AC/DC

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 20 Feb 2018

Member Reviews

Yet another superb book from Martin Popoff! His "AC/DC" goes through the impressively long career of the Australian rock band the only right way: album after album, and one hit song after another; it's always entertaining, often enlightening - and it looks gorgeous, too. Having read four or five books by Popoff by now, I badly need more of them!
Was this review helpful?
A great music history.  The book begins with the early days and then follows an album by album history.  With each album the author interviews many of those who were involved with the band and the albums.  This is not a gossipy book but an in depth look at the music.   Even die hard fans will find some new information included.  I really enjoyed reading the stories behind the songs and albums.  The text also includes lots of wonderful photographs.  And yes it was fun to read and see photographs from the concerts I attended.  Any music fan will love reading this book.  Enjoy
Was this review helpful?
This is a book for any fan of AC/DC, the author takes you through each of their albums from the first to their last. You get pictures, a workup on the album cover art, how the songs were picked and the difference between the UK release and the US release. You get a look into the song writing and he also takes opinions of journalists on what their opinion was on each album. You also get a look into some of the tours as well. Also the top songs form each album and how the album did and how songs did on the charts in both the UK and the US. I found this to be a very good book about the band and about each album and for me as a record collector I would love to find an Australian release of their first album because of the art work and the songs were different as well. For me I was liked “Highway to Hell”, the last with Bon Scott as the lead singer and “Back in Black”. Overall as a music fan of rock and roll and as a record collector I found this to be a very good book, and if you are a fan of AC/DC just the better and a must read.
Was this review helpful?
I was unable to get around to reading this book before it expired.
Was this review helpful?
So, are you an AC/DCfan? If so, then you must read this book. Always love when bios have photos to complenent the story, and this book give a great example about how to use picts correctly. Also, AC/DC history isn't as juicy as others (actually, is really similar to iron Maiden history), do the book isn't amazing, but is entertaiment enough
Was this review helpful?
This is a must have book for all AC/DC fans! It covers all the studio albums they have produced from High Voltage in 1975 to Rock or Bust in 2014.  There are 16 albums to read about over the many decades of recording from this Australian band.

Each album has an introduction as to its origins, with details of the songs, covers, release dates and producers. The author moves on to interview a number of 'superfans' for the rest of the chapter regarding that particular album.

There is lots of photography from the bands history, many of which my husband, who also looked at this book with me, had not seen before.

I received this book from netgalley in return for a honest review.
Was this review helpful?
What a fabulous book! OK, I am a huge AC/DC fan and this is the perfect book for a fan. The photos in the book are gorgeous. I really liked the format of the book as well, starting out from the beginnings of the band to current day. This book gives the background of the band and also the stories of the members of the bands. There are not too many heavy metal bands that are as legendary as AC/DC, and this book revels in that. It reminds the reader of the history in showing pictures of the band, memorabilia from back in the day (like ticket stubs). I got flashbacks to graduating high school and my early 20's for much of it. I have seen the band several times in concert and love them. If you love AC/DC, read this book!
Was this review helpful?
A comprehensive guide to AC/DC, the author Martin Popoff has succeeded in producing yet another a work that is both engaging to the occasional listener of the group as well as the more hardened fan. Accompanied with images from throughout the group's long history, there is plenty to look at and read as well as having on your shelf or coffee table to reference during those late night "discussions" with friends over a drink or three. Recommended for the fan.
Was this review helpful?
Martin Popoff is a prodigious producer of heavy metal and hard rock books – 69 so far according to his bio. His books are not places to look for back story, tales from the road, gossip or other shenanigans. His books usually focus on albums as a way of relating the arc of careers, picking through the detail on a song by song basis. Many can be found for a $1 a Pop(off), usually covering a single album.

Here however Popoff has switched gear here, presenting a much more lavish coffee table style book that considers every AC/DC release in turn up to “Rock or Bust”. It’s beautifully produced and comes packed with a wealth of pictures of the band, album and single covers, posters, adverts and tour passes.

It’s an easy book to dip in and out of. Laid out in chronological order, each section starts with a track listing, writing, production and playing credits set alongside the album art. Popoff pens an introductory summary and then a panel discussion using a Q&A format sets out the more substantive narrative. 

Although the panel doesn’t stretch to including Angus or Brian Johnson, amongst the eclectic mix of contributors are former drummers Phil Rudd and Simon Wright, “Razor’s Edge / Thunderstruck” producer Mike Fraser, Atlantic Records executive Phil Carson, Megadeath bassist David Ellefson, Twisted Sister guitarist Jay Jay French and Joel O’Keefe, lead vocalist and guitarist with AC/DC clones Airbourne. 

Popoff’s work will obviously sell well with hardcore fans; perhaps unlikely to reel in the mildly curious or unfamiliar. I’d describe myself as familiar with some but far from all of AC/DC’s output but I found it an engaging read. The panel’s credentials as fans are clear enough, but it’s not a hagiography. The album “TNT” is described as “charmingly twee” whilst “Fly On The Wall” and “Blow Up Your Video” are “phoned in”. “For Those About To Rock” – “didn’t cut the mustard”, “a yawner” – the difficult second album with the second singer. Thankfully Popoff’s early stylistic reductions of “have to” to “hafta” and references to “gals” in the text aren’t sustained.

Happily, the book illustrates how you can love a band and still see its flaws. Popoff “loved the band instantly but always in a protective way …. We humoured them. AC/DC was a bit unstudied, not much more than Kiss without makeup”. “Simple music from the least pretentious band in the world”. “Powerage” is cited as a long-term favourite, alongside “Highway To Hell” as the “best half an album” ever recorded.

The panel format is more effective on some albums than others – at time a little too much repetition of “what are your favourite tracks” but this is balanced by the personal stories of how the panel members came to the albums. There’s a lot of detailed discussion of individual songs, the production and mixes, and the activities of other band at the time of each release.

The absence of back story and the focus on albums means that Bob Scott’s death gets no discussion – he’s just not on the next album. However, Brian Johnson’s selection as new frontman is debated as part of the albums that follow Bon’s death and yield a few interesting perspectives; he had more vocal range but just as much “paint stripper”; the Van Halen comparison where Scott was like Lee Roth – more personality than vocal prowess, with Johnson like Hagar – better voice, more radio friendly, but less of a frontman. My favourite – Johnson joining made a lot more sense than Buggles joining Yes.

There are some interesting other snippets too. The costumes Angus tried and rejected before he settled on a schoolboy outfit, how Malcolm Young’s guitar is always on the left, Angus always on the right speaker and a great Jay Jay French anecdote about an obliging Johnson being asked to phone a fellow band members girlfriend only to be told to do one.

It's not the definitive history of the band. It didn't set out to be that. But it is a gorgeously laid out look at the band's work, and at £20 reasonably priced too.
Was this review helpful?
I don't know about you but I grew up listening to AC/DC. I know most of the words to most of their songs still to this day. Did I know the history of the band and of the songs? No but I do now. 

This book is filled with fascinating stories of how the band got together, how they produced their albums and where their heads were at the time. You get an honest look at each of the band members. Martin Popoff introduces you to all things AC/DC not just with second hand stories but through interviewing each and every person in the band and people along the way that had an impact on the band. 

There is also a ton of awesome pictures throughout the book. Not just pictures of the band. There are photos of album covers, PR photos and more.

Do you now that Angus Young, Malcolm Young and Bon Scott wrote most of the songs for the band? Do you know why Angus wears the school boy outfit? Do you know how the band got it's start? You will after reading this book.

With Bon Scott passing away in 1980 and now Malcolm Young passing away recently it is only right that someone has written a true account of the journey for the band and Martin Popoff has done it. 

I received this book from the Author or Publisher via Netgalley.com to read and review.
Was this review helpful?
A fantastically detailed, insiders look at every studio album in this illustrious’s band’s career.
Was this review helpful?
A wonderful tribute book to this amazing rock and roll band that is loved by many.
Was this review helpful?
Hells Bells! I loved this book. The history of AC/DC and insights into the band, the songs, the albums and history of them was over the top for this long time AC/DC fan. 
You feel like you now know them personally and have the inside info.  Great book for any AC/DC fan.
Was this review helpful?
I received a free electronic copy of AC/DC by Martin Popoff from NetGalley for my honest review. Fantastic book. The pictures of the bands and albums were a bright and beautiful touch bringing the music and the band to life. I loved all the different insights of all the band members. I also enjoyed learning how the band started all the way up to where they are now and the personal details of the band members. Great read for any AC/DC fan.
Was this review helpful?
Popoff's AC/DC is a beautifully put together tribute to a legendary hard rock band.  The book itself is filled with great photographs of the band members and of memorabilia such as tickets and album covers (from back when we actually bought whole albums of music).  Although they were an Australian band, AC/DC brings back memories of big V-8 American cars and loud party music.  This band was all about having fun.  No attempt to present pretentious progressive art rock, no disco beat, no new wave haircuts.  And, they never took themselves too seriously from Angus' schoolboy shorts to the not-so-serious tongue-in-cheek lyrics of Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.  I recommend putting on some of their music in the background while you peruse this volume.

This book is not a travelogue of the band's tours and their hotel room parties and experiences with groupies, drugs, alcohol, and the like.  It is actually a serious book examining the development of their music from their early days when the brothers Angus and Malcolm learned from older brother George who was in the hip Australian band the Easybeats whose hit Friday on My Mind was covered by everyone from Van Morrison to Bowie to Frampton and the Blue Oyster Cult.  The book traces the development of each album and how their music changed and what worked.  That being said, this book is targeted at the serious fan who is familiar with a lot of their catalog much more so than the casual and occasional listener.
Was this review helpful?
5 enthusiastic stars! I’m an AC/DC fan starting in the ‘80’s. Back in Black was my first album so it holds so many memories and is one of my favorites.

What I love about this book is the format. Starting from the beginning and introducing the eldest brother, George Young who was in a successful band, the Easybeats in the late 60’s (never heard of them). Of course I get on the internet and looked them up. I’m listening to Friday on My Mind. Not only do I recognize it, I know the words. Then I had to listen to all their songs. Cool vibe.

Back to the format.
* I love the interview style. Popoff has a knack for asking great questions. The contributing interviewees offered an insider’s look at the band and its members. I especially liked how they talked about Angus, his antics and solos on stage.
* Album by album coverage. Knowing all the details of each album was entertaining and where the band’s heads were at that time.
* Photos! Fantastic photos and scrapbook memorabilia.

I learned so much from reading this. I liked how they had a bluesy start and I listened to the songs again as if for the first time picking up on guitar riffs, drums, and that blues tone. One last thing. The stories about the songs. Awesome. The Jack was about that??

Thank you NetGalley, Martin Popoff, and Quarto Publishing Group -Voyageur Press
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley for the opportunity to preview AC/DC.
My favorite band - this bio novel has alot of information that I didn't know and the research is done well.  Popoff knows this band and is able to capture the raw moments of this "crew".
Well written - fans will love this one....
RECOMMEND!
Was this review helpful?