The first American album, High Voltage hit in 1976 (there were two albums before this one that were released solely in Australia). The sleaze of Bon Scott’s vocals along with the guitar playing of Angus Young was not enough to garner international acclaim from the time it was released (but it is an album that has aged very well as songs like “T.N.T.” and “High Voltage” still receive extensive airplay.
Tracks you may know:
T.N.T. – This and probably anything off Back in Black are the most played songs in the band’s catalogue. While the song itself holds up, the amount of overplay it has received causes me to cringe every time I hear “Oy, Oy, Oy”.
Live Wire – I enjoy this track more for the guitar solo in the middle of it than anything else. Angus is just so underappreciated. I often overlook his musical contributions as well, but looking back on his work, holy shit that guy could play.
It’s A Long Way to the Top (If You Want to Rock & Roll) – I can do without the bagpipes, but the song holds up very well.
Tracks you should know:
The Jack – Equal parts blues, rock, sleaze and innuendo (seriously, Bon Scott could have given Steven Tyler a run for his money in the innuendo department) this is a track that should be on everyone’s playlist forever.
My personal favorite:
The Jack – You probably assumed this would be my pick, right? It doesn’t hurt that many of the “radio friendly” songs have been overplayed (seriously, I could skip over “T.N.T.” and be perfectly fine never hearing it again)
High Voltage was a solid opening salvo from AC/DC that definitely put all their cards on the table for the Bon Scott years. There were going to be catchy tracks with killer guitar riffs and a vocalist that makes you want to go shower after hearing him sing. It was not the best album in their catalogue (tracks like “Little Lover” and “She’s Got Balls” are okay, but not essential listening) but it was a very good one, and a great start to their career.