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Backtracks (2CD+DVD) Box set

4.7 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, November 10, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

2009 three disc (two CDs + DVD) release from the Australian Rock monsters. Throughout their 35 years of recording, AC/DC has had several tracks that have appeared in a myriad of places besides their official studio albums. From singles to soundtracks to promo samplers, their stray songs have been sought after by fans and are highly collectible. Now, for the first time, Backtracks collects 12 of the band's studio rarities and 15 live rarities and presents them in full remastered form to take their place along side the rest of the band's canon. The DVD brings the million-selling Family Jewels franchise up to date, covering 1993's 'Big Gun' through 2009's 'Anything Goes'. Also included are rare alternate videos for 4four songs as well as the promo clips for the Live album and the previously unreleased 'Guns For Hire'.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Stick Around
  2. Love Song
  3. Fling Thing
  4. R.I.P. (Rock In Peace)
  5. Carry Me Home
  6. Crabsody In Blue
  7. Cold Hearted Man
  8. Snake Eye
  9. Borrowed Time
  10. Down On the Borderline
  11. Big Gun
  12. Cyberspace

Disc: 2

  1. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
  2. Dog Eat Dog
  3. Live Wire
  4. Shot Down in Flames
  5. Back In Black
  6. T.N.T.
  7. Let There Be Rock
  8. Guns for Hire
  9. Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution
  10. This House Is on Fire
  11. You Shook Me All Night Long
  12. Jailbreak
  13. Highway to Hell
  14. For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)
  15. Safe in New York City

Disc: 3

  1. Big Gun
  2. Hard as a Rock
  3. Hail Caesar
  4. Cover You In Oil
  5. Stiff Upper Lip
  6. Satellite Blues
  7. Safe In New York City
  8. Rock N Roll Train
  9. Anything Goes
  10. Jailbreak
  11. It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'N' Roll)
  12. Highway to Hell
  13. You Shook Me All Night Long
  14. Guns for Hire
  15. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
  16. Highway to Hell
  17. The Making of Hard as a Rock
  18. The Making of Rock N Roll Train


Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 10, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: November 10, 2009
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 218 minutes
  • ASIN: B002KREVCO
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,220 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Stuart Jefferson TOP 100 REVIEWER on November 10, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Two discs 46,78 minutes each approximately. The sound is uniformly good. The tracks have been cleaned up a bit,and the band comes through loud and clear. The DVD is icing on the cake,with a number of great performances. The box itself is cleverly done. The outer box resembles an amp/speaker,with all the settings on 10. Inside this is a fold-out package with the three discs,which snap-in,which seems to be the way record companies are packaging things these days. The booklet consists of many color photographs of the band on stage, and reproductions of band info/biographies etc. There are two pages devoted to track information,which while printed in small typeface,is pretty complete.

The first disc consists primarily of singles and tracks (not on the U.S. release) starting with the band's first album,"High Voltage". These tracks show the band from their formative (1974) period,and are presented in chronological order,which is helpful,as it shows the growth of this band into the r&r juggernaut they became. Not all the tracks are full-on r&r("Love Song" as an example),but by the time listeners hear track four, "R.I.P.(Rock in Peace)",this is the AC/DC familiar (sample lyric,"I get my kicks playing my licks and laying my chicks down on Route 66") to everyone who likes primal,full-on r&r. Even the slower songs (like "Crabsody in Blue") have that dirty,primal sound that the band was so famous for.

There are many listeners who feel that the (late) Bon Scott era was a high water mark for the band,and listening to the tracks with Scott,its hard to disagree. Scott's voice is pure,visceral r&r at its best.
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Amazon delivered this right on release day. I immediately started up CD #1. These are the songs that have been on foreign releases only to be heard on expensive imports or murky copies floating around. Now they are remastered and bring Bon Scott back from the dead and some lost tracks from Brian Johnson. It does make a fan wish that there were two parallel AC/DC bands creating music over the last thirty years with Bon Scott still penning lyrics and singing in version 1 and Brian singing in version 2.
1. Stick Around: Bon Scott: 9/10
2. Love Song: Bon Scott: A ballady song. Glad they only made one love song. Still good to hear Bon. great guitar
3. Fling Thing: Primarily an instrumental right out of a Scottish pub.
4. RIP: Bon Scott: A cranker upper 8/10
5. Carry Me Home: Bon Scott:
6. Crabsody in Blue: Bon. Lyrics only Bon would sing. It will make you itch hearing about getting crabs. 9/10
7. Cold Hearted Man: Bon. Dark lyrics, blues style guitar. 10/10
8. Snake Eyes: Brian Johnson One of the better 80s tracks
9. Borrowed Time: Brian Good stadium thumper
10. Down on the Borderline: Great rhythm and Brian in great voice 8/10
11. Big Gun: The only thing good about Last Action Hero. The video on disk #3 is hilarious. Arnold carrying around Angus like a little Chucky doll.
12. Cyberspace: Ac/dc singing about computer stuff. Good to have, but like the Love Song, there was a reason to keep in a B-side. Still, fun to listen to.

CD #2: Live tracks. I wish there was more of Bon era live stuff. Brian's era is recorded with higher end equipment and he tears the roof off material never released live before on CD.

DVD: Rock and Roll with Angus turning up in the strangest places.
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Like many die hard AC/DC fans, I've been waiting for a single release with all of the hard to find Australian and B-Side stuff. I was extremely disappointed that Disc 1 on the standard set and Disc 1 on the deluxe set are different. The Deluxe set has all of the Standard set songs plus alternate versions of songs released in the U.S. I'd have rather had those 6 songs than the entire Disc 2 of the live rarities. Here's what we're missing:

"High Voltage" (Australian Release)
"It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)" (Original Australian Release)
"Rocker" (Original Australian Release)
"Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" (Original Australian Release)
"Ain't No Fun (Waiting Round to be a Millionaire)" (Original Australian Release)
"Who Made Who" (12" Extended Mix)

While there are more things in the Deluxe set (a working amplifier, an LP for those that STILL have a working turntable, another CD, an additional DVD, and some misc promo stuff), I was only interested in the 6 additional songs on Disc 1. They certainly could have included them, they just chose not to. While I'm glad they finally released the songs that have been floating around on bootlegs for years, I wish they'd have done it RIGHT - for the fans, not the profit. If you have $200 burning in your pocket pick up the deluxe edition, otherwise definitely pick up this set.
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Ok, alright, I admit it: I WAS going to use this review as an opportunity to moan and complain and whine but ultimately...ouuuff... (very long exhale and sigh...) I changed my mind...I decided that, other than relieving myself, such a review wouldn't end up being much more useful. And so, instead of writing the review immediately after getting this box, I waited a couple of months in order to chill, make most of my whining privately, and THEN write something a bit more objective. But before digging into the actual review, I still feel compelled to give you all a bit of the thoughts I have entertained in the back of my head for the past couple of months, so please bear with me.

As you probably know by now, there are 2 versions of "Backtracks": a 2 CD + 1 DVD "standard" one, available pretty much anyplace where CD's are still sold (fewer and fewer of those every day...), and a limited, super-duper, "there go the keys to Angus' car" Deluxe version that comes in a guitar amplifier-shaped box that ACTUALLY WORKS as amplifier!!! At 200 bucks, it's hardly a bargain! Needless to say, most people are sticking to the budget version.

On paper, this is a fantastic idea: after decades (literally!) of lurking in obscurity, releasing some of the rarest, most sought after AC/DC material is a dream come true for diehards. Indeed, for years AC/DC's catalog was consistently butchered, starting with the questionable decision of creating a "compilation" out of the band's first 2 Australian releases for international release, changing the running order and song lineup of albums, throwing together quick cash-ins ('74 Jailbreak), using shorter length edits of songs and so forth.
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