Album Review: Back in Blue – A Tribute to AC/DC

What a bloody good idea. A blues re-interpretation of the biggest selling rock album of all time with all proceeds going to Beyond Blue.

Most of us have had a bitter taste in varying degrees of hideous depression, or have known someone who has – it’s a worthy cause to raise awareness and funds to alleviate the invisible pain of the insidious beast.

The album coincided with the 36th anniversary of the release of AC/DC’s Back in Black and the untimely passing of main man, Bon Scott with the line-up of Aussie blues musos had its inaugural showcase at this year’s Blues on Broadbeach.

The tribute album starts with samples of crackling radio announcements and news reports about Bon Scott’s demise and the unmistakable voice of Molly Meldrum, “and that was the death of one of the greatest Australian rock and rollers of the last 10 years.”

And so it launches into Hells Bells. Geoff Atchison and Jane Michele strip back the loud, raunchy original with ripping slide guitar and thumping drums sounding like a death march, straight in to hell.

Chase The Sun bring a slow almost boogie beat to Shoot to Kill with Gail Page and Jan Rynsaart delivering their take on What you do for money honey? Yeah it’s misogynistic. Well it was 1980 and the band was not renowned for finesse or political correctness.

It’s a boy’s club and it’s all about sex and drugs and rock and roll, so it’s good to see a number of females represented in this century’s version.

Giving the Dog a Bone showcases Marshall O’Kell’s chugging guitar and whiskey soaked vocal growls. And then, surprise surprise. A run of rap from Triple Nip. Unexpected and very cool.

Shaun Kirk and Lachy Doley Group deliver Let Me Put my Love in You and Back in Black respectively and Shook Me All Night Long has 8 Ball Aitken all sultry and smooth – nothing like the original with its ‘wham bam thank you mam’ attitude. This one is slinky and seductive.

Genevieve Chadwick sounds like she’s sure not-shy of the whiskey bottle and a good-time with her gravelly take on Have a Drink and Playskool delivers scrumptious mouth organ on Shake a Leg.

And LLoyd Speigel delivers the closing track on this clever and thoughtful production. In those immortal words,

“Rock and Roll ain’t noise pollution

Rock and roll ain’t gonna die

Rock and roll ain’t noise pollution

Rock and Roll it will survive”.

Hell yeah. Insert devil’s horns here.


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