AC/DC - Let There Be Rock
ATCO Records
Hard Rock
8 songs (40:49)
Release year: 1977
Reviewed by Phil
Archive review

Rock ‘n’ roll is, by its very definition, loud, ugly and dirty. And rock don’t get much louder, uglier and dirtier than classic AC/DC. In fact, in their heyday, this little rock band from Australia could aptly be described as the loudest, ugliest and dirtiest band on the planet. Brothers Angus and Malcolm Young brought the classic riffs and catchy songwriting while vocalist/baddest dude on the planet Bon Scott brought humor and attitude. Scott was a dirty talk genius and the clown prince of rock ‘n’ roll. When he showed up at an AC/DC gig, he wanted three things: he wanted to drink, he wanted to scream and he wanted to make women undress. His larger than life personality and pugnacious rock poetry make every single one of the band’s early albums required listening. AC/DC’s 1977 album, Let There Be Rock, found the band still a few years away from international stardom. Even so, the eight songs on the album include a trio of songs that have been staples in the band’s live set for over three decades.

Go Down is a decent AC/DC album opener based on a fifties rock riff and a barrel full of Scott’s patented double entendres. Even so, the repetitive chorus ends up holding the song back a bit. Dog Eat Dog is a slow-burn track full of pulsating drumming and Scott’s scratchy screams. The middle of the song also features an upbeat guitar solo with plenty of bite. Next up is all-time classic rock song Let There Be Rock. How can I possibly do this song justice? The stripped-down nature of the song highlights Scott’s history of rock lyrics and Angus’ amazing guitar leads/solos. While Phil Rudd, Mark Evans and Malcolm hold the time, Angus stages a complete blitzkrieg on the frets of his guitar. At this point, AC/DC had been a band less than five years. Yet, here young Angus is, destroying every guitarist in his sight with a flurry of nasty notes. It’s impossible to hear this song and not envision a sweaty, shirtless Angus snorting and stomping on an arena stage. Next up is Bad Boy Boogie. Scott grabs the reins and pushes his lyrics to the front for this song. I’m guessing this tale of a boy gone bad is made up mostly from Scott’s own history.

Problem Child continues the theme, and the song’s compact riff will have you tapping your toes in seconds. Scott’s vocal earnestness brings bombast and believability to the tune in spades, and the simple song satisfies on every level. Overdose is a slow and sultry number aimed directly at the female form. Scott croons about love gone wrong over a soulful, subdued riff. Then, Let There Be Rock closes with a pair of AC/DC classics. Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be features some of the finest lyrics Scott ever penned. A lady has turned the tables on Scott, and she is giving him all he can handle. While he hates it, it sounds like he enjoys it as well. Scott’s wry wit and sharp mind are on full display. Finally, Whole Lotta Rosie closes the album in style. The song’s opening riff crackles with electricity, and the lyrics will definitely keep you interested. Again, I’m assuming the song is somewhat autobiographical in nature. Scott sings about an…ahem…plump lady who has made all the right moves, regardless of her size. The humorous lyrics and Angus’ amazing guitar playing make this song mesmerizing. In my mind, it’s one of the top 15 hard rock songs ever recorded.

So, what else is really left to say? This album, like all Bon Scott era AC/DC releases, should be on every rock fan’s CD shelf/iPod. This falls a few points short of a CLASSIC designation, mainly because of the albums the band released before and after it. Regardless, it is definitely a masterpiece that more than cements AC/DC’s legendary reputation.

Killing Songs :
Whole Lotta Rosie, Let There Be Rock, Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be
Phil quoted 97 / 100
Other albums by AC/DC that we have reviewed:
AC/DC - Black Ice reviewed by Marty and quoted 80 / 100
AC/DC - Highway To Hell reviewed by Aleksie and quoted CLASSIC
AC/DC - Stiff Upper Lip reviewed by Danny and quoted 90 / 100
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