on 8 February 2004
Having followed ac/dc for about 24 years, this album always strikes me as unfairly judged by most. I think this, and powerage are their most underrated works.
Its a good, solid album, and I have always preferred it to back in black and for those about to rock (yes you read me right!)
The reviewer who said give this a chance despite most other reviews was right - this was perhaps their last good album before the serious decline which started with the dreadful fly on the wall(which may have been better but for awful production).
Being one of those fans who has always 'made do' with brian johnson - not a patch on bon scott, whose vocals had character as opposed to johnsons one dimensional screech - I judge the johnson era albums more harshly, but I seriously recommend flick of the switch as worth revisiting.
In summary, buy this album, its good value in the grand scheme of ac/dc albums, its solid, coherent, has good riffs and GOOD SONGS (theyve recaptured their SOUND on their two last albums but not their SONGS) - the terms 'overlooked' and 'underrated' are used too often in relation to weak spots in a bands career, but in this case those terms were never more accurate. Dont miss out on this one. I only gave it four stars because I'm not a brain johnson fan!
on 28 September 2003
To Start off with anyone who reads the other (two star) review for this album and takes any notice of it really should re- consider.
When AC/DC recorded Flick the switch they had come of the back of three of the greatest rock and roll masterpieces ever- Highway to hell, Back in black and For those about to rock(we salute you). All of which were produced by John "Mutt" Lange who was hired to sharpen the edges of a band who were already threatening world domination.
However for a band that had grown to megolithic proportions in just over three years another such album was not what they had in mind, All the fanfare was starting to wear the band down at live shows and the brothers young feared loseing their original and unique sound and so it was the band said farewell to 'Mutt' and decided that they would for the first time produce their own album.
AC/DC returned to the studio and recorded easily their most under-rated album which is a real shame because it really does deserve a LOT more credit. From the Kicking start of "Riseing Power" through to the electric finish of "Brain Shake" all of AC/DC's raw power and guts and glory Rock N' Roll is on display for all to hear. Obvious highlights would sertainly be "flick of the switch" and quite simply the best AC/DC song since "Back in Black" with a riff that could make lesser bands litterally cry and beg for forgiveness at their feeble efforts "nervous Shakedown".
Yes this album is back to basics but only a true fool would condem this as a bad thing, "Flick of the Switch" proves forever that AC/DC don't need no pyro's or anthing else to rock your socks off - disregard this album and you will regret it when a more sensible person kindly plays it to you. AC/DC RULE!!
on 31 October 2003
After the disappointment of "For those about to rock" I have always avoided this cd as I had heard it was worse. But now with the re-release's out I have started to collect them all.
So when I put this CD on I was expecting to be disappointed, how wrong I was ! What a great album !!!
Quite simply it ROCKS !!!
The stand out tracks are,
Badlands, Brain shake,Flick of the switch,Deep in the hole, Landslide and Guns for hire.
Who needs big name producers when you can produce material like this on your own.
Fantastic album, enough said !
on 9 February 2007
People who criticise this are usually music journalists (enough said), or 'casual' AC/DC fans who only really dial in to the more commercial releases. To true fans, this is a mammoth record. Angus and Malcolm produced it, deciding to go back to a rawer sound, and they achieved this in a big way, whilst still keeping the sound 'big'. The record just screams out of the speakers. It's really well recorded and mixed, with every element pretty much spot on; nice dry drums, gorgeous, rich chords and lead tones, and pure power from Brian Johnson. Johnson shines on this record. Aside from Blackie Lawless out of WASP, it's hard to find another singer who put such intensity into every note and who sung high over and over again despite knowing how hard this would be to replicate live. Angus is on top form, with fluid, blistering solos full of his usual blues lines and interesting note selection - not to mention one of the greatest vibratos in rock guitar history. The songs work well in their order, with stomping, powerful tempos being the order of the day, balanced by two ferocious and fast tracks at the end of each side. To my ears, every song is an absolute corker; every time I try to choose a handful to recommend I select 8 or so out of the 10 on there. Rising Power is, by Angus' admission, a little different, and has a great two-part solo. House Is On Fire has great ringing chords, a cracking solo, and Brian again sounding awesome. The title track is all power and energy, and Nervous Shakedown an all-time fans' classic for the band, with its meaty chord inversions, dramatically intense vocals, cool lyrics telling a tale, and majestic, chiming powerchords. Guns For Hire was a show opener - catchy and fluid, Bedlam in Belgium another relentless show of energy, with interesting lyrics about a true cop-bust at a gig. Badlands almost has a ZZ Top feel, lazy, fat, powerful chords drone out accompanied by huge vocals from Johnson.
Hard to find fault in this anywhere, but perhaps I'd recommend to turn the bass up a little, make the sound a little warmer. In short; one of my favourite records of all time.
on 8 October 2006
Seriously, I can't understand why so many people, critics and fans alike, are so negative about this record. Admittedly it's not the best album AC/DC ever made, but it's still a really good heavy rock record, and one of their most satisfying in my book.
People talk about The Razors Edge as a return to form but I think Flick of the Switch was their best album between Back In Black and Stiff Upper Lip (the real return to form as far as I'm concerned). For Those About To Rock..., Razors Edge and Ballbreaker are all decent albums, each with a couple of DC classics, but none of them matches the consistency of FOTS. In fact, this might be the only AC/DC album where I don't usually skip a single track.
I realise that I've not really said much useful about the album itself, I suppose highlights would be Rising Power, Flick of the Switch, Bedlam In Belgium and Badlands (despite the blatant rip-off of Led Zep's In My Time Of Dying riff). People often grumble about the production on this one but I don't know what they're on about - maybe the old version was badly mixed or something but the remastered version sounds great.
Like I say, it's not competing with Highway To Hell/Back In Black for the crown of AC/DC's best album and it's probably not as good as any of the other Bon Scott albums either, but I'd say it's the 3rd best Brian Johnson album behind BIB and Stiff Upper Lip.
on 15 October 2008
Ok I've finally gotten around to the DC's 80's output. And guess what? This is really pretty good. Quite a few people call this album Brian Johnson's Powerage - I'd probably give Stiff Upper Lip that honour, but this isn't far off.
Like most good DC albums it's a case of never mind the songs, feel the boogie. It just kicks off and you go with it. There are standout tracks: Rising Power, Flick of the Switch, Guns for Hire, Bedlam in Belgium and Brain Shake are as good as anything from the Bon era. They're just different. There are no obvious FM radio-type tracks such as you might hear on Back in Black - which to my mind is actually a pretty overrated album (sacrilege maybe but that's just my opinion). Production is good for this material, very raw and dry. The mix is excellent and Phil Rudd's drums sound fantastic on his last album for twelve long years. There could be a strong argument that AC/DC without Phil Rudd just isn't AC/DC, but that's something to discuss with regard to the Rudd-less albums.
This is just a really good rock album with no bells and whistles and no pretentions to commercial accessibility. It rocks hard and that's the best reason to buy it.
on 8 August 2010
I first saw AC/DC in 1977 and have been hooked ever since. I am also of the school that thinks AC/DC lost alot of humour and personality the day Bon Scott died. As such a lot of the 80s albums passed me by. I remember being particularly dissapointed with this album when it came out. I listened to it a few times when it first came out but for the last 25 years it has just gathered dust.
In 2010 I have decided to replace all my old AC/DC records with CDs and am currently listen through them in order. I was not looking forward to puting this one in the player I must admit. Rather like taking medicine that tatstes bad you just have to grit your teeth and get it over with.
From the moment Rising Power started to the last chords of Brain Shake it blew my socks off. I can't believe I didn't used to like this album.It has power and a collection of cracking songs. I suggest anyone who like me has written this off as a bad album dig it out and give it another go. This will easily stand like Back in Black as a classic of the post Bon Scott era. Let's hope Blow up your Video has got better with time as well.
For some reason this has been panned by many as a weak AC/DC album, and yet this record has a feel and a tone all to itself. Yes, like all AC/DC releases you can tell within a few notes even without seeing the cover who it is, and yet...and yet, this is a slight departure. It's very raw and without a doubt the heaviest record AC/DC have done. At the time it may have sounded too cold and hard, but as time and musical tastes have changed, this record seems to have grown with it. The cover sort of gives the game away - it's almost bleak. And that's almost how the record is. But it does sound much more modern than many AC/DC efforts and the fact that it is heavy gives it a sort of step away from their usual output. And there are some classic songs on here compared to any of their other stuff. Guns for Hire is a headbanger extreme when played loud and House Is On Fire is equally raucous. What I can say is that some AC/DC fans are very firmly in the Bon Scott camp and if you are one of these, this is probably the album that would distance you from AC/DC the most. However if, like me you like all the era's and both the singers then this really is a good record.
on 11 August 2001
I can't believe the other review of this DC product, because I think "Flick" is a pretty good rock'n'roll album. Particularly enjoyable tracks are 'Guns for Hire' and 'Bedlam in Belgium'. I've got most of their other albums and I don't think this is their worst by a long chalk. Come on - it's got to be better than "Fly on the Wall"!
Final word: If you like DC, you should like this.
I mis Bon Scott. I've brought all AC/DC albums from 1977 on the day of thier release, so to understand this album you need to see it from the AC/DC point of view. Pre 1979 Let There Be Rock, Powerage and the savage If You Want Blood.. established the band as a swaggering blues hard rock band that absolutely refused to compromise their sound or attitude, and became sucessful because of it and thier live reputation.
Mutt Lange produced the superb Highway To Hell, enhancing their sound and channelling it towards a worldwide hit album that had the band on the cusp. Following Bons sad death the band released the savvy Back In Black followed by the complex (by their standards) For Those About To Rock. At the time it seems the band felt, despite their success, they had moved away from what had made them famous. Sweaty songs, just simple rock 'n' roll, which is where Flick Of The Switch comes in. It's just a great rock record, strong songs, great riffs and hooks. Thats all. Had Lange produced this it would likely of had different arrangements a more polished sound and of been hailed by all and sundry. Instead it's maligned a weak album simply because the band stripped away the spit and polish, wound it up and just grooved, making the album they wanted. If your only knowledge of the band is Highway To Hell, Back In Black or For Those.. you might think this less of an album, but the songs are here, all ten are simply AC/DC at their stripped back best. Brain Shake, Landslide, Gun For Hire and Flick Of The Switch are stand outs and Badlands a personal fave. I believe Lange would of strangled it. Don't buy this because Back In Black is rightly considered a 'classic' buy it because you want a raw rock record that allows a band to breath again, get it's swagger back and just have some fun. This is such an underrated CD but most fans of the band rate it amongst their best because of this rawness. Time for you to get your head in the right place, beyond the platinum sellers, plug it in and turn it up. Thats all... Feel the Power Rise.