Album review: AC/DC, The Razors Edge (1990)

 

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 11, 1990

By Steve Newton

Has AC/DC ever put out a bad record? I doubt it. But their efforts haven’t all been great, either. The band’s latest, the Vancouver-made (and grammatically incorrect) Razors Edge falls somewhere between the band’s strongest (Powerage, Back in Black) and weakest (Flick of the Switch, Blow Up Your Video) albums. But it’s closer to the latter than the former.

Produced by red-hot knob-twiddler Bruce Fairbairn (Aerosmith, Bon Jovi) at Little Mountain Sound, The Razors Edge opens on a very strong note, with the first video/single “Thunderstruck”. Brian Johnson’s raspy howl is as potent as ever, and new drummer Chris Slade (formerly with the Firm) bangs everything into its proper place. The brothers Young—who wrote all 12 of the LP’s songs—provide the ideal combo of searing leads (Angus’s) and pulverizing rhythms (Malcolm’s).

Things continue quite nicely on through boogie tracks like “Fire Your Guns” and “Moneytalks”, but when the title track comes along, The Razors Edge starts to dull a bit. Things get worse on the next track, the plodding “Mistress for Christmas”, and similarly limp tunes like “Let’s Make It”, and “If You Dare” won’t win the band any followers outside its already humongous following of die-hards.

The band should have come up with more fast tunes like “Shot of Love”.

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