21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on 27 August 2007
Even after some 27 years, the Brian Johnston AC/DC has had to live under the shadow of those few Bon Scott years and those classic albums. Apart from Black In Black, in my opinion, none of the later albums met the pedigree of those first few albums - great songs, but more often than not the albums were a little disappointing. But for me, it wasn't that the playing got weaker, or the song writing, or even the choice of singer (Love or hate him, Brian Johnston still has one of the most unique voices and although maybe not be as popular a singer as Bon, he is a better allover performer), what made the Bon Scott albums stand the test of time and, I feel, the later ones suffer, is the sound. That vintage organic crisp clear blues sound that made us love the band in the first place, was too often replaced with too much of a mediocre metal sound for my liking and lacked soul and feeling, and I'll be honest, I hadn't even bothered to buy Ballbreaker or Stiff Upper Lip - given up by then. I did however recently buy the later and what a joy. Thankfully the band have had the sense to bring in their brother George Young (who should be employed to produce the Stones next album) again to produce and this is an album to equal any of those Bon Scott albums. The songs all feel like they could have come from those early AC/DC albums, but without doubt it is Brian who sounds, for the first time, like undermining the Bon Scott legend. His voice sounds amazing on this album. Thankfully on classic albums like this, you don't have to talk in terms of individual songs. Just stick it on and find the groove. Simply stunning!!!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 28 November 2002
Without a doubt, the best AC/DC album of the Brian Johnson era. There are no fillers here, this is a classic from start to finish. Infused with energy, this record will put you on a high that lasts for hours.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 August 2000
Swaggering, foot stomping, hip thrusting, pulse accelerating, sexed up, air guitar, big riff rock. From the moment Brian Johnson's vocals kick off the thumping, bluesy opening track "Stiff Upper Lip" it is clear that AC/DC mean business. This track, along with "Hold Me Back" are the standout tracks on an album in which you will hear AC/DCs whole back catalogue in the form of remolded and reinvented guitar riffs. As expected, this album is not dissimilar to the previous album "Ballbreaker" and most of the songs would fit comfortably onto the last record. But despite this customary lack of imagination "Stiff Upper Lip" showboats the essence of what makes AC/DC a great rock band. Each track boasts the typically solid rhythmic bases, the continuous and indulgent guitar riffs and the searing vocals that are the trademark of the band. AC/DC will never exert a huge influence on the music world; their sound is far too self influenced for that. But this album stands testimony to and revels in the hot headed, beat driven, self indulgent, macho, free expression from which hard rock was born. This is classic hard rock for huge amplifiers. Bands like this are a dying breed.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2007
This was AC/DC's first release since 1995's 'Ballbreaker'. It's not quite as heavy as you would expect - this is a record with a bluesy feel and a grainy guitar sound, although it sticks doggedly to the same hard riffing, "rumpty-tump" groove that this band have been grinding out for 30 years and counting. There are some excellent songs on this album: 'Stiff Upper Lip', 'Meltdown' and 'Hold Me Back' are all rough n' tough boogie numbers in the finest 'DC tradition, and the catchy 'Can't Stand Still' earns some in-studio applause, which is delightfully captured at the end of the track. However, this is not as consistent a record as 'Ballbreaker', and the quality of the songwriting dips sharply on half-baked filler like 'House of Jazz', 'Can't Stop Rock 'n' Roll' and 'Give It Up'. The better songs are good enough to pick up the strain, but for fans looking for a taste of AC/DC's more recent output, I recommend checking out 'Ballbreaker' and 'The Razor's Edge' before buying this.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 March 2000
AC/DC's new album release 'Stiff Upper Lip' is an absolutly fantastic rock 'n' roll album, and by far the best release by the band in many years, possibly ever. The main rythems lying under Angus's excellent lead guitar playing are very solid and smooth and really come alive to provide the songs with a strong, sound impact, and Brian Johnson's screaming singing delivers it's usual power punch right between the eyes. I think that most of the songs from beginning to end seem to have a different sound to them though that suggests a change in the band's approach to this album. The songs are as much fun as usual, but overall it sounds serious, and not just another album release. Maybe they felt it was time not just to get it right, but to get it absolutly 100% spot on, which I feel they have done. For me though it's 'Meltdown', the second song on the CD that kicks ass the most. It's just got such a consistant and steady upbeat rythem that feeds the soul. I think AC/DC's last album 'Ballbreaker' with the exception of the title track itself left a bit to be desired as have some other other albums, but you can tell the band has really worked hard on this one, put in a lot of creativity and energy, and have really managed to pull something out of the hat for us fans, as well as elevating themselves back up to the great rock 'n' roll band heights again. More albums like this is what we AC/DC lovers need. Absolutly brilliant!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 28 February 2000
The album stats off with the title track (As usual) which (As usual) is a good solid rock tune. The next three songs dip inti the grooveof previous Acca Dacca 90's albums which can be a bit annoying. Most of the songs on the entire album are structured along the lines of Intro, VERSE, CHORUS, VERSE then repeat chorus, into phenominal Guitar solo then minotinous repeat of CHORUS. Angus has surpassed himself with the guitar work Cliffs bass sounds great and phil's drummingis, as always, the entertaining in it's own right. The outstanding tracks are "Safe in New York city", Satelite Blues", "Damnes", All screwed up" and "Stiff upper lip." This albumis worth buying.
on 2 July 2000
Apparently its been neigh on five years since the 'DC's last effort. So have things changed on the musical front since then? Well not really, but then what self-respecting fan wants them to. I bought this CD on the day that it was released after hearing other rave reviews in every magazine possible including such stalwarts as NME. I'm not too sure but I think it was even given album of the month by that said magazine. A rare feat in itself seeing as they seem to belittle "heavy metal" music at any given opportunity. Do I agree with the reviews? Well, lets put it this way, ever since I installed it into the CD autochanger of my car, I haven't even had the slightest inkling about taking it out. If ever there was a definition of a classic album, then this surely is one. Why have I come to such a conclusion? I can't quite put my finger on it, but in the simplest of explanations I believe it is the quality of the songs that really stands out. Not since the album with the cannon on it (For Those About to Rock for the uninitiated) have the 'DC managed to deliver more than 3 or 4 really good rocky numbers on a CD. In my reckoning this CD has at least 6 high quality songs that I would love to see them play live in concert. Starting with the opening title track (Stiff Upper Lip) it is plain to the ear that the Young brothers have been hiding away all this time to come up with some killer riffs and some simple but highly effective lyrics. By the way what's happened to old Johnson and his lyrical prowess in the song writing process. This really is a classic song, and I was kind of half amazed, when the other Sunday, the BBC were using it as a backdrop to their "touring car" coverage. Fantastic! What I especially like about this song is the connecting chorusy bit: "And I shoot, and I shoot, and I shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot from the ....". I won't complete the rest of the line but you can probably guess the missing word, as it rhymes with lip. The next song is almost as equally as good. Titled "Meltdown", Johnson growls about a "baby getting hot". What can he mean I wonder? Other highlights? "Satellite Blues" Can't Me Back" and "Give it Up" are also good tracks showing off AC/DC at their very best. The riffs on these tracks are just simple classics. Also, I can just imagine both M. Young & C. Williams striding forward on these songs to deliver their omnipotent-backing chorus. The musicianship on this CD also seems to have been raised a notch or two compared to previous efforts. Angus seems to have learnt some new licks on his guitar that he uses to awesome effect on many of his solos. Malcolm is just the same old Malcolm, as tight as ever with is rhythm guitar. Cliff William's bass can really be heard on this CD, something that couldn't have quite been said for many of the 'DC's previous efforts. Whatever way you look at it I think this adds a different and improved dimension to the songs. This CD does have its mediocre moments, but then what CD doesn't these days. All in all a classic return for the brothers down under. When's the tour then lads?
on 8 April 2000
We've all seen it, a girl or guy trying too hard to be Mister or Miss Perfect.Loads of make up designer clothes and it just doesn't work.Sometimes a t-shirt and jeans is all that is required. Ac/Dc have in the past fallen in to the trap of 'Very Big is Best' ,Gigantic Production,amps on 11 more echo than a swiss valley (fly on the wall yuk!) and in the right place it sometimes works (for those about to rock) . However this album is brilliant because it's so basic , it stands on it's own merit.George Young (Elder brother of A and M has produced this album and the uncluttered crisp playing ,a rhythm section to die for and .....Well Angus! is the best thing they've done since the 70's. The gain isn't all the way up on the amps,there is little reverb and basically they are in your front room ,TNT/Livewire territory. The quality of the tracks is excellent and a positive danger to motorway driving,there aren't many albums you can put on 'Random selection' and be happy with but this as far as i'm concerned is definitely one of the few. This is an object lesson to many bands in how to play good music ......and definitely does not require make-up !
on 12 June 2004
"You can't stop rock and roll," barks Brian Johnson on track number 7 off "Stiff Upper Lip." Apparently, you can't stop AC/DC either. In the thirty-odd years these guys have been around, they've bypassed every known musical trend (classic rock, disco, punk, new wave, techno, and elctronica) while leaving their sound virtually unchanged. And why should they bother? If it ain't broke, don't fix it, and on their umpteenth album, they've given more of the same head-banging rock to please old and new fans alike. Produced by George Young (the elder brother of guitarists Angus and Malcolm), we get killer guitar riffs, catchy choruses, and enough double-entendres to make Austin Powers proud. These guys have clearly aged and have somewhat mellowed a bit since the glory days of "Back in Black," but the energy is undeniably present. "Safe in New York City," "Hold Me Back," and "House of Jazz" deliver the goods as only AC/DC can deliver them. The album lacks one straight up classic in the vein of "You Shook Me All Night Long," "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" or "TNT," but even so, "Stiff Upper Lip" is a very solid record from "the thunder from down under."
on 8 March 2013
This is my favourite latter-day AC/DC album. I have the same affection for it that I have for Powerage; both albums lack big singles, are very bluesy and aren't remotely commercial. Like Powerage, this album has a great groove and can be enjoyed as a single piece of work, from start to finish. This record was a real tonic after the abomination that was 'Ballbreaker'...Bon must have been spinning in his grave at the awfulness of those lyrics. The lyrics here are much improved and there are even some classic moments ("I was born with a stiff..."). And although there weren't any killer singles, the songs Can't Hold Me Back, Stiff Upper Lip and, in particular, "Can't Stand Still" are fantastic traditional rock 'n' roll songs (and Can't Stop Rock n'n Roll is another great song). There is some filler, but it's good filler and no tracks merit skipping. What more can I say except that this is an album I keep coming back to. I just wish they'd play some of these tracks live instead of repeating the same set list tour after tour after tour, but I'm going off-topic.