AC/DC — High Voltage (International Version)

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AC/DC - High Voltage (International Version) cover
3.93 | 50 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 1976

Filed under Hard Rock
By AC/DC

Tracklist

1. It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'N' Roll) (5:01)
2. Rock 'N' Roll Singer (5:03)
3. The Jack (5:52)
4. Live Wire (5:49)
5. T.N.T. (3:34)
6. Can I Sit Next To You Girl (4:12)
7. Little Lover (5:39)
8. She's Got Balls (4:51)
9. High Voltage (4:14)

Total Time 44:20

Line-up/Musicians

- Bon Scott / lead vocals, bagpipes
- Angus Young / lead guitar and rhythm guitars
- Malcolm Young / rhythm guitar, backing vocals
- Mark Evans / bass, backing vocals
- Phil Rudd / drums

- George Young / bass (track 7)
- Rob Bailey / bass (track 8)
- John Proud - drums (track 7)
- Peter Clack - drums (track 8)

About this release

Record label: ATCO

Released:
30 April 1976 (International)
14 May 1976 (US)

Recorded in 1974-1975 compiling tracks from the band's first two albums, High Voltage Australian Edition (tracks 7, 8) and T.N.T (tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9).

Some initial European releases had a different cover, but all currently pressed versions have the cover displayed here.

Thanks to Time Signature, Certif1ed, Pekka, Lynx33 for the updates

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AC/DC HIGH VOLTAGE (INTERNATIONAL VERSION) reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

siLLy puPPy
AC/DC was formed in 1973 by the Young brothers, at the time Malcolm, Angus and George with a heavy rotating cast that found Bon Scott joining in 1974. The band released their debut album HIGH VOLTAGE in Australia in early 1975 and followed it up with their second “TNT” coming out at the end of the same year. In between the band found a more stable lineup with Phil Rudd joining in on drums and Mark Evans landing the role as bassist. While starting out more glam oriented with the 1975 version of HIGH VOLTAGE, the band had already developed their classic ballsy bravado that developed the bluesy hard rock into a sound all their own. Despite having carved out their own musical niche, the debut album didn’t quite have all the ingredients in perfect order yet and as a result the band quickly ironed out all the kinks that were fine tuned on “TNT.”

“TNT” found the band cranking out nine brash original rockers plus a Check Berry cover, whom the band claimed as a major source of inspiration. With this second release, the band became quite popular in their native Australia which attracted the attention of the international record label Atco which signed the band and preceded to release their international debut. Instead of doing something more sensible and concocting a new title, Atco decided to release a different version of HIGH VOLTAGE which would in reality take the seven tracks from “TNT” and only the two tracks “She’s Got Balls” and “Little Lover” from the Australian HIGH VOLTAGE. Just to make things more confusing, the title track “High Voltage” first appeared on “TNT,” NOT the debut!

When all was said and done, international HIGH VOLTAGE was nothing more than a compilation of the first two Australian albums which lifted the best tracks and compiled them into what most AC/DC fans of the world (including myself) have owned, loved and collected. To be honest, i have only experienced the Australian HIGH VOLTAGE in preparation for this review but in reality i have heard most of the tracks since many have been released as the compilation “74 Jailbreak” and elsewhere. International HIGH VOLTAGE is the much better product than the Australian debut. It shows the band in full bad boy boogie-woogie hard rock mode and already dripping in adrenaline fueled confidence. Graced by their garage rock sensibilities, AC/DC’s apparent middle-fingers-to-the-world attitude and hedonistic errancy found them being lumped into the punk rock scene as their debut hit the UK simultaneously as the burgeoning punk rock scene was getting underway.

While similar in many ways, the punk connection is one that the band bitterly deflected as they have always claimed that they were nothing more than a rock and roll band and accused punk of being nothin more than a fashion statement, not a musical one. The international debut of AC/DC found them instant success with tracks like “It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'N' Roll),” “Rock N Roll Singer” and “The Jack” proving to be some of their best known hits that have found their way into the AC/DC playlist long past the premature passing of the late Bon Scott. AC/DC delivered a completely different style of hard rock that stood out from pretty much everything else that came out in the 70s. While the Young brothers were Scottish by birth, Bon Scott added yet another Scottish touch as he was pretty much the only bagpipe player to perform in a hard rock band as heard on the opener “It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'N' Roll).”

While HIGH VOLTAGE isn’t the band’s best album, this combo version of the first two Australian releases was the perfect release to unleash on the world displaying their unique twin guitar riffing assault, Angus’ schoolboy persona and Bon Scott’s unique vocal style all coming together in perfect synergy. While the music is quite simple, it is addicting and dripping with attitude. AC/DC emerged as a band that took simple riffs, basic melodies and seemingly banal lyrics and animated them into a commercial powerhouse. While panned by the critics, the fans ate it up and catapulted the band to the top of the world in a very short time. The rest is history but outside of Australia, this is the album that started the whole ball rolling and the world has never been the same since.
Time Signature
High voltage rock 'n' roll...

Genre: hard rock / boogie rock

"High Voltage" is a vintage hard rock classic with lots of blues- and boogie-driven guitar riffing and songs about sex, booze and rock 'n' roll. AC/DC have always had a flair for creating catchy guitar riffs of which there are plenty on this album. As with all other AC/DC albums, the main points of attraction are Angus Young's lead guitar, the dynamics between Angus and Malcom Young's rhythm guitar riffing and the vocals - there is just something charming and cheeky about Bon Scott's unique voice.

The most wellknown tracks are probably the raw blues song "The Jack" and the hardrocking "T.N.T." with its legendary "Oi oi oi" intro. But there are several other tracks worth mentioning, such as the boogie rockers "She's Got Balls" and "Can I sit Next To You Girl?" as well as the blues-driven "Little Lover" which just make one wants to rock out. While less boogie inspired, the rockers "Live Wire" (my favorite of the album), "Rock 'n' Roll Singer", and "High Voltage" have the same effect - they just make you want to rock out. The outstanding track is probably the opening track which, with its bagpipe sections, is different from most other AC/DC material.

I'd recommend this album to anyone who likes hardrock and blues rock, and I also think that a number of fans of various different types of metal will appreciate this album for its drive, rawness and rock 'n' roll feel.

Members reviews

Losimba
This international debut, actually a compilation of the first two Australian albums, is one of the better debut albums. In fact, I like it better than anything AC/DC published after 1981, and it is NOT the voice of Bon Scott that makes the difference.

The production is fine, though probably not up to 2015 standards as they didn't have some of the technology then, and the musicians clearly show their talent. The good thing is that the songs are fine. Most of them already have the sound of a typical AC/DC song, but luckily there is still some variety. This is notably the first track with its bagpipe, though traditionalists would certainly condemn the way this wonderful instrument is used there, and of course the blues ballad The Jack. It really is a pity that AC/DC stopped to include songs like that beginning on Highway To Hell, as they are one of the highlights on each album until then.

My other favourites are the title track and TNT, but there is no really weak song on the album. The rating is somewhere around 4.75 stars, I'll probably change to full 5 stars when I have time to do nothing but listen into this album and For Those About To Rock once more, but for now I'll settle for 4.5 stars.
Hagbard Celine
Right from the beginning, AC/DC's formula of solid drinking-man's hard rock was in place and working well. Released in the U.S. and compiling songs from the original Australian version of High Voltage and their Australian debut TNT, several songs from this album remain classic rock staples to this day.

Who can hear "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock N Roll)" and not jump up, grab that invisible air guitar and feel like a rock star for five glorious minutes? No one with an ounce of traditional metal in their soul, that's for sure! A couple of songs, however, blunder along in a formulaic bluesy manner and usually get skipped when I play this album, but they certainly don't detract from party classics like "TNT." A solid beginning for one of the most well known and beloved bands in hard rock.

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