|By Charlie Goodrich||Friday, 19 Dec 2008|
AC/DC waned a little during the mid to late 80’s. But in 1990 they stormed back with their album, The Razors Edge. This is a near complete AC/DC album even if they don’t use an apostrophe. From start to finish you hear everything you’d expect to hear in an AC/DC album: sex, drinking, rock and roll, and Christmas (I’ll explain that last one). It rocks and if one album cemented their place with the best bands ever it was The Razors Edge because it bridged the gap between great albums and brought them into the 90’s with a roar. This album seems to be broken into two halves: the first six songs are more upbeat and catchy and the last six are slower and heavier.
“Thunderstruck” brings The Razors Edge to life and is the first hit song from this album. A classic riff drives the song forward until you hear the bass kick in with a chorus of “thunder”. What a way to begin an album! Brian Johnson then enters with screaming vocals that echo, “thunder” throughout your speakers and ears. Angus and Malcolm play beautifully in tune and create one of their best songs. And the cherry on the Sunday is how Chris Slade pounded three bass drums before the start of every chorus and then Angus exploded into a memorable solo. The follow up to “Thunderstruck” is “Fire Your Guns”. The energy found on “Thunderstruck” is certainly here but it lacks that killer riff and interplay between the Young brothers. It makes up for that fact by being fast and rhythmically strong. Next we have “Moneytalks” (yes, all one word). No apostrophes and making two words into one, it’s obvious Angus quit school when he was fifteen. Anyhoo, “Moneytalks” is probably the catchiest AC/DC song ever recorded as well as the other hit found on the album. It is a very simple song musically, but the chorus is an amazing hook.
Three songs in and it looks like a fantastic piece of work. We then get to the title track and things slow down a little. “The Razors Edge” has a heavy, menacing sound that takes you by surprise considering the fast pace of the first songs. There is a Black Sabbath quality to it that doesn’t fit the mold of this album. With that being said it is still a good track. It is also one of the few AC/DC songs that isn’t about sex, alcohol, or rock and roll. It speaks of a dark time where people are facing some kind of evil. From this doomsday song we reach “Mistress for Christmas”. A bluesy track, “Mistress for Christmas” is sure to get you in the mood for the holidays. It’s a fun, catchy song that will certainly ring your jingle bells. The catchiness continues with “Rock Your Little Heart Out”. The bass of Cliff Williams drives this song from start to finish.
Halfway through and we’re still going strong. “Are you Ready” starts off like “The Razors Edge” it’s slower and heavier than the rest of the album. However, it soon explodes into a raunchy, innuendo filled song that works with the rest of the album. “Got You By the Balls” does the same as “Are you Ready” but it slows things down even more and has a bland riff. I consider this one of the weaker tracks found on The Razors Edge. “Shot of Love” takes us more towards the front section of this album. It’s catchy and more upbeat than its surrounding songs. It works really well in this position because it breaks the slow pace. “Lets Make It” slides perfectly behind “Shot of Love”. It is more upbeat as well and is reminiscent of “Moneytalks”. “Lets Make It” is one song that you’ll be bopping your head to soon after the opening section. The Razors Edge concludes with “Goodbye & Good Riddance to Bad Luck” and “If You Dare”. Both return to heavier, slower style. There isn’t anything stand out about either but they are by no means weak.
This is probably the most complete album AC/DC released since Back In Black (Flick of the Switch being the other contender) and by far the most popular since then. If you are looking for a solid album that rocks throughout, you can’t go wrong with The Razors Edge. The fillers are to a minimum and you even get a Christmas carol.