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3.52 | 39 ratings | 3 reviews
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Album · 1995

Filed under Hard Rock


1. Hard As A Rock (4:30)
2. Cover You In Oil (4:32)
3. The Furor (4:10)
4. Boogie Man (4:07)
5. The Honey Roll (5:34)
6. Burnin' Alive (5:05)
7. Hail Caesar (5:14)
8. Love Bomb (3:14)
9. Caught With Your Pants Down (4:14)
10. Whiskey On The Rocks (4:35)
11. Ballbreaker (4:31)

Total Time 49:51


- Brian Johnson / vocals
- Angus Young / guitar
- Malcolm Young / guitar, vocals
- Cliff Williams / bass, vocals
- Phil Rudd / drums

About this release

Released by Atlantic/Albert, 26 September 1995.

A remastered version was released in 2003 by Epic Records.

Thanks to Time Signature, Pekka, umur, Lynx33 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Vim Fuego
The title says ‘Ballbreaker’. There’s the oldest schoolboy you’ll ever see playing the guitar on the cover. Yep, it’s gotta be AC/DC.

AC/DC were extremely prolific through the 1970s and into the 1980s, producing on average an album a year. Superstardom seemed to slow them a little, with albums coming out every two years in the late 80s, and then only once every five years in the 90s. The band could have retired after the release of ‘Back In Black’ such was its success, so us mere mortals should be grateful of everything we get.

‘Ballbreaker’ was the follow up to 1990s smash ‘The Razor’s Edge’. It’s not a patch on that album, but ‘Ballbreaker’ is still worthy of any AC/DC fan’s collection. There are no instant classics like “Thunderstruck” or “You Shook Me All Night Long” or “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” and it doesn’t add anything new. So what?

Starting at the bottom, Phil Rudd plays 4/4 drums without any frilly fills. Anything else would not be AC/DC. Per song, bass player Cliff Williams plays less different notes than The Ramones used to play chords. Anything else would be un-AC/DC-like conduct. Malcolm Young creates riff after riff of blues influenced rock. Some of it sounds kind of familiar, but he’s been doing it since about 1973, so a little repetition is inevitable. Angus Young still plays mad sounding leads and solos, his antics matching the manic notes he runs together. Brian Johnson’s throat still sounds like it’s made of leather, as he tortures his whiskey and cigarette abused vocal cords.

Angus Young still dressed like a schoolboy, and Brian Johnson still thought like one. Double entendres abound, with songs like “Hard As A Rock”, “Caught With Your Pants Down”, the title track and “The Honey Roll” (“Honey roll over/And lettuce on top”). The smut factor even goes beyond double entendres to the blatant “Love Bomb” and “Cover You In Oil” (“I like to slip into something good/I see a young girl in the neighbourhood”).

It’s not all sex and partying hard on this album though. Religion and politics come in for a serve on this album, not topics AC/DC had ever previously explored. “Hail Caesar” targets corrupt politicians, while “The Furor” takes a poke at evangelists, with Brian Johnson’s “furor” sounding a lot like “Fuhrer”. Intentional or not, it seems fitting.

At the end of the day, this is simply another AC/DC album in a long line of AC/DC albums, complete with dirty lyrics and good time rock and roll. What more could you want?
"Ballbreaker" is the 13th full-length studio album by Australian hard/heavy rock act AC/DC. The album was released through Atlantic Records in September 1995. A lineup change has occured as original drummer Phil Rudd has returned to the fold after he was fired from the band in 1983.

The music on "Ballbreaker" is in "classic" AC/DC style. Hard rocking bluesy riffing, a driving and pounding rythm section and Brian Johnson´s trademark rusty voice in front. There´s little new under the sun, but that´s how most of the band´s fans prefer it to be. So far... so good. What is always interesting when listening to an AC/DC album is how many standout tracks there are on the album and how many fillers. Granted we are talking quality fillers, but most of the band´s albums contain quite a few of those. "Ballbreaker" proves to be one of the AC/DC albums with a satisfactory amount of standout tracks like "Hard as a Rock", the stripper anthem "Cover You in Oil" and the hard edged closing title track.

I definitely find myself well entertained when listening to the album. The sound production by the legendary Rick Rubin has a "dry" quality to it that I could have lived without, but otherwise the production suits the music well. "Ballbreaker" is no revelation, but it sure is a damn solid hard rock album by the kings of the genre. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.
Time Signature
Harder than rock ...

Genre: Hard rock / heavy metal /boogie rock

"Ballbreaker" is a solic AC/DC effort with a really crisp, almost clean, sound and some solid riffing. While the boogie was more or less absent from the AC/DC of the 80s, there are some boogie tendencies once again on this album - and they're most welcome.

There are several listenworthy tracks on the album such as "Hard as a Rock" which has a nice build-up structure (though not as magnificent as "Thunderstruck"), the cheeky-sneaky "Cover You in Oil", "The Furor" with its heavy metal athmosphere (slightly reminiscent of "The Razors Edge", but not up there with it), the creepy-sneaky "Boogie Man", and "Burning Alive" which has a nice main riff that appeals to one's sense of melody, and the blues rocker "Caught With Your Pants Down". The title track reminds me a bit of the athmosphere on "For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)", without being a complete clone.

"Ballbreaker" is actually a quite solid album which does not let you down. In fact, it's everything "Fly On the Wall" and "Blow Up Your Video" should have been.

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