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3.9 out of 5 stars
Stiff Upper Lip (Rm)
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Showing 1-10 of 57 reviews(4 star)show all reviews
One doesn't so much review an AC/DC album as just tell the listener what songs are on it. Stiff Upper Lip, highly anticipated at the time of its release, has since been overshadowed by the more recent Black Ice. I prefer Stiff Upper Lip simply because it channels the early rock and roll Bon Scott era sound of the band.

My first AC/DC album was Dirty Deeds, I grew up listening to Bon, and Stiff Upper Lip is the most rock and roll sounding AC/DC album since his death. Dropping a lot of the OTT metal tones of previous discs, this one is a more laid back groove. Check out "Hold Me Back" and the title track for some truly sublime Young Bros guitar playing. Phil Rudd's simple rhythms hold everything together.

The album was produced by Vanda and Young, and while it's not as crisp and clear as the Rubin helmed Black Ice, they captured great performances. Not every song here is a winner, most Johnson-era albums have lots of filler. However, this is AC/DC and even the filler is listenable if not memorable.

I'm not too sure why this was remastered. I really fail to see why an album less than 10 years old needs this. Keep in mind, CD remastering began because in the 80's, engineers didn't really know how to master music for the high fidelity of CD, they were used to LP. Early CDs tend to sound a bit tinny. Stiff Upper Lip was recorded in 2000. Basically, the only reason to prefer the remaster to the original is the nicer packaging.

When I need to hear some more recent AC/DC, 9 times out of 10, I reach for Stiff Upper Lip. 4 stars.
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One doesn't so much review an AC/DC album as just tell the listener what songs are on it. Stiff Upper Lip, highly anticipated at the time of its release, has since been overshadowed by the more recent Black Ice. I prefer Stiff Upper Lip simply because it channels the early rock and roll Bon Scott era sound of the band.

My first AC/DC album was Dirty Deeds, I grew up listening to Bon, and Stiff Upper Lip is the most rock and roll sounding AC/DC album since his death. Dropping a lot of the OTT metal tones of previous discs, this one is a more laid back groove. Check out "Hold Me Back" and the title track for some truly sublime Young Bros guitar playing. Phil Rudd's simple rhythms hold everything together.

The album was produced by Vanda and Young, and while it's not as crisp and clear as the Rubin helmed Black Ice, they captured great performances. Not every song here is a winner, most Johnson-era albums have lots of filler. However, this is AC/DC and even the filler is listenable if not memorable.

When I need to hear some more recent AC/DC, 9 times out of 10, I reach for Stiff Upper Lip. 4 stars.
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on February 9, 2004
"You can't stop rock and roll," barks Brian Johnson on track number 7 off "Stiff Upper Lip." Apparently, you can't stop AC/DC either. In the thirty-odd years these guys have been around, they've bypassed every known musical trend (classic rock, disco, punk, new wave, techno, and elctronica) while leaving their sound virtually unchanged. And why should they bother? If it ain't broke, don't fix it, and on their umpteenth album, they've given more of the same head-banging rock to please old and new fans alike. Produced by George Young (the elder brother of guitarists Angus and Malcolm), we get killer guitar riffs, catchy choruses, and enough double-entendres to make Austin Powers proud. These guys have clearly aged and have somewhat mellowed a bit since the glory days of "Back in Black," but the energy is undeniably present. "Safe in New York City," "Hold Me Back," and "House of Jazz" deliver the goods as only AC/DC can deliver them. The album lacks one straight up classic in the vein of "You Shook Me All Night Long," "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" or "TNT," but even so, "Stiff Upper Lip" is a very solid record from "the thunder from down under."
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on September 29, 2001
I've been a life-long AC/DC fan, in the purest sense. I've never lost faith in them, even throughout the 80's and 90's when their albums decreased in quality and they became more or less professional entertainers more than anything else. I mean, these days going to see AC/DC is... well, "going to see AC/DC", you know? They have long since ceased to be a real, live rock-n-roll outfit... or have they?
All I'm trying to say is that this album really kills. I mean, for real. This is the real deal. These guys have gone completely around the world and back... from hungry rock and roll pioneers, to well-fed and complacent, to... being AC/DC damn it. I don't know how else to say it. This is AC/DC doing... AC/DC. This is AC/DC simply trying to be AC/DC. They haven't felt this natural in years. All y'all who've dissed our man Brain Johnson (myself included) can all go suck on a gym sock because damn it, the guy is cool and this music proves it.
Of course, this review would not be complete without mentioning the inclusion of third Young brother George Young behind the boards. This the first record he's produced during the Brian Johnson era, and it makes me wonder where the hell he's been (or where Angus and Malcolm's heads have been). These guys haven't felt so alive since I can't remember when. All I can say is I hope the next one is as good. God bless AC/DC.
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on July 19, 2001
I was 22 years old, I was never really interested in music at all. Then I saw AC/DC performing the song "Stiff Upper Lip" on MTV's TRL and my life was changed at that moment. This album was my first proper introduction to AC/DC and after a year of listening to this album, It Rocks!! "Lip" truly has some classic rock n roll tunes. On "Stiff Upper Lip", AC/DC sound suprisingly vibrant & inspired, as opposed to the plodding of "Ballbreaker" which was a pressured album release. Even though Brian Johnson should still see a throat specialist, his vocals are much improved. After 20 years of wear & tear, Johnson still shreds his pipes with unmatched intensity, which means more to me than any imperfection in his voice. Even though Bon Scott was by far AC/DC's strongest lyricist, At age 52, vocally Brian Johnson can still easily overpower Scott. And that's where the the album has its few shortcomings, the lyrics, as with almost any other post-Bon Scott album. "Damned", House of Jazz, Meltdown, & Come and Get It, all have great riffs, but not so great lyrics. OTHER THAN THAT, "Stiff Upper Lip" has some of the strongest AC/DC tunes in almost a decade, "Safe In New York City" has the best groove of the album from beginning to end, Rudd, Williams, and Malcolm Young lay it down, while Angus Young tears up the fretboard with a blistering solo and Brian Johnson punctuate the song with reckless and unrestrained intensity, "I FEEL SAFE IN A CAGE IN NEW YORK CIITTYY!! Throw Away the Key!"......"Can't Stand Still" really displays a fresh and clever way of playing a good ol' 50's rock n roll tune, this song could easily revive Chuck Berry's career.......Now "Hold Me Back" & "Stiff Upper Lip" (their ode to Elvis Presley) are truly two of the strongest songs AC/DC have ever recorded, undoubtedly equal to anything on "Highway to Hell, Back In Black or Razor's Edge". If you've never liked AC/DC, "Lip" won't change your mind. If you consider yourself an AC/DC fan and do not instantly like this album, Guess What? You're not an AC/DC fan, the fact of it is you were never an AC/DC fan because there is simply nothing to dislike about this album. "Stiff Upper Lip" rocks with a passion and it's the essence of AC/DC.
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When I first heard this album, I gave it an honest listen. I mean we all know what to expect when we buy an AC DC album. It was slower and bluesier than earlier releases. That's not a bad thing, in fact this album continues in the vein of what one would expect from AC DC. In fact after listening to it a couple of times, you can almost imagine how the album came about.....
Ring, ring, ring,
Brian : Hello?
Angus : Brian? This is Angus, hey Malcolm and I are sitting around the house drinking Foster's and playing our guitars, you wanna come over?
Brian : Sure, I'll be right there.
Two hours later, the tapes from the living room and brought to the studio for Cliff and Phil to finish. Yeah, it's a pretty laid back album.
Now on stage it's a different story. I saw the Stiff Upper Lip Tour in Ft Lauderdale this year, and let me tell you, AC DC hasn't lost a step. All their classics, Angus' antics, Brian's screaming, and the rhythm section's thunderous noise is all there. I hadn't seen AC DC in over ten years, but they still played like they were on the Back In Black tour. They were on stage like a hungry bunch of twenty year olds trying to get signed. If you've never seen AC DC in concert, you're missing one hell of a rush. The only song they played off Stiff Upper Lip was the title track, but that's OK, they have a very long songlist to choose from.
I hope these guys go on forever.
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on March 7, 2001
I remember an AC/DC interview I read a few years ago. I don't remember the exact words, but some cynic asked the band how they felt about having released 10 albums that are exactly the same. And Angus replied, "Actually we've released 12 albums that are exactly the same." Well, I have not counted how many albums AC/DC have released as of today, but Stiff Upper Lip is....exactly like their other albums. However, that is not such a terrible thing, considering there are few hard rock bands out there today; and even fewer who do it as well as AC/DC.
The title track is as good as any hit single in AC/DC's extensive catalog. And the other radio single, "Safe in New York City" is fantastic as well. In addition, "House of Jazz" and "Satellite Blues" are two favorites of mine; both of them featuring tasty guitar work by Angus Young. The entire CD is one great rock song after another.
AC/DC has always been the band that reminded me that,"Hey it's not rocket science, it's Rock n roll!" And that's often something I forget, especially after listening to a band like Radiohead or Godspeed You Black Emperor. It's fun, energetic, and completely devoid of artsy pretentions. I suppose the question to ask yourself is, "Is this album worth buying if I already own a bunch of AC/DC CDs??" Well that depends on how tight your budget is, and how much you enjoy AC/DC. But if you got the dough and you dig AC/DC i strongly recommend this Stiff Upper Lip.
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on April 21, 2000
AC/DC returns, building on the success of "Ballbreaker," heading back towards what could be a second set of halycon days. They're not quite back to the unbelievable level they existed at from 1977 to 1984, but it's certainly possible that they could return to those heights once more. It's not "Back in Black" - but anyone who criticizes it for that failing can only be ignorant - NOTHING will ever match "Back in Black," from this band or any other. Great productions, good riffs, and Brian's vocals - though not as powerful as the 80-84 period - are far improved from the previous two albums. My only major criticism must fall upon the album's lyrics... Since Johnson stopped writing lyrics in '88, the written side of each album has suffered greatly - but who listens to AC/DC albums for the lyrics, anyway? "SUL" is an oasis in today's ocean of mediocre "rap-metal" and sickening "teenage pop" - if any other band had produced this album, I would've given it 6 stars. Easily the best since "Fly on the Wall."
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on April 2, 2000
AC/DC's career has been spotty in terms of commercial success, but not in musical stylistics. Anyone remotley familiar with this band knows that all they do is rock. Rock, Rock, Rock. No swinging diddies, no excursions into funk, electronica, fusion (thank god), or folk. Album in, album out, it's mid to quick tempo, guitar oriented, larynx-shredding sung rock. The only varition is how good it turns out each time around.
Thankfully, Stiff Upper Lip turns it out better, and more consistentley, than the band has done in years. Brian Johnson's vocals are starting to go (after years of singing like that, it's expected) and Phil Rudd (welcome back) 's drumming is simplified, (he never was Neal Peart or Mike Mangini) but this album is their best since For Those About to Rock, and it's certainly their most consistent since Back in Black.
SuL's strength is that it doesn't have a weakness, unlike such albums as the Razor's Edge or For Those About to Rock with a few great songs and a bunch of crud. Every song is good, and while none of them are as good as AC/DC's best singles, the album, as a whole, is remarkably consistent. Give it Up and the title track are the highlights, strong additions to an already mighty catalogue and the rest of the album backs it up nicely. Some may argue that the production is slightly dull, but in my opinion, the old-school George Younge (the Young's older brother) succeeds in returning to the blusey, raw roots of their sound, something Rick Rubin couldn't pull off with the previous effort, Ballbreaker.
SuL is an essential buy for any AC DC fan's catalogue, and it's the best rock album released since Def Leppard put out Euphoria last year. It's refreshing to see that nobody writes better riffs than Malcom Young, Brian Johnson still shreiks, and Angus Young still has those great guitar leads after all these years.
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on March 25, 2000
Let's face it. AC/DC is good because it IS simple and formulatic. It starts with a groove and builds on it. But it is not without it's risks. When you build a song that simple, when you "hit the hit," you're on the money; most times you're screwed. Back in Black was a classic perhaps because they were not focusing on their EX-lead singer. It was THE album non-the-less. For my money, "For those about to rock," was just as good, but a little bit nastier...more EVIL. (if that's possible) Everything that has gone on since, has been on average, two good songs per disc. They were excellent songs... but let's face it... they need to study Back In Black to see what they did right. Stiff Upper Lip is better than anything they have done since "For Those About To Rock." Could it be better? Sure. But over-all it is better than "Ballbreaker." Who want's their balls broken anyway? I'd rather have, in Y2K, A "Stiff upper Lip!"
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