Do You Remember AC/DC's “Rock or Bust” Released November 28, 2014



As a band begins to start its twilight years, they decide to do one of two things. They either announce their big farewell tour or, they continue to keep moving forward to see what life has to throw at them. For AC/DC, many people thought their 2008 record, Black Ice would be their final album. At one point, Black Ice reached the No. 1 position on the US Billboard 200 charts. Seeing that there was a chance to bank on success, the Australian native hard rock band decided to jump back into the studio after a six-year hiatus from studio recordings.

Like Black Ice, fans also thought that 2014’s Rock or Bust was to be the band’s farewell record as the 40th anniversary of the band was just two years away. What fans didn’t know yet was that the 11-song record contained 35 minutes of classic AC/DC riffs mixed in with hard rock fusion. That fusion would transport the most diehard AC/DC fans back to 1976 when they released their debut record, High Voltage.

The first song on the track is the title track. The classic Angus Young guitar riff starts the record, followed by the rest of the band. It takes 20 short seconds before fans hear Brian Johnson’s classic voice kick in. Fans know AC/DC for having rock and roll anthem songs. Just listen to “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap,” “Back In Black,” or “You Shook Me All Night Long.” AC/DC’s bread and butter is catchy, short tunes that stick in listeners’ heads forever.



As fans introduce themselves to track two, “Play Ball,” they fully play air guitar throughout. Some might even perform duck walks like Young. The theme of short and catchy songs stays as  “Play Ball,” is just shy of three minutes and it sounds like it could have been on the band’s Back In Black album in 1980.

Track four is without a doubt my favorite tune on the entire album. “Miss Adventure” is everything an AC/DC fan would want. It has a chorus that hooks you in, a full drum sound from Phil Rudd and the family duo of Angus and rhythm guitarist Stevie Young create the classic AC/DC wall of sound that has consumed arenas and stadiums for decades. For this record, Stevie replaced his uncle, long-time rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young who was battling dementia and had to retire. I love the back-and-forth between the Young uncle-nephew duo. Two Young members have always anchored down AC/DC and this album was no different.



Despite AC/DC not being the young guns they once were, at this point in this career, their songs still pack a punch at a slower tempo. “Dogs of War,” “Get Some Rock & Roll Thunder” and “Hard Times,” are all slower heavy hitters but still have force behind them. Each of the three songs mentioned above is great in their sense. They’re good songs to pack some meat in the middle of the record.

By this point, the record is heading down toward the finish line. Track eight, “Baptism By Fire” greets listeners with its high energy and driving pace. With Rudd creating a groovy beat on the drums, the headbanging tune is one of the strongest songs on the entire album. Angus provides another blistering solo that is accompanied by an equally strong rhythm section from Stevie and bassist Cliff Williams.

Track nine is the feet stomping “Rock the House.” The raw power in this song contains all the essence of what AC/DC is as a band. They have a powerful sing-along chorus and groovy guitar riffs that are recognizable. The following track, “Sweet Candy,” contains the same details as “Rock the House.” “Sweet Candy” and  “Rock the House” are songs that complement each other well.

A lot of bands’ later work is often overlooked by fans who have followed the band since their inception. More often than not, some of the later works released by bands are some of their best. Look at The Black Crowes’ Happiness Bastards or Ace Frehley’s 10,000 Volts. Both albums were released in the band’s later stages but are some of their best work.

The same can be said for AC/DC’s Rock or Bust. Many of this album’s tunes are extremely solid and catchy and can be put up against some of the band’s greatest records. I say, try some of the later works of artists. It might not be the most popular album but it could become your new favorite. 








1. Rock or Bust

2. Play Ball

3. Rock the Blues Away

4. Miss Adventure

5. Dogs of War

6. Got Some Rock & Roll Thunder

7. Hard Times

8. Baptism By Fire

9. Rock the House

10. Sweet Candy

11. Emission Control





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