Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

AC/DC: Dirty Deeds Done Cheap [Atlantic, 1981]
A 1976 Australian LP released in the wake of their ascension to the U.S. top ten, this is where those of us who weren't paying attention meet the blokelike croak of the legendary Bon Scott, asphyxiated by his own vomit shortly after Highway to Hell broke them Stateside. Now I understand why they say Brian Johnson has a great voice--he's got about about three times the range and wattage, the bloke as fantasy-fiction demigod. But those who prefer Scott's charm have a point. Like Ian Hunter or Roger Chapman though without their panache, he has fun being a dirty young man--he almost slavers through "Ain't No Fun Waiting Round to Be a Millionaire," and "Big Balls" is fully outrageous in its class hostility. Needless to say, sexual hostility--disguised as fun, of course--is more his speed. C+