Powerage album cover


Albert Productions

Despite its silly cover art (lead guitarist Angus Young, electric wires protruding from his sleeves, seemingly aglow with electricity), 1978’s Powerage is Bon Scott-era AC/DC’s most “mature” album. The frontman’s lyrics on “Down Payment Blues,” “Kicked in the Teeth,” “Gimme a Bullet,” and “What’s Next to the Moon” are surprisingly poetic, but they’re married to riffs as hard as any in the band’s catalog, and the rhythm section — guitarist Malcolm Young, drummer Phil Rudd, and new bassist Cliff Williams — drive everything hard, but with a suppleness sometimes absent in their earlier work. And they still know how to write a berserk, headbanging thug anthem; “Riff Raff” is a song that can make an audience literally explode, and “Sin City” is almost as hardcore.

Phil Freeman

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