|By Charlie Goodrich||Thursday, 21 Jun 2007|
Every legendary band has an album that propels them onto a new plateau of greatness. Deep Purple has Machine Head, Queen has A Night at the Opera, The Clash has London Calling, and The Who has Who’s Next. AC/DC’s career propelling album is Let There Be Rock. With this album AC/DC underwent a bit of a transformation. The songs are still blues driven, but this is the beginning of hard pounding, eardrum thrashing guitar riffs. The brothers Young turn out louder, faster, and rougher sounds then ever before. Additionally, the cover for this album is unique and stands out as one of the best album covers of all time. Showing the band playing a gig atop a rock with light breaking through the clouds and focusing on Angus while fans claw at the rock’s surface like the edge of a stage, is a powerful image. And aside from a few minor weak spots, Let There Be Rock is one hell of a rock and roll album.
Let There Be Rock is a riff extravaganza as well as a lyrical one. Angus and Malcolm play off one another beautifully and play at blistering speeds. “Let There be Rock” is considered the bands lyrical peak. Retelling the story of rock and roll by explaining how the white man had the schmaltz, the black man had the blues, and how they were combined to create rock. The instruments quiet as Bon tells the story of rock but erupt when he shouts, “let there be rock.” It creates a great atmosphere where one can focus on the lyrics and listen to the brief, but accurate, history of rock and roll.
“Whole Lotta Roise”, which tells the story about a fat, old whore that Bon slept with, is a high-energy blast. The lyrics are great and funny to listen too. And once the solo hits, you can picture Angus rolling around in the studio with his legs in the air, then returning to his feet when the pace slows, and finally begins storming about the place when the riff returns to its lightning speed. Many people know this song and it is an AC/DC classic, but the riff often goes over looked as one of the best written or performed.
The fast pace continues on “Problem Child.” This is a gritty and raw rock song that is a blast to listen to. It is another song that describes being an antsy kid. The riff is a sped up version of “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” and “T.N.T.”. Now many accuse AC/DC songs of all sounding the same and there are some cases where they do (one noted above), but “Problem Child” is so much faster that you have to really listen to notice a similarity. This is a spectacular song that goes unnoticed far too often. Speaking of similar riffs, “Dog Eat Dog” sounds kind of like Thin Lizzy’s “Jailbreak.” It doesn’t have the same stand out sound as Thin Lizzy but you can hear a similar sound. Also, “Dog Eat Dog” isn’t nearly as good as “Jailbreak.”
The final song worth mentioning (although all eight tracks are solid… well almost) is “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to be.” It has a fantastically heavy riff and it was the first song that got AC/DC in trouble with religious people. It wouldn’t be the last time they had a run in with Christianity, but it’s always fun reminiscing about the first time. The only blemish on Let There be Rock is “Overdose.” It slows down the album and feels out of place. Bon’s voice sounds distorted too. It sounds like his voice over a cello being played with a leather strap. It’s not the best but it has its upside. It’s slow because it is a blues song. It’s a good blues song it just shouldn’t be on this album.
If you enjoy fast, raw, and loud rock you should purchase Let There Be Rock. It is the rawest AC/DC album out there. The part that stands out the most is how every song begins with a “click” sound. As if someone turned on the power or scraped a fingernail against a guitar when they pick it up. So if you want to hear some relentless, reckless, and historic rock find yourself a copy of Let There Be Rock and enjoy.