"High Voltage"

Today Heavy Metal Thursday celebrates the anniversary (February 17) of AC/DC’s debut studio album “High Voltage” (Australian release only) Brothers Malcolm (founder) and Angus founded AC/DC in 1973, and going through several bandmate changes and realignments (most notable kicking Dave Evans to the curb for Bon Scott…more on him shortly), recorded “High Voltage”, with an attempt to get away from what they saw as a “soft rock” and “glam rock” nuance of rock music in the 70’s for a more straight forward, simple, direct sound.

AC/DC circa 1975


"High Voltage," their first studio album, is also thought of as their most disjointed, confused album in their catalog. Recorded in 10 days between gigs and empty beer bottles and little thought put into it (as quoted by Angus in an interview years later), AC/DC was still developing its sound we know of today; hard driving 3 riff chords, power.

Track listing includes the classic Hard Rock anthem "It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Want To Rock And Roll)," "Live Wire," "T.N.T.," and "She's Got Balls." 

'High Voltage" had an assortment of bandmates…Malcolm guitar and George and Rob Bailey as bassists, Angus lead guitar, Bon Scott for vocals, and drummer duties shared by Peter Clack and Tony Currenti (Mark Evans on bass and Phil Rudd would come along later).

The Australian version is filled with glam rock soundings, but the Young brothers, along with Scott, were solidifying their songwriting chops here. This paved the way for the harder rock sound of follow up albums, squarely enshrining AC/DC as an international hard rock band.

Although "High Voltage" was done dirt cheap in time, thought, and direction, the effort well paid off for the boys down under. 

Here's a couple of live samples of our favorite tracks from "High Voltage." This album is meant to be enjoyed front to back, non-stop, and as loud as your stereo will go. 

"Live Wire"

 Arguably one of the greatest, most important Rock & Roll songs, certainly a "High Voltage" Rock & Roll song...in fact, if this song doesn't put a lump in your throat or make you sing along or make you want to go practice on an instrument we probably don't want you around here, anyway. RIP, Bon. 

"It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Want To Rock And Roll)"


Submitted by
Stephen Hebert,
Rugged Individualist, Rabid AC/DC fan & HMT pioneering contributor, 


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