Why AC/DC Matters – The Greatest Rock Band Ever?

acdc highway two hell

Credit: Atlantic

I’ve always liked AC/DC. I’m not what you would call a dedicated fan, but I’m pretty familiar with their body of work and would never say that they suck. Being that I’m not a dyed-in-the-wool fan of AC/DC, I have no idea why I picked up this book, Why AC/DC Matters, by the former RollingStone writer Anthony Bozza. Perhaps it was the bargain-basement price of $6.99. Perhaps it was curiosity. Perhaps it was why, why does AC/DC matter? Either way, I was hooked and needed something short and sweet to read.

Did the book make me a bigger AC/DC fan? No. Did it convince me that they matter? I think I already knew that they did. Did it make me want to listen to more AC/DC? Definitely. Did it make me respect them more? Most definitely.

While I loved the book, all 134 short pages of it, the final argument was predictable after reading just the introduction. However, Bozza’s perspective is unique and should be given attention. It’s clear that he’s a fan (can such a book be written by someone who’s not), but his perspective is great and revealing. The insights he gives into the nuances of AC/DC are phenomenal; they are things you would never think of as a casual listener (such as his insights on the percussion section or the communication that Angus and Malcolm have), but once you hear Bozza’s perspective you’re like, “Oh, yeah. That makes total sense.”

AC/DC – Highway To Hell

One thing that Bozza said that struck home with me was his story about wanting to be scared by music; that shit is no lie. For me, growing up in the ‘80s, there was something inherently evil about rock and heavy metal. They burned albums for Christ’s sake. So how couldn’t a young and impressionable mind be enthralled?

The book is full of insights into the history of AC/DC, which is something if you aren’t familiar with it. So that’s one reason to pick up Why AC/DC Matters.

However, the highlights arrive early and include:

“For the first time in twenty years, a band who’d been derided for doing just one thing was championed for doing just that. What had been called a lack of imagination for two decades was suddenly being lauded as uncompromising integrity.”

And…

“In that period of the late ‘80s the old-guard music magazines lost their footing, only to convince themselves, with grunge in the ‘90s, that they’d regained it and were still able harbingers of musical taste and cultural moments….”

And…

“I’m sick of seeing AC/DC begrudgingly acknowledged. I’m sick of mainstream critics acting surprised when confronted with the band’s demonstrable achievements and continuing popularity among generation after generation of obsessively devoted fans. I’m tired of the critical subtext that AC/DC is a band for the tasteless masses, that it is unworthy of the serious consideration afforded bands (like the White Stripes) mining blues and rock with calculated pretension.”

I’ll refrain from retyping the whole book, but it is an educated look at the greatness that is AC/DC. It’s a fast read that’s worth your time and it’s perfect fodder for the beach.

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