Released in Australia on February 17, 1975 (Albert) and internationally on April 30, 1976 (ATCO)
Chart Position #146
01. It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll)
02. Rock ‘N’ Roll Singer
03. The Jack
04. Live Wire
06. Can I Sit Next To You Girl
07. Little Lover
08. She’s Got Balls
09. High Voltage
Bon Scott – vocals
Angus Young – lead guitar
Malcolm Young – rhythm guitar
Mark Evans – bass
Phil Rudd – drums
Produced by Harry Vanda and George Young.
Released in 1976, AC/DC‘s first international album, High Voltage, was slammed by Rolling Stone magazine as an all-time low for hard rock music. Comprised of songs from the band’s first two Australian albums, it is quite clear to anyone who isn’t musically retarded that High Voltage was anything BUT a low point in hard rock — in fact it is one of AC/DC‘s finest and a classic within the genre.
The opening track, “It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll)”, features Bon Scott‘s now famous bagpipe solo — perhaps acknowledging his Scottish heritage. Billy Altman, the journalist who wrote the review in Rolling Stone, might have been offended by the lyrics to “Rock ‘N’ Roll Singer”, as he is exactly the type of mainstream maggot they are aimed at: “Well you can stick your nine to five livin’ and your collar and your tie; And stick your moral standards ’cause it’s all a dirty lie; You can stick your golden handshake and you can stick your silly rules; And all the other shit that they teach to kids in school (‘Cause I ain’t no fool).”
“The Jack” is a very cleverly written blues tune about the clap, which is disguised as an innocent game of cards while “Live Wire” has a high pitched guitar section that Motley Crue would later use in “Piece Of Your Action” — check it out. The rest of the album is tremendously fun to listen to, especially live staple “T.N.T.”, the band’s first ever single “Can I Sit Next To Your Girl” and “Little Lover”, although the latter is not as smutty as it seems — apparently it was written by Bon Scott about Angus Young, who alongside his brother Malcolm, provided riffs galore on this album.
High Voltage has stood the test of time, leaving just one more thing to say — screw you Rolling Stone magazine!
www.acdc.com – www.myspace.com/acdc
Reviewed by Dan O’Connor for Sleaze Roxx, February 2011