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The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC Hardcover – August 5, 2014
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- Mark Evans (AC/DC, 1975-'77)
"A savvy new book... Fink, quite properly, can't stand the kind of music critic who feels pleasing a crowd is a suspect achievement, somehow antithetical to the spirit of rock. In the end, [he] seems to be in two minds about AC/DC. That seems the right number of minds for an adult to be in about them, especially an adult who encountered their best albums during the sweet spot of his youth."
- The Australian
"Recent books [about AC/DC]... didn't offer much to change our perception of the band. Jesse Fink's study of the Young brothers takes a different approach... giving us a different version of many stories, especially when it comes to the wheeling and dealing behind the rock. Fink is clearly in love with AC/DC, but he knows the old bird has some warts under her make-up, and doesn't shy away from revelations that cast the Youngs in a less than flattering light."
- Rolling Stone ★ ★ ★ ★ (four-star review)
"I loved it." - Jerry Greenberg (president of Atlantic Records, 1974-'80)
"A great job." - Back In Black and Highway To Hell engineer Tony Platt
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Top Customer Reviews
I was fortunate enough to do some session work at Alberts studio around 1974/75 with a band named Jackie Christian and Flight, which included my good friend and drummer Tony Currenti. Tony and I were both huge fans of the Easybeats and for us to work with Harry Vanda and George Young was a huge honour.
We weren’t disappointed. George Young was a musical genius, very down to earth, but with a brain that was always three or four steps ahead of everyone else. He knew what he wanted and if he didn’t get it, you were out and the next person was in.
I also knew that he was working with his younger brothers Malcolm and Angus, who I had met briefly through a school friend of mine named Ed Golab.
During this period, AC/DC were working on their first album, and after Flight’s sessions were finished, George would come and grab Tony Currenti and get him to play on the AC/DC tracks. Tony was exactly what George was looking for in a drummer, and with George playing bass and Tony on drums, the powerful rhythm section for the first AC/DC album was laid down. When mixed with the guitar sounds of Malcolm and Angus, something new and lethal was born. It was pure powerage rock n roll and if it didn’t hit you right between the eyes and invade your senses, then my friend, you belonged in the morgue.
Much to my delight, Jesse Fink had really done his homework and his inclusion of people like Tony Currenti.Read more ›
Fink does start of trying to explain why AC/DC have such mass appeal, & what makes their music so good how the relationship between the three brothers Young contributed to their success, but then it deteriorates to a roll call of people who feel like they have been hard done by the band, such as Tony Currenti who claims to have played drums on “High Voltage”, but not received a penny in royalties, the same with Gerard Huerta who designed the AC/DC logo.
In fairness Fink does try to show both sides of the argument, but constantly reminds the reader that the band will not consent to an interview.
There’s also a constant criticism of fellow AC/DC authors, which is a little unfair, as they are not given the opportunity to reply to Finks accusations.
The most disappointing part of the book (a whole chapter is given over to it), is the conspiracy theory that Bon Scott wrote all the lyrics for “Back in Black”, it like Elvis supposedly faking his own death to escape from the media spot light.
But the worst accusation that Fink makes, is that since “Back in Black”, the only decent song the band have written is “Thunderstruck”, & the only reason that AC/DC are still so popular is that models & celebrities wear AC/DC t-shirts!
It is a shame that there is so much negativity in this book, as Fink is a good writer, & one wonders if there is something he’s not telling that contributed to the dark tone of the Bio.
But I'm not a knee-jerk fan-boy. Not everything that comes out about them (or even any album they've done in the last 20 years) automatically gets the thumbs-up from me.
But this book is an exception. It's a ****ing stunner. Why? Because the Young brothers wouldn't cooperate with or even talk to the author, which forced him to dig behind the scenes, find people who would talk, and unearth never-before-heard stories.
If you're a true fan - and there are millions of us out there - it truly is a must read. You'll never look at the Youngs in the same way again, or love them more than you already do. A book for the ages..
Where to start? Firstly this is a book which rocks along at a great pace. For any of fan of AC/DC this book will probably be devoured in one or two sittings. It's stuffed full of great, expert insight into the deeply complex brothers who gave the world the most direct band ever to have turned on guitar amps. At no point during the book does it feel as though the subjects are not deserving of the care and attention Jesse Fink has put into getting to the root of their genius. Malcolm and Angus are arguably two of the most beloved musicians on earth - this great book affords them the deference they deserve yet does not flinch from the truth. This only serves to make it an even more fascinating read, a read that is all about integrity, information and humanity - and the core of the biggest rock band of all time. It's a read which will get most of the readers as close to Malcolm and Angus as is possible, this makes it even more poignant and powerful given Malcolm's fragile health.
The real star of this book though, is Tony Currenti. I'm not going to give the story away, you'll have to buy the book for that. Tony's story is part tragedy, part inspiration - especially if you follow his progress after the book was first published. It frames Jesse Fink's attitude to writing perfectly: that special talent of being able to delve deeper to find the story to find raw humanity in a subject - and it's always a subject he cares deeply about. He does that wonderfully well with Tony's heartbreaking yet uplifting story.
If you are fan of AC/DC then buy this book right now. It's as simple as that: you must read it. It's one of the best, if not the best, AC/DC book ever written. Enjoy!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Stopped reading it about 2/3's through. Was hoping for some great insight on my favorite band, but this book is nothing more than a collection of whiners that feel they were... Read morePublished 20 days ago by Joe B
It was a tough read for a die-hard AC/DC fan because Mr. Fink pulls no punches when talking about Angus and Malcolm. While Mr. Read morePublished 3 months ago by bob
It's definitely a long way to the top if you want to R&R, and it's all here.Published 4 months ago by Elimey
I've only read a couple of chapters so far, so I can't really give a full review.....but what I've read so far is very interesting and very well written.Published 5 months ago by CAROL ROBB
I love AC/DC and I did enjoy this book for the most part. Fink does a decent job at examining why AC/DC has had so much success and what makes them appealing to a large audience. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Connor
Excellent read. A real page turner on the story of AC/DC and the people behind the scenes that made it happen.Published 7 months ago by Leon J Tsilis
It is obvious this author did his homework as this book is full of information yet is a very good read which is something not every author could pull off. Read morePublished 7 months ago by John A. Robinson