Sound — 10
AC/DC is without a doubt, one of the most successful Australian rock band's of all time, with countless number one hits around the world and their 1980 record "Back in Black" being second to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" as the highest selling album of all time. However the story of AC/DC cannot be told without looking at the amazing work of the great Bon Scott. The band's debut record "High Voltage" supported the national hit "Baby, Please Don't Go" and with the continued help of producers George Young and Harry Vanda (formally from The Easybeats) the band were successful in creating the album "T.N.T." Released in Australia only on December 1st 1975. The band had created a record worthy of it's #2 position on the Australian charts and would produce the hits "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock and Roll)," "T.N.T." and many other songs that would become iconic of the band and their style of rock 'n' roll music.
Now, it's not all that often that you hear bagpipes of a loud rock record, let alone on a hit single on the rock charts however "It's a Long Way to the Top," supported by a brilliantly shot music video for Australian TV Music Show "Countdown" became a hit and shot the band towards the big time. The album opens with this iconic track which contains the classic vibe of the band. With a pulsing backbeat and a brilliant crowd inviting chorus the song was a perfect choice of single and has since become iconically important to Australian music history. "Rock 'n' Roll Singer" continues with the rolling, pulsing, head bobbing rhythm of the albums lead off track. Also another trademark of AC/DC's "Bon Scott Years." The entire side A of the record contains 4 tracks, all being over 5 minutes in length and all being tracks that would become essential to many concert set lists and live albums over the following years.
It's understandable that Young and Vanda's production would have great influence on the band's sound, as they originated from Australia's 1st internationally successful rock band, The Easybeats. The pair produced all of the band's albums up until 1979's "Highway to Hell" which would be the band's final release with frontman Bon Scott. The production part on their behalf further expresses the band's ability to present brilliant songs.
The backing vocal arrangement in the albums tracks is smartly pieced together, with Malcolm Young and Mark Evans backing vocals supporting Bon's brilliant vocals, also accompanied by the more estranged, growled tone of lead guitarist Angus Young's voice which would make the tracks more rough, yet more well pieced together and inviting. AC/DC's iconic sound is extremely well presented for their first of many highly successful albums. From "T.N.T.," to "Rocker," to the Chuck Berry cover "School Days" the albums presents 9 songs of pure Australian, rock 'n' roll awesomeness.
Lyrics — 8
Lyrically the album pieces together well constructed and well executed rock and roll songs. The choruses are simple yet brilliantly written in means to invite the audience to get involved in the song and sing it loud. Everything from Angus & Malcolm's brilliant guitar style to Bon Scott perfection in delivering driving rock 'n' roll vocals, along to the amazingly tight and driving feel of the band's rhythm section are brilliant on this record. Scott's lyrics are interestingly genius. "The Jack" tells of interesting story about STD's with cleverly written sexual innuendo, where Bon refers to various aspects of the storyline with reference to cards and poker to cover up specific details. Bon's brilliance in this field allows for the songs to be more successful both commercially and in a live sense.
Overall Impression — 10
With the band's live presence present throughout the record the album gives you the feeling that Bon and the boys are about to jump out of the speakers at you and blast some quality rock and roll in your face! It is the mark of a great rock 'n' roll band coming into their own and delivering it brilliantly to the country. It lead-up to amazing success for the band with it's later international releases such as "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" (1976) and "High Voltage" (International Issue) (1976). Overall this album has little to no flaws, with the only possible judgement is whether or not the band quite reached the quality of the original with the album closer "School Days." Nevertheless, it is a brilliant album, worth buying and listening to til the CD's scratched, and then buying it again!
Standout tracks: "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)," "T.N.T.," "Rocker," "Rock 'n' Roll Singer," "Can I Sit Next to You Girl."