Powerage Review

artist: ac dc date: 02/25/2009 category: compact discs
ac dc: Powerage
Released: May 1978
Genre: Rock
Styles: Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Arena Rock, Album Rock, Aussie Rock
Number Of Tracks: 9
Powerage contains only one true AC/DC classic, the gloriously sleazy anthem "Sin City," the album's lesser-known material is often just as exhilarating.
 Sound: 9.7
 Lyrics: 9.2
 Overall Impression: 9.8
 Overall rating:
 9.4 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.6 
 Users rating:
 9.2 
 Votes:
 54 
reviews (10) 22 comments vote for this album:
overall: 8.7
Powerage Reviewed by: YoungAngus52, on august 19, 2006
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: AC/DC's main humbucker crunch is praised in this classic album. With Angus's SG growl and Malcolm's rock solid rhythms Powerage screams Rock N' Roll at the top of its lungs. With a disorted bridge pickup always on, Angus and Mal create one of AC/DC's classic preaches of "Sin City" and the underrated "Gone Shootin'" and "What's Next to the Moon?". Although not a chart-topper Powerage is one of the greatest AC/DC albums. This album was also the debut of bass Player Cliff Williams. // 9

Lyrics: On "Down Payment Blues" Bon sings " got a Cadillac but can't afford the gasoline", Bon may have not participated much in writing lyrics but that line has Bon written all over it. On "What's next to the moon?" there are backup vocals of Mal and Cliff singing with Bon you can tell how insync they are. Overall Bon sings his heart out throughout the entire album. // 8

Overall Impression: Without AC/DC Rock N' Roll wouldn't be what it is today. If you like the classic AC/DC with Bon Scott (I'm sure you do) then Powerage is the album for the Bon fanatics. Also this album shows the talent of Cliff Williams compared to ex-bass player Mark Evans. This album is true AC/DC. // 9

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overall: 9.7
Powerage Reviewed by: cam_sampbell, on april 08, 2008
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: The overall sound quality is much clean and tidier than the earlier albums with Bons distinctive voice, Angus and Malcolm's power in their guitar work, Cliff's improved bass from the previous bassist Mark Evans and Phil Rudd's driving drums proportioned perfectly making it a huge improvement on the bands earlier ground-breaking material. The songs seem more original with the force of songs like 'Rock N' Roll Damnation', 'Up To My Neck In You', 'Kicked In The Teeth' and my overall favourite AC/DC song 'Riff Raff' with it's killer riff, powerful drums and powerful solos make it one of AC/DC's finest moments, to the subtle catchy riff of 'Gone Shootin'. // 9

Lyrics: As you may well know that most of AC/DC's lyrics are about experiences with women e.g 'Whole Lotta Rosie', 'Girls Got Rhythm' and 'Love At First Feel', surprisingly this album has no songs in it tha are about sex and the likes. Rock N' Roll Damnation almost punk in it's lyrics as it is very rebellious 'They say that you play too loud, well baby that's tough' yet in no way is it punk. Then Down Payment Blues is a woefull tale about money and the lack of it with Bon singing in a seemingly true tale in it's nature. Soon after is Gimme A Bullet whos lyrics are surprising as an onlooker may think about guns but it actually tells a tale of lost love. Riff Raff is a song where the lyrics are there because they have to be. following is Sin City, a live favourite that shows dreams of being rich and being in 'Sin City'. The next song, What's Next To The Moon is quite strange as the first line is 'Tie my baby to the railroad track', it tells of a man desperate to regain the love of a woman by forcing her. Gone Shootin' tells of a lover who left maybe for another man. Up to My Neck In You is just about how his life has been improved now the person has come into his life. Finally Kicked In The Teeth is about being deserted by their lover. So overall the lyrics are in a more mature and grown up manner talking about problems with money and girls. // 10

Overall Impression: This album is definately my favourite album by AC/DC and probably my favourite overall. The best songs from Powerage are definately Down Payment Blues, Riff Raff, What's Next To The Moon and Gone Shootin'. What I love about this album as it is so unique compared to the rest of AC/DC's back catalogue and the next album 'Highway To Hell' which goes back to the lyrics about sex. If it was stolen I would be probably in tears and I would hunt them down, kick them in the balls take it back, if not I'd definately buy it again even though I've made a vow to myself not to buy anything else as I'm saving up. // 10

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overall: 10
Powerage Reviewed by: unregistered, on july 30, 2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: I only just bought this album yesterday but I'm starting to realize it is a classic, up there with Highway To Hell and Back In Black. This differs strongly from those two though. The sound on those is a very huge, mainstream pleasing sound, courtesy of Mutt Lange. Not that that's a bad thing but on Powerage the band shows off the raw, aggressive sound from their early days - a far superior sound in my opinion. Vanda and Young (producers of all early AC/DC albums up to "Highway") did a great job with this. The guitars are crisp, the drumming is audible and the bass sound is great too. You add in Bon Scott's vocals, and you've got quite an album. Even 26 years after its original release, this still blows any modern radio band out of the water. 5 Stars. Favorite song for sound - 'Riff Raff' // 10

Lyrics: The album shines lyrically as well. Bon Scott was a master lyricist and "Powerage" is no exception. He throws in phrases like "I got a new Cadillac but I can't afford the gasoline," on 'Down Payment Blues' and speaks of "Lamborghinis, caviar, dry martinis and Shangri-La" on 'Sin City.' Everything matches the music appropriately. Bon may have been the best rock vocalist ever, and this album is damn good proof of that. 5 Stars. Favorite song for lyrics - Sin City. // 10

Overall Impression: After my first listen, 'Powerage' was my 3rd favorite AC/DC album, behind 'Back In Black' and 'Highway To Hell.' After a few more listens, I've realized I like this one more than 'Highway.' There are no weak songs on here whatsoever. The best ones are 'Rock and Roll Damnation,' 'Riff Raff,' 'Sin City,' 'What's Next to the Moon,' and 'Gone Shootin.' I love the raw sound on it that AC/DC lost over their next few albums, and the lyrics are top notch as well. I really could not find anything wrong with it and neither will you if you're an AC/DC fan. If anything happened to it I would buy it again without thinking twice. This is an absolute classic, worthy of 5 stars. // 10

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overall: 10
Powerage Reviewed by: unregistered, on august 03, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound of AC/DC really is hard to explain. They're so unique, it's hard to compare them to any one else! With the pure hard rock riffing of Malcolm, and the solos of Angus make you want to pull out the old air guitar. Phil can always keep the beat along with the music. And what can be said about the late great Bon that hasn't been said before, the man kicked ass in every sense of the phrase. As far as the sound on the album is concerned it is hard rock on the edge of metal. If you love the old school hard rock and metal feel you will love this album. // 10

Lyrics: As usual the lyrics are brilliant. The themes as usual include sex, booze, and women. But on some of the tracks themes also include what its like to be a rocker wantinmg to make it but broke (I'm pretty sure you know what I'm talking about). Bon has a unique sound that I have never heard another singer be able to accomplish. // 10

Overall Impression: This is AC/DC's least known and under rated alnum. Ask the average AC/DC fan if they have heard of Powerage the answer most likely no. But this should change, I love this album and I am so glad I bought it. I highly suggest this album for any AC/DC fan. I would get this album after you buy, live, Back In Black, and High Voltage. Go buy this now I sware you wont be dissapointed. I was impresseed that AC/DC could have underlying metal in them and this was definetly dug up in this album. I fthis were stolen I would definetly buy it again. The best songs are Riff Raff, Sin City, and Rock 'N' Roll Damnnation. // 10

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overall: 9
Powerage Reviewed by: Gypsy Eyed, on august 03, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound on this album represents AC/DC at it's best: it's raw, in-your-face power-rock. Some might say the sound on this album is 'crappy', I prefer to say it's just good rock 'n' roll: this is what they play and this is what you get, no overdubs or ohter bullshit (listen to the missed notes on 'Kicked In The Teeth'). Of course it's got nothing to do with the overproduced 'Highway To Hell' sound, but I like to think every sound has it's own charm. The sound on Powerage is definitly my favourite. // 9

Lyrics: What CD I say about the singers skills? Hey, it's Bon Scott! The voice that defines rock 'n' roll itself! He's got the dirtiest, rawest voice of them all, and he CD sing higher than some women! His vocals are great. If you want to make yourself an idea of how good he was at that time, 'Kicked In The Teeth' and 'Riff Raff' are the best examples I CD think of. The lyrics are, as always, pure genius. It's just real life (kicked in the teeth: Angus broke his teeth during a fight, down payment blues: Bon got himself a nice CD but now he can't pay for gas) put on paper. Bon was good at that because he was 'real' himself. // 8

Overall Impression: Powerage was recorded in a bit more than a week, but to me, it's the best rock 'n' roll album out there. My top 3 songs are 'Kicked In The Teeth', 'Riff Raff' and 'Gone Shooting', but they're all really great. // 10

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overall: 9
Powerage Reviewed by: angusrokks, on october 08, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Once again Malcom Young proves he is one of the best rhythm guitarists on the planet, with riffs like Down Payment Blues, Rock n Roll Damnation and Sin city, buyers cannot possibly go wrong with buying this album, it's a cracking album. "Powerage" is a perfect example of what AC/DC can do when they put their mind to it! Angus Young, their is really only one, solos on Riff Raff Down Payment Blues and Kicked In the Teeth are excellent examples of Angus's creativity, style and technique. This album is AC/DC as a whole! // 10

Lyrics: The lyrics are great, Rock N Roll Damnation are probably the best lyrics on the album, Bon sings about people who want to be successful should "Take a chance, while you've stillgot a choice". Bon Scott doesn't add any reverb to his sound on this record so he sounds like he and the band are as one. // 8

Overall Impression: As I said before this is a perfect AC/DC example. If it was stolen, I would pay what it took to get it back or get another one, in my opinion this is one of the best AC/DC albums and has some timeless songs on it. The lightning fast blues licks of Angus Young and the backbone rhythm of Malcom Young combine for nine songs of complete perfection. The only flaw in this album is that "Up To My Neck In You" is almost a copied riff of "High Voltage". All in all a great album. // 9

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overall: 10
Powerage Reviewed by: presidentjlh, on october 31, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: Many people have never heard this album. Many people have never even heard OF this album. That's a shame. Because this album kicks ass. This was AC/DC's first "perfect album" (In my opinion. They have 4: "Powerage", "Highway to Hell", "Back In Black", and "For Those About To Rock".) One noticeable thing about this album is that compared to the previous album, "Let There Be Rock", and the other albums before it, the quality of sound is much clearer, much sharper, less woody. While that doesn't make the previous albums bad, it does make "Powerage" better than them. Angus Young seems to have really mastered the scales in this one, as in "High Voltage" his solos were much more simple, yet with each album, his solos became more complex, more difficult to play. Malcolm Young's guitar sounds much fuller in this album, and he seems to have mastered riff playing. Phil Rudd really shows his skills at drums in this one as well. Cliff Williams, who had been a part of only one other album, "Let There Be Rock", seems to have found his niche in the AC/DC sound quite easily. The entire album is really AC/DC reaching the finish line on their race of improvement, and they have come into their own in this one. "Rock 'N Roll Damnation" is a great opening song, the slow opening chords lead into a fast-paced, very upbeat, pop-like tune, complete with maracas. However, the core of the song is in it's almost 1950s-ish style rock 'n roll, which is makes this one of their best songs. "Down Payment Blues" is, well, a blues song (Surprise). Unfortunately, I bet a lot more people are able to relate to this song these days. However, it is an excellent song. The riff is almost like a constant crescendo, yet it does not get tiresome. "Gimme A Bullet" is a great tune, with a roller-coaster style riff that takes you high and low with each note. Cliff Williams really does well with his bass playing in this one. "Riff Raff" has one of the best intros of any song, ever. The song starts off with Angus playing a very fast-paced riff. Slowly, you hear another guitar, and you realize it's Malcolm, playing the exact same riff, at the exact same blistering speed. Cliff and Phil add their distinct sound, and the intro goes into a ear-popping opening crescendo before ending with a final A chord. Then, a nice up-and-down riff takes the song into it's heart, which is Angus' incredible solo. The song ends with the opening riff, which starts out loud and fast, then slows down and leads into a final crescendo. "Sin City" is probably the one hit song AC/DC got out of this album, even though I think "Rock 'N Roll Damnation" is the best song of the album. An aggressive, rolling riff is combined with some of Cliff Williams and Phil Rudd's finest. Truly, a great song. "What's Next To The Moon" is a very low-pitched song, except for Angus' solo. It, like "Sin City", has a very aggressive sound to it, and is one of AC/DC's most underrated songs. "Gone Shooting" is a song that would not be out of place in a dive bar. It's got a very simple, descending riff, yet maintains a very upbeat feeling. It is a fun song to listen to and to play. "Up To My Neck In You" feels like a combination of the other songs of the album, yet it has it's own unique flavor to it. It is fast-paced, yet slow-paced. It is aggressive and upbeat. A great song. "Kicked In The Teeth" is very reminiscent of Led Zeppelin's classic tune "Black Dog", especially in the opening. However, it still has that AC/DC sound to it. It has a great riff. // 10

Lyrics: Like his fellow bandmates, Bon Scott really seems to have come into his own in this album. He maintains that story-teller feeling that he had in his other albums, yet, he seems to have more power and versatility in "Powerage". "Rock 'N Roll Damnation" has lyrics that remind me of another AC/DC classic, "It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'N Roll.") The entire song tells about how if you are a rocker, people criticize you, "they say that your mind's diseased." But their words are "shaky stuff". "Down Payment Blues" is another song in which Bon shows his great story-telling abilities, as he tells you the sad tale of his money-grubbing girl and his inability to "feed (his) cat, on Social Security." Yet, Bon gives off a sense of hope, and its a very deep song for AC/DC. "Gimme A Bullet" is another hard luck song, with Bon singing how this girl had all the right stuff, yet she gave him the pain of heartbreak. He then requests for not drugs, alcohol, or sympathy, but for "a bullet to bite on, and (he'll) make believe it's (her)." "Riff Raff" is a song with attitude, a song about living it up, and Bon sings it very well, the lyrics are great for singing along to, and are well-written. "Sin City" is the story of one of the countless people that visit Las Vegas and the stuff they experience. The song, like the city, is great. It is edgy, it is dark, it is dirty, but, my God, is it fun. "What's Next To The Moon" has some very strange, yet extremely poetic lyrics. According to most experts, the song is about a man who seems to have hurt, or even killed, his wife or girl, and is trying to not get caught, but does get caught. Looking for excuses, the man says "It was a heart attack!". Bon sings this one with such skill, he could be equated the great Greek lyricists of old, who sang their poems. "Gone Shooting" has lyrics that seem contrary to the music, yet they work. It is basically a song about how this one man misses his woman. (Why she isn't there is unspecified, but it seems to point to an overdose on drugs.) "Up To My Neck In You" follows that favorite topic of AC/DC's: Women. In this case, Bon sings how he feels stifled and suffocated by this unnamed woman, and that he's "up to (his) neck" in her. Of course, he might be speaking literally when he sings that line. "Kicked In The Teeth" is another heartbreak song, much like "Gimme A Bullet", only its lyrics are much more angry and spiteful. Bon cries out in the start "Two-faced woman with your two-faced lies!", and that basically sets the tone for the rest of the song. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall, "Powerage", along with "Flick Of The Switch", is AC/DC's most underrated album. Every song is great and would have been a hit on any other album. It seems really unfair that one of Bon's best got no respect. Buy this album, it, like any other AC/DC album, is a treasure. Best songs: "Rock 'N Roll Damnation", "Down Payment Blues", "Riff Raff", "Sin City", "What's Next To The Moon". // 10

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overall: 10
Powerage Reviewed by: jeffo46, on november 03, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: I've been a AC/DC fan since I've seen them perform on NBC's late night concert show, the Midnight Special, way back in 1978. Yes, I'm that old, wanna make something of it? Anyway, when I first saw Angus Young on stage with his Gibson SG wielding those buzz saw licks and running around the stage like a maniac wearing that schoolboy outfit, I was hooked, and have been ever since. Powerage was the 1st album of theirs that I bought back in 1978. Yes, I was one of the few who actually bought it when it first came out, and now thanks to the re-issue a few years ago, I now have it on CD. // 10

Lyrics: This album is just a typical AC/DC album where Bon Scott would write about life's laments and downfalls with women and authority, but he was a genius with lyrics and nobody could write like him. His lyrics were very suggestive and tounge in cheek. You really had to have a sense of humor to appreciate his writing. Angus and Malcolm's guitar work vastly improved with album no doubt set off with the addition of Bassist Cliff Williams, while the Drumming of Phil Rudd is always solid as ever. All in all, this has to be their most sonic laded album ever. A true classic and IMO, the best one they ever made with the late Bon scott. // 10

Overall Impression: While their earlier efforts like High Voltage and Let There Be Rock showed the band growing and maturing as musicians and songwriters, Powerage simply stands alone as their most powerful record with Bon Scott, even surpassing Highway To Hell. Some of my favorite cuts are Sin City, Rock N'Roll Dammnation, Kicked In The Teeth Again, and, Up To My Neck In You, which is a straight out 3 chord balls out rock n'roll guitar laden riff fest.This album is recommended listening for any guitar player today as far as I'm concerned. Go out and buy this album right now! // 10

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overall: 9.3
Powerage Reviewed by: Dback139, on february 25, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound: There's a general saying among many AC/DC fans: "Everyone loves Back In Black, but the real fans love Powerage". After giving the album a listen through, it's easy to understand why. The album kicks off with Rock 'N' Roll Damnation and blows you away from the opening note. From that point on, Angus and the boys play a lot of "jam" songs throughout the album with killer riffs. The bass is emphasized more so on Powerage than almost any other AC/DC album, and that might be because this is Cliff Williams' debut with the band after the complicated departure of Mark Evans. Cliff's bass is very groovy in this album and he really shows his versatility in almost every song. Down Payment Blues lives up to its name, giving a deep blues riff with a groovy underlying bass. Just about every song stands out on this album; one of the true underrated classics can be found in Gone Shootin'. Gone Shootin' showcases the band at its absolute best. Great riffs from Angus and Malcolm, excellent rhythm from Cliff and Phil, topped off with fantastic vocal range and emotion from Bon Scott. This album IS pure rock n roll harmony. // 10

Lyrics: AC/DC have never been about the lyrics. You know what you're getting with their lyrics: Lots of sex, booze, more sex, and partying. Powerage doesn't stray from these cornerstones but Bon's lyrical work deserves praise. Give the lyrics a listen, and you can hear about all the hardships and obstacles the band has faced to get where they are and where they want to go. Down Payment Blues is some of Bon Scott's best vocal work and you can tell he's experienced every word he sings. // 8

Overall Impression: This album is widely considered the most versatile of all acca dacca albums. You can search up and down the track list and find full, in-your-face rock with songs like Up To My Neck In You and Riff Raff and still chill to more down to earth tunes like Gone Shootin and Gimmie A Bullet. Sin City is another all-time classic that gives you the sense that the band is about to strike at a moments notice. All in all, this album is a perfect 10. After this album, the band broke out into Highway to Hell, which is really the true marker of where the band started to fully evolve to where they are today. Collectively speaking, Powerage is where the band hit their peak in the 70's, following up the legendary Let There Be Rock album. So, pop in the album and buckle up, because AC/DC just wants to take you on a a rock n roll ride. // 10

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overall: 10
Powerage Reviewed by: Bonscott4ever, on november 02, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: The sound on this album is pretty sweet. Although the Young brothers thought it was time to make their guitars a little cleaner, they still know how to rock. And needless to say every track on here does. // 10

Lyrics: Bon Scott shines on this album. He can write sultry songs like "Sin City" and he can play the down and out guy in songs like "Down Payment Blues" and "Give Me A Bullet To Bite On." He even writes great on the rocker "Rock And Roll Damnation" which makes you want to pick up the guitar and become a rocker too. Every song on this album is relatible. From Riff Raff To Up to my neck in you. This album is awesome. // 10

Overall Impression: All in all as an AC/DC this album is right up there with Highway To Hell and Back In Black. If you don't already own this album get it now. Granted this is a hard one to come by but once you find it you'll be glad you bought it. If you don't buy this CD baby jesus will cry. // 10

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