Monday, January 18, 2010

January Jingles: AC/DC Backtracks

My husband is a die-hard classic rock fan. As a matter of fact, I tease him relentlessly about his musical tastes, which span much further back than his 30 years. He and my father tend to share the same beloved albums and my father is twice his age. The Rolling Stones. Pink Floyd. Led Zeppelin. Queen. Black Sabbath. They're all hiding comfortably in his glove compartment. So, when I was granted a review opportunity for a new boxed set from rock legends AC/DC, I passed it right along to my eager beaver hubby.

AC/DC's Backtracks is a collector's set that chronicles the rock duo's entire recording career, including rare songs, b-sides, and hard-to-find live performances. The standard version contains two CD's and a DVD of music videos, performances and promotional clips. Also released is a limited-run deluxe edition, housed in a fully operational AC/DC guitar amplifier, containing three CDs and two DVDs in addition to a 164-page coffee table book, guitar pick, lithographs, memorabilia and never-before-seen photographs.

Track Listing (Standard Box Set):

1. Stick Around
2. Love Song
3. Fling Thing
4. R.I.P. (Rock In Peace)
5. Carry Me Home
6. Crabsody In Blue
7. Cold Hearted Man
8. Snake Eye
9. Borrowed Time
10. Down On The Borderline
11. Big Gun
12. Cyberspace

1. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (Sydney Festival 1/30/77)
2. Dog Eat Dog (Apollo 4/30/78)
3. Live Wire (Hammersmith Odeon 11/2/79)
4. Shot Down In Flames (Hammersmith Odeon 11/2/79)
5. Back In Black (Landover, MD 12/21/81)
6. T.N.T. (Landover, MD 12/21/81)
7. Let There Be Rock (Landover, MD 12/21/81)
8. Guns For Hire (Detroit, MI 11/18/83)
9. Sin City (Detroit, MI 11/18/83)
10. Rock And Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution (Detroit, MI 11/18/83)
11. This House Is On Fire (Detroit, MI 11/18/83)
12. You Shook Me All Night Long (Detroit, MI 11/18/83)
13. Jailbreak (Dallas, TX 10/12/85)
14. Highway To Hell (Moscow 9/28/91)
15. For Those About To Rock (We Salute You) (Moscow 9/28/91)
16. Safe In New York City (Phoenix, AZ 9/13/2000)

DVD [“Family Jewels Disc Three”]
Big Gun
Hard As A Rock
Hail Caesar
Cover You In Oil
Stiff Upper Lip
Satellite Blues
Safe In New York City
Rock N Roll Train
Anything Goes

It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll)
Highway To Hell
You Shook Me All Night Long
Guns For Hire
Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (LIVE Album Promo)
Highway To Hell (LIVE Album Promo)

The Making Of Hard As A Rock
The Making Of Rock N Roll Train

Since I am not an AC/DC fan (the only songs I can identify are "Highway to Hell" and "You Shook Me All Night Long"), I left it to my better half to review the set. He was very impressed with the sound quality of the live tracks on disc 2, as some are over 30 years old, but he noted he wasn't as crazy about the rarities on disc 1. He thought some of the tracks were "okay" but he felt many of them lacked the magnetism of their more popular, hit songs. In other words, there was a reason they were kept as b-sides and not chosen as singles. So, while he enjoyed the set overall, he will most likely keep disc 2 on repeat.

The DVD "Family Jewels 3" was a nice accompaniment to the albums and he enjoyed watching the videos. But even if you're a fan, it is the type of thing you'd probably only watch once. And if I know my husband, he'll probably never pull it out of the box again. At least not anytime soon.

Bottom line: Backtracks is the ultimate collection for any hardcore AC/DC fan, especially fans of their older, seldom-heard material. But do not mistake it for a greatest hits compilation.

BUY IT: You can purchase both the standard and deluxe versions of Backtracks on or (ARV $28.99/$179.99) .
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