Released in 1978, AC/DC Powerage was a “jagged edged gem,” but underrated in many years. This was the 5th studio album from the band, and the first to feature bass player Cliff Williams who would also add backing vocals. During the recording in 1977, the AC/DC w/ Bon Scott was really coming into their own. Tracks like Riff Raff, Sin City and Down Payment Blues told you all you needed to know about the band. Not a better combo of speed and raw energy, founded in the blues, existed at this time.
Powerage did perform slightly better than the previous AC/DC Let Their Be Rock, reaching #133 on the Billboard Charts. The practice of multiple releases for different US markets was still in use with the Australian, UK and USA releases all having alternate mixes and album art.
Perhaps the best case that this is the most underrated album comes from the pinions of rock royalty, Eddie Van Halen and Keith Richards have both stated this was their favorite AC/DC record. But the most ringing indorsement comes directly from the AC/DC camp. The album remained a favorite of AC/DC co-founder Malcolm Young, who was quoted in AC/DC: Maximum Rock & Roll saying, “I know a lot of people respect it. A lot of real rock and roll AC/DC fans, the real pure rock and roll guys. I think that’s the most under-rated album of them all.“
The AC/DC cover art we know best features the mighty Angus Young with photo effects to make it look like he is being electrocuted. Very coo, for the pre Photoshop era where all effects were film-based. Also totally in step w/ the bands early imagery. This is a KnuckleBonz 3D Vinyl® design we have been working at on and off for about 2 years. The band has approved the design and we will be rolling that out to you for a limited edition on only 1978. This is in the 3D Vinyl format that sets the limited edition number to match the year the album was releases.
Check out all the current officially licensed KnuckleBonz AC/DC Collectibles here.
We also have a very small inventory of our Bon Scott Rock Iconz Ltd. Edition Statue here.
Rock Hard this week!
On this day Edward Van Halen was born and we are thinking back to September 9th 1978. All of us were packed into the 71 VW Wagon (with a gas leak) on the way to Baltimore Civic Centre to see the Black Sabbath Never Say Die Tour, with “Special Guest” Van Halen. We had all bought the debut Van Halen album over the summer and were of course blown away. However, the banter on the way to the show was all about what we would, or more importantly, we NOT hear from the Van Halen set, specifically ERUPTION. Most were convinced EVH’s masterpiece ERUPTION, was recorded with a ton of studio trickery. It took about 40 minutes for us to find out once the lights went down. I can honestly say it might be the tightest opening set I ever saw. The band ripped through the 1st record with David Lee Roth, Michael Anthony and Eddie Van Halen in the finest form. It was the 2nd to last number before the encore before we heard the 1st salvo from EVH on ERUPTION. The hairs on my arms are standing up now just thinking about it, we still get chills…rock music or at least rock guitar would be different going forward. An amazing day in KnuckleBonz Superfan lore.
Van Halen Setlist Sept 9th, 1978 (Baltimore Civic Centre)
- “On Fire”
- “I’m the One”
- Michael Anthony bass solo
- “Runnin’ with the Devil”
- “Atomic Punk”
- Alex Van Halen drum solo
- “Jamie’s Cryin'”
- “Little Dreamer”
- “Feel Your Love Tonight”
- “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love”
- “Ice Cream Man” (“John Brim” cover)
- Eddie Van Halen guitar solo featuring “Eruption”
- “You Really Got Me” (“The Kinks” cover)
- “Dead or Alive”
- “Bottoms Up!”
RIP and Happy Birthday Ed…
Rock Hard Today!
This was Van Halen’s 3rd studio release and they were now firmly atop the arena rock scene. Recorded in only 2 weeks, this record got lots of airplay, but take some time today to drop the needle on a couple of tracks. “Everybody Wants Some!!” is a fav here at KnuckleBonz. The intro shows off Eddie Van Halen’s effects wizardry and subtlety before the entire band comes in at 1:09 with the opening riff. No better way to kick off a weekend. Also too, check out a somewhat unheralded track that starts off Side 2, “Tora Tora.” The EVH effects mastery is on display again but there is a ominous heaviness to this song that is a little “Un-Halen-like”. Eddie plays an imposing trill that Tony Iommi would be proud of.
By this time Eddie’s playing is getting wide praise across the music industry with Rolling Stone making Hendrix comparisons. Thankfully they state that Eddie Van Halen “is no clone” which any Van Halen fans knows he was not. Rolling Stone had a bad habit of hating on bands all of us dug. Glad they got this one right.
Drop the needle on this classic this weekend.
Rock Hard! KBonz
If you were lucky enough to see the original Van Halen lineup of brothers Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony and David Lee Roth, you will might will probably remember the dive boming EVH speaker and effect rig, complete wity the “speaker bomb” looming stage left. I say “might”, will get to that in a second. This was the engine for Eddie’s early tone and effects. Here’s a shot of a faithful replica from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, “The Met”, from the EVH “PLay It Loud” Expo.
Visually this says everything about the creator Eddie Van Halen, an amazing edgy esthetic with the WWII era bomb casting that held some of Eddie’s effects. All built by the guitar virtuoso and “gadeteer genius” of EVH on basically no $budget, just like the original Frankenstrat guitar also pictured. This rig went out with the band on their first world tour in support of amazing acts like Montrose, Ted Nugent and Black Sabbath. We were lucky to see Van Halen open for Sabbath in Sept 1978 at the Baltimore Civic Center. The stage lighting had heavy spots and the full light rig was not in use for VAn Halen as an opening act, so did not ever really notice the black speaker bomb against the live dark stage backdrop. It was only later we saw it a Creem Magazine photo. All that went to show immediately got into a heated argument about if it was really there at our show and we somehow missed noticing it…ahh the good ole’ day.
There was not book that could teach Eddie how to achieve the sounds he had in his head…so he wrote his one.
Rock Hard Today! Kbonz
EVH Speaker Bomb Rig from The Met Museum in NYC
Edward Lodewijk van Halen was born on this day in 1955 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Already feels like a long time since we lost Eddie Van Halen to his long fight with cancer in October of last year.
There are numerous news stories that report Eddie had big world tour plans before his cancer returned that could have included a Van Halen stadium tour. What sights and sounds that would have created with original Van Halen members brother Alex Van Halen, David Lee Roth, Michael Anthony.
Take a moment and play your fav Van Halen track today….stop and try to remember the 1st time you heard it. Music has that amazing power to take you a specific moment in time. Stop and enjoy…add the sight of Eddie’s great smile on stage. Your day will be better for it.
Rock Hard! Kbonz
Great Photos Make Rock Iconz – Neil Zlozower’s Work w/ Eddie Van Halen…
From the earliest days of the great artists in music, what we call Rock Iconz® here at KnuckleBonz, the great photos often define our memories. This was before the fire-hose on content we have become accustomed to today. The album cover, posters and magazines were how we most often stayed close to the bands we loved. Since the very beginning of KnuckleBonz, 17 years ago, it’s been our pleasure to work with, and become friends with Neil Zlozower. From his base in Hollywood, CA, “Zloz” has been there to capture definitive moments in rock with the biggest bands since the 70s. His work with Motley Crue is the stuff of legend. The “blood shoot” are some of the most famous photos ever taken of Nikki Sixx, Tommy Lee, Vince Neil and Mick Mars from the Shout At The Devil era, but Zloz’s most heralded work might be his photos of Van Halen. He was there with Eddie Van Halen, David Lee Roth, Michael Anthony and Alex Van Halen at the start. Right, these are the days with the original white “Frankenstrat,” before their 1st national tour with Black Sabbath on their Never Die Tour.” I saw that tour and had my jaw jacked by the Van Halen opening set. My friends and I were their looking at each other with a WTF did we just see expression on all our faces when Van Halen left the stage. Will never forget it.
On our doorstep this AM was Zlowzower’s book featuring all his great pictures of the maestro Edward Van Halen. The book takes EVH all the way thru the original lineup’s career with great commentary by a who’s who in music. The forward of this book is written by SLASH of Guns N’ Roses, another long time subject and friend of Zloz. This hardback is a must have for any EVH or Van Halen fan. Check it out here at https://www.zloz.com/zloz-shop
Check out all the KnuckleBonz Rock Iconz and 3D Vinyl® Collectibles here at www.knucklebonz.com
We have some big things in store this fall for music SuperFans around the world. Rock Hard! Kbonz