25 Years Ago: AC/DC’s ‘Blow Up Your Video’ Released
Arguably no album released during AC/DC‘s Brian Johnson era arrived with smaller fanfare than 1988′s ‘Blow Up Your Video.’
The Australian hard rock titans’ prior two studio albums, 1983′s ‘Flick of the Switch’ and ’85′s ‘Fly on the Wall,’ had both paled in comparison to prior mega-triumphs ‘For Those About to Rock’ and ‘Back in Black,’ creatively speaking; and were it not for ‘Who Made Who’s’ rather desperate soundtrack-cum-greatest hits gimmick to raise the band’s commercial profile, their career might have been in some real danger.
Many were the problems contributing to AC/DC’s fall from grace — Malcolm Young’s escalating alcoholism, Phil Rudd’s ejection, even complacency, sure — but perhaps the most obvious of these addressed by ‘Blow Up Your Video’ was bringing back an actual producer to work with the band in the studio. And who better to simultaneously put the boys at ease and whip their asses into gear than the Vanda & Young team that had shepherded their first five albums to fruition?
And it worked, for the most part.
Lets be honest: many of the new songs (‘Some Sin for Nuthin’, ‘Ruff Stuff’) proved almost as pedestrian and imminently forgettable as those recent efforts, but a pair of bona fide hits in the frantic ‘Heatseeker’ and infectious ‘That’s the Way I Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll’ proved AC/DC could still compose hits without totally losing their balls.
Simply put, all of these songs — mediocre or great — at least sounded like the AC/DC of old; and the final verdict was rendered by the fans, who snapped up as many copies of ‘Blow Up Your Video’ as they had its two predecessors combined!
Perhaps more than any other accomplishment, though, ‘Blow Up Your Video’ gave AC/DC enough lease on life for the Young brothers to start righting their ship, thus setting the stage for the resounding return to form that was 1990′s highlight-packed ‘The Razor’s Edge’ album.
An album that, lest we forget, benefited from the presence of another strong producer in Bruce Fairbairn who wouldn’t stand for the members of AC/DC resting on their laurels.
Editor’s note: Shout out to ‘Go Zone.’
Watch AC/DC Perform ‘That’s the Way I Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll’