Reviews and Commentaries for the Music of AC/DC
- With plenty of punchy low end, the music comes to life on this pressing like you’ve never heard before
- Run-of-the-mill used copies have been running us a hundred bucks and up lately, thanks to the resurgence in interest in vinyl, with demand showing no sign of cooling off anytime soon
- “Arguably the Australian headbangers’ strongest album in over half a decade, The Razor’s Edge is quintessential AC/DC — rowdy, abrasive, unapologetically fun metal full of blistering power chords, memorable hooks, and testosterone-driven lyrics.”
This vintage ATCO 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 the Best Sides of The Razor’s Edge 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 even as late as 1990
- 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 The Razor’s Edge
- 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.
Fire Your Guns
The Razors Edge
Mistress For Christmas
Rock Your Heart Out
Are You Ready
Got You By The Balls
Shot Of Love
Lets Make It
Goodbye & Good Riddance To Bad Luck
If You Dare
Although AC/DC’s popularity had decreased by the early ’90s, the band still had a lot of life left in it. Arguably the Australian headbangers’ strongest album in over half a decade, The Razor’s Edge is quintessential AC/DC — rowdy, abrasive, unapologetically fun metal full of blistering power chords, memorable hooks, and testosterone-driven lyrics.
Lead singer Brian Johnson sounds more inspired than he had since 1983’s Flick of the Switch, and lead guitarist Angus Young isn’t about to take any prisoners on such hard-hitting material as “Shot of Love,” the menacing title song, and the appropriately titled “Got You By the Balls.” Although not quite in a class with Back in Black, Highway to Hell, or Let There Be Rock — all of which would, for novices, serve as fine introductions to the distinctive band — The Razor’s Edge was a welcome addition to AC/DC’s catalog.