Book Review: ‘AC/DC: Maximum Rock and Roll’ by Murray Engleheart & Arnaud Durieux* - U2 Feedback

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Old 07-02-2007, 10:38 PM   #1
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Book Review: ‘AC/DC: Maximum Rock and Roll’ by Murray Engleheart & Arnaud Durieux*

By Jonathan Swartz

The rock band AC/DC has been touring and making music around the world for over thirty years. They are responsible for one of the most successful albums of all time, Back in Black, as well as Highway to Hell and many others. The band is cherished and beloved by their fans around the world, and ridiculed by social conservatives for their controversial lyrics. Murray Engleheart and Arnaud Durieux’s new book AC/DC: Maximum Rock and Roll is a very appealing and thought provoking chronicle of AC/DC, starting from their humble beginnings in Australia to their successful crossover into the United States and the rest of the world.

Engleheart and Durieux chronicle the history of AC/DC by diving into the personal and professional lives of its members. The book begins with a brief history of Angus Young (one of the founding members), his brother George Young, and the rest of his family. The book details the bands that AC/DC grew out of, including the Easybeats and the Valentines, as well as the Purple Hearts (who toured with the Easybeats in the 1960s). In addition to the early lives of the band members, the book effectively chronicles the early rock and roll of the 1950s and 1960s, especially the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Jerry Lee Lewis, and others, and diligently details how the members of AC/DC were influenced by these groups.

The book goes on to describe AC/DC’s formation in 1974 and the release of their first album, High Voltage, in 1975. The authors describe in detail the creation of the band’s work and tours, offering highlights and backstage stories from concerts in Australia, England, and the United States, during their peak period in the middle and late 1970s. It also incorporates photos of the band on tour and of the individual members of the group at various stages of their lives, from childhood to the present day. In one chapter, the authors describe how the band had hits in Europe and Australia before peaking in the United States in 1978 after appearing on “The Midnight Special” television series. The book also describes the tragic, controversial life of lead singer Bon Scott with such passion and sympathy that it almost makes the reader cry when reading through these passages.

The most interesting parts of the book describe AC/DC’s influence on other bands, including the Rolling Stones and the Who. The book also discusses how the band has managed to survive despite all the changes that rock music has undergone in the past thirty years, including the governmental regulation of rock music lyrics which resulted from controversy surrounding some of their songs.

This reader grew up on AC/DC, and the book brings back memories of some of the music that I used to listen to. I remember when most of the events described in the book happened, and for me, reading about these events brought back memories of a time when people dared to be different and listen to many different types of music.

Though the book centers on AC/DC, AC/DC: Maximum Rock and Roll is not just for AC/DC fans. It is for fans of all types of music, as well as for people who are looking for a new perspective on the history of rock and roll. Ultimately, the book is about how AC/DC changed the way we view rock music today and paved the way for future acts to follow.

AC/DC: Maximum Rock and Roll is published by Harper Collins Press. For more information, please visit the Harper Collins website.

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Old 07-03-2007, 12:17 AM   #2
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An excellent party band...never tried to be anything more than they are.

I too have this book, but Bon Scott is still alive so I have a ways to go.

Great review...

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Old 07-04-2007, 04:02 PM   #3
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there's another band that hasn't changed the members (at least not the core of the band)

Highway To Hell will be my wedding AND funeral's song
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