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AC/DC Family Jewels
(2-DVD)Epic EPC202865-9(2005)
Raw,gritty,rough and ready...and that's just Brian Johnson...


I know it's a cliché, but in this case, the old ones really are the best. And I'm referring to AC/DC. There are few bands that can touch this. Really.

This 2-DVD set truly is a set of jewels, mixing rare TV/live footage with official promo videos, all new to DVD.

40 tracks, all in chronological order, totalling 2 ½ hours of prime material. There isn't one dud here, whatever your views of Bon Scott vs Brian Johnson.

The two eras basically get one DVD each, the first featuring more Australian TV and live material in an age largely before promotional videos.

Kicking off with great live versions of 'Baby Please Don't Go' and 'Show Business' (both from the Australian only High Voltage) before launching into their second album with 'High Voltage', 'TNT' and 'It's A Long Way To The Top' (the latter on the back of a truck, complete with bag pips).

Raw, gritty, rough'n'ready, but the energy, honesty and passion are all there. Angus really does look Young, but the music is excellent good old fashioned rock'n'roll. Surely that's all the band were about. Blues tinged boogie metal at its best.

More live and TV work follows, with early promo videos for 'Jailbreak' and 'Let There Be Rock' .Both were recorded very cheaply (Dr Who style cardboard props) and are quite funny. But the band always did have a sense of humour. The first track saw Scott in schoolgirl's costume to parody Angus' schoolboy outfit.

From 'Riff Raff' (one of Angus' best solos ever) to 'Whole Lotta Rosie' (recorded in a smallish club), you really get an insight and history. 'If You Want Blood' live and Angus even sports a 'guitar through the body' prop.

Over the disc you see the band develop, with Angus moving from the grinning rag doll in the electric chair jigging to a more confident strut and occasional duck walk Chuck Berry style.

This discs closes with 'Girls Got Rhythm' and 'Highway To Hell', both recorded for a polite TV audience a few weeks before Bon Scott's tragic death.

Disc Two and Brian Johnson on vocals (who was actually pointed out to the band by Bon Scott), and 'Hells Bells' kicks off proceedings. 'Back In Black' and 'Let's Get It Up' follow in classic fashion, and there's the clear move from the sleazy rock'n'roll to heads down hard rock, it's still all excellent. There's also no TV appearances on this disc, it's a clear move from live material to promo videos.

The five tracks from Fly On The Wall tell a short story and were released on video to promote the album at the time. Late 80s classics include 'Who Made Who', 'Heatseaker' and 'Thunderstruck'.

This is a historical overview, not a best of or live concert. It is, however, 2 ½ hours of prime AC/DC. It'll have you nodding and/or grinning from beginning to end.


Review by Joe Geesin

DVD review

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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