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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ALL -TIME CLASSIC
In truth, very few albums deserve 5 stars (which seem to get thrown around the reviews section like confetti at times), but with 'Powerage', AC/DC delivered a bonafide classic. Everything seemed to come together on this record - the songs, the lyrics, the riffs, and not a filler in sight. The superb production job of Vanda and Young completes this gem. Not only is this...
Published on 1 Sept. 2006 by J. Litchfield

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The purest distillation of tough, bluesy rock and roll........ever!
I gave it 5 stars, not three!!

This is the motherlode, the record where Malcolm, Angus, Bon, Phil and new boy Cliff hit the peak of their creative powers and produced an absolute masterpiece of simple, grooving, tough, bluesy rock n' roll. Every song is brilliant, it's all highlights.

To see them live at this point in time was to witness the finest...
Published on 30 Mar. 2008 by magick sam


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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ALL -TIME CLASSIC, 1 Sept. 2006
By 
J. Litchfield (DERBY, DERBYSHIRE United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Powerage (Audio CD)
In truth, very few albums deserve 5 stars (which seem to get thrown around the reviews section like confetti at times), but with 'Powerage', AC/DC delivered a bonafide classic. Everything seemed to come together on this record - the songs, the lyrics, the riffs, and not a filler in sight. The superb production job of Vanda and Young completes this gem. Not only is this the greatest AC/DC album, but it's quite simply, it's one of the best Hard Rock records ever made. It's very difficult to pick highlights, but 'Down Payment Blues' has always been my favourite, closely followed by 'Gimme A Bullet'. Angus Young was at the top of his game at this time (1978), as was the still much missed Bon Scott (has there ever been a more charismatic frontman?) This, and the same years' live 'If You Want Blood...' are the band's 5 star masterpieces. Many AC/DC retrospectives claim 'Highway to Hell' is the best, but good as that is, it fails to meet the standard of 'Powerage' due to a few fillers and Mutt Lange's too polished production.

I have to complete this review with a complaint directed at Sony - other reviews have mentioned the absence of 'Cold Hearted Man'(on the original UK/European version of the LP). This track is only available on download from connection to the official website via this CD. Fans don't need this gimmick, what they do need however, and deserve, is this essential track included on the CD where it belongs. Furthermore, the digipack format is not welcome at all, it is prone to fingerprints, damage and dust. Sony and all other companies, please take note!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The purest distillation of tough, bluesy rock and roll........ever!, 30 Mar. 2008
By 
magick sam (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Powerage (Audio CD)
I gave it 5 stars, not three!!

This is the motherlode, the record where Malcolm, Angus, Bon, Phil and new boy Cliff hit the peak of their creative powers and produced an absolute masterpiece of simple, grooving, tough, bluesy rock n' roll. Every song is brilliant, it's all highlights.

To see them live at this point in time was to witness the finest high energy rock band ever at their thrilling, frenzied best but this studio offering presented them in a new, surprisingly and wonderfully grown up light. The novelties and gimmicks had gone and been replaced by songwriting, structure and lyrics of the highest quality, while the sound still had that fantastic raw edge that George Young and Harry Vanda managed to capture best.

It's the sound of a band utterly confident in its abilities but still resolute in its conviction to record uncompromising music unswayed by commercial pressures. It's also the much missed Bon Scott's finest hour as a singer and lyricist. Rock and roll music does not get better than this. An album for the ages.

One small gripe about the remaster - "Cold Hearted Man" should be on it.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is real Rock and Roll.....trust me., 5 Sept. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Powerage (Audio CD)
Powerage is probably their best album. Its just got something thats hard to describe, a kind of mean gritty attitude but always looking forward. I think its got something to do with the late Bon Scotts outlook on life, Born to Lose-Live to Win and even if you can't win at least try to have fun on the way! I think Powerage, of all Bon Scotts AC/DC albums, gets the message across on this album the best. Oh and 'Downpayment Blues' is THE best AC/DC song ever....so now you know.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never so much fun damaging your speakers with excessive volume, 12 Sept. 2006
By 
This review is from: Powerage (Audio CD)
There are enough long reviews about this album detailing each and every track, and I could write one too, but it's simply not needed. Everyone needs a comparison in a review to latch onto and sum things up for them........ This album is Bon Scott's `Back in Black'. At worst some tracks are good, but most of them are outstanding hard rock songs. Not a weak track on there and a phenomenal package. More thundering and consistent than Highway to hell in my opinion, and when you consider the quality of that album, you appreciate just HOW good `Powerage' must be to warrant such a comment. Essential listening for any rock fans and criminally overlooked by many in rock journalism fraternity. Buy several copies as backups and to lend out to educate those around you!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best AC/DC album ever !!, 27 Feb. 2006
This review is from: Powerage (Audio CD)
This is AC/DC`s best album buy far. OK it`s fare to say it`s an AC/DC fans AC/DC album but don`t let that fool `ya. This album doesn`t have the hits of Highway or Back in, but all the songs on this album are good catchy tunes in there own right. This version is the best, it has backing vocals on it. These were removed from the original european vinyl version but i think they improve what was allready an outstanding album. As has been pointed out in another review i also miss Cold Hearted Man. But at least this time round we get "Rock`n`Roll Damnation" . This has both Angus & Malcolms best guitar sound they ever got in a studio buy far. The arrangments of the songs show a growing maturaty. This was a band on the up & it shows. The lyrics also show a greater maturity as well Bons famous sense of humours still there but now there`s a genuine sense of menace & desperation of the hard life. "Down Payment Blues" "Gimme A Bullet" "Up To My Neck" "Riff Raff" My personnal fav track is "Gone Shootin" again showing a darker side of life type lyrics, even " Sin City" has a dark brooding edge. It`s worth noting that even the band themselves think this is there best kept secret, Buy it & find out why !!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More songs about wine, women and song, 8 Aug. 2006
By 
D. J. H. Thorn "davethorn13" (Hull, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Powerage (Audio CD)
I won't claim that this is better or worse than AC/DC's other classic albums from 1977-81, simply that I'm slightly fonder of "Let There Be Rock". Sure, the songwriting side is more developed here, but has it ever been a major factor in the band's success? Given half an hour or so and a few contentious lyric changes, they could even have turned "Mary Had A Little Lamb" into a piece of powered-up debauchery. Similarly, the slight refinement in production and style isn't a major leap forward for a band whose forte is bone-crunching rock. Still, it does provide for a fresh alternative rather than stagnation.

The first few tracks are among the best they've done. "Rock 'n' Roll Damnation", a major UK hit, is right in the slot, as is the entire first half. "Sin City", though, isn't quite up to the same mark, a tad slower, more repetitive and, by comparison, ponderous. This is all relative though. Against anything in the name of rock in the last twenty-five years it's anything but ponderous. It's also interesting to see that one reviewer feels that "Kicked In The Teeth" is the weakest track. For me, this is a storming album closer. For all the quibbles and disagreements though, "Powerage" is another AC/DC album that reminds you just how lifeless the hard rock scene has become. Will anyone ever replace them?
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmosperic and relentless, 15 April 2005
By 
SimonD "scjunkie" (Norfolk UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Powerage (Audio CD)
After setting the standard with the intense Let There Be Rock AC/DC released this superb album Powerage. As a whole there is a vented frustration as the band's expectation of success which has not quite arrived and vocalist Bon Scott's aspirations and dreams of that success come to fruition coupled with a darker look on life and social commentary. Don't be fooled into thinking this is not a huge rock album, it is, but it flows with a hard edged high octane heavy as hell blues. With Malcolm on the left and Angus on the right the definition between their guitars is superbly mixed by Vanda and Young. Malcolm's riffs flow and roll with a deftness that establish him as one of the best rhythm guitarists, whilst Angus is slightly more overdriven and bites with a vengeance and his soloing show his great understanding for not only the songs melodies but also the overall feel making them so emotive. Cliff Williams's bass playing here interacts with Phil Rudd's understated but essential drumming. Rudd and Williams do so much here so well that you almost don't notice, the mark of a truly great rhythm section which gives the album its 'groove'. Last but not least is Bon Scott, his whisky soaked vocal and his exceptional lyrics and melodies. His commentary on his divorce, the desire for revenge (what's next to the moon) lost love, (Gone Shootin') and social commentary (Riff Raff) and his dream of what will happen when he becomes successful whilst not having any money with just the dream to keep him going (Down Payment Blues) give this album a hugely personal touch and it is his tour de force. Do a search for lyrics, Powerage, and read them. Outstanding.
This is not soppy nonsense; its gut wrenching and vicious heavy rock 'n' roll played by a band that is so together the songs seem effortless. Most bands can only dream of producing an album like this. I don't care if your favourite band is Abba or Zappa or anything in between everyone should own this album, sit back, listen, boogie, headbang, nod sagely or whatever and go wow! Buy this it's essential.
Footnote. If you can seek out the Atco Atlantic re-master 7567-92446-2. A great mix despite still missing the superb Cold Hearted Man from the European vinyl version.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still scary after all these years, 24 Jan. 2009
This review is from: Powerage (Audio CD)
Powerage was a hugely significant album for me. My first "heavy metal album", bought at the tender age of 13 in an attempt to gain the respect (God knows why) of the naughtier lads in my class, it thrilled me to my bones and totally horrified my parents. To this day I get a frissom of excitement when I look at the front and back covers - the front with its comical, nighmarish image of a pulsating, grown schoolboy with electrical wiring for hands, the fabulous bandshot on the rear (quite possibly my favourite band shot of all time), with Angus looking like a demented Dennis The Menace while Bon leers over his shoulder like some cackling demon with dirty, infernal secrets to tell. Magical, and totally naughty.

The music inside - to the ears of a school boy raised on a diet of Beatles and late 70's/early 80's New Wave - was incredibly menacing and furious, a relentless attack of barbed wire guitars riding upon pulverising basslines and hooligan drums, with a screaming, whisky-soaked voice shrieking infernal defiance over the top.

I have delayed many many years buying the album on CD, for fear that it would not live up to my sonic expectations. By and large it has - a lovely to surprise to find it is actually the original Australian version of the album, containing a slightly different track list, variant mixes and even variant takes on occasion, unless I'm very much mistaken. I've only given the album a quick once through on my slightly old ghetto blaster (can't play AC/DC at full tilt on the home hi-fi while the family are in the house, that wouldn't be right), but the whole thing still sounds impossibly raw, funky and intense.

Hearing Powerage again has actually got a depressing side, as it has totally shaken away any self-deluding illusions that I had that latest AC/DC album was in any way a "return to form". Compared to the frenetic pace and sleazy splendour of the 1978 disc, Black Ice really does sound like a Status Quo album recorded by, and for the benefit of, suburban old rockers who, if they are not Grandfathers already, are probably not far off.

There are moments of Powerage, when the brute force genuinely becomes scary and in fact a little disturbing. I'm thinking particularly of the passage immediately following the quiet breakdown in Sin City (a track almost indescribably beautiful in its potent, primitive celebration of vice and evil) - you know, the bit where Bon comes out with his "ladders and snakes, ladders give, snakes take" lyric, delivered with lavicious relish. Straight after this bit, Angus and Malcolm come roaring back in, hitting jabbing power chords beneath Phil Rudd's drums - the sound of the guitars over the rhythm section in this part of the song provides an uncanny musical evocation of a fist pumelling someone repeatedly in the head, or a booted foot smashing in a phone box. For a brief moment, AC/DC genuinely sound scary - the vibe nearly, ever so nearly, becomes genuinely nasty and unpleasant. But then Bon Scott, that great, under-rated poet/comedian of rock'n'roll (up there, surely, with Chuck Berry) turns in one of his most lustily euphoric verses - "Bring on the dancing girls, and put the champagne on ice!!!", and you are reminded this is no snarling, barbaric and anti-social bunch of punk yobos hell-bent on destruction, but just a glorious rock'n'roll band at the peak of its powers, revelling in mindless hedonism, running rampant with electricity, white heat and over-charged libido into the jaws of hell. Of have I just described the next album?!

Powerage finds AC/DC taking the raw bones of boogie/blues/rock 'n'roll, and sticking a tube of dynamite so far up its behind that the resulting explosion is enough to send you quivering under your duvet. That they managed, somehow, to imbue the work with an tangible whiff of disco (this was the late seventies after all!) without ever losing their sense of bad-boy propulsion (compare what Kiss were doing at roundabout the same time - I Was Made For Loving You, anyone?) only confirms how razor-sharp their instincts were, how fine tuned was their sense of identity and purpose.

Powerage still has the power to enthrall, as much today as it did back in the day. If you only buy one AC/DC album, as the cliche goes...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerage Indeed!, 30 Nov. 2005
By 
John Heaton (Budapest, Hungary) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Powerage (Audio CD)
Recorded around their peak and released in 1978, the same year as their famous live album ’If You Want Blood’, this album is full of that trademark AC/DC rhythm guitar which is used to great effect on virtually every track. The songwriting has come on leaps and bounds from the previous album ’Let There Be Rock’. ’Sin City’, ’Riff Raff’ and the marvellous second track ’Down Payment Blues’ are bona fide rock classics. The quiet bit in Sin City when we just hear Cliff Williams’ hypnotic bass line while Bon sings eerily about Ladders….and snakes is perfect, reminiscent of the escape bit from ’Jailbreak’…in both cases we of course get what we want and expect at the end, the reentry of Angus and Malcom Young’s angry and electrifying guitar.
There are other great moments too. ’Gone Shootin’ particularly, great riff…and personally selected by Beavis and Butthead to appear in the movie they made. ’What’s Next To The Moon’ is pretty fine, slightly let down by the chorus. The ’Rock And Roll Damnation' single from 1978 (not on the original vinyl album but included here) is just great and should preferably be played Very Loud. It is a far more effective opener than the original album opener Gimme A Bullet which decent but hardly in the same league. Minor grumble is the strange omission of ’Cold Hearted Man’ which I always liked a lot. Surely ’Up To My Neck In You’ was more dispensable? In my opinion they should not have touched the original song line up however and included the single as a bonus track on the end. Also what happened to the superb back cover picture of the band??
Minor grumbles indeed. For at the end of the day most of what made this album great is of course still here. Massively. And to sound this fresh and exciting 27 years later is quite an achievement.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wheres the REAL Powerage ?, 14 Sept. 2003
This review is from: Powerage (Audio CD)
This album was always one of Bon Scott era AC/DC's finest , totally blistering real Rock and Roll so I was looking forward to hearing it on Cd and give my old vinyl a well earned rest after 25 years or whatever it is . Much to my disappointment the version that Atlantic has reissued is the American ( and vastly inferior mix ) of the album designed for their market and not the UK / European version a lot of us grew up with . The mixes are different and lose a LOT of the power and there's no 'Cold Hearted Man ' if you don't believe me get yourself a European copy of it on vinyl and give it a listen . Its very sad to think of generations of fans not having a chance to hear it as it was originally released so come on Atlantic where is it ?
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Powerage by AC/DC (Audio CD - 2003)
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