AC/DC: Blow Up Your Video (1988)

Kronomyth 13.0: BLOW IT OUT YOUR ANGUS. After two self-produced records of diminishing returns and a compilation with a couple of carrots, the band turned things back over to Harry Vanda and George Young for the in-all-ways-superior Blow Up Your Video. Yes, the album cover is pretty gay, I’ll grant you that, but the music on here totally, completely rocks. Brian’s voice seemed to be going to shit, and BUYV finds a way to turn his shredded voice into a scalding menace. As for Angus and Malcolm, the riffitude is redolent of their glory days: “Heatseeker,” “That’s The Way I Wanna Rock N Roll” (from whence the title track comes), “Meanstreak,” “Nick of Time,” “Kissin’ Dynamite.” Harry Vanda and George Young understand the band’s strengths better than the band themselves, it would seem, and manage to capture the group’s raw energy in the studio—something that both Flick and Fly failed to do. Although the album sold over a million copies, nearly topped the UK charts and was nominated for a Grammy, I still think it’s an underrated album. At least, I didn’t appreciate this album for years, maybe because I always approached it by way of the albums that came before and, really, who had the energy after that? Blow Up Your Video blew the band back on course, since this is exactly where you’d hope to find them seven years on from BIB: rockin, rollin and revoltin against the empty vanity of the MTVenal videodrome. Maybe you didn’t give a flying flick for their last two studio albums, but BOYV is definitely prime angus.

The Songs
A1. Heatseeker (3:43)
A2. That’s The Way I Wanna Rock N Roll (3:43)
A3. Meanstreak (4:10)
A4. Go Zone (4:25)
A5. Kissin’ Dynamite (4:02)
B1. Nick of Time (4:17)
B2. Some Sin For Nuthin’ (4:13)
B3. Ruff Stuff (4:02)
B4. Two’s Up (5:19)
B5. This Means War (4:23)

All songs written by Malcolm Young, Angus Young and Brian Johnson.

The Players
Brian Johnson (lead vocals), Cliff Williams (bass guitar, backing vocals), Simon Wright (drums, percussion), Angus Young (lead guitar), Malcolm Young (rhythm guitar, backing vocals). Produced by Harry Vanda and George Young; engineered by Tom Swift.

Did You Know?

  • This album was nominated for the Grammy Award during the inaugural year of the Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Performance Vocal or Instrumental in 1989, losing out to Jethro Tull’s Crest of a Knave. (And get over it. Tull rocks.)
  • For the North American leg of the Heatseeker tour (summer of 1988), nephew Stevie Young replaced Malcolm on rhythm guitar while Mal was drying out in rehab.

The Plastic
Released on elpee and cassette on January 18, 1988 in Australia (Albert, APLP.072) and the UK (Atlantic, WX-144/C), on February 1, 1988 in the US (Atlantic, 81828-1/4) and Canada (Atlantic, 78 18281/4),, and in 1988 in Argentina (WEA, 80718/90718), Brazil (Atlantic, 6704103), Colombia (Atlantic, 23(7031)00045), Czechoslovakia (Atlantic, 1105777), Germany (Atlantic, 781 828), Japan (Atlantic, P-13634), Mexico (Atlantic, LWA-6713), Venezuela (Atlantic, 3233) and Yugoslavia (Jugoton, LSAT-71045); reached #15 on the US charts (RIAA certified platinum record) and #2 on the UK charts. Album design by BillSmith Studio; photography by Gered Mankowitz. Venezuelan elpee features a different cover. Re-released on CD in 1995 in Australia (Albert, 477094) and in Japan (Atlantic, AMCY-6231). Re-released on digitally remastered 180g vinyl elpee and CD in 2003 in the US (Epic, E-/80212) and the UK (Sony, 510770-1/2). Re-released on CD in 2008 in Japan (Sony, SICP-1711).

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