Post Image

Is 1976’s «High Voltage» the real debut of a famous band? Internationally yes, but in Australia, the previous year, «TNT» and «High Voltage» had already been released, which differed from the international version of the album both in content and in the cover. The cover photo, starring an unbridled Angus Young, represented from the beginning everything that AC/DC music was, is and will be.

In 1976, the album cover was really important because it was the first thing people saw. And the photography of «High Voltage» is an exact counterpart to the music we can hear on the album. Unbridled rock’n’roll in its endless rhythmic track, without letting the listener breathe for even a second. The track listing was compiled from a selection of songs from the Australian albums «TNT» and «High Voltage» from 1975. While the provincial version of «High Voltage» was more in the glam rock vein, the follow-up «TNT « already adopted a harder rock sound that we still love today, like AC/DC used to do. Both albums were successful nationally and heralded an international record deal that featured the best of both albums.

The band’s worldwide debut was released on May 14, 1976. Although the album «High Voltage» was a worldwide success and sold three million units in the US alone, it was not seen as well by critics, e.g. Rolling Stone magazine criticized the album as much as they could. How about… AC/DC suddenly opened the door to a world that would soon be at their feet?

How about some points of interest? The Young brothers drew attention to their Scottish origins (their parents had moved from Glasgow to Australia in the 1950s) on «It’s a Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock N’Roll)», which features Scottish bagpipes in which Bon Scott played. The singer also wrote the lyrics to «The Jack». It was inspired by a letter Malcolm Young received from a woman while on tour. The letter said he had infected her with a sexually transmitted disease, although she claimed she had been tested and was fine. The lyrics were very explicit at first, but were later edited by Scott in case the song received radio airplay.

Gold LP reissues of classic AC/DC albums are coming soon. Among them “High Voltage”.

Share in
Tagged in