AC/DC - Blow Up Your Video review


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Band: AC/DC
Album: Blow Up Your Video
Release date: January 1988

01. Heatseeker
02. That's The Way I Wanna Rock 'n' Roll
03. Meanstreak
04. Go Zone
05. Kissin' Dynamite
06. Nick Of Time
07. Some Sin For Nuthin'
08. Ruff Stuff
09. Two's Up
10. This Means War

A comeback of sorts for AC/DC, Blow Up Your Video saw the band at the head of the pack on the strength of their (then) present rather than their past, as had been the case after coasting on two poorly received albums. Blow Up Your Video doesn't see the band find their way again; except for a few class tracks, it is an uneven album, but one that strikes one hell of a chord when it does get it right.

Starting with strongest foot first, the opening duo of "Heatseeker" and "That's The Way I Wanna Rock 'N' Roll" are instant classics that demand their spot amongst the classics the band are known for. Easily their strongest tracks since For Those About To Rock, they seem like a breath of fresh air and will have you playing air guitar like a looney.

"Nick Of Time" is a gem that is overlooked by many as they gloss over the rest of the album; while not as strong as either the aforementioned tracks, its certainly not a dud and deserves to be dug up from the obscurity that it has fallen into. The track has a purpose and power to it that is lacking for much of the album.

The playing is a mixed bag; while no member can be knocked for putting in a bad performance, the band just do not sound like their heart is in it. Sure, the playing is proficient and it sounds much the same as before, with Johnson wailing his unique voice over the place and Angus being his wild self while Cliff, Malcolm and Simon hold down the rhythm well; it just seems like a dull thud rather than a loud bang. Auto pilot is probably the best way to describe it (though this can probably be explained by band leader Malcolm being at his lowest ebb alcoholism-wise during this album's production).

The main problem Blow Up Your Video has is that once the first two tracks are over, it settles into a comfort zone for much of the rest of the album that sees itself out without rousing much in the way of a reaction. It's AC/DC for sure, but the spark is missing; all the ingredients are there but no one wants to mix it together to make it a classic. The riffs are pretty decent, but while I don't expect instant classics on every track, even non-classics on other albums are better than the ones on here.

The opening one-two of the first two tracks does serve to be one hell of a double-edged sword; your hopes are raised to the point you believe the band are delivering another Back In Black and not the Fly On The Wall that the album plummets towards. While unintentional, it does go a long way in cementing the reputation the album has garnered amongst fans.

If you want an AC/DC album to put on in the background Blow Up Your Video is the one to reach for, as it won't distract you too much, either from the undesirable urge to party or from wanting to hit the skip button; it's a thankless job, but some album has to do it.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 7
Production: 7

Written by omne metallum | 30.05.2020


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This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.


Comments: 1   Visited by: 5 users
30.05.2020 - 15:31
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
First, I thought, it's simply an MTV video album (my generation knows what MTV music videos were). Then I thought this: it's like Election Day; they give us promises like the first song. It's awesome, like all the pre-election talks. Then it's the same, old boredom, broken promises, disappointment. In the middle of the album the band comes up with something promising, like the middle of the election period. The last song is an awesome mix between country and rock'n'roll from Elvis's days; you know in the last months of Parliament they need to come up with something for people to remember them by, because soon there will be new elections (albums) and they'll want us to vote again for the same people (and buy their albums).
Standout songs: "Heatseeker," "That's The Way I Wanna Rock 'n' Roll," "This Means War"
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