Tuesday, May 3, 2016

"Guns for Hire" by AC/DC

Song#:  1631
Date:  10/01/1983
Debut:  95
Peak:  84
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Hard Rock

Pop Bits:  After three monster multi-platinum albums produced by Robert "Mutt" Lange, AC/DC were looking to change things up. They wanted to revisit the stripped down sound of their earlier albums instead of the more beefed up and polished sheen that Lange provided. To do that, the band decided to produce the new album themselves. While Flick of the Switch did have a less refined sound, it didn't really excite critics or even their label, who didn't do much to promote the LP. Radio and listeners weren't all that enthusiastic either with this first single topping out at a minor #37 at Rock and circling the bottom of the Pop chart for a few weeks. The album got locked out of the Top 10 reaching #15. It did get certified platinum, but this was a significant decline from their previous three blockbusters.

ReduxReview:  Getting back to their original sound is not a bad idea, but they needed to keep up the same caliber of material that sold their previous discs. Unfortunately, they did not. The opening of this song was promising, but then it dissolves into a basic rock tune with nothing new to offer. It's pretty bland and generic. The tune is definitely not bad, but there is absolutely nothing here that would make me want to hear it again. For AC/DC, this is sadly forgettable.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  The slump that began with Flick of the Switch stayed with them for the balance of the decade. They finally got back into fighting form with 1990's The Razor's Edge, which reached #2 and sold 5x platinum. It featured what would end up being their biggest Pop chart hit - the #23 "Moneytalks." But there were a few bright spots during their lowly 80s days. In 1986, the band provided music for the Stephen King-directed film Maximum Overdrive. AC/DC released a full soundtrack album titled Who Made Who. The LP featured the new title-track song, selections from their previous albums, and two instrumentals they wrote for the score. The single "Who Made Who" reached #23 at Rock while the album got to #33. While the LP wasn't a major hit on initial release, it would slowly over time go on to sell five million copies. It would be their best-selling album from their 80s output.


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