I first heard it in 1986, on a cassette that childhood friend, Mike made for me. This tape featured this record, with some b-sides and songs off import-only releases. This was a huge discovery for me. I was 10 years old and getting into AC/DC at this time, and was trying to hear some older, Bon Scott era stuff. He had an older sister that was into them and she had their Aussie and UK releases. There is always an older, cooler sibling somewhere in these origin stories.
As with most Americans, unless it was TNT, Dirty Deeds or Highway To Hell (all absolute bangers btw) we didn’t hear must Bon era songs on the radio. It was mostly Brian Johnson era songs and mostly from the Back In Black album, which is another all-time album for me.
How often do you listen to it?
Around once a month in it’s entirety. Tracks from this album every week.
Why is this your favorite album?
The question of “what is your all-time favorite album?” is not an easy one. I have a number of all-time favorites, but this record, and this band has been a constant for me, and my favorite band for 35 years. No matter what era in my life, or what I’m into at a certain time period (punk, hip-hop etc.) or what type of band I was playing, AC/DC was always my favorite band, and this is my favorite album by my favorite band, with Let There Be Rock right behind it.
Powerage was recorded and released in 1978. It was recorded at time when the band still had that raw feel to them but had grown as players after basically 4 straight years on the road and this being their 5th record at that time – break neck pace. It was the last record for the next decade that was produced by Angus and Malcolm Young’s older brother, George and his producing partner and former bandmate, Harry Vanda – there were in the Easybeats together. Their following album, Highway to Hell, was the first of a trio produced by Mutt Lange. Mutt brought the production up quite a bit.
This record was Bon Scott’s penultimate album with band before his sudden death in 1980, and arguably his best work lyrically. It is AC/DC’s bluesiest record and it’s just a perfect rock n’ roll record IMO. Don’t just take my word for it, here is quote from Joe Perry of Aerosmith on Powerage. “To me, it perfectly distilled everything that I like about rock’n’roll down to its essence.”
Essential tracks: Sin City, Gone Shooting, Kicked In The Teeth, Riff Raff, What’s Next To The Moon