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Book Review: Why AC/DC Matters by Anthony Bozza

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Considering the amount of success and fans it has, the rock band AC/DC has been given pretty much less attention when it comes to the written word. It’s not that there is not much to write about; it’s just that the band is notoriously private when it comes to talking about themselves, and the fact that these guys don’t find themselves in the tabloids all the time doesn’t exactly help this cause either.

Anthony Bozza’s book, Why AC/DC Matters, then comes as a blast of fresh air to anyone who wants to know more about this band that has been churning out album after album since 1973. Bozza’s approach to writing about the band is less biographical and more analytical.

Broken down into five neat and concise chapters, Bozza proceeds to dissect the beginnings of the band with original singer Bon Scott. He also talks about the important elements of AC/DC’s music: the electric chemistry of the brothers Young, Malcolm and Angus, the bottom end held by drummer Phil Rudd and bassist Cliff Rudd, and the vocal prowess of singers Bon Scott and Brian Johnson.

At times, Bozza’s book reads more like college thesis dissertation than rock and roll book, and this approach seems to work better in this case, as the book was not sanctioned by the band itself. The band’s musical approach is given much analysis, the idea being that such seemingly simple yet resounding and successful music isn’t as simple as it seems to create.

The book is commendable for its sparse narrative, its lack of hype and fanfare, and the lack of pretension from the author. Basically, it's a short, intelligent book that is obviously a labor of love written from a fan's perspective — it does not pretend to know more than anyone else. Details on the recording of the landmark album Back In Black (1980) are also a must-read.

Chiming in on the band are noteworthy opinions coming from Professors of Music from the Berklee School of Music, Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash, producer Rick Rubin and Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee, among others.

It’s very obvious to the ordinary fan that AC/DC does matter. It is however refreshing altogether to read about it. For anyone who’s ever liked AC/DC, this book is a must-read.

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About Clarence Yu