AC/DC’s ‘Stiff Upper Lip’ is a Banger! | Album Review

For my last AC/DC review, I gave my thoughts on Ballbreaker (1995), now I’ll be looking at Stiff Upper Lip (2000). I bought the Stiff Upper Lip album in June/July; it’s all a blur now. The point is, we’re here, and I’m ready to share my thoughts on the band’s 14th (13th internationally released) studio album.

“Stiff Upper Lip” started the album off on a high note. Why did AC/DC stop playing this song live? I have no idea. I love how it starts with the riff and Brian Johnson singing in his lower register, then the rest of the band comes in, and Johnson screams away! It’s a great tune to blast in your car, and it’s one of my favorite AC/DC songs; it’s so good! “Meltdown” has a good groove, courtesy of Phil Rudd on drums and the Young brothers’ bluesy guitar riffs. Toward the last 20 seconds, I love how Rudd plays quarter notes on the kick drum; that was a nice touch.

The chorus in “House of Jazz” is catchy, and overall, I love how blues-oriented this album is. George Young (Mal and Angus’ older brother) did a fantastic job producing the album. Angus Young delivers the goods, solo-wise. The riff to “Hold Me Back” reminds me of “Sink the Pink,” which turned me off a bit because of the horrific music video that came with it. Rudd’s groove made it manageable to indulge. It gets a bit repetitive hearing “can’t hold me back” over and over again, so be prepared for that. Now, speaking of repetitiveness, there’s something so annoying about hearing “I feel safe in New York City” sung over and over again. I know it’s supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, but no, I’m sorry. Once again, Rudd made the track bearable to indulge. 

The second half of the album got better with “Can’t Stand Still.” It’s another killer headbanger, and Malcolm Young does a rare guitar solo, another reason to love that track. I can’t explain it, but there’s something unique about the main riff; I don’t know if it’s cause Angus plays the fretboard differently, but I don’t know. “Can’t Stop Rock ‘n’ Roll” speaks for itself, nothing unusual about that one. “Satellite Blues” is made to perfection, enough said. Fun fact, I’ve been singing the chorus wrong this entire time; I thought it was “in the satellite blues,” but it’s actually “new satellite blues.” I guess that’s what happens when I don’t look at the lyrics right away, haha.

“Damned,” besides having one of the best song titles ever written, the track contains the funniest AC/DC lyrics I’ve ever heard (“I’ll make a monkey outta you”). Also, why not call this post “Lana Praising Phil Rudd’s Drumming;” because that’s what I’m doing. It’s a blues-oriented album, so it has to have a good beat (and a good hi-hat). Thank you, Phil Rudd, for delivering straight to the point, hard-rocking drum parts! “Come and Get It” features impeccable playing by the Young brothers, but the best part is when Johnson sings “come and get it,” and Malcolm Young repeats that line. I think that’s Malcolm; correct me if I’m wrong. 

I mentioned my problem with repetitiveness before, but I like “All Screwed Up,” and it helps that the riff doesn’t bring back memories of another painful AC/DC music video. “Give It Up” has a faster tempo and ended the album on a high note. So it started well and finished well.

However, I’ve noticed that I complimented Brian Johnson, Angus and Malcolm Young, and Phil Rudd, but not Cliff Williams. Why is that? Because I couldn’t hear him (except on “Safe in New York City”). I heard more bass lines on High Voltage (1976) than I did on this one! Maybe I have bad ears for bass players; I’m sorry, Cliff, you know I love you! Phew, glad I got that one off my chest. 

I’ve made some complaints about Stiff Upper Lip, but I still think it’s a banger! I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars. Stiff Upper Lip makes me regret not getting into AC/DC back in 2000, despite only being two-years-old at the time. Plus, for the price I paid, it was worth getting!

Let me know in the comments below what your favorite track is from AC/DC’s Stiff Upper Lip!

Take care and see ya real soon!

Lana

32 thoughts on “AC/DC’s ‘Stiff Upper Lip’ is a Banger! | Album Review

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  1. “Lana Praising Phil Rudd’s Drumming” should be the overall title of this blog!

    For me, you can’t beat the first and last track on this album. In fact, I’m going to be writing a little about the last track later today.

    2 years old in 2000… Sarah and I got married that year, lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I’ll consider that!

      The last track is a banger I agree. The title track is special to me actually because the first AC/DC youtube concert I watched was Stiff Upper Lip live, so “Stiff Upper Lip” was the first thing they played. I’ll be reading your post for sure!

      Oh congrats to you and Sarah for getting married during that time lol! Thanks for reading Kevin!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I wouldn’t say all their albums are bangers, you should read my review for Blow Up Your Video lol! Awww 2000 was a great year for love and it’s beautiful! You look good for your age though! Thanks for reading Aaron!

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      1. I’ll check that out. And actually, we started dating in 1998, and had already been in Montreal together for a year by 2000… and thanks! I credit eating right and exercising quite a bit daily for anything to do with how I might currently look. Gotta stay in motion. Probably helps that in my head I’m still half my age, too 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh you’ve been for about two years, one in Montreal by 2000! Exercise and eating right is important! You want to talk about someone who looks half their age?!?! Ralph Macchio!!! It’s like he came out of a youthful well!

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      3. Unfortunately, no. But I have seen trailers and it looks good. I haven’t even watched all of the Karate Kid movies entirely, but I’m tempted to watch the series.

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      4. You should watch the movies first. Even the silly fourth one. I found a boxed set of them all for cheap one Christmas so the kids could see them. The first one’s a stone cold classic.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I didn’t even know they made boxsets for those…interesting! Some even include the one with Jaden Smith (probably won’t get that one, but that’s an option). I guess I need to find more time for movies. I know the first and second one were pretty good. I forgot about the fourth one, which was totally unnecessary!

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      6. Well, the fourth one was more about Miyagi and transitioning to a potential new student… if it had done better at the box office, I imagine they’d have made more. I like the Jaden Smith one, it’s fun. And I generally like Jackie Chan, he did a FANTASTIC job in that one.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Maybe it didn’t do well because they were upset Ralph Macchio wasn’t in it? Should’ve been called ‘The Kung Fu Kid’ though. I haven’t seen the Jaden Smith one in years. But the song he did with Justin Bieber for the movie is still one of my favorite songs haha!

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      8. The Macchio storyline has run its course. They were probably just trying to re-make it, this time with a female Karate Kid. All deference to Hilary Swank, as a movie it lacked whatever the original had.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never seen Stiff Upper Lip in a vinyl, I’ve seen Black Ice in vinyl but not Stiff Upper, I mean in pictures of course, not many people talk about that album sadly!

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