Repetition vs Consistency: where to draw the line?



  • VenomboyVenomboy Posts: 3,601
    I first heard ACDC right around the time of the Highway to Hell release. My brother and I bought a lot of their records. I loved how heavy (for the time) that it was and there were some angry and powerful songs. They took basic song structures and did what many bands weren't doing at the time, making the songs heavy and memorable.

    I can't lump ACDC and Ratt into the same category even though they can both be formulaic. I think Ratt added some really great solos by Warren (sorry...never thought much of Robbin Crosby's playing) and I loved some of the odd chords. I don't really like much after Out of the Cellar but I did hear a newer song called Eat Me Up Alive that is very heavy and I think pretty awesome.

    I've been thinking about this subject for a while. I'll always have a soft spot for ACDC since they were my first love, but I can't stand anything after For Those About to Rock. Listen to Highway to Hell and Back in Black and now imagine Shania Twain singing those songs. Classic Mutt Lange and it kinda ruins some of the songs for me now. But ACDC will never to anything different and they don't need to. I think Ratt had a hard time deciding if they were going to be heavier like on Out of the Cellar or do really lame stuff like Dance Dance Dance.

    I think Accept has a bigger sandbox to play in (think Neon Nights, Princess of the Dawn, Head over Heels) but still mangoes to bring The Metal.

    I think Dio had so much promise but just about everything after The Last in Line to me just doesn't work. It's all kinda the same and just not as good.

    There's a ton of bands I just don't get that are favorites here so no worries if ACDC doesn't do anything for you. They do less for me but they bring me a long forgotten smile every once in a while.
  • guitardguitard Posts: 159
    The first AC/DC I heard was "If You Want Blood You've Got It."  It became a party rock album for me and my friends.  One of the truly great live albums of that era.
  • VenomboyVenomboy Posts: 3,601
    In the Chris Broderick/George Lynch video posted here, Lynch makes a good point about wanting to try new things and not be formulaic. Some people can't repeat themselves and always move on. There's also the record companies that insist on a sellable formula. Tensions arise and the record company usually wins. I think some artists are comfortable with the formula too.
  • AgrippaAgrippa Posts: 5,980
    In all honesty, for the last ten years or so, the only AC/DC record thats been on my turntable is "If You Want Blood".

    Brilliant album.

    BTW, the hands down best Brian Johnson AC/DC album is "Flick Of The Switch".
    Yes, imho even better that BIB and FTATR.
  • iGougeriGouger Posts: 283
    [quote author=Venomboy link=topic=16526.msg250244#msg250244 date=1403848135]
    In the Chris Broderick/George Lynch video posted here, Lynch makes a good point about wanting to try new things and not be formulaic. Some people can't repeat themselves and always move on. There's also the record companies that insist on a sellable formula. Tensions arise and the record company usually wins. I think some artists are comfortable with the formula too.
    Yeah good point. What's debatable is how well each respective artist can make their formula work after so long, and for each individual, the mileage varies. I know some people love AC/DC's style, and more power to them!

    But I also think there's a way for a band to have its signature sound shine through on each release while still releasing new material: Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest come to mind. As much as I like Ratt, I can't really say that's the case with them, although I believe that most the songs themselves are well-composed.
  • VenomboyVenomboy Posts: 3,601
    Maiden and Priest always did things a bit different so their longevity doesn't surprise me. They really commit to each record and try to do something different.

    With Ozzy, Sabbath did some really bizarre stuff and the "traditional" song structures were in a handful of songs like Paranoid and Never Say Die. With Dio they got a bit more focused but added cool and odd bits. With 13 I feel like they're trying to recapture the past and it feels like a copy. Same thing with Metallica. On Death Magnetic they tried to do something thrashy but to me I hear the Load band trying to play faster.
  • madmaxmadmax Posts: 719
    For the sake of completeness, here is the rest of the AC/DC albums.  I again was kind of less concentrating while listening to the last 2 albums, so I may be a bit wrong. I also put some final thoughts below:

    I listened 2 HTH and BIB Friday, but I decided to listen to them again today.

    Highway to Hell: 
    This is Bon's last album.  The guitar tone is at least 98% of the BiB sound.  Is it me, or is there something a bit different about these songs than previous albums?  The opening of Beating Around the Bush reminds me of the famous riff in Fleetwood Mac's Oh Well.

    Back in Black: 
    I don't know what else needs to be said.

    Now it's For Those About to Rock We Salute You: 

    The title track is the only song I've heard on this album.  I can see where you are coming from about AC/DC sounding the same.  These songs could have been part of a BiB double album and not seemed out of place.

    Next is Flick of the Switch: 

    The song Rising Power sounds a bit NWOBHM.  House on Fire has a bit of a different tone.  FotS has them sounding back to normal.  On Nervous Shakedown, the rhythm guitar seem a lot more bassy and crunchy than normal.  For some reason Lanslide reminds me of Saxon.  The rhythm gtr is again varied on DitH.  While listening to Bedlam in Belgium, I noticed another aspect to the AC/DC sound:  the sound of the backing vocals in the chorus sections.  On Brain Shake, Brian's voice sounds a bit different.

    Now is Fly on the Wall: 

    There was something fucked up about the way this album was mixed.  The vocals are too low and/or the guitars are too in-your-face.  This was so distracting that I couldn't objectively listen to the album. I would like to hear a properly mixed version of this album so I can properly evaluate it.  From what I could gather, the songs were different than regular.  The guitars on Stand Up remind me of Wheel in the Sky by Journey.

    Today starts with Who Made Who: 
    This is the soundtrack album for the movie Maximum Overdrive.  This is is a more or less a compilation album with 3 new tracks(title track and 2 instrumentals).  The first inst, DT, didn't sound like AC/DC until near the end.  The FotW song Sink the Pink is still badly mixed here.  The FotW song Shake Your Foundations seems to have a better mix here.  This is a song that doesn't sound like AC/DC.  The second inst, Chase the Ace, has the AC/DC rhytm tone, and the lead tone sounds like Angus near the end.  I'm surprised HtH wasn't on here.

    Next is Blow Up Your Video: 

    Heatseeker is a faster tempo than normal.  Meanstreak is an atypical song except for the vocals.  The songs from Go Zone on have a different guiar tone on them.  I think this might have been a permanent change.  Also, Brian seems to be singing at a higher pitch.

    The Razor's Edge: 
    This is the other AC/DC album I own.  I bought it based on the 2 singles(Thun/Mon), Thunderstruck moreso.  Like I said before, I think I played this twice at the most.  I was right about the change in guitar tone, but they go the older route on Are You Ready.  BJ Does go back to normal on Mistress for Christmas. Is it me or does the guitar on the main riff of Money Talks resembles BJ's voice?  This also seemed to lack guitar solos, or good ones at least.  That and the guitar tone mean I won't likely be relistening to this.

    Today starts with Ballbreaker: 
    Hard as a Rock sounds more like the old AC/DC.  Same with Cover You in Oil.  The intro to The Furor has them doing the WitS thing again.  Hail Caesar has BJ singing in his normal range.  Ballbreaker is also another "old AC/DC" song.  This album has them mixing up things in terms of guitar tone, song styles, and BJ's voice.

    Next is Stiff Upper Lip: 
    Again, it starts off good.  BJ's voice is normal pretty much throughout here, as is the guitar tones.  There are a few different song styles though.

    Finally is Black Ice: 
    Again, this starts out good.  Anything Goes reminds me of some other song.  Stormy May Day is the first time I heard slide in an AC/DC song I think.  I think I can say the same thing I did about SUL.

    It's kind of hard to describe things like this through text.  Also, it would be better if I could go and A/B songs with each other, but that would be to much of a pain.

    The main point I want to make is that while there are a lot of similarities in their songs, there are also quite a few differences.  I can't say that they made the exact same album for 35 years, but I guess if the similarities are aspects that do annoy you, you can't really do anything about it, and I can't change your mind either.  And that wasn't my intent.  I just wanted to see if I agree or disagree about the "same album" claim.
Sign In or Register to comment.