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AC/DC - "Iron Man 2" (CD)

AC/DC - "Iron Man 2" CD cover image

"Iron Man 2" track listing:

1. Shoot to Thrill
2. Rock'N'Roll Damnation
3. Guns for Hire
4. Cold Hearted Man
5. Back in Black
6. Thunderstruck
7. If You Want Blood (You've Got It)
8. Evil Walks
9. T.N.T.
10. Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be
11. Have a Drink on Me
12. The Razor's Edge
13. Let There Be Rock
14. War Machine
15. Highway to Hell

Reviewed by on May 2, 2010

"The audience for this album is all those kids coming out of the theaters after watching the superheroic slam-bang and wondering who that kick-ass band that provided the soundtrack to the ass-kicking was."

All those diehard AC/DC fans who are hyperventilating into a paper bag over "AC/DC: Iron Man 2" and reciting the mantra "AC/DC hasn't turned into Kiss ... AC/DC hasn't turned into Kiss ..." can just relax. This album isn't meant for you. You have all this stuff — plus or minus the "Powerage" B-Side "Cold Hearted Man" (which was on the "Backtracks" box set), and unless you're a total completist, you don't need to buy it.

The audience for this album is all those kids coming out of the theaters after watching the superheroic slam-bang and wondering who that kick-ass band that provided the soundtrack to the ass-kicking was. Voila, kiddies! Crank it up and piss off your parents and neighbors just as three generations of us already have (just don't be surprised if Dad wants to borrow your copy to relive his own glory days).

"AC/DC: Iron Man 2" is less about being a collection of greatest hits than about being a decent sampler of the band's history. Oh, sure, you've got "Back In Black," "Thunderstruck," "Let There Be Rock" and "Highway to Hell," but the disc is also full of album tracks, ranging from the new-but-30-years-old single "Shoot to Thrill," originally from the holy grail itself, "Back In Black," to the recent B-side and set list staple "War Machine."

As with "Backtracks," AC/DC seems to go for a 50-50 split between current singer Brian Johnson and the late Bon Scott, with Scott-era chestnuts like "Rock'N'Roll Damnation" and "Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be" alongside "The Razor's Edge" and "Evil Walks."

Those still clinging to the old Atlantic versions of some of this stuff are going to be amazed by how much better the catalog sounds since making its way to Sony/Columbia (those of us who bought the reissues already know). Where the original Atlantic version of "The Razor's Edge" had an almost muddy quality to it, now, you can clearly hear how guitarists Angus and Malcolm Young's parts snake around each other. The rhythm section, particularly bassist Cliff Williams, has a lot of extra heft, and, to quote Malcolm Young, the songs now are "a lot louder."

This is a great collection of songs — add in "You Shook Me All Night Long," "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap," "High Voltage" and "For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)" and you'd have a pretty convincing greatest hits collection. As it is, "AC/DC: Iron Man 2" is a superb sampler of one of the greatest rock bands of all time. I'm envious of those kids who'll be enjoying this stuff for the first time.

Highs: This is a collection of great songs and superb marketing.

Lows: If you're a fan, you probably own everything on this disc.

Bottom line: A superb collection of songs representing nearly every era of AC/DC.

Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls
4.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)