AC/DC’s ‘Let There Be Rock’ is a Solid Rock Record! | Album Review

If you haven’t read my review for AC/DC’s Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (1976), go check it out! We are moving on with Let There Be Rock (1977), a classic AC/DC record that fans love! We know the boys love it because most of their setlist comes from that album (and Back in Black (1980)). Right of the bat, the cover artwork is stunning. It’s so bad*** with the guys on the front, a partial view of the audience, and Angus Young playing his guitar like a boss. I love the dark color palette as well to give it a more vintage vibe.

Let There Be Rock is the band’s last studio album to feature Mark Evans on bass and produced by Harry Vanda and George Young (Mal and Angus’ older brother). Like Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, the Australian release features a slight variation from the international release. The Australian release has “Crabsody in Blue,” while the latter has a shortened version of “Problem Child.” I don’t mind having a shortened version of “Problem Child” because I complained in my Dirty Deeds review that the track was too long, so I’m glad the band took my advice (haha).

But dang, “Crabsody in Blue” is such a blues-oriented track, and the guitar tones are so mean and gritty. That was a bad move on the record company’s part to take out “Crabsody in Blue.” AC/DC released it along with other unreleased tracks on Backtracks (2009), but it took them so long to put out these hidden Bon Scott gems that fans weren’t even aware of them when he was alive. With that said, let’s move on to the album tracks!

“Go Down” has a solid groove, heavy distorted guitar tones, and a punchy bass riff. The chorus repeats the song title over and over again, but I still dig it. My first introduction to “Go Down” was through the band’s 1996 performance at VH1 Studios, so Brian Johnson sang it. Not that I’m complaining, but I enjoyed Scott’s playful persona he brought to the studio version. “Dog Eat Dog” features pounding drum work from Phil Rudd, and it has a brilliant main riff from Malcolm Young. My only complaint is what’s with AC/DC’s obsession with dogs? Like seriously, “Dog Eat Dog,” “Givin’ the Dog a Bone,” and “Dogs of War,” what’s the hidden meaning behind those songs, boys?

“Let There Be Rock” is overplayed, but I am not sick of it…yet. Part of the reason is that Rudd’s metronome drumming still blows my mind. His wrists and arm muscles must be sore performing that one on tour and keeping time for 12 to 14 minutes straight. Props to Rudd for his chops! “Let There Be Rock” also features Mal’s classic riff (which is like three chords for the most part), and there is a subtle bass riff, which I adore.

“Bad Boy Boogie” is best known as Angus’ striptease song, and it’s exactly that! AC/DC is the only band that can create fun dance songs that are not cheesy; Let There Be Rock came out in the 70s, and there were a lot of cheesy boogie songs released then. Oh, and to the guy that threw beer at Angus, you messed up BIG TIME!!!! “Problem Child” is incredible with the Young brothers’ ferocious riffs and mean guitar playing, and the maracas beginning in the third verse were a nice touch. As mentioned in my Dirty Deeds review, I prefer this version over the Dirty Deeds version because it is much shorter. 

“Overdose” is a fine deep cut with another solid groove, heavy guitars that pierce through the mix, and Scott sings about being addicted to his lover. “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be” has my favorite lyrics on the album; “Sometimes I think this woman is kinda hot / Sometimes I think this woman is sometimes not.” Way to be subtle, guys! I think the title is a bit much because they’re trying too hard to be bad boys. Then again, I like “Bad Boy Boogie,” so what do I know? The rhythm section is spot on for “Hell Ain’t a Bad Place to Be,” Scott’s tongue-in-cheek lyrics make for great entertainment, and Angus goes nuts during his solo. 

AC/DC fans may hate me for this, but I am not a fan of “Whole Lotta Rosie.” In the first verse, I can barely understand what Scott is singing, and he screams the rest of the song. When looking at the song title for the first time, I thought it’d be a rip-off of “Whole Lotta Love;” yeah, it was the total opposite of that. I love the band’s energy in the song, despite the negatives. I’ll also give Scott props for showing some love for fat ladies!

Overall, I enjoy the vibe of Let There Be Rock. The guitar tones on this album are the best-sounding guitars I’ve ever heard on a rock record! I’m glad the bass was noticeable in the mix; Rudd did his thing, and Scott brought his humorous and cheeky personality to his vocals. I wasn’t a huge fan of Scott when I first got into AC/DC because I thought he wasn’t tough enough, and his smile creeped me out, but I dig him now (sometimes). Before I irritate any more AC/DC fans, I’ll end the review by giving the album 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

Take care and see ya real soon!

Lana

25 thoughts on “AC/DC’s ‘Let There Be Rock’ is a Solid Rock Record! | Album Review

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  1. Bon always showed love to the ladies from what I have read. Love this album and like the fact that AC/DC does not give a shit what was or not current at the time. They just did what they did.
    Cool writeup..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Deke! Exactly, besides the fact that Mal and Angus are around my height (lol), what I love about AC/DC is that they did their own thing, no matter what was happening in the music scene. Heck they put out the same record for the past what 40 years?!?

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  2. Overdose is definitely in my top 5 AC/DC tracks, they didn’t do a lot of slow-ish numbers but, oh boy, when they did! Oh and during the song Let There Be Rock, Angus’ amp caught fire but he was instructed by George to keep playing! Apparently by the end of the song the guitar amp was a smouldering puddle of wires and valves!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great write up Lana as usual! I like this one a lot as well, but I am partial to the Scott era not that there is anything wrong with Brian’s era as that is just as great. I have this one on vinyl, but still missing a few but the collection is coming along.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much John! Hey what good are music fans if we all like the same thing?!? The Let There Be Rock cover is so cool and I’m sure looks better on vinyl. At least now you have Stiff Upper Lip for your collection.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah sorry Kevin! By the way, I’ve been meaning to ask you, does AC/DC have 18 studio albums? I know two of them were only released in Australia. I ask because I think I got the numbers wrong on my album reviews. For example The Razors Edge, I said that it was their 12th studio album and 11th internationally released when it’s their 13th studio album.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I would say they have 17 studio albums. The first two Aussie albums count as 1 and 2. High Voltage (INT) is a compilation in my view. That would make The Razors Edge their 12th.

        But I don’t fault anyone for thinking otherwise and I probably made similar mistakes in the past.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is true. The international High Voltage is technically a compilation album since it features songs from their first two. It is so confusing that two of their albums are released only in Australia. I like to be technical, so yeah.

        I just changed the numbers, so I probably have to fix those posts again because technically the international High Voltage is a compilation like you said! Besides Wikipedia did say that The Razors Edge was their 12th studio album and I never knew why but now I know!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yeah I checked other sources like Kerrang and Consequence of Sound as well and they said that Power Up is their 17th studio album, so I think Wikipedia got that one right too.

        I just fixed all of my AC/DC posts again, and I never want to touch them again lol!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Aaron! I’m glad you enjoyed the review. It’s interesting you brought up the title because I’ve been trying to create titles that summarize each post because I’ve read in my Public Relations Writing class that it helps to pick titles that summarize the story.

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      1. Awww thanks so much Mike, that means a lot to me. Again, if you don’t have time to read it on the show, I’ll be happy whenever you get a chance to read it. When I first got into rock, I listened to more 80s stuff, that’s why I couldn’t do a list for the 70s show, since I’m not familiar with a lot of 70s other than 70s AC/DC.

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