75 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2003
This is the American debut of AC/DC, and from the moment this record was released, rock and roll as we knew it would forever change. The last line of that sentence may sound a bit corny, but anyone who's familiar with the AC/DC story knows it's also true. However, "High Voltage" wasn't initially greeted with love in America. As the liner notes state, it got a scathing review in "Rolling Stone" in 1976, when Billy Altman dismissed the record as an exercise in "calculated stupidity." Well, not only has this record gone multiplatinum, but it also helped secure the band an esteemed place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Not bad for "stupidity," huh? Anyway, "High Voltage" is really a compilation of the group's first two Australian albums and it's one of the essential AC/DC recordings of the Bon Scott era. The essence of "High Voltage" and AC/DC is pretty much summed up in the infectious "Rock and Roll Singer," which is nothing more than a carefree tribute to having a good time and dodging responsibility. Other highlights are "TNT" the bluesy drive of "The Jack," and the excellent "Live Wire." The production has a somewhat raw and bluesy feel; it sounds like the band recorded the album right in your own living room. "High Voltage" has been remastered by Sony, and the booklet has interesting liner notes and great photos of the band. Along with "Powerage" and "Highway to Hell," "High Voltage" is one of my favorite pre-"Back in Black" AC/DC albums and should be one of your first purchases, even if you already have the original pressings of the LP, cassette or CD.
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2003
"High Voltage" was one of the first albums I purchased when I was in Junior High School. I finally decided to replace my pop filled album copy with this newly minted remaster. It sounds great especially without all the pops from my album version. The US release of "High Voltage" was an eye opener in 1976 for the unknowing US buyers. The Young brothers unleashed their patented blues/boogie riffs on the unsuspecting stateside public still accustomed to singer-songwriters. The catchy riffs eventually became favorites of rockers everywhere. The album is actually a compilation of two albums issued earlier in their Australian homeland "High Voltage" and "TNT". "High Voltage" also features original bass player Mark Evans along with long time drummer Phil Rudd. Bon Scott's vocals provide a boozy swagger missing from the current version of the band fronted however admirably Brit screamer Brian Johnson. The set contains a number of classics like "It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'N' Roll)", and "Live Wire". My own personal favorites are the double-entendre filled "The Jack", "TNT" with its "Oi! Oi! Oi!" chant and "High Voltage". The other tracks are also interesting. This is one of their best albums especially from the period when Bon Scott was in the band. The new disk also contains a link to a website with more information about the making of the album, pictures, tour dates from their tour to promote "High Voltage" and other interesting items for fans of the band.
My only regret other than the first song being edited is that no bonus tracks were included from either the original Australian release of "High Voltage" or "TNT" the other Australian only release that some of the tracks on the US version of "High Voltage" were taken. Some of these cuts are still not released in the United States.
The remastered version also contains new expanded liner notes and photos including copies of the Australian covers of "High Voltage" and "TNT". This is the album that started it all. The rest as they say is history. The Young brothers riffs carry the day along with the vocals of Scott. It is appropriate that this instantly recognizable band will be inducted into the Rock 'N' Roll Hall Of Fame.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2005
This is definetly one of the best AC/DC albums. It is basically a compilation of the "best" songs from their first two Australian albums. Every song on here is excellent.
1. It's A Long Way To the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)-5/5. Simply one of the best rock songs ever. Heavy riffing, great Bon Scott vocals and a bagpipe solo. It actually fits the song very well. The best song on the album.
2. Rock 'n' Roll Singer-4/5. Another great guitar riff with great Bon Scott vocals. AC/DC were always at their best when their songs were about the rock lifestyle.
3. The Jack-5/5. Very bluesy, slow song about being with a woman who has an STD. As disgusting as it may sound, the lyrics actually describe it as a card game. Very witty. One of the best songs on here.
4. Live Wire-4/5. A little slower and a lot less raw than the rest of the album. The lyrics and vocal delivery make up for the lack of raw power.
5. T.N.T.-4/5. This song is pure attitude. Very heavy beat that keeps your head bobbing. Another great vocal performance from Bon Scott.
6. Can I Sit Next To You Girl-4/5. Very upbeat with a bit of a dancy feel, in a rock 'n' roll way!! Cool, sexually charged lyrics. AC/DC are very good at this type of song.
7. Little Lover-5/5. Another bluesy number with great guitar playing. Lyrically, it's about spending a little "quality time" with an underage groupie. Great vocals from Scott.
8. She's Got Balls-4/5. This is probably my least favorite song on the album. It still has a classic title and excellent lyrics with a great vocal. A little less raw than the other songs.
9. High Voltage-5/5. Another great raw energy and attitude track. Upbeat and exciting. Another excellent song with great rock 'n' roll lyrics and a great vocal delivery.
This album is full of excellent songs where even the weaker ones are on par with the best of AC/DC's 1980's hits. Bon Scott had a vocal style and energy that, with all due respect, Brian Johnson just doesn't have. This is one of their absolute best albums.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2007
This is the original 1974 High Voltage release. Only released in Australia, you may notice its tracks resemble that of 74 Jail break released years later in 198something after Bon Scotts death.
AC/DC released this and an album called T.N.T in Oz, and when releasing there first international release, they combined the best of the two albums... pretty much two tracks from this, and the rest where from TNT.
However, this is still the only album you can hear "love song" and "stick around" or is that "you ain't got a hold on me?" ..whichever...
now, completely ignore amazons sellers asking 170 bucks for this? BUWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA the album is still in print in Australia and it will cost you under 30 bucks to import it from here... god, what a rip off.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2001
AC/DC first North American release was a collection of songs about the rock 'n roll life style. Hard rock with a mild blend of blues, AC/DC's sound was very memorable and their High Voltage album would be too.
Who could argue that AC/DC would not be a band to remember. During 1976 rock bands like Heart, Peter Frampton and The Bee Gees ruled the air waves and to have a group of rowdy ruff hard rocking Aussies with a maniacal front man show up, who wouldn't notice?
Anyway the album is a classic! The title track HIGH VOLTAGE, TNT and LIVE WIRE are the highlights but other
good tracks are IT'S A LONG WAY TO THE TOP IF YOU WANNA ROCK 'N ROLL, ROCK 'N ROLL SINGER, CAN I SIT NEXT TO YOU GIRL, and THE JACK. The other two songs
SHE GOT BALLS and LITTLE LOVER are basically filler but some fans may like them a lot.
Bottom line AC/DC's debut should not be avoided. Sure it's no Back in Black or Highway to Hell but it is a good rock album. I love the guitar playing on LIVE WIRE! I enjoyed the album very much! Almost every songs is good!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2001
High Voltage is an amazing album, in my opinion it captures AC/DC at their all time best, now don't get me wrong I'm a huge fan and seriously like every album but for some reason none of them can even compare to this one. Every song is classic, Angus Young's playing is top notch, the rhythm section of Phil Rudd and Mark Evans is incredibly solid, Malcolm Young also proves that he's the most underrated rhythm guitar player of all time, and what can be said about legendary frontman Bonn Scott, his whiskey drenched voice fits the blues based rock very well. The production on the album is also great courtesy of George Young, older brother of Angus and Malcolm. The album kicks off with one of AC/DC's finest songs ever, It's A Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll. Everything about it is perfect, great solid rhythm and great guitar playing by both of the Young brothers. Rock 'n' Roll Singer is another really cool song, not very different than anything AC/DC's done, but great none the less. The next song is The Jack, this is to this day an in concert favorite, AC/DC's blues influences shine on this one. Live Wire is not anything that you wouldn't expect from AC/DC, great rhythm, top notch guitar playing, and excellent singing. The next song is probably AC/DC's best ever, T.N.T. This is also an in concert favorite, and it's extremely well written. Can I Sit Next to You Girl is another rocker it's then followed by Little Lover which is another blues based song similar to The Jack. She's Got Balls is a classic, the music is awesome and just the song in general is fantastic. Angus is great and Phil Rudd's drums compliment the song, the best part about him is that he doesn't overplay. The album closes with the title track, High Voltage. This song is also amazing, the best part about AC/DC is that even though their songs sound similar they are all really good. So that's it folks the end of one of the greatest albums of all time, only nine songs but not one bad one, this is a must have for any music fan.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2000
Most of the tracks on this album are actually from AC/DC's second australian release "TNT". The only thing that can be said about "Highvoltage", or any Bon Scott era album for that matter is OUTSTANDING. This stuff is the rawest and most enjoyable Rock N Roll you'll ever hear. All releases between '74-'79 are consistently good, so buy them indiscriminately.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2007
Ac/Dc are a band unlike any other.In a world of change this band has stuck to it's guns and has not changed no matter what the musical climate.Many critizize the band for this but I say it takes guts to believe in yourself that much that you don't care what your peers are doing. Look at what happened in the late 90s when grunge overtook the world,it would have been so easy for Ac/Dc to water down their sound to fit in but they never did.Right to the end they played the same high energy music with screaming vocals and searing guitars played to a blues rhythm.Many have tried to imitate them but no one has succeded because blues music (which is what this is based in) can't be taught or copied,it comes from the heart.Now,let me go on with the review of High Voltage in particular. This is one of the very best Ac/Dc CD's ever recorded.Other than Highway To Hell,this is the best Bon Scott fronted CD's ever.Every song is instantly memorable,and is also easy to sing along with.Starting with "It's A Long Way To The Top" which is the perfect opening song for a rock band,to the amazingly catchy "Rock N Roll Singer" to one of the greatest sing a long songs ever "The Jack" basically there is not a single bad song in the bunch.TNT and Little Lover are my personal favorites from this CD but there honestly is not one bad song. Many people have put this band down because Angus didn't play a million notes a second like Eddie Van Halen or Yngwie but Angus could say it all with 3 notes bent with feeling.Most guitar players out there don't understand that.Angus is a master of feeling.Ac/Dc is all about making the listener "feel" the music,not just listen to it. Many have also given negative reviews to Bon's vocals,sure he didn't have the highest range but he had something even more special,he had a very distinctive voice,when you heard an Ad/Dc song you KNEW it was him singing...to a lesser degree Brian Johnson carried on that tradition with Back in Black and beyond...it is crucial for a singer to be distinctive and Bon's voice fit PERFECTLY with this music. This is a true masterpiece,not just for all fans of hard rock and metal but for fans of rock and roll period,because while it does have it's heavy moments it also has lots of rhythm and blues and a lot of soul.Absolutely you should buy this CD.
The upside:A great CD,filled with catchy songs,the highlights are "Tnt" "Little Lover" "The jack" "High Voltage" "It's A Long Way","Rock And Roll Singer",and "Live Wire" (realizing I mentioned nearly every song,but that's seriously how good this is)
The downside:Ac/Dc never changes,for many this is a bad thing,you can ALWAYS know what to expect from them.You won't ever find a disco song or a rap song or a country song on an Ac/Dc album.There are no surprises.However,in my book that's a good thing.If you want great dancable rock and roll that you can sing along,you always know you can rely on Ac/Dc...aside from all the albums having the same style (which is good in my opinion) there are no downsides at all
The bottom line:Good time rock and roll at it's best.It won't make you think too hard,it's easy to remember and fun to sing along and dance to.You should run not walk to buy this,the donutman says so!!!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2003
Here we have the debut albumby AC/DC, HIGH VOLTAGE. It is not the same version as the one that was released internationally, that cd was acombination of this album and of TNT, both which are imports. Here we have 8 meaty tracks that we can sink are teeth into. From the very beginning, the band proved they could rock, and that they would be a force to reckon with in the coming years. You want tracks that rock, then I suggest you listen to: SHE'S GOT BALLS, LITTLE LOVER, BABY PLEASE DONT GO, SHOW BUSINESS, SOUL STRIPPER. The only track I think is a little below the rest is STICK AROUND, its not a bad song, but it is just average compared to the others. You want a surprise, then I suggest you listen to LOVE SONG. Its an AC/DC power ballad long before these type of songs became the rage in the 80's. So recommend that you get you hands on this album any way you can. Dont waste you money on 74'JAILBREAK you can find 4 out of the 5 songs on the album here.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2007
Here's the track listing: 1. Baby Please Don't Go 2. She's Got Balls 3. Little Lover 4. Stick Around 5. Soul Stripper 6. You Ain't Got A Hold Of Me 7. Love Song 8. Show Business