Flick Of The Switch Review

artist: ac dc date: 06/16/2009 category: compact discs
ac dc: Flick Of The Switch
Released: Aug 1983
Genre: Rock
Styles: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Arena Rock, Album Rock, Aussie Rock
Number Of Tracks: 10
AC/DC seemed to be running out of ideas at an alarming rate, and their record sales began to reflect that fact.
 Sound: 9.2
 Lyrics: 8.7
 Overall Impression: 9.2
 Overall rating:
 8.2 
 Reviewer rating:
 9 
 Users rating:
 7.4 
 Votes:
 61 
reviews (6) 15 comments vote for this album:
overall: 8.7
Flick Of The Switch Reviewed by: Rocker_94, on october 08, 2008
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: After having worked with Mutt Lange for three hugely succesful albums, AC/DC decided they could produce an album theirselves. I think they did a pretty good job on this one. I consider this album the Brian Johnson Powerage. Both are truly underrated, and both have a raw, AC/DC sound. At this point of their career, they knew what kind of sound they wanted, and I think came pretty close to nailing it. It may be a little underproduced, but it still sounds really good. It's better than being overproduced. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics, as always, are classic AC/DC Sex, Drugs and Rock N Roll. Not much to talk about here, so I'll get to Brian. This is where Brian Johnson began to reach the first low point in his career. On a few songs, you hear him forcing a few notes, but that's it. They still sound like the Brian Johnson of Back In Black. For him, it went downhill for the Simon Wright albums. // 8

Overall Impression: Before I get into anything else, this is the last Phil Rudd album before Ballbreaker, which is a shame. Phil is a great drummer and one of the best time-keepers in rock. AC/DC definately missed him during the rest of the 80s. Like I said before, this is the Powerage of the Brian Johnson era. It doesen't have many radio hits on it, but it is a fan favorite, like Powerage. These two are my favorite AC/DC albums. I strongly reccomend buying it, or at least listening to it. It'll show you another side of AC/DC, a less mainstream side. If it was stolen or lost, I'd be right back at the music store to get another copy. // 9

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overall: 9.7
Flick Of The Switch Reviewed by: presidentjlh, on october 28, 2008
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: This, and Powerage, are the two albums that decide whether or not you're a true fan of Acca Dacca. If you own this album and Powerage or are very interested in purchasing these albums, you are a true AC/DC fan. If you don't plan on owning them, you are a not a true AC/DC fan, you are a radio-follower: You only buy what you hear on the radio. This album is one of AC/DC's finest, and it is so incredibly underrated, like Powerage. This should have been one of AC/DC's biggest successes. For starters, the sound is classic AC/DC: No goofy sound effects, no experimentalism, no b.s., just that wonderful, wonderful thing we call "rock 'n roll". Angus and Malcolm Young again astounded the world with their absolute mastery of the blues scales. Phil Rudd's last contribution to AC/DC until "Ballbreaker" is one of his finest performances. Cliff Williams' bass playing is an often forgotten treasure, much like this album. The only problem with the sound is it's lack of production, which AC/DC deliberately chose to do. While I think that it was great that they decided to get back to that raw, early sound they had, I believe that the album would have been so much better, and with that, so much more successful, if they had consulted George Young (Brother of Angus and Malcolm and producer of some of AC/DC's albums) on how to best get that raw sound out without it being overly rough, which it sometimes is. Still, the boys did a good job with what they knew, and the sound is excellent compared to most other bands. The songs are some of AC/DC's finest: 01."Rising Power" is a great album opener. The slightly slow-paced track is very enjoyable. It is one of the album's average tracks, neither strong nor weak 02."House is On Fire" is great. The song's got an upbeat feeling, yet there is some bluesy sound as well. Another one of the album's 03.The title track is one of the album's two should-have-been classics. It is masterful and has so much power and grit in it that when I first heard it, I immediately went and got a tab for it because it is so much fun to play and has that good old ticked-off feeling that a lot of AC/DC songs have. It is so unfortunate that this album never took off, as the world missed out on this gem. 04."Nervous Shakedown" is great. The sound is one of anger, yet restraint. It is an excellent song, and one of the stronger tracks of the album. 05."Landslide" is a frentic joyride, very upbeat. It really has a "Put The Finger On You" or "Let There Be Rock" feeling to it, it's fast, riff-driven, and is one of the album's stronger tracks. 06."Guns For Hire" is the other should-have-been classic. AC/DC used it as their opener during the tour that followed this album, and with good reason. The opening staccato hammer-ons lead into a anthemic riff that makes you just want to fight. It's a great workout or pump-up song. 07."Deep In The Hole" is a good song, but it is one of the album's weaker tracks. The song is somewhat like "Nervous Shakedown" in it's downbeat, slow-paced, bluesy sound, but it lacks that power that "Shakedown" does have. 08."Bedlam In Belgium" has an interesting story behind it. This one time during the Bon Scott era, the band was due to play on stage in Brussels. A police officer, however, would not let them on stage. The band argued with him, and the officer pulled out a gun on Angus. Eventually, the band did play though. This event only increased the band's fame and the infamous police officer to this day is looked down upon by fans. The song itself is one of the album's stronger tracks, and is quite anthemic. For some reason, though, the song isn't at the level that the title track and "Guns For Hire" are. 09."Badlands" is another strong track, and is very bluesy, and almost-western sounding. The song is an excellent listen. 10."Brain Shake", the closing track, is probably the album's weakest track, however, it isn't a bad song. The riff is good, and it still has that AC/DC sound. However, it feels rushed, and almost seems like an afterthought compared to the others. // 9

Lyrics: Lyrically, "Flick of the Switch" is one of Brian Johnson's best albums. The lyrics are colorful, creative, and many songs have a story to tell. 01."Rising Power" has one of AC/DC's trademarks: The double entredre. "What double entredre is that?" you might ask. Well, it's inherent in the title: Think "Let's Get It Up". 02."House Is On Fire" has some great party lyrics, and is of course, sexual by nature. What happens when there's fire? It gets hot. Now connect the dots. 03.The title track's lyrics are great, of course, the mentioned flick of the switch is the act of getting turned on. The lyrics are much like that of the opening verse of "You Shook Me All Night Long". They are descriptive, creative, and excellent. 04."Nervous Shakedown" is one of AC/DC's few songs that has some slight political undertones to it, but don't be alarmed. The song is basically a man's complaint about being unfairly arrested and convicted. No real left-wing or right-wing bias here, just a good old ticked-off song. The lyrics are great. 05."Landslide" is one of Brian Johnson's best works. The lyrics are creative, humorous, and outstanding, especially the intro, in which Jonna will ask a funny request of you, the listener. 06."Guns For Hire"'s lyrics are much like that of the classic AC/DC song "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap". The premise is pretty much the same: I'm an assassin for hire. They are just as good as "Dirty Deeds"' was. 07."Deep in the Hole" is another double entredre filled track. Sometimes, however, there really isn't a double meaning, it's quite overt. Here is basically the synapsis: Deep in the hole that is owned by a female. It doesn't take a brainiac to figure out what Acca Dacca meant there. 08."Bedlam in Belgium" is the story of AC/DC's wild encounter with a cop (See my review of the song's sound). The lyrics are very fitting. 09."Badlands" basically revolves around the song's character's rebelliousness, toughness, and his "gun". What did you expect from AC/DC, a country ballad? 10."Brain Shake" is again the weakest song, this time lyrically. The chorus leaves a lot to be desired. The lyrics are overly nonsensical at times, and are generic the other times. Still, it's a good song. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall, this is one of AC/DC's finest. It didn't sell very well, and was not received favorably by critics. They sure screwed up there. If you get the chance, get this album. You will not be disappointed. Best songs: Flick of the Switch, Nervous Shakedown, Landslide, Guns For Hire, Bedlam in Belgium. // 10

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overall: 10
Flick Of The Switch Reviewed by: derekwm2001, on september 02, 2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The true monsters of hard rock return in this back-to-the-basics album with the hard and un-tarnished tone that is specifically unique to Angus and Malcolm. After the successful releases of Back In Black and For Those About To Rock We Salute You, AC/DC were looking for a way to not pick up more gimmicks than they had to, so it was immediately decided that when the boys stepped into the studio, they would bring back the classic style they had made so famous. // 10

Lyrics: Brian showed his lyrical genius with this album. Tracks like "Landslide" show just how well Brian can make his own stand against the reputation gained by Bon Scott (May he rest in peace) as one of the greatest lyracists of all time. Brian also stays in with the lyrical style that gained him so much acclaim from BIB and FTATRWSY, making it very apparent in the title track, Flick Of The Switch" and in "House Is On Fire". Overall, the lyrics are the same success story as the first two albums that Brian were with AC/DC on and is reminiscent of Bon's style. // 10

Overall Impression: Flick of the Switch is probually THE most underrated album in AC/DC's 80's catalog and is, in my opinion, one of the best AC/DC albums ever concieved. The delivery of tracks like Flick of the Switch, Landslide, Bedlam In Belgium, Brainshake, and Badlands make this album a must have for any spawning AC/DC fan. The white cover with penciled drawings clearly shows the back-to-basics character of the album. I would never let this one out of my collection. // 10

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overall: 9
Flick Of The Switch Reviewed by: teenrocker, on december 20, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Back from their hugely succesful back-to-back record breaking albums 'Back In Black' and 'For Those About To Rock', AC/DC were under pressure from both critics and themselves. The stress of touring and high expectations were showing. They needed a break but also needed to start on a new album. In the end, they did both. 'Flick Of The Switch' is a back-to-the-basics album. It is a far more classic Dacca compilation, with songs that are enjoyable to listen to but suprisingly simple in structure. 'Flick Of The Switch' is a great album but comes with a sting in the tail with Phil Rudd leaving after the recording, leaving 20 year old Simon Wright to fill the drum seat. // 9

Lyrics: Brian Johnson is still wailing away at the microphone and although he can still carry a tune really well, I feel he lacks a little on 'Flick of the Switch'. He has an amazing vocal range but he very much needs to improve his dynamics. All of the singing is at the same level and I would love to hear his voice power on a bit in the choruses and 'ooohhhh, yeah! ' sections (which happen quite often). Also, some of the lyrics are really bland, particularly the last track, 'Brain Shake' and it's dismal chorus (Brain Shake, Brain Shake, Brain Shake, Brain Shake), really let 'Flick of the Switch' down a little. Apart from that, the singing and lyrics slot in very well with the furious rythym guitars and there really isn't much to complain about. // 9

Overall Impression: I don't believe that this CD is as bad as many people think. AC/DC were trying to just be themselves and this record shines because of that. However, I wouldn't call it their best. I think that some of the lyrics could have been a bit more thought through and spiced some of the choruses up a bit. Despite that, this is still a magnificent cd. It has my favourite AC/DC album cover and one of my favourtie Dacca songs (Nervous Shakedown, which has an incrediblely catchy main riff). I believe that although Brian could have possibly done something more with his lyrics and singing, I can find no other fault with this masterfuly simple Acca Dacca album. // 9

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overall: 8
Flick Of The Switch Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 02, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound on this album is pretty good considering it was the first one produced by the band themselves. People consider this and Fly On The Wall to be their 'failure albums' but the truth is that they followed such great albums like Back in Black and Highway to Hell. There are great tracks on this album like 'This House Is On Fire', 'Flick Of The Switch' and 'Landslide'. // 9

Lyrics: To be honest most AC/DC songs don't have great lyrics but Brian Johnson sounds great on this album. I'm going to compare his voice in this album to his voice on 'For Those About To Rock' and 'Fly On The Wall'. On those two albums he just doesn't sound the same. On 'For Those About To Rock' he sounded little bit weak and on 'Fly On The Wall' it sounded like he was being recorded over a telephone! But seriously, on 'Flick Of The Switch' Brian sounds near his best. // 7

Overall Impression: I don't think it's a bad album (Well, no AC/DC album is a bad album) it's definitely stronger than 'Fly On The Wall' and 'For Those About To Rock' but compared to the earlier albums up to 1980 people seem to think it is a bad album, but as I said there is no such thing as a bad AC/DC album. There are great headbangin' tunes in there with some powerful riff and solos. Even Malcolm Young once said ''Flick Of The Switch was our biggest flop'', but I'd have to disagree with him there. // 8

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overall: 8.7
Flick Of The Switch Reviewed by: loco999, on june 16, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Raw power and hard rhytms are aces wich made this album special to the AC/DC fans. However, the critics werent very good so the album didn't reach to masses. Problems beetwen Malcom Young and Phill Rudd had that effect that Rudd was fired, but he had finished his recording on the album and Simon Wrigh had replaced him on the Flick of the Switch tour. Fans don't dig Wright, but I personally find AC/DC as a guitaristic music so I don't care who's sitting on the drums. As I said, "Flick Of the Switch" is full of raw tunes and very powerfull and catchy chours, but as a difference from the "Back In Black" (album) and "For Those About To Rock" (album) "Flick Of the Switch" ain't got that pop tunes like "You Shook Me All Night Long", "Let's Get It Up" and so on... Album is just full of hard rock and rock'n'roll riffs and great guitar solos. Angus Young had also showed his powerfull guitar squeeling and his solid-pentatonic rock'n'roll guitar solos. I must add special attention to this songs: The beginning of "Guns For Hire" differs from most of other AC/DC songs with series of fast hammer-ons on A string 7th fret. And I also think that Ang plays some tapping while Mal gives rhytm on his guitar, but its very hard to hear because of production. Anyway great song. Brian shows his balls through screaming vocals witch probably cost him his voice, but "Flick Of the Switch" (song) is tottally worth it. Mal and Ang also showed how they can make great song with only 3 power-chords. Also "Bedlam in Belgium", "Brain Shake", "Rising Power" stand proud to those two mentioned above. // 9

Lyrics: Lyrics are all AC/DC standard, same old topics 'bout rock'n'roll, booze and one-night stands with exception "Bedlam In Belgium" wich speak about real adventure in Belgium during "For Those About To Rock" tour. Lyrics are good, but nothing special to mention, maybe just "Landslide" wich I think its a story 'bout Angus I think, or maybe some other rock'n'roll character. I think this is last album on wich Brian shows a great vocal abilities, because the "Fly On The Wall" album has a very bad production and you can't hear vocals very well and on "Blow Up Your Video" he had totally lost his natural voice. On "Flick Of the Switch" (album) he had totally screamed his balls out trough his throat and that had cost him his voice. Best examples are "Flick Of the Switch" (song) were he had that screaming oh-oh's, "Brain Shake" where he scream out high notes on: "she's joy to ride", and "Landslide" where he totally rules with great lyrics and singing among the great guitar riffs and solos. // 8

Overall Impression: This album is maybe most similar to the AC/DC's "Powerage". Both albums are totally undertaded, both don't have anything in common with pop music, so "Flick Of the Switch" could be called Powerage of Brians era. This was the first time that whole band was working on production of the album and whole sound came up very good. Masses may have "Back in Black" (album) but real AC/DC fans will always have "Flick Of the Switch" among with "Powerage" and other great AC/DC albums. // 9

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