AC/DC Iron Man 2 Review

Soundtrack. Released 2010.  

BBC Review

For those about to rock, raise a salute to your enduringly enthralling forefathers.

Mike Diver 2010

Take a moment, now, and imagine the rock‘n’roll world without AC/DC. Without Highway to Hell, Back in Black and Let There Be Rock. Without Angus Young’s school uniform and goofy on-stage strutting. Without a band that’s overcome obstacles both personal and professional to deliver the goods time and again. Without a band so tightly stitched into the fabric of rock that to pick them loose has the whole leather jacket falling apart. Without a band happy to play the same role for nearly 40 years because they nailed it first time. Without that iconic logo.

It’s not a rock‘n’roll world I’d want to live in, that’s for sure. Whether you’re an AC/DC acolyte of several years’ standing, or a fair-weather fan partial to a boogie whenever your local rock DJ drops You Shook Me All Night Long, you can’t deny the feeling of glee this gang of good-times rabble-rousers stir within even the most conservative soul. Pump a fist, go on – it can’t be helped, and we’re all friends here. Sure, it’s big, dumb, formulaic fare that’s studied the same blueprint since the 1970s – but if it ain’t broke, why not channel several thousand volts through the thing and make it dance even harder?

Iron Man 2 is a compilation featuring several of AC/DC’s best-known songs alongside a selection that most likely aren’t immediately recognisable to the casual listener. It doubles, as its title and artwork are testament to, as the soundtrack to the forthcoming movie sequel to 2008’s Robert Downey Jr-starring comic book adaptation, Iron Man. If the second instalment follows the lead of its (very well received) predecessor, expect unadulterated eye-candy, the kind of rollercoaster experience delivered every blockbuster season – the kind of brash, boisterous movie that AC/DC’s music seems tailor-made for. It’s a marriage made in Hollywood heaven.

The classics here are just that: heavy-riffed and big-hearted rock‘n’roll essentials that every home should have. Back in Black just does not get old; likewise the closer, the evergreen anthem Highway to Hell. Of the less-ubiquitous numbers, Guns for Hire is a highlight of 1983’s Flick of the Switch LP, and T.N.T. dates back to their Australia-only second album of the same title. Younger listeners might find it all a bit clichéd, but remember: AC/DC are the originators, their imitators responsible for diluting the package’s potency. For those about to rock, raise another salute to your enduringly enthralling forefathers.

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