[Review] AC/DC: Let There Be Rock (1977)

The band’s best album to date, it gets right to the raw appeal of AC/DC.

Kronomyth 4.0: Devils and Angus.

It happens somewhere in the middle of Let There Be Rock: Angus, Bon and Malcolm step back for a moment, leaving the rhythm section to rattle like hot breath in the heaving chest of an animal that’s been running at full bore for twenty minutes. And then you realize: it’s not them breathing, it’s you.

Let There Be Rock is a relentless record that just absolutely beats you into beautiful submission with the same two fists (named Bon and Angus) all day and all night. If there is a more quintessential hard rock record than this, I haven’t heard it. AC/DC displays a raw understanding of rock and roll that few bands (maybe The Who) ever approached. The title track and “Problem Child” are the universally acknowledged classics, but in fairness there isn’t a track on here that doesn’t deserve at least five minutes of hero worship.

I may regret these words some day, but listening to this album I believe that Angus Young really is the greatest rock guitarist in the world. He is an artist of the brutefull, and in his hands the guitar is an instrument of destruction, stripping away a world of false modesty and decency with every crushing blow, leaving only the animal essence, panting, wanting, a mass of sinew, bone and desire. At his side, the lecherous Scott, leering at the prospect of a “Whole Lotta Rosie” and wallowing in the profanity of “Let There Be Rock” and “Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be.” Behind them, the superlative drumming of Rudd, the steady support of Malcolm and Mark, the smoke-spewing tank chassis from which Bon and Angus fire their missiles. The simplicity and directness of Let There Be Rock is still stunning today, more than 30 years onward. If you haven’t heard this record, then you don’t know bumpkis about Angus.

Original elpee version

A1. Go Down
A2. Dog Eat Dog
A3. Let There Be Rock
A4. Bad Boy Boogie
B1. Problem Child*
B2. Overdose
B3. Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be
B4. Whole Lotta Rosie

All compositions by Angus Young, Malcolm Young and Bon Scott.

*Replaced by “Crabsody In Blue” on the Australian version.

The Players

Mark Evans (bass), Phil Rudd (drums), Bon Scott (vocals), Angus Young (guitar), Malcolm Young (guitar). Produced by Vanda and Young.

The Pictures

Original album art direction by Bob Defrin. 2003 reissue booklet design by SMAY Vision; phtography by Jonathan Postal, Bob Gruen/Starfile and Chuck Pulin/Starfile.

The Plastic

Released on elpee and cassette on March 21, 1977 in Australia (Albert, APLP/TCAPLP.022) with unique gatefold cover. Released with on elpee and cassette on June 23, 1977 in the US and Canada (Atco, SD/CS36-151), the UK (Atlantic, K 50366), Colombia (Atco, 23(7931)00324), Germany (Atlantic, ATL 50366) and Japan (Atlantic, P-10412A); reached #154 on the US charts (RIAA certified platinum record) and #17 on the UK charts (charted November 1977). Re-released on elpee in Mexico (Atlantic, LWA-6107).

  1. Re-issued on cassette in Germany (Atlantic, 90413-4).
  2. Re-issued on compact disc in 1995 in Australia (Albert, 477085-2)
  3. Re-issued on compact disc in Australia (Albert, CDP7-46666-2).
  4. Re-released on remastered compact disc in 2000 in Germany (Atco, 92445-2).
  5. Re-issued on remastered compact disc in 2001 in Japan (Atco, AMCY-6221).
  6. Re-released on remastered 180g vinyl elpee and compact disc in 2003 in the US (Epic, E/EK-80203) and the UK (Sony, 510761-2).
  7. Re-issued on remastered compact disc in 2007 in Japan (Sony, SICP-1702).

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