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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » AC/DC - 1983 Flick Of The Switch
AC/DC - 1983 Flick Of The Switch

ALBUM: Flick Of The Switch
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: 80100-1
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 1994, Atco, 7567-92448-2


LINEUP: Brian Johnson - lead vocals * Angus Young - lead guitar * Malcolm Young - rhythm guitar, vocals * Cliff Williams - bass, vocals * Phil Rudd - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Rising Power * 02 This House Is On Fire * 03 Flick Of The Switch * 04 Nervous Shakedown * 05 Landslide * 06 Guns For Hire * 07 Deep In The Hole * 08 Bedlam In Belgium * 09 Badlands * 10 Brain Shake


AC/DC have sold more than 200 million albums worldwide, including 69 million albums in the US. As the boys wrap up their final pugnacious platter with producer Brendan O'Brien and audio engineer Mike Fraser, I thought it would be fitting to pull out a couple overlooked gems from AC/DC's Glory-Daze. For those who prefer the Bon years, I recommend 1978's 'Powerage' for overall consistency. For the Johnson era - it's got to be 'Flick Of The Switch'. I've always had a warm place in my heart for this release. perhaps it's because this was the album AC/DC were supporting when I saw my first concert (AC/DC, October 1983, The Forum; opener Fastway) or maybe it's because it's one of the few AC/DC slabs that didn't get played to death on US radio. By 1983, AC/DC were on top of the world. At that time, the band had sold over 20 million albums and had risen above tragedy following the death of Bon Scott. On 'Flick of the Switch,' AC/DC produces the album themselves, ditching 'Mutt' Lange, who worked on the band's prior three records. What AC/DC may of lacked in production skills was made up in terms of kick ass rock-with a sound and energy as subtle as a wolverine hopped up on crystal meth!

The Songs
All the songs here are great, and IMHO this surpasses 'For Those About To Rock', and even parts of the almighty 'Back In Black'. The scorching opener, 'Rising Power' kicks off the album in classic AC/DC fashion. 'This House Is On Fire' is another no frills fist in the face, and one of their best singles from the Johnson years IMHO. The two following killer cuts, 'Flick Of The Switch' and 'Nervous Shakedown' continue in the same manor attempting to grab you by the nape of the neck with their sonic savagery and refusing to let go. Living up to it's name, 'Landslide' (definitely not the Fleetwood Mac cover) is another ferocious rocker which moves along just like it's title. The menacing riffage of Angus Young here is superb, and proves yet again, AC/DC never deviated from their mission to rock. That's just side one! Side two opens up with chugging bombastic riffing from Angus into a skull splitting rhythm - 'Guns For Hire' is a blast. It's no wonder it was the opener on the corresponding tour (sadly never played since). 'Deep In The Hole' is good as well, but my personal favourite AC/DC anthem has always been 'Bedlam In Belgium.' An ass kicker if there ever was one and perhaps one of their most overlooked classics. 'Badlands' is a close second with it's fist banging swagger and Johnson's raspy vocals which at time sound like he's masturbating with a cheese grater! The closer 'Brain Shake' is another relentless rocker showcasing an album of fearless decibel terrorism from the 'thunder down under'!

In Summary
The album was self-produced by AC/DC and reached #4 in UK and #15 in the US. Though considered a disappointment when released, the overall rawness and energy heard on 'Flick Of The Switch' has never been duplicated by AC/DC before or since. Although unlikely, it would be awesome if AC/DC would close out their career with this kind of intensity!

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#1 | dangerzone on July 08 2008 00:30:17
This is my favorite AC/DC album by a mile and one I should have reviewed years back! Great stuff!
#2 | DEMONAOR on July 08 2008 06:54:20
Yep great albumguns
#3 | YNGWIEVIKING on July 08 2008 07:13:27
score 8axemanA good one! very underrated but not as good as 'for those' and obviously the mighty 'back in black'!
agree with you about the review and fact that they need something as strong to close their glorious history!clapclapclap
#4 | dangerzone on July 08 2008 07:34:54
For me 'For Those About To Rock' is perhaps the dullest album the band ever put out. Even 'Back in Black' can't compete with 'Flick Of the Switch'. All the bands output is great and I think some reviews are in order!
#5 | gdazegod on July 08 2008 09:29:47
I agree DZ. We should attack the Bon Scott era catalogue with a vengeance. I'm kinda embarrassed we have F**k all of Aysee Deasy on this site.. bit like the Bad Company situation a few weeks back.
#6 | dangerzone on July 08 2008 10:31:02
I have been meaning to for years, I don't know why I haven't to be honest. I'll have to amend that!
#7 | eirrom on July 24 2008 20:54:01
I really thought it was a great disc. It has a great raw sound. They also seem a little heavier on this disc, especially compared to Ballbreaker or Stiff Upper Lip
#8 | sabace on July 29 2008 15:28:08
I always find it amazing, when people discuss AC/DC, ignore
the Bon Scott era . AC/DC 's best stuff is all in Bon's time!

my particular fave is the live from atlantic studios 1977 .
#9 | reyno-roxx on July 29 2008 15:53:48
sabace, with the exception of 'Back In Black', I totally agree. 'If You Want Blood..' is one of the greatest albums ever made.
I remember reading an interview with Angus that claims that all the Atlantic studios promo albums were recalled or destroyed and stated that any in collectors hands were bootlegs. Well, I know mine isn't a bootleg and I don't think those in the collections of Derek Oliver etc are either!
#10 | dangerzone on July 29 2008 23:11:27
Nothing can top 'Let There Be Rock' or parts of 'Powerage'. Both are high on the agenda. The way boogie was meant to be played!
#11 | jeffduran on July 30 2008 06:19:48
The article gives credit to 'Powerage'...
#12 | fenton on September 09 2008 18:29:23
For me; nothing on this planet can top 'Ballbreaker'. For rudeness or otherwise...
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