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Articles Home » 1985 Articles » AC/DC - 1985 Fly On The Wall
AC/DC - 1985 Fly On The Wall

ALBUM: Fly On The Wall
LABEL: Atlantic
SERIAL: 7 81263-1-E
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE: 1987, Atlantic, 7-81263-2 * 2003, Epic (USA), EK 80210


LINEUP: Brian Johnson - vocals * Angus Young - guitar * Malcolm Young - guitar * Cliff Williams - bass * Simon Wright - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Fly On The Wall * 02 Shake Your Foundations * 03 First Blood * 04 Danger * 05 Sink The Pink * 06 Playing With Girls * 07 Stand Up * 08 Hell Or High Water * 09 Back In Business * 10 Send For The Man


Given the unprecedented popularity of AC/DC in the present day it's hard to believe there was a period in the mid 80's where the band went through lean spell sales wise. This was stunning considering the millions and millions shifted by 'Back In Black' and 'For Those About to Rock'. Somehow 1983's 'Flick Of The Switch' was a relative failure, despite being AC/DC's heaviest and best album with Johnson. This didn't stop the lads giving it another shot with 'Fly On The Wall', which is another rough and ready album, much in the same vein of 'Flick..' This recording is often forgotten in the scheme of things, but the band had never been tougher musically or lyrically. The lineup had changed, with Simon Wright replacing Phil Rudd and making his recorded debut here.

The Songs
The opening bars of the title track are simply brutal and this is one of the best tracks in the bands extensive catalogue. There's a real sense of menace and Johnson is at his best here. Why the band don't wheel classics like this out in concert I'll never understand. On the same level are 'Shake Your Foundations', 'First Blood', 'Sink The Pink' and 'Back In Business,' which is the band at their heaviest. I'll take this over 'Back In Black' any day. Another lost classic is 'Playing With Girls', its brazen riffs and thunderous drumming proving a highlight. Johnson sings about getting wasted, tangling with the law and being a backdoor man in almost every song, par for the course with AC/DC of course. Some of the lesser known tracks are just as good, especially 'Come Hell Or High Water' and 'Back In Business', all long forgotten by the band itself but not by the fans.

In Summary
This is held in reasonably high esteem by most these days and with good reason considering how well the songs have held up. It might not be as glossy as 'Back In Black,' but instead is more in keeping production wise with 'Powerage'. True the band sounded far different by this period, but just because the band wasn't as successful as a few years earlier didn't mean the music was weaker. It was the exact opposite.

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#1 | kim_hp on January 22 2011 01:02:11
What the heck is up with the production on this one? Sounds kinda muddy and unclear, very unlike AC/DC to me. On the other hand, the guitar sound here is the heaviest of the bands career, very crisp and heavily distorted, almost metal! Some pretty cool songs too... guitar2
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