Blow Up Your Video (1988)

1. Heatseeker 2. That's The Way I Want to Rock 'N' Roll 3. Mean Streak 4. Go Zone 5. Kissin' Dynamite 6. Nick of Time 7. Some Sin For Nothing 8. Rough Stuff 9. Two's Up 10.This Means War


File this one under “underrated”.

As the decade of the eighties progressed, AC/DC never recaptured the glory days of 1979-1981 when they were briefly the world’s favorite bad boy rock and rollers. Critics were somewhat right when they said that this band basically released the same album over and over and over again throughout their career. So in 1988, people just weren’t really paying attention to the arena rock stars of yesteryear. In fact, most people were, well, watching music videos instead of listening to the radio.

Perhaps that was what somewhat inspired this title. It almost seems as if the band is saying “let’s blow up everything related to the late 1980s and go back a decade or so when people were actually listening to rock and roll, and didn’t care so much about what the artist was wearing nor whether or not the song made a “good video” worthy of some stupid MTV award.”

For this record, they went back to their original producers of Harry Vanda and George Young. This was probably a decision that was made to help cure the band of their recent slump. No, this album doesn’t really sound like old AC/DC, but it does sound incredibly fresh, intoxicating, and somewhat addictive. With AC/DC, for the most part, it really is about the individual songs since their sound stays so similar. Yes, having different producers can somewhat change the mix up a bit, but AC/DC has always sounded like AC/DC, and anytime you have an album with this many great songs, it simply translates to a great album.

The leadoff tracks are arguably the best songs featured here. It’s a shame most casual fans aren’t familiar with Heatseeker. This is a killer opening track that should be allowed to kick off a live show or two. Following that is the Led Zepplin/Chuck Berry-ish That’s the Way I Want to Rock ‘N’ Roll, which is another song that many would love if they would give it a chance. Other powerful numbers include Two’s Up, Rough Stuff, and Go Zone. It’s my personal opinion that any of these songs would have made killer singles, but I guess people simply weren’t really ready for a resurgence from AC/DC during this period in time.

There are a couple of times when they sputter oh-so slightly. Mean Streak is a bit too testosterone filled, and Some Sin For Nothing is a poor attempt of them trying to be silly and somewhat meaningful with the lyrics at the same time. Production wise, you could also argue that the entire album sounds a bit cheesy a la late 1980’s metal, but when the songs are this infectious, one tends to overlook such criticism.

For the most part, there are many that don’t rank this one very high, so maybe you really shouldn’t trust my opinion too much. I beg of you, however, to give it a listen. You might be pleasantly surprised. This record, for me, ranks as one of their best – especially of the Brian Johnson era.

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