Wednesday, April 16, 2014

AC/DC - Flick Of The Switch

As regular readers know, sometimes outside events influence ERV, and sadly today is one of those days.  Earlier today, AC/DC announced that longtime guitarist Malcolm Young would be taking a break from the band due to illness.  Considering that Malcolm and his brother Angus have been the only constant members of the band since its 1973 founding, this is likely to be bad news.  So this clip goes out to Malcolm, his family and the boys in the band with our thanks.

AC/DC built a career on straightforward, anthemic rock.  While some albums were stronger than others, the basic formula and style of the band has remained relatively constant since its founding.

The group formed in Australia in 1973, with Malcolm Young on rhythm guitar and his brother Angus on lead guitar.  Singer Bon Scott, bassist Mark Evans and drummer Phil Rudd rounded out the lineup.  From the start, AC/DC was a powerful live act whose songs were minimalist and power chord driven.  Over time, the band refined their songwriting which led to several strong albums, most notably 1980's Back in Black, one of the highest selling LPs of all time.

For the blog, we went with a rarer clip -- the title song from the band's 1983 LP, "Flick of the Switch."  This is the first album with Simon Wright on drums (Phil Rudd was fired during the recording sessions due to drug and alcohol problems but rejoined the band in 1994).  The only other change from the original lineup was Brian Johnson on vocals (Bon Scott died in 1980).

The clip was made during rehearsals for AC/DC's 1983 Flick of the Switch tour.  The video was filmed in an airplane hanger while the band was really rehearsing -- the group gave the film crew total access, on the condition that the shoot was finished in one day.  The result is a simple, effective video that fits well with the music.

Although the Flick of the Switch LP was considered something of a disappointment, the album hit #15 on the charts and went platinum.  While the group never topped Back in Black, they have remained a popular act long after most of their contemporaries have faded from the scene.  As one example, their last album (2008's Black Ice) hit #1 on the album charts and sold 2 million units in the U.S.  Not too shabby for a band that had been around for 35 years at that point.

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