On this most rockin’ of days way back in 1975, AC/DC released their debut album ‘High Voltage’. The album featured a cover of ‘Baby, Please Don’t Go’ a blues song first recorded by Big Joe Williams and ‘She’s Got Balls’ which was written about singer Bon Scott’s ex-wife Irene – the first AC/DC song for which he wrote lyrics.
Originally released on Albert Productions in Australia and has never been reissued by another label in this format. The international version of High Voltage, which was issued on Atlantic Records in 1976, has different cover art and track listing, with only “She’s Got Balls” and “Little Lover” appearing overseas. “Baby Please Don’t Go”, “Soul Stripper”, “You Ain’t Got a Hold On Me” and “Show Business” was later released on ’74 Jailbreak in 1984. “Stick Around” (about Scott’s inability to hold onto a lover for more than one night) and “Love Song” have been released on Backtracks in 2009. The title and artwork were the suggestion of Chris Gilbey of Albert Productions. In the 1994 Scott biography Highway to Hell, Gilbey explains that he came up with the concept of “an electricity substation with a dog pissing against it. It’s so tame now, but back then we thought it was pretty revolutionary.”
The musicians that played on this release were quite different from the internationally famous line up of AC/DC – George Young who also produced the record played some bass guitar, rhythm guitar, and backing vocals, Rob Bailey also played bass guitar whilst Peter Clack played drums on their cover of ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’. Tony Currenti played drums on the other seven numbers. Whilst it might not be the best DC album ever this version is certainly worth tracking down if you don’t already have it amongst the other 3,000 different versions with different covers and track lists.
Buy ‘High Voltage’: Here
In other significant news on this very day in 1979, Blondie scored their first UK No.1 album when ‘Parallel Lines’ started a four-week run at the top of the charts, featuring the singles ‘Heart Of Glass’, ‘Hanging On The Telephone’ and ‘Sunday Girl.’ With its iconic album sleeve, a generation of teenage boys fell in love more so when they managed to see the video for ‘Heart Of Glass’. Deborah Harry – vocals, Chris Stein – guitar, 12-string guitar, E-bow, Clem Burke – drums, Jimmy Destri – electronic keyboards, Nigel Harrison – bass guitar and Frank Infante – guitar was the iconic line up who recorded ‘Parallel Lines’ in New York City where the band shared an unbreakable bond and used the city in many of their videos and were forever tied to clubs like CBGB and Max’s. ‘Heart Of Glass’ was one of the biggest selling singles in the decade reaching number one in over eight major record buying countries. Amazingly it was only the UK where the album hit the number one spot only reaching number six in their native USA. who knew?
The album has been reissued and expanded several times since its release back in 79 and you can pick up a copy Here
Also, RPM would like to give a shout out and a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday to Billie Joe Armstrong, Born Today back in 1972. Whilst fronting Green Day Armstrong is also a member of the punk rock band Pinhead Gunpowder and provides lead vocals for Green Day’s side projects Foxboro Hot Tubs and The Network. Many Happy returns Mr Armstrong.
Buy Pinhead Gunpowder: Here
Finally, on this very day in 1979, The Clash opened the US leg of their ‘Pearl Harbour ’79’, North American tour at New York’s Palladium. The Clash were keen to embrace the US, though Epic were less enthusiastic despite releasing …Melody Maker writer Caroline Coon paid her own way to New York and set up eight shows in medium-sized venues that mainly sold out. The Pearl Harbour ’79 US tour allowed The Clash to visit key cities. The band took Rock’n’Roll legend Bo Diddley out as support act to make America aware of its musical legacy. “We brought them in and helped to introduce them to people who weren’t aware of them,” Jones told Coon. Diddley got on famously with the band, who hung on his every war story.