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AC/DC: If You Want Blood You've Got It album review

Recorded in front of a rabid Glasgow audience, the classic AC/DC live album If You Want Blood You've Got It is one for the ages

AC/DC: If You Want Blood You've Got It
(Image: © AC/DC )

The title of this live album spoke volumes. So did the cover: Angus impaled on his own guitar, Bon beside him, eyes glazed. It was symbolic of a band that gave everything they had on stage. 

If You Want Blood was recorded on 1978’s Powerage tour, much of the final cut coming from a gig in Glasgow, the Young brothers’ birthplace. “That,” said Angus, “was the magic show.”

Released on Friday 13th, If You Want Blood would include all the obvious crowd-pleasers like The Jack (its strictly live, ‘dirty’ lyrics included on record for the first time); Whole Lotta Rosie (with a new crowd chant of “Angus! Angus!” over the juddering intro recorded for the first time, thereby embedding it forever into the consciousness of all future generations of AC/DC concert-goers). 

There were also lengthy, barnstorming encores of Let There Be Rock (distinguished by the very real roar of approval from the Glasgow crowd at seeing the band return to the stage wearing Scotland football shirts); and Rocker, cleverly edited down from its usual 12-minutes-plus to a more radio-accommodating three minutes dead.

The result was one of the great live albums, rivalling Thin Lizzy’s Live And Dangerous and Motörhead’s No Sleep ’Til Hammersmith. If You Want Blood finally opened the doors of the UK Top 20 for AC/DC, eventually climbing as high as No.13.

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