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AC/DC

Plug Me In (Columbia)

"I can't see an end to it. It's like infinity rock," grins Bon Scott during an interview for Australian Music to the World series, circa 1978, less than two years before the AC/DC frontman's untimely death. The Aussie quintet sprung from its native underground with a blues-based blitzkrieg of nitroglycerin proportions, and while Scott soon sported rock & roll's brass ring in his earlobe for all eternity, AC/DC only became a truly global phenomenon after he accidentally drank himself into the underworld. Plug Me In hardwires both trajectories on a double-disc live compendium sure to overdose fan and rockers alike. Watching baby-faced Angus Young duck-stomp his way across the auditorium of St. Albans High School as his brother Malcolm holds down the back-line for "T.N.T." in primal black-and-white footage from 1976 plays out like early footage of Elvis and Buddy Holly: music history. "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Want to Rock 'n' Roll)" from a Bandstand gig that same year finds Scott on bagpipes surrounded by disco-glam dancers. From there, audiences and amplifiers increase exponentially, but the formula never changes: colossal power chords, Yardbirdsian rave-ups, and Chuck Berry played at maximum volume. "Baby Please Don't Go," "Rock 'n' Roll Damnation," "Problem Child," it's all here, "Highway to Hell" helping cap two jaw-dropping hours of peak era Bon Scott. His replacement, Brian Johnson, opens disc two with a rapturous Back in Black set in Tokyo, 1981, the group's firework salute at the Tushino Airfield in Moscow a decade later politically motivational. Johnson singing Scott original "Ride On" in Paris, 2001, proves particularly moving. Bonus interviews and clips include Angus and Malcolm joining the Rolling Stones in Germany, 2003, for Muddy Waters' "Rock Me Baby." Long live rock & roll.

****.5

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