AC/DC: Live At River Plate album review

Oz rock behemoths return to Argentina

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Undoubtedly, AC/DC remain one of the world’s most exciting live groups. Each decade they release a handful of worthy tunes to scatter among the must-play mainstays of their set – of which they have dozens. Of these 19 songs, 12 were featured on the band’s last standalone live album in 1992; only two represent the 28 years between Back In Black and Black Ice.

Inevitably, for a band with a combined age of 300, the attacking groove of masterpieces like Whole Lotta Rosie and TNT has become more leisurely and comfortable, and Let There Be Rock dawdles on for 18 minutes, but the compulsive quality of timeless anthems like You Shook Me All Night Long and Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap is still abundantly manifest.

The ubiquity of so many classic songs isn’t a problem; it’s more vexing that this double-disc is simply the soundtrack to a bestselling live DVD released last year. Once a crucial cornerstone of a discography, the live album is now a stopgap afterthought to maximise commercial exploitation of a tour during creative downtime (which for AC/DC is a very long time indeed). Churlish to quibble, though – live AC/DC in any form is not to be sniffed at.

Chris Chantler

Chris has been writing about heavy metal since 2000, specialising in true/cult/epic/power/trad/NWOBHM and doom metal at now-defunct extreme music magazine Terrorizer. Since joining the Metal Hammer famileh in 2010 he developed a parallel career in kids' TV, winning a Writer's Guild of Great Britain Award for BBC1 series Little Howard's Big Question as well as writing episodes of Danger Mouse, Horrible Histories, Dennis & Gnasher Unleashed and The Furchester Hotel. His hobbies include drumming (slowly), exploring ancient woodland and watching ancient sitcoms.