High Voltage is my favorite AC/DC album, and the song “High Voltage” is one of my favorite songs on there. I think its a near perfect rock and roll song, the only thing nicking it up for me is the pre-chorus when Bon Scott chants, “HIGH…HIGH…HIGH…” Always sounded a bit cheesy to me, but goddamn when that refrain kicks in, the song explodes in rock and roll overdrive. The rest of the song is a funky little number with patented tongue in cheek AC/DC lyrics about embracing an idealized rock and roll lifestyle. This version is a live TV performance from 1975 on Australia’s “TV Week King of Pops Awards.” It’s a classic AC/DC performance with Angus vamping around and Bon losing his crazy jacket. I also love the general presentation TV shows used to have for rock bands in the 60s and 70s. A big well lit stage with a live band, dramatic camera angles, and just an all around simplistic approach. It’s the perfect setting for the strait ahead yet outrageous rock and roll band like AC/DC.
Archive for hard blues
How about that keyboard reflecting in Ray Charles’s sunglasses? That’s rock and roll, or more specifically, the blues. This legendary scene, from the “Blues Brothers” movie, is and irreplaceable document of blues rock awesomeness. The Blues Brothers were a group formed by Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, two SNL geniuses who loved the blues and came up with this brilliant concept for a Chicago based blues group. The dark suits, hats, and shades are icons of TV and movie magic. It’s just another example of the insane role that the likes of Aykroyd and Belushi were on in the late 70s/early 80s when it came to dominating the coolest ideas of global comedy. The original Blues Brothers band consists mostly of the first SNL band, and they really cook. It’s a reminder of how huge SNL was in the late 70s that even the band members got starring roles in a blockbuster feature film. The movie, directed by hot 80s director John Landis, is a crazy car crashing romp of great music and fantastic dance sequences, evidenced below. Check it out.
Part 13 of my youtube favorites countdown continues with the hard-blues psyche fest, John Lennon’s Cold Turkey. Just around the time the Beatles broke up, John Lennon set loose a blistering array of personal/emotional/political singles; Instant Karma, Give Peace a Chance, and this immortal classic, Cold Turkey. John wrote the song about his experience in conquering heroin with his wife Yoko Ono in late 1969. He offered it to the Beatles, but Paul said no, so John said fuck it, and recorded and released it with the Plastic Ono Band. The lineup is legendary. Ringo on drums, Eric Clapton on lead guitar, and his old German pal Klaus Voormann (designer of the Revolver cover) on bass. The song features one of John’s hardest riffs and possibly his most bone chilling vocal delivery. The song was not that big of a hit, prompting John to return his MBE (Member of the British Empire badge) in protest writing, “I am returning this MBE in protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam, and against Cold Turkey slipping down the charts. With love, John Lennon of Bag.”