Shop now Shop now Shop Clothing clo_fly_aw15_NA_shoes Shop All Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop Fire TV Shop now Shop Fire HD 6 Shop Kindle Paperwhite Shop now Shop Now Shop now

Customer Reviews

35
4.1 out of 5 stars
AC/DC: Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:£10.41+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 6 February 2013
I was delighted to receive Mick Wall's excellent AC/DC biography as a Christmas gift from my wife - a gift she may now regret due to the minor obsession with the band it's inspired in me.

I came to be an AC/DC fan relatively late in life, starting with the two obvious albums, Highway to Hell and Back in Black. I collected the rest of the Bon Scott era catalogue over recent years, as well as the main post-Scott works, but I perhaps haven't paid the earlier albums the attention they deserve. I think the highest compliment I can pay to Mick Wall's book is that it has made me go back to those records a fresh ear.

The greater part of the book is dedicated to the Bon Scott years, with much time spent on the Young brothers' formative days, the successes and failures of their elder sibling George, and Scott's time spent moving between Australia and England in one band or another. There were many revelations within these pages, at least for this ill-informed reader, including the strictly enforced hierarchies in the band. I never knew, for example, that Malcolm Young was and is the boss of the operation.

It has to be said that Wall's depiction of AC/DC, and in particular their internal politics, is often less than flattering. He strips aside the good-bloke personas of the brothers Young and reveals them to be ruthless in their dealings with everyone from road managers to other band members. Malcolm Young's near-tyranny goes so far as to almost derail AC/DC's career on more than one occasion. If you're looking for a rose-tinted view of the band, you'll be disappointed. This is very much warts-and-all. Wall's portrayal often seems filtered through his own personal feelings, particularly on the circumstances of Bon Scott's death, but this is no bad thing. The subjective viewpoint gives the narrative a passion that rock biographies often lack.

I have two minor criticisms: first, the prose is occasionally a little lacking in finesse, sometimes pulling me out of the narrative to re-read the odd clumsy sentence and ensure I understood its meaning; second, the Brian Johnson years seem somewhat skimmed over, though this may be due to a combination of scant source material and the band's relative inactivity since the early 90s. But I'm being very picky there because this is a terrific book for fans of AC/DC, and anyone with more than a passing interest in classic rock.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 6 December 2012
Mick continues to mature and develop still further as one of the world's finest chroniclers of rock 'n' roll history, even after 30-plus years in the business. His Zep book, 'When Giants Walked The Earth' is already the definitive work for serious readers and the purple patch continues, following the Metallica opus, with this;the hitherto untold tale of bar-room boogie bad boys made international mega-stars, ACDC.
I have to share Mr McIver's view that it took some balls to so firmly focus on the Scott years. With so little of the book left to discuss Brian Johnson there was a very real danger of the the latter quarter seeming rushed and perfunctory. That it is not, in any way, is a testament to Mick's skill and talent as a storyteller.
Rudd's exit is jaw-dropping and is covered quite unlike anyone else's account, with new insights and information that add to the depth and substance of the work.
Mick has a real nose for sniffing out previously unknown facts and weaving them skilfully into his work and so it has proved here again. You think you know the ACDC story? Trust me; not until you've read this, you don't.
Outstanding and essential reading for any serious lover of 20th century contemporary music.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 September 2014
Was very disappointed with this publication. Have many books about AC/DC going back to the 1980's and all of them good. But having not bought one for many years though i'd updat my bio's on this fab group. I first bought " Maximum Rock n roll" by Murray Englehart ( which i did enjoy) a couple of years ago , but then this year saw that Mick Wall had done a autobiography on AC/DC , i thought i'd invest in buying it ( lets face it his bio on Led Zeppelin was fantastic).
My first moan is that as with a lot of the other AC/DC bio's too much of it is based around what the Young brothers and Bon Scott did before the band emerged which would them take up nearly 2/3's of the book when you then put in the equation of the Bon Scott years. then you would end up with three chapters racing through Brian Johnsons part in the band. Now considering that Brian Johnson has been in the band almost 4 decades i feel he does deserve a bit more of a input in the book.
I thought that maybe Mick Wall would of been different but he did exactly what the others have done , so to me if you want the ultimate AC/DC bio buy " Maximum Rock n Roll" it is better.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 2015
As a lifelong fan I found this to be a riveting read. This is no "fan" author fawning over a favoured band because he pulls no punches in describing the internal politics within the band. I was amazed by how much I was learning for the first time, especially about the brothers Young. As a fellow Glaswegian I was interested in the early life of the family pre emigration.This is fairly well covered by Wall although a bit more about the lives of the non famous Young siblings would not have gone amiss. Throughout the book the Youngs are portrayed as Scots masquerading as Aussies in part I feel to explain some of their attitudes to ie money to name but one. I found this a bit annoying because many of the actions taken by in particular Malcolm are most un Scottish in my opinion. The brothers certainly cannot be accused of suffering an over abundance of empathy which may come as a surprise to some. As others have said Wall concentrates his efforts more on the Bon Scott era and adds his tuppence worth to the beautification of the late singer. The politics within the band and the power wielded by the brothers show other band members to be at best passive members happy just to pick up their massive cut of the profits with no interest in rocking the boat.To say more on the book will be to spoil the story for other readers so suffice to say I still love the music ( for the most part) of the band I first saw as a 17 yr old at the City Halls Glasgow in 1976 and recommend this book to all fans of the band and rock biographies in general. Highly recommended.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 July 2013
Seems to be a rather good and informative book, although much of the information in this book can be found in other ac/dc books, especially the Highway to hell Bon Scott book. I get the feeling that this author doesn`t like the Young brothers, especially Malcolm. The author praises Mutt Lange, the producer of the 3 ac/dc albums highway to hell, back in black and for those about to rock. The author claims that these are ac/dc`s best albums, where most would disagree. I think ac/dc`s best albums are the first 5 George Young Harry Vanda produced albums. No way is For those About To Rock better than Let There Be Rock or Powerage. The author does touch on a few controversial topics such as who really wrote much of the lyrics to the Back In Black album. He claims Bon did. I don`t suppose we`ll ever know the truth about who did write the lyrics but it wouldn`t be suprising if Bon did write the lyrics to that album. Bon did have a note pad where he did write down many of his lyrics for songs. That note pad did disappear after his death. I have also seen an interview with angus where Angus says that sometimes Bon would struggle to write lyrics and he had to get George, Angus`s brother, to help Bon with the lyrics. So maybe Bon`s notepad of lyrics had both his and george`s lyrics written in that book. And when the time came to put words to the Back In Black album, the band maybe didn`t know which lyrics were Bon`s or which lyrics were George`s in that note pad. The most controversial topic in this book is the story about how bon died. I have to agree with the author here who claims that we`ve not been told the full story about how Bon died. It`s now pretty well known that the "chocking on his vomit" was a cover story. The author in this book claims that Bon had snorted heroin that night and actually died from snorting the heroin. The author also claims that alister Kinnear, who last saw Bon alive, was a heroin dealer as was bon`s live in lover at the time, Margaret Silver. I do believe that there`s more to the story of bon`s death but whether he died of a heroin overdose, i don`t know. If this story about bon`s death is true then alister Kinnear will, and rightly so, end up being the most hated man in the history of Rock`n`roll.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 2 April 2013
First of all let me say I'm 48, a fan since back in black. My brother came home from uni with the live if you want blood . . And I couldn't believe what I heard. I was too young then to really follow them, and they were off my radar when Bon died.
By the time for those about to rock was released I had all their albums to that date.
This book covers in great detail that period, rather glossing over the more recent stuff.
It's clearly and openly stated that noone within the band or current crew has cooperated, and it's true that many of the sources have been fired by them, well really Malcolm, so you could say its likely to be biased.
I was particularly interested in the Bon Scott aspect, clearly an intelligent and warm guy, allowed to decend into hell without any intervention.
I think it's probably accurate as I've read before frankly that malcolm is a tyrant.
It's a real shame as they are superb, but they have lost their direction since I don't know when.
It's now all I need to re-affirm my view that ac/dc pretty much ended when Bon died, a few songs and perhaps BIB being an exception. Their best album for me is Powerage.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 3 February 2015
to be truthful,this is a really laboured read,its quite torturous at times, 5 chapters in before we get to the first album,reams and reams of information on a myriad of bit players from the early days,the book would have benefitted from some judicial pruning.

The main problem is the authors clear,,very obvious disdain for the Young brothers they are portrayed,without any real evidence as obnoxious,arrogant,twisted,ungrateful little men with more than a hint of ,out of control, aggresion. They are never wrong and world famous producers such as Eddie Kramer/Bruce Fairbairn,Rick Rubin and most ridiculous of all Mutt Lange as complete idiots and the brothers always know best.

Almost every album is recorded.produced and released amid acrimony with either the management/producer and the record label,sometimes even within the band.

Its a pity the band never responded or gave their side as it allows the author free rein to drag in well worn controversies over Bon Scotts death,who wrote the lyrics for BACK IN BLACK and Brian Johnson basically being the hired help and treated as such.

I had been looking forward to reading this,Mick Wall has wriiten many great pieces over the years,sadly this isnt one of them,tread carefully..it will disappoint and bemuse you in equal quantities,a one time read for most of us .
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 26 November 2012
Mick Wall has a habit of delivering gold-standard biographies that pull no punches, and in the wake of his Zeppelin and Metallica books he has pulled off a splendid hat-trick in Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be. Like most sane people he focuses much of his interest in AC/DC on the Bon Scott years, placing Bon's death -- which he investigates more thoroughly than any previous author -- coming after approximately three-quarters of the book's length has elapsed. The reader is swept along, marvelling at the author's balls for taking on the closed shop of the Young brothers while bringing fresh light to new and old tales alike. Outstanding work, that man.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 October 2014
This is a very good book about AC/DC. I don't write a lot of reviews, so it will be a short one.
Mick Wall is a fine writer, and I got to know his writing through reading Kerrang!magazine in the 80's.
You can tell, that he first and foremost is a fan of the Bon Scott-era, but so am I, so why waste time and place one stuff regarding the not so good years/albums in the AC/DC-world, but everything is covered, more or less. I agree with Wall, that the last really classic AC/DC-album was "Back In Black".
Good to read about Robert John "Mutt" Lange as well, since there's not much information about him elsewhere (that I'm aware of). Best producer ever!!
I'm looking forward to reading Mick Wall's books about Black Sabbath and The Doors as well, and hope to see him writing books about Cheap Trick, Van Halen and Jethro Tull in the future, since there are no good books about those bands around. Which is pretty strange.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 July 2013
Having read lot's of AC/DC book's this is without doubt the best. The Bon year's are very well covered and offer plenty of information to all AC/DC fan's. However the Brian Johnson year's are skipped through and it left me wanting more from Johnson's 33 year's. I feel the author has a personal problem with AC/DC especially after Johnson joined the band. The AC/DC of today is still at the very top of the rock world but if Malcolm Young hadn't received help in 1988 I wonder if the show would have been over. A fascinating read throughout but it could have been even better with more time spent on Johnson's time in the band. I think a lot of people have grew up knowing only Brian as the front man and would love more info.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC
The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC by Jesse Fink (Hardcover - 16 Oct. 2014)
£11.99


Rockers and Rollers: An Automotive Autobiography
Rockers and Rollers: An Automotive Autobiography by Brian Johnson (Paperback - 29 July 2010)
£9.98
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.