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Customer Review

101 of 123 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A review from a musician's point of view., October 3, 2001
This review is from: Back in Black (Audio CD)
When I'm writing a song, I'm trying to capture a single image or emotion and transfer that to the listener. Because I have a limit of only a few minutes and a few words, that concept must be simple. Another rule is that I usually don't want to describe the idea directly; I want to talk around it, to allude to it. The audience has to be able to make some contribution to the act of creation, and using too-literal lyrics defies that. You don't sing, "I had sex with her and I really enjoyed it"; you sing, "The walls were shakin', the earth was quakin', my mind was achin', and we were makin' it, and you...shook me all night long"!

I don't really think about it in such detail. I just rely on an instinct of what will work and what won't. The boys in AC/DC are quite aware of what they are aiming for, and their instincts in this regard are sensational.

On this album, AC/DC has captured and perfectly transmitted the idea of MASCULINITY. It's a man's record full of men's images and urges. Rock 'n' roll is basically a man howling about his desires, and he often desires women, liquor, and guitars that sound like sheets of metal being destroyed by power tools. It's a very simple thing, really.

Normally, live music loses its edge in the recording process, becoming more bland. To combat this, producers try to enrich the sound with effects like reverberation (echoes that create a sense of space), chorus (modulating the pitch to make the instrument or voice sound thicker) and equalization (boosting or cutting certain high or low frequencies). The equipment used to do this changes from year to year, and therefore the more effects are used, the more the recording sounds 'dated.' Reverb machines from the early 70's had a very different sound from those used in the 80's, or 90's, for example.

Back In Black has very simple production, with almost no discernible effects. But it isn't bland. It's savage in the intensity of its tone. How did they do that? (Gibson now produces a model of guitar pickup named after Angus Young. I'll be buying a pair.)

Angus and Malcolm Young have created a lot of the catchiest guitar phrases in the entire body of rock music. Their masterpiece is the collection of gut-wrenching licks on the title song here. These will achieve timelessness because the average guitar player can learn to reproduce them--but never with the Angus touch.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 17, 2006 8:16:07 AM PDT
P. Ramirez says:
A very well written review that belongs in the pages of Rolling Stone. Wow! I commend you on your musical tone, and love of the music. Bravo.
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