apart as a guitar player who's uninterested and unamused. When referring to his variously dated Gibson SG's, Young calls them "This guitar" or "This thing." </p> <p>Rarely "This SG." He admits to not knowing the names of chords; and only upon joining AC/DC did he develop any sense whatsoever of chord names and descriptions.</p> <p>But for all his lack of technical knowledge, Angus Young is one of the rare players who has been able to propel the normally monolithic properties of hard rock out the window and replace them with intriguing overlays of rhythmic<br /> instruments.</p> <p>Young, feverish and manic performer, embodies a raucous guitar style which has made him and his AC/DC band the<br /> dirty darlings of Australia and catapulted the quintet into international status. Angus combines rapid lead phrases with chunk rhythms (the main tempo is created by brother Malcolm on rhythm guitar) and an outlandish yet forceful stage persona has elevated Angus' name to the upper echelons of rock players.</p> <p>Off stage, however, he is somewhat more subdued, sipping hot tea, forever joking and continually moving various<br /> parts of his anatomy including head, hands and feet (not to mention the constant rolling of eyes).</p> <p>What is not constant, though, is the approach and direction of AC/DC's music. Granted, the Australian quintet could<br /> hardly be labelled middle-of-the-road or pop rock (they would be more than likely to extract the labeller's teeth with a pair of needlenose pliers if such an even occurred) but to brand them strictly as mutant heavy metal is a false appraisal. </p> <p>Young, who began playing at age five on a banjo restrung with six strings, has an actual disdain for most power rock ensembles. The interplay between Angus and elder brother Malcolm (whom the younger Young cites as a far more accomplished player than himself) is the prime reason for taking AC/DC more seriously than the deluge of other monster rock bands. The thinking man's heavy metal group? Hardly.</p> <p>But certainly they inject more in their music than might be heard in one listening. </p> <p>"We try to do everything with a fresh approach," offers Young. "We try and get an idea of what we basically want from the album. We don't like to leave people dry or have them say, 'These guys have left us and gone off to something else.' That self-indulgent thing. So we try and keep it basic. A lot of people say we work a formula, but we don't. We try a fresh approach all the time.</p> <p>"I saw Deep Purple live once and I paid money for it and I thought, 'Geez, this is ridiculous.' You just see through all that sort of stuff. I never liked those Deep Purples or those sort of things. I always hated it. I always thought it was a poor man's Led Zeppelin."</p> <p>Tracks like "Back in Black" and "You Shook Me All Night Long" (Both from <em>Back In Black</em>) and virtually all of <em>Flick of the Switch</em> (their newest) are strong examples of this weaving of guitar parts and textures. Angus, who received his first real electric guitar (a Hofner) when sibling Malcolm acquired a Gretsch, is at odds in explaining how these guitar parts are created.</p> <p>"He'll get something and I'll play along," claims the guitarist whose only lessons were in the form of watching his brother play. "It's a natural thing. I suppose it's just something we do well together. He seems to have a great command of rhythm and he likes doing that. That to me is more important because if we're playing live and something goes wrong with my gear and my guitar drops out, you can still hear him and it's not empty. </p> <hr /> "He's probably got the best right hand in the world. I've never heard anyone do it like that. Even Keith Richards or any of those people. As soon as the other guitar drops out, it's empty. But with Malcolm it's so full. Besides Malcolm always said that playing lead interfered with his drinkin' and so he said I should do it." <p>A self-proclaimed "illiterate" on the instrument, Young never really took the guitar seriously until age fourteen, nearly ten years after he transformed that banjo into a make-shift guitar. At the time he received the Hofner he began a more serious evaluation of his stance and even managed to obtain a sixty-dollar amplifier which would turn the tubes blue when a push/pull treble pot was activated.</p> <p>"I remember one of the first gigs I played with that amp was at a local church. They wanted someone to fill in with the guitar and my friend say, 'Ah, he can play.' And so I dragged the amplifier down and started playing and everybody started yelling 'turn it down!'"</p> <p>Not to be undone, he continued playing and listening (mainly to old rock and roll records a la Chuck Berry) and in a twisted sort of fashion became adept at lead work prior to a command of rhythm. While he does nurture a pure distaste for the solo artist (he is a company man) and for that matter soloing itself, it was a technique acquired with little problem.</p> <p>"Soloing was pretty easy for me because it was probably the first thing I've ever done," discloses Young. "I just used to make up leads. I never even knew any names of chords until Malcolm told me and then I picked it up from there."</p> <p>Encouraged by improvements, Young outgrew the Hofner and bought a secondhand Gibson SG. Approximately a 1967 model, the instrument was played until just a few years ago when wood rot (due to excessive moisture from sweat) and neck warp forced him to look for a replacement.</p> <p>"It had a really thin neck almost like a custom neck," describes Young, whose pixie-sized hands would find such a neck to his liking. "I liked the SG's because they were light. I tried Fenders but they were too heavy and they just didn't have the balls. And I didn't want to put on them DiMarzios because then everyone sounds the same. It's like you're listening to the guy down the street. And I liked the hard sound of the Gibson."</p> <p>That particular instrument has been difficult for Young to replace. It had a remarkably thin neck (Gibson made 1-1/2-inch and 1-1/4-inch necks, and this was one of the latter) and after searching virtually every major guitar shop in the world has yet to find an equally playable instrument.</p> <p>He used this guitar from 1970 (when he bought it) until 1978 (he did replace the original pickups after one year of use with another set of Gibson humbuckers) when it was set aside for another SG he purchased at a pawn shop in New York. A Gibson reject due to flaws in the finish, it is similarly a circa-1967 model with that same thin neck featured on his original piece. It is the shape of the instrument as well which has attracted Young, the two horns allowing for easy access to the higher frets.</p> <p>"And you can do a lot of tricks on it, too," he chides. </p> <p>Just as he has been faithful to the Gibson SG, so has Young been a stalwart of the Marshall amplifier. Toying with other amps (Ampeg in particular) led him to the conclusion that the Marshall hundred-watt stack is "the best rock amp," and while his stage setup does vary, it is basically an arrangement of four stacks hooked in series via splitter boxes. The tone controls represent little more than gibberish to him -- performing with the English units for over a decade has directed him to rely upon certain settings. </p> <p>All four stacks are set virtually the same and read: volume at full; treble and bass at half; midrange at half; and presence at zero. If there is a lack of top end depending on the configuration of a hall, he will kick on the presence as compensation.</p> <hr /> "Just over the years and fooling around with them you find something that sounds right. I've found with Marshalls if you're using a fair bit of volume, you should put the bass and treble at half because they're working at that point." <p>Angus makes special visits to the Marshall factory outside of London to play through a series of amps before selecting the proper one(s). He says the units are then doctored to resemble the old-style amps which were very clean and had no master or preamp settings.</p> <p>Young's live sound is a blistering combination of awesome volume tempered with the cut of treble and made full by the wash of bass. The quartet of stacks is engaged more for the spread of sound than for the sheer loudness. Angus runs about the stage like some schoolboy on meth (His costume is the Little Lord Fauntleroy white frilled shirt and matching jacket and shorts) and he must be able to hear his guitar at any position on the stage.</p> <p>Except for the arena shows where it is mandatory for the PA to disperse the sound, AC/DC will dispense the music strictly through stage volume, thus assuring that what they hear is exactly what the audience is listening to.</p> <p>"That way, it's your sound coming out," explains Young. "A lot of times you'll hear bands and it's a different sound coming out than what's on stage. Because you can clean it up through a PA and make it sound completely different than what they really sound like. We've always been wary of that and that's why we always tended to have a lot of amps on stage. And also it has a lot better feel to it especially when you're playing hard rock music."</p> <p>Angus' style is indeed a hard rock approach. He "bashes" his Gibson strings (gauges .009, .011, .016, .024, .032, and .042) with a Fender heavy pick, his crunching right hand technique originating from his early use of the barbed wire-like Black Diamond strings. Like train tracks, they required Young to develop a heavy right hand to derive any sound whatsoever from them. </p> <p>He does employ up/down strokes as well as the middle, ring and small fingers of his right hand to create a more stringy effect. On a given night, he has been known to use his teeth as substitute dental digits though seven of them are now false from when he failed to execute a Superman leap one evening on stage.</p> <p>It is a true test for Young to recall the types of picks and strings he uses. While he does know more than he owns up to, his description of himsef as a guitar "illiterate" is not far wrong. He learned to solo mainly from watching his elder brother Malcolm play and the idea of scales and figures is as foreign to him as American beer. Most of his solos are approached by "feel" and even his recorded work is for the most part live solos with little overdubbing.</p> <p>"I don't regard myself as a soloist. It's a color, I put it in for excitement. It's not great loss if a solo has to go. We've made songs without solos."</p> <p>Uncertain about scales and note names, he has never had difficulty in resisting the lure of the pedal. His sound is uncluttered and pure and one of the true milestones of rock guitar (Def Leppard owes more than a passing glance to Young's sound). Early on in his career he did fumble with a fuzzwah but found that his foot "kept going right through it." The only accoutrement engaged is a Schaeffer wireless system he obtained in 1977 and has been using ever since.</p> <p>"I found that pedals were too much to fool around with. You'd be halfway through a solo and the batteries would go dead and conk out. And if you tread on the lead going to the pedal, something would always go wrong. Or some crazy kid would pull the lead out just at the moment when you're about to do your big number on it."</p> <p>Similarly, Young hooks up no pedals in the studio though he does trade in the four Marshall stacks for an old style fifty-watt model. His guitar is basically flat, an approach used from the beginning, and even on the newest album (<em>Flick of the Switch</em>) he went for a very natural sound.</p> <p>His sound on <em>Flick of the Switch</em> embodies that cleanliness and yet there is an edge and atavistic grace rumbling from below. As on past records, the bulk of his solos are recorded with the track, owing to his lack of interest in working out overdubbed parts (he is more than capable of it but has an aversion to it) and his inability to see himself as a solo-playing musician.</p> <p>"We wanted this one as raw as possible. We wanted a natural, but big, sound for the guitars. We didn't want echoes and reverb going everywhere and noise eliminators and noise extractors. Getting the sound has always been the easiest part of the guitar. </p> <p>"Also, if you're playing it right, it's going to sound right somehow. I mean you gladly turn down if it's going to sound good. I mean it's not like, 'I have to have a wall of amps and a candelabra on top.' If you hit a chord and it's distorted, you clean it up. It's all what you hear. You fiddle around until you get a good sound. For me, I prefer the sound to be clean if I can get it clean. If you can get that natural distortion, fine, because I don't believe in boxes that sustain. And I don't believe in pushing the hell out of the amps because they become muddy and whooshy.</p> <p>"I tend to look at the music as a song; it sounds a bit funny talking about it as someplace to play a solo. My brother would beat me up. People tend to see me as a soloist. Poor people. You'd think they'd have something better to do. I mean there's a lot of comedy on TV worth watching. </p> <p>Yeah, people see that but I don't. I look at it as a band. I think Pete Townshend is rotten without Roger Daltrey and The Who.</p> <p>He's quite boring actually. Or the same with Zeppelin without John Bonham. To me it's not the same. I mean there are solo people who just do that sort of thing. I like it as a band, as a unit. You should hear me on my own. It's horrendous."</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/acdc">AC/DC</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> AC/DC ACDC Angus Young Interviews Features Tue, 23 Aug 2011 14:15:18 +0000 Steven Rosen AC/DC Biography <!--paging_filter--><p>More than three decades into a career that shows no signs of slowing down or letting up, AC/DC, like electricity itself, provides the world with an essential source of power and energy. Since forming in 1973, AC/DC's high voltage rock 'n' roll has flowed out into the world via consistently sold-out concert tours and global sales totaling more than 150 million albums and counting.</p> <p>Sony BMG Music Entertainment's #1 best-selling catalog act worldwide, AC/DC has sold nearly 70 million albums in the U.S. alone, making AC/DC one of the five top-selling bands in American music history. One of the group's best-loved works, the enormously successful and influential <em>Back In Black,</em> has achieved RIAA "Double Diamond" status, for sales in excess of 22 million copies in the United States, and is the U.S.'s fifth largest-selling album ever.</p> <p>But the roots of AC/DC lie back in Australia, and before that Glasgow, Scotland, where Angus and Malcolm Young, the musical core of the band (and still the most formidable guitar team in rock history), were born (in 1958 and 1953, respectively). In 1963, the Young family migrated to Sydney, Australia, where music would make its mark on the brothers. (As a member of the Easybeats, Angus and Malcolm's older sibling, George Young, was responsible for one of Australia's first international hits, "Friday On My Mind," in 1966. From 1974 through 2000, George and musical collaborator, Harry Vanda, produced a number of AC/DC albums including <em>High Voltage, T.N.T., Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Let There Be Rock, If You Want Blood You've Got It, Powerage, '74 Jailbreak, Who Made Who, Blow Up Your Video,</em> and <em>Stiff Upper Lip.</em>)</p> <p>Taking a cue and encouragement from their older brother's musical success, Angus and Malcolm Young formed their own rock 'n' roll combo and premiered their inimitable interlocking guitar sound on December 31, 1973 at a New Year's Eve gig at Sydney's Chequers Club.</p> <p>Calling their new rock band <em>AC/DC</em> (from the back of a sewing machine owned by their sister, Margaret), Angus and Malcolm moved from Sydney to Melbourne and began plowing through numerous line-ups searching for a solid rhythm section and a lead singer whose voice could match the manic assault of the Young brothers' guitars. The newly-christened AC/DC found its spiritual sparkplug in Bon Scott, a hard-living, hard-loving, hard-playing wild-eyed rabble-rousing singer who'd once "auditioned" for the band when he'd worked for them as a roadie and driver back in Sydney. With Bon Scott, another born Scotsman who'd relocated to Australia as a lad, in place as co-frontman to Angus' trademark raffish schoolboy-in-knickers, AC/DC was ready to electrify the world.</p> <p>Quickly signed by George Young to the Albert Records label in Australia, AC/DC kicked out its first Australian album releases, 1974's <em>High Voltage</em> (a somewhat different album from the US <em>High Voltage</em>) and 1975's <em>T.N.T.</em> With each album achieving silver, gold, and platinum status in Australia, AC/DC embarked on a regime of relentless touring that would become one of the most enduring hallmarks of the band's career.</p> <p>In 1976, having conquered their very first continent, AC/DC set off for Great Britain. When the band's no-holds-barred double-barrel rock 'n' roll landed them a residency at the prestigious Marquee Club, AC/DC promptly broke the venue's all-time house attendance record. AC/DC's days in clubland would not last much longer. Within a year, <em>Let There Be Rock,</em> the band's first simultaneous world release and first to use the unmistakable AC/DC logo—raised metallic Gothic lettering separated by Zeus's own lightning bolt—would catapult them into the stadium strata. AC/DC was ready to take on America.</p> <p>The summer of 1977 found AC/DC performing a dizzying crisscross of American gigs, ranging from clubs like the Palladium and CBGB in New York and the Whiskey in Los Angeles to sprawling venues like the Jacksonville Coliseum. By 1978, AC/DC was one of the hottest concert attractions in the world. For the group's next studio album, they teamed up with producer Mutt Lange to create the undeniable hard rock masterpiece, 1979's <em>Highway To Hell,</em> the first AC/DC album to break into the US Top 100 and the first to go gold in America. In November of that year, the band went to Paris to film the monumental <em>Let The Be Rock</em> concert film, a quintessential document of a golden moment in the band's rise to world fame.</p> <p>On February 19, 1980, with the band finding genuine success around the world, lead singer Bon Scott died in London at the age of 33. Reeling from the shock of the loss of their boisterous soulful lead singer, the surviving members of AC/DC decided there was only one way to pay proper tribute to Bon Scott: carry on and create the music he'd want them to make.</p> <p>The group found an incredibly simpatico new lead singer and frontman in Brian Johnson, a Newcastle native who'd sung in a band Bon Scott raved about called Geordie. Returning to the studio with Mutt Lange, AC/DC and the group's new vocalist created <em>Back In Black,</em> one of the best-selling albums, in any musical genre, of all-time. Powered by the title track and the anthemic "You Shook Me All Night Long," "Back In Black" hit #1 in the UK and #4 in the US, where it has gone on to achieve 22x platinum (double Diamond plus) status.</p> <p>AC/DC continued releasing best-selling albums through the 1980s and 1990s accompanied by strings of sold-out tours and major headlining concert and festival performances—including attendance-record-smashing concerts on the "Monsters of Rock," Castle Donington, "Rock In Rio," and 1991's "Rock Around The Bloc" festival at Tushino Airfield in Moscow, a free concert attended by close to one million fans.</p> <p>On September 15, 2000, AC/DC was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame and had their hands imprinted in the cement in front of the Guitar Center on Hollywood Boulevard.</p> <p>On March 10, 2003, AC/DC was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at a ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City. Aerosmith's Steve Tyler performed the induction, sang "You Shook Me All Night Long" with AC/DC during the ceremony and described the group's signature power chords and timelessly enduring rock 'n' roll as "...the thunder from Down Under that gives you the second-most-powerful surge that can flow through your body."</p> <p>AC/DC's most recent record, <em>Black Ice</em>, was released in October 2008 on Columbia Records.</p> <p>—Tim Holmes</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-additional-content"><legend>Additional Content</legend><div class="field field-type-nodereference field-field-related-artist"> <div class="field-label"><p><strong>Related Artist:</strong>&nbsp;<p></div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/acdc">AC/DC</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> AC/DC ACDC Angus Young Features Tue, 21 Jun 2011 15:52:56 +0000 Guitar World Staff Discography: Songs by AC/DC <!--paging_filter--><p>As AC/DC's official website says,</p> <p>"More than three decades into a career that shows no signs of slowing down or letting up, AC/DC, like electricity itself, provides the world with an essential source of power and energy. </p> <p>"Since forming in 1973, AC/DC's high voltage rock 'n' roll has flowed out into the world via consistently sold-out concert tours and global sales totaling more than 150 million albums and counting. Sony BMG Music Entertainment's #1 best-selling catalog act worldwide, AC/DC has sold nearly 70 million albums in the U.S. alone, making AC/DC one of the five top-selling bands in American music history.</p> <p>"One of the group's best-loved works, the enormously successful and influential "Back In Black," has achieved RIAA "Double Diamond" status, for sales in excess of 22 million copies in the United States, and is the U.S.'s fifth largest-selling album ever."</p> <p>But they have other albums, of course! Check out the photo gallery for an AC/DC discography.</p> AC/DC ACDC album covers discography songs Features Thu, 16 Jun 2011 19:39:18 +0000 Guitar World Staff