Review: Flick of the Switch

After the huge success of Back In Black, AC/DC started to flounder as song writers. Their 1981 album For Those About To Rock was about as bland as unimaginative as you could get from a high octave rock band. That was until 1983’s Flick Of The Switch came out and it solidified the fact that AC/DC had grown past their prime.

By this point, the idea of AC/DC being a rude little energetic Aussie band had dissipated. The group were now a plodding rock monster, one that played it a little too safe after their brush with success. Though an album like Flick of the Switch didn’t kill their popularity, it certainly dented their reputation as a studio group.

The album only features a handful of really good tracks like the opening trio, Rising Power, This House Is On Fire and Flick of the Switch. None of the tracks even come close to the likes of Hells Bells, Shoot To Thrill or Let There Be Rock. But is easy to hear that the band are trying to recapture the old glories. They tread the same ground one too many times and even repeat motifs found in previous songs. What is worse is that the band started to give up on faster tempo’s by this point. When I said that the band were plodding along, I mean that literally. Phil Rudd (who left soon after) sounds bored out of his mind as he bashes out the same monotonous mid tempo beat to the same repetitious guitar riff. I can certainly share his pain as a listener.

To make up for their lack of good songs, the band have opted for a heavier sound. Perhaps to make up for the more slick production found on the previous two albums. The sound itself is fine for the most part but it really adds to the fact that the band are trying too hard to live up to their reputation and it does them no favours.

What the band needed desperately was new blood, someone to really push the Young brothers into creating some real good hooks and grooves. That came with 1985’s Fly On The Wall, an album that for whatever reason is disliked by a lot of fans despite the fact that it is vastly superior to its predecessors.

Flick of a Switch is one of those albums where you could certainly listen to a lot worse (looking at you Blow Up Your Video). But still, it is a bargain buy at best and is not worth purchasing until you have all the great albums in your collection.

Rating : 6 / 10

Where to buy :

Track Listing :

  1. Rising Power
  2. This House Is On Fire
  3. Flick of the Switch
  4. Nervous Shakedown
  5. Landslide
  6. Guns For Hire
  7. Deep in the Hole
  8. Bedlam In Belgium
  9. Badlands
  10. Brain Shake