- Once again the phenomenally talented Robert Ludwig gets the Rock and Roll Power from the tape onto the vinyl like no one else can
- For Those About To Rock has wall to wall sound and in-the-room presence like you will not believe
- “AC/DC are the real thing, perhaps the purest major practitioners of hot and snotty rock since Led Zeppelin lumbered off the boards. Other groups, from Van Halen to REO Speedwagon, may base their music on similar elements, but they inevitably emerge from the studio sounding cleaned up and rather too eager for AOR airplay. AC/DC, from the start, have always left the rough edges in. The rough edges are the point, much as they were part of the point of, say, Little Richard in the Fifties or the Rolling Stones in the mid-Sixties.” – Rolling Stone
- If you’re a fan of these hard-rockin’ Ausssies, this classic from 1981 belongs in your collection.
- The complete list of titles from 1981 that we’ve reviewed to date can be found here.
From the moment the title track began, we knew we were in for a real treat. The transparency and clarity are shocking — we heard texture on the guitars and room around the drums that simply weren’t to be found elsewhere, plus tons of echo and ambience. The vocals simply could not be any better — they’re breathy and full-bodied with loads of texture.
The bottom end is Right On The Money — big, beefy, and rock-solid.
You probably never thought you’d ever use an AC/DC LP as a Demo Disc, but this copy will have you reconsidering that notion — it’s ALIVE with Rock and Roll Power Chords like nothing you have ever heard.
This vintage Atlantic 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 this Hard Rockin’ Album 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 1981
- 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.
The Ultimate Riff Rock Band
For Riff Rock, you just can’t do much better than AC/DC. Musically the album has everything you’d want from this genre of heavy rock — a tight, punchy rhythm section; raging guitar riffs; and deliciously decadent lyrics screamed with abandon.
What took us by surprise was how amazing this music sounds on the right copy. You’ve probably heard these songs a million times, but we bet you haven’t heard them sound like this. This is the kind of record that you’ll want to keep turning up. The louder you play it, the better it gets — but only if you’ve got a pressing that rocks like this one.
What We’re Listening For on For Those About To 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.
Mint Minus Minus is about as quiet as any vintage pressing will play, and since only the right vintage pressings have any hope of sounding good on this album, that will most often be the playing condition of the copies we sell. (The copies that are even a bit noisier get listed on the site are seriously reduced prices or traded back in to the local record stores we shop at.)
Those of you looking for quiet vinyl will have to settle for the sound of other pressings and Heavy Vinyl reissues, purchased elsewhere of course as we have no interest in selling records that don’t have the vintage analog magic of these wonderful recordings.
If you want to make the trade-off between bad sound and quiet surfaces with whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing might be available, well, that’s certainly your prerogative, but we can’t imagine losing what’s good about this music — the size, the energy, the presence, the clarity, the weight — just to hear it with less background noise.
Dog Eat Dog
Let There Be Rock
Bad Boy Boogie
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.