AC/DC – Let There Be Rock

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  • An outstanding copy with seriously good Double Plus (A++) sound – this is clearly the right sound for this guitar-fueled heavy rock
  • One of the better copies from our most recent shootout, the sound is big, full, lively and spacious with hard-rockin’ energy to spare
  • 4 1/2 stars: “… as lean and mean as the original lineup ever got… this is a high-voltage, brutal record, filled with “Bad Boy Boogie… It has a bit of a bluesier edge than other AC/DC records, but this is truly the sound of the band reaching its peak… it’s sweaty, dirty, nasty rock, music that is played to the last call and beyond, and they’ve rarely done that kind of rock better than they did here.”

This vintage pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.

What outstanding sides such as these have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1977
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

What We’re Listening For on Let There Be Rock

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
  • The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
  • Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
  • Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
  • Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Go Down
Dog Eat Dog
Let There Be Rock
Bad Boy Boogie

Side Two

Overdose
Crabsody In Blue
Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be
Whole Lotta Rosie

AMG 4 1/2 Star Review

Let There Be Rock, the fourth AC/DC album — and first to see simultaneous international release — is as lean and mean as the original lineup ever got. Shaved down to the bone — there are only eight tracks, giving this a lethal efficiency even with a couple of meandering jams — this is a high-voltage, brutal record, filled with “Bad Boy Boogie.”

It has a bit of a bluesier edge than other AC/DC records, but this is truly the sound of the band reaching its peak. There’s the near majesty of “Let There Be Rock,” there’s Bon Scott acknowledging with a wink that “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be,” and then there’s the monumental “Whole Lotta Rosie.” Which gets down to a key thing about AC/DC. If Led Zeppelin were celebrating a “Whole Lotta Love,” AC/DC got down to the grimy details in their leering tribute to the joys of sex with a plus-sized woman. And that’s AC/DC’s allure in a nutshell — it’s sweaty, dirty, nasty rock, music that is played to the last call and beyond, and they’ve rarely done that kind of rock better than they did here.

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