For Those About To Rock We Salute You (1982)

1. For Those About To Rock (We Salute You) 2. I Put the Finger on You 3. Let's Get it Up 4. Inject the Venom 5. Snowballed 6. Evil Walks 7. C.O.D. 8. Breaking the Rules 9. Night of the Long Knives 10. Spellbound


O.K. A bit of background is necessary for this one. Two albums ago, producer extraordinaire Robert John “Mutt” Lange gave the band an added element to their sound which allowed them to keep their heavy rock-infested roots yet become a bit more accessible and radio friendly to the masses on the last Bon Scott album Highway to Hell . The new sound allowed the band to finally crack the top 20 in America. After Scott’s tragic death, the band didn’t skip a beat, hiring new singer Brian Johnson, keeping Lange behind the controls, and ended up producing one of the biggest selling rock and roll albums of all time, Back in Black, barely a year later.

So record big wigs realized that they couldn’t slow anything down at this point and Lange is brought on once more to run the show. This record is somewhat rushed, comes out (again) only about a year after the previous record, rockets all the way to number one on the charts, and the band capitalizes on its new found fame by going on a mammoth tour. It was the only thing to do, really.

Hindsight really hasn’t been too kind, and now one can objectively see that a bit more care and time probably should have been invested here. The record sounds quite good, but for the first time in the band’s history, they focus a tad too much on partying, screaming, and rallying an audience, and forget to make the music the first priority. Take the title track (also the first single and the only thing on here that most can recognize). This song is a killer concert closer, and its screaming anthem is perfect to rile up any arena complete with exploding cannons and rallying cries. The problem is, the sound of this particular song doesn’t quite translate as well when listening in a living room, in a car, or anywhere else for that matter.

And that’s true with a lot of these songs. There are plenty of good riffs and grooves throughout, but once we arrive at the chorus of several of these tunes, it’s like the band feels they need to sound like drunken footballers high on booze and testosterone. Again, great for live performances when one is trying to cause a riot, maybe.

There are a few things scattered about that don’t suffer from quite as much overkill. I Put The Finger on You probably should have been released as the first single instead of the above mentioned title track, and C.O.D. fortunately focuses more on music than muscle, even though it has plenty of the latter. By the time we arrive at the last song, another good one, Spellbound, it almost sounds as though the was recorded in another time and in another place since it doesn’t contain the headache inducing chorus filled screams as the few tunes that precede it.

Time would also tell us that the band was struggling while recording the record as well, and it’s clear that the marriage between the band and Mutt Lange probably lasted one too many albums. It’s also a bit ironic (and maybe sad) that this album doesn’t even really sound like a Mutt Lange album. Maybe it’s just because it’s buried under so much insurrection inducing screaming. You have to wonder if the recording studio was filled with buttons and knobs that “go to eleven”. They would wisely go in a different direction for their next release.

Of course, when Rolling Stone reviewed the album, they called it the band’s “best record ever”.

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