To rip off George Orwell, all AC/DC albums are created equal, but some are more equal than others. ‘The Razor’s Edge’ is one of those albums.
AC/DC had been very busy up until 1985, producing a long line of classics at the breakneck rate of one a year. After ‘Who Made Who’, the band took a three year break before producing ‘Blow Up Your Video’, which possessed a harder edge than many of its predecessors, and was not as warmly received as expected. It threw up the hit single “Heatseeker”, but little else of great commercial note. Many long-time fans had thought the once great rockers were starting to lose their touch. Could it be possible that AC/DC no longer had it?
Fuck off. This is AC/DC. ‘The Razor’s Edge’ came blasting out unexpectedly in 1990 and grabbed the rock world by the bollocks once more. It was big, loud and rude, just how an AC/DC album should be.
While Angus Young and Brian Johnson were still undoubtedly the main focal points of the band, slaphead drummer Chris Slade also proved to have a larger than life personality. Young the younger led off opening track and first single “Thunderstruck” with his virtuoso one handed hammer-on introduction to the song, while Slade threatened to steal the thunder, so to speak, punctuating the song with two bass drums mounted at head height. Seeing a bald psychopath flailing at those drums must surely have scared even Manowar’s Drums of Doom.
Look beyond the megahit first track though, and you’re back into fairly standard AC/DC territory. You want filthy double entendres? You’ve got “Got You By The Balls”, “Shot Of Love”, and “Let’s Make It”. You want out and out rockers? You’ve got “Fire Your Guns”, “The Razor’s Edge”, “Rock Your Heart Out”, and “Are You Ready”. How about a novelty hit? Try “Mistress For Christmas”. And how about a surprisingly clever, but underrated single? That’s “Moneytalks”. The only thing really missing from this album is the filler tracks Acca Dacca are occasionally guilty of padding out albums with.
To be brutally honest, this is AC/DC’s last great album. ‘The Razor’s Edge’ deserves to be rated up there with ‘Back In Black’, ‘Highway To Hell’, and ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’. As ever with AC/DC, there’s nothing new here at all, but fuck it, it’s all done so well. When you’re pissing up with your mates on a summery Saturday night, who really gives a fuck about originality anyway?