The Complete Soundboard Collection With Bon Scott 1976-1979 (WLR-2149)
Bon Scott, the charismatic and now legendary front man for AC/DC who died on the eve of superstardom and who left a incredible musical legacy, the man who gave us such memorable quotes as “people ask me if i’m AC or DC, neither I’m the lightning in the middle” is the subject, or catalyst, for this exciting new release. Without alot of hoopla along comes this box set that presents all of the soundboard live recordings that feature Bon Scott on vocals. Since the band was in their formative years and were a touring band they used radio as a means to get their music out to people to be heard, the majority of this set is culled from these radio broadcasts. They are not only among the best in quality but also performance.
Since AC/DC themselves have released a lot from their vaults in terms of audio and video of the Bon Scott era these recordings are the missing pieces of the puzzle and for any collector must be considered essential documents, thankfully they can be heard the way the band intended, at high volumes. While all these recordings circulate in trading circles and many have been released on vinyl or CD bootlegs most are out of print and scarce so this is an excellent way to have them all one set. The packing is its self is nice, a 6.5″ X 6.5″ box with the band picture from Highway To Hell in 3D, yes 3D. They are individually numbered and are limited to 500 copies. There is a 24 page booklet with venue, date and track listing for each disc and all disc are housed in simple clear plastic sleeves.
I originally did not order this when it was first released then saw it for an excellent price and bought it, after taking it all in I am very pleased with the set and can easily recommend it to the collecting community and of course fans of AC/DC should have a copy in their collection.
Disc 1; Tracks 1-4 Maida Vale, Studio 4 UK 03/07/1976 UK Radio << BBC Radio 1 >> / Studio Sessions Tracks 5-15 Paris Theatre Club London, UK 08/07/1976 UK Radio << BBC Radio 1 >> / Mike Mansfield’s Super Pop Show” (52:37) High Voltage, Live Wire, Can I Sit Next To You Girl, Little Lover, Pete Drummond Intro, Live Wire, Pete Drummond Intro, Its A Long Way To The Top, Pete Drummond, Soul Stripper, Pete Drummond, High Voltage, Pete Drummond, Baby Please Don’t Go, Pete Drummond Outro The first four tracks are live in the studio versions of songs that made up the first UK version of the High Voltage record, the highlight being a rare “live” version of Little Lover. A week later and they are back on the radio performing in front of a small studio audience. Pete Drummond interjects some attempts at humor and the band give a more energetic performance. The sound quality drops from what sounds like pre broadcast quality down to broadcast quality for tracks 13-14.
Other than that the quality for the entire disc is excellent. Disc 2; Tracks 1-7 Sydney at NSW (Haymarket) Australia 30/01/1977 Oz Radio Tracks 8-15 Atlantis Bar Convention Nashville, Tn. USA 08/0801978 Radio << WKDF >> (81:31) Dirty Deads Done Dirt Cheap, Jailbreak, The Jack, Can I Sit Next To You Girl, High Voltage, Rocker, It’s A Long Way To The Top, Intro DJ, Live Wire, Problem Child, Sin City, Gone Shootin, Whole Lotta Rosie, Rocker, Outro DJ The Haymarket set is excellent, both in terms of sound quality and performance as the band is in top form fresh from the UK Giant Dose Of Rock And Roll tour the prior month. The rare Bon Scott era performances of DDDDC and Jailbreak are superb but the highlights for me is the version of The Jack complete with the Gonorrhea introduction.
In Australia early in the bands career they were almost a teeny bob band with the majority of their fans being young girls. Bon introduces the next songs as “Can I Sit On Your Face Girl” to much cheering from the crowd, Its A long Way To The Top is longer than usual and features some crowd interaction by Bon and some bluesy playing from Angus, overall a real jem of a show.
The Nashville portion has excellent sound, a little amplifier buzz can be heard between songs but does not distract, the crowd is barley alive and make little noise between songs The band were touring the US extensively during 1978 and did many radio broadcasts. They perform an abbreviated set containing the strongest songs with standouts being Sin City and Rocker.
Disc 3; 4 O’clock Club Fort Lauderdale, Fl. USA 02/08/1977 US Radio << WSHE >> Benefit concert for Muscular Dystrophy Association (53:37) Tom Judge Intro, Live Wire, Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be, Whole Lotta Rosie, The Jack, Problem Child, Baby Please Don’t Go, Tom Judge, Rocker, Outro
The Intro and first two songs are of a lesser quality but then the sound goes to excellent and sometimes slightly unbalanced recording. The show its self is superb, the crowd is very into it and the band delivers a strong performance. Again we are treated to another version of The Jack with the Gonorrhea intro and a Great Baby Please Don’t Go played at almost break neck speed and Rocker grinds the audienceto a pulp.
Disc 4; The Agora Ballroom Cleveland, Oh. USA 22/08/1977 US Radio << WMMS >> Saturday Night Special (48:49) Live Wire, She’s Got Balls, Problem Child, The Jack, High Voltage, Baby Please Don’t go, Rocker
WMMS in Cleveland was know for their live broadcast and many circulate in trading circles, Rush in particular garnered much support from the station. The AC/Dc show is fantastic, we are treated to a rare soundboard of She’s Got Balls the song Bon wrote for his then wife, Irene, a classic from their first record. Again The Jack has the The Gonorrhea intro, it still blows my mind they could play it on radio but I do not tire of hearing it and then another killer Baby Please Don’t go and Rocker finale
Disc 5; The Old Waldorf San Francisco, Ca. USA 03/09/1977 US Radio <<KSAN >> (61:21) Intro, Live Wire, Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be, Up To My Neck In You, Kicked In The Teeth, The Jack, Whole Lotta Rosie, High Voltage, Baby Please Don’t Go, Problem Child
A classic show, most notably for the inclusion of Up To My Neck In You and Kicked In The Teeth, two songs that will not be released until 1978 on the Powerage record. The sound starts off with a poorer version of the tape but switches to an excellent sounding one 25 seconds into Hell Ain’t A Bad Place. From hear on out sounds like the pre-fm reel that circulated on torrent sites earlier this year.
Up To My Neck In You sounds similar to the recorded version while Kicked In The Teeth sounds unrefined, lyrically almost complete but musically they would strip it down more making it more aggressive. The 1977 broadcasts are excellent, the band delivered on their first trip to the US that would reap benefits on their next visit.
Disc 6; Tracks 1-7 Golders Green Hippodrome London UK 27/10/1977 UK TV Show BBC Sight and Sound In Concert / Complete Show Tracks 8-12 Golders Green Hippodrome London UK 27/10/1977 UK Radio Show BBC In Concert (67:40) Let There Be Rock, Problem Child, Hell Ain’t A Band Place To Be, Whole Lotta Rosie, Bad Boy Boogie, Rocker, TNT, Let There Be Rock, Problem Child, Hell Ain’t A Band Place To Be, Whole Lotta Rosie, Rocker
Taken from the excellent video that has been released in parts on the official Plus Me In DVD set and also making its rounds on VH-1 Classic. The sound is excellent and the band is in fine form, Bad Boy Boogie finally making its way into the set.
The Radio show songs are just slightly lesser quality but still excellent. Disc 7; The Paradise Theatre Boston, Ma. USA 21/08/1978 US Radio << WBCN >> (62:17) WBCN Intro, Live Wire, Problem Child, Sin City, Gone Shootin’, Bad Boy Boogie, The Jack, High Voltage, Rocker, WBCN DJ, Dog Eat Dog, WBCN Outro Slighty louder and crisper than the Refined Masters title “First Time In Boston” and just about 15 seconds longer due to a radio introduction. The Boston show is probably the most often bootlegged of the 1978 shows, the sound is excellent as is the performance. I laugh every time I hear the original radio DJ try and interview Bon after rocker and calls him “Bon Tyner”.
Disc 8; Veteran Memorial Columbus, Oh. usa 10/09/1978 US Radio << WQFM96 >> (65:37) Intro DJ, Live Wire, Problem Child, Sin City, Gone Shootin’, Bad Boy Boogie, Rock And Roll Damnation, The Jack, Dog Eat Dog, Rocker, Let There Be rock, Outro DJ I first got a taste of this show on the Turtle Records Alternating Current released back in the early 90’s. This release is heads and tails above that release, taken from a re broadcast this time we have the complete show, all other silver copies, to my knowledge, are missing the last track Let There Be Rock.
The sound, while being excellent, has a slight bit of a haze often found on FM broadcasts. While it does not interfere with the listening experience it is not as crisp as other recordings found on this set. The show itself if great, the crowd is into it and the band seem happy to be back in Columbus. It should be noted that Godfathers released this show as Back Through The Wire, I do not own that release and therefore cannot compare.
Disc 9; Vereeniging Hall Nijmegen, Holland 23/10/1978 Dutch Radio (55:42) Live Wire, Problem Child, Sin City, Gone Shootin’, High Voltage, The Jack, Whole Lotta Rosie, Rocker, Rock And Roll Damnation, Let There Be Rock The complete recording recently found in part on the excellent Godfathers release of Dutch Damnation in identical quality.
Disc 10; Tracks 1-9 Essex University Colochester, UK. 28/10/1978 UK TV << BBC >> Rock Goes To College Tracks 10-16 Arnhem 13/07/1979 (69:39) Live Wire (Cut), Pete Drummond Intro, Problem Child, Sin City, Bad Boy Boogie, Whole Lotta Rosie, Rocker, Encore, Let There Be Rock, TV Intro, Concert Intro / Lex Harding, Highway To Hell, Bad Boy Boogie, The Jack, Rocker, Whole Lotta Rosie The Rock Goes To College show, great to listen to but even better when enjoyed on video, Pete Drummond makes his return and gets cut off as the band launches into Problem Child, obviously there are having fun. The addition of the video would have been an excellent addition to the DVD as would the Arnhem footage, none the less the sound for the Rock Goes To college is excellent, the Arnhem is soundboard it does not hane fidelity sounding more like an old mono TV show.
Disc 11; Townson Center Townson, Md. USA 16/10/1979 US Radio Listed as fan club (76:31) Live Wire, Shot Down In Flames, Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be, Sin City, Problem Child, Bad Boy Boogie, The Jack, Highway To Hell, High Voltage, Whole Lotta Rosie, Rocker, If You Want Blood, Let There Be Rock One of the first live AC/DC recordings I bought on tape at a record show in the late 1980’s. A great show with the security being rough on the concert goers and being put in place by Bon. He lets them have it numerous times as “they ain’t rock and roll” and even tells them to “fuck off”. Released many times, mostly in fragments it is nice to have the complete show in one place in excellent quality.
Disc 12 A/B; Hammersmith Odeon London, UK 02/11/1979 UK Radio Show BBC << In Concert >> Complete show but never broadcasted completely (A;43:28) Live Wire, Shot Down In Flames, Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be, Sin City, Walk All Over You, Bad Boy Boogie, The Jack – (B;52:51) Highway To Hell, Girls Got Rhythm, High Voltage, Whole Lotta Rosie, Rocker, Encore, If You Want Blood, Let There Be Rock, Live Wire, Shot Down In Flames This show gets the award for being the most widely circulated show on bootleg, its everywhere mostly incomplete from vinyl to compact disc.
recently released on Tarantura as Live In London this version is slightly lower in volume and has a very small amount of hiss where’s the Tarantura is crystal clean but over all very close in sound quality, the transitions between songs are not as smooth as they should be on this version where the Tarantura does not have these issues. The last two songs are sourced from vinyl and are the b-sides to the Touch To Much single.
Disc 13; Jaap Edenhal Amsterdam, Netherlands 12/11/1979 Dutch Radio (67:07) Live Wire, Shot Down In Flames, Hell Ain’t A Bad Place To Be, Sin City, Walk All Over You, Bad Boy Boogie, The Jack, Highway To Hell, High Voltage, Whole Lotta Rosie, Rocker, Encore, Let There Be Rock Again we get the complete show, most recently the majority of this show was found on the Godfathers title Dutch Damnation, when comparing the titles I found the sound to be almost identical but if I had to pick I would say Godfathers is just a little crisper. While the 1979 shows are not as intense as lets say the 1977 shows they are well played and show the band were tetering on the mega stardom they were working so hard to achieve.
DVD; 1-7 Golders Green Hippodrome London UK, 27/10/1977 8-21 Pavillion De Paris Paris France 09/12/1979 The Hippodrome footage is as good as the official version out there and is a joy to have on a DVD, the Paris footage is nothing more than the Let There Be Rock movie obviously sourced from a VHS, with the official remastered version being released on DVD/ Blue Ray in the very near future this space could have been better utilized with the Rock Goes To College or something else. That being said the VHS transfer was done well and since I have not seen the movie in at least a decade I was enjoyed watching it immensely.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)