AC/DC Albums Ranked

AC/DC are an Australian rock band formed in Sydney in 1973 by Scottish-born brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. Their music has been variously described as hard rock, blues rock, and heavy metal; however, the band themselves describe their music as simply “rock and roll”.

AC/DC underwent several line-up changes before releasing their first album, High Voltage, in 1975. Membership subsequently stabilised around the Young brothers, singer Bon Scott, drummer Phil Rudd, and bass player Mark Evans. Evans was replaced by Cliff Williams in 1977 for the album Powerage. In February 1980, a few months after recording the album Highway to Hell, lead singer and co-songwriter Bon Scott died of acute alcohol poisoning. The group considered disbanding but stayed together, bringing in Brian Johnson as replacement for Scott. Later that year, the band released their first album with Johnson, Back in Black, which they dedicated to Scott’s memory. The album launched them to new heights of success and became one of the best selling albums of all time. Here are all of AC/DC’s albums ranked.

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16. Stiff Upper Lip (2000)

“Another masterpiece from one of the greatest classic rock/metal bands of all time. Like only Ac/DC can, they conjure up a sound straight out of the 70’s, razor sharp guitar, and Brian Johnson kicking ass and taking names, and the rest of the band as tight as ever. Less than five stars for this? You have to be out of your mind! Vinyl on the way!!!! Oh yeah baby!!!”

15. Blow Up Your Video (1988)

“Ignore what you’ve heard anywhere else, this is the last time Brian’s voice is in top form, the last time the rhythm section really cooks and the last time Malcolm’s riffs/songs work from beginning to end. Angus is as always great. There is only one knock against this album, and that is the way the vocals were recorded. Excessive reverb and unwise mixing result in a sound that is hard to explain on a top band’s album; somebody was asleep at the switch. Nevertheless, you can listen to this set all the way through without a duff track in the lot. Be thankful for small favors from your favorite Scottish band (by way of Australia).”

14. Black Ice (2008)

“Black Ice has tested the patience of numerous AC/DC fans over the years. It is the first album since the release of Stiff Upper Lips, in a total span of eight years, the longest gap between any of AC/DC’s studio recordings. It is by far not the most approachable and sensational album in AC/DC’s catalog for new listeners. However, it is an album of conspicuous efforts been put out by the band to continue their influence in the music industry and entertainment.”

13. Fly on the Wall (1985)

“Marmite album with few decent riffs. Dodgy 80s big reverb drum sound. Lazy songwriting though with repetitive verse / chorus / repeat too much and poor lyrics. That said its AC/DC and the performances are great bar the vocals. One for the completists.”

12. Rock or Bust (2014)

“Probably the last AC/DC album and approached it with caution mainly because of the absence of integral guitar player Malcolm young. But I was pleasantly suprised and give it a listen most weekends with a beer. Short compared to last release black ice , but works well as all the songs are great particularly play ball, rock the blues away and baptism of fire. Angus is on form and Brian Johnson voice is standing the test of time, a great band who’ll be missed if they call it a day. A good edition to there catalog and my cd collection. Thanks AC/DC .”

11. Flick of the Switch (1983)

“Overall not as strong as For Those About To Rock, but still worthwhile. Flick of the Switch, Rising Power, and Guns for Hire stand out for me. Disc was self produced. Production a big notch down from Mutt Lange. Drummer Phil Rudd replaced by Simon Wright, soon after this was recorded. CD booklet with cool live band photos included. AC/DC, one of the all time great hard rock bands!”

10. High Voltage (1975)

“Classic Bon Scott! Their first release in the USA on vinyl. Worth it just for that. If you’re new to AC/DC, this includes the hits “It’s a Long Way To The Top” (used in the school of rock movie), and other staples “The Jack,” “TN’T” and “Live Wire”. Full of raw energy. You can’t listen to this and not tap your feet and bang your head. Next thing you’ll be shouting “Oy! Oy! Oy!” This is pure rock and roll!”

9. Ballbreaker (1995)

“How in the hell did I miss this one!!?? Absolutely classic and incredible AC/DC, strong and tight from start to finish. Phil Rudd is back and Rick Rubin does a great job on the production. The is better than Razor’s Edge (also incredible), slightly better than Stiff Upper Lip and at least on par with Black Ice. Truly, these are some of the best songs since the mid 80’s. Miles better than Blow Up Your Video and almost on par with the all time greats (not quite). Either way, an absolute must have and I am truly blown away by how great it is. Vinyl on the way and an update to follow! Fist to the sky!!!”

8. For Those About to Rock (1981)

“Track for track, the songs on For Those About To Rock We Salute You might not be as indelibly memorable as those on its predecessor, Back In Black, but the album is every bit as essential for even the most basic AC/DC collection. The songs, performances, and production are strong enough that this record goes the distance texturally and feeling wise when one finds that Back In Black, as strong as that album is, has been run in the ground and overplayed one too many times. In some ways, For Those About To Rock is heavier than Back In Black. As far as the Brian Johnson era of AC/DC is concerned, this album and Back In Black are the two strongest albums. In fact, overall, this AC/DC album is one of their strongest works, regardless of Bon Scott or Brian Johnson eras.”

7. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (1976)

“Excellent early album from AC/DC it has Bon Scott on the vocals great bluesy voice the whole album is great excuse my terminology I liken music to vinyl my collection goes back to the 70’s and I have quite a few albums and most AC/DC albums this one won’t disappoint.”

6. The Razors Edge (1990)

“Raw, powerchord and blueslick rock’n’roll. Its a dinosaur thing, a throwback to earlier days, and AC/DC does it so well, they still get away with it where no one else would. Thunderstruck and others are fine, but I bought it for the title track, which is one of those more idiosynchratic sounding pieces. Had higher hopes for Fire Your Guns, but I think it’s just a four-star track in a five-star world, but I grooved on it, still, for sure!”

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5. T.N.T. (1976)

“AC/DC is my favorite band, particularly the Bon Scott years and High Voltage is one of my favorite albums. For many years, I have been wanting the Australian releases, so when I saw TNT, I immediately bought it. It’s almost the same as High Voltage – absolutely awesome, raw, pure rock ‘n’ roll!! TNT, It’s A Long Way to the Top, Livewire, High Voltage – it really doesn’t get much better than this! A must have for any hard core AC/DC fan.”

4. Powerage (1978)

“Just 9 great hard rock anthems by AC/DC from 1978! And every song rocks! The remastering sounds great on this audio CD too. There are no “hit” songs per say, it’s just a great hard rock record. This was AC/DC’s last album produced by Vanda and Young before Mutt Lange took over on Highway To Hell. My favorite tracks include “Rock ‘N’ Roll Damnation,” “Down Payment Blues,” “Riff Raff,” “Sin City,” “What’s Next To The Moon,” and “Up To My Neck In You.” But the whole album rocks from beginning to end.”

3. Highway to Hell (1979)

“So after a couple of Brian Johnson era albums, including naturally “Back in Black”, I have taken a step backwards (in AC/DC catalog terms) and currently have “Highway to Hell” playing as I write this review, and I can’t fault it. To be honest there isn’t much, if anything, that I can add to the praise that has been heaped on “Highway To Hell” in the nearly 40 years since its original release in 1979. Opening with the excellent title track and maintaining a consistently high standard throughout, but with sufficient variety and color to maintain interest, “Highway to Hell” is truly one of the greatest rock albums and is well deserving of its place in the Rolling Stones 500 greatest albums of all time list.”

2. Let There Be Rock (1977)

“Solid ROCK ! The guitar tones on this album are the way rock should sound . Angus said it still is his favorite tone .on a recording ever. In my top 3 fave albums . Overdose is worth the price alone …first min of that cut is a thing of wonder dead air on this album …a must have if you want to peel the paint off your neighbors house !!One of Rocks Greatest recordings …get it !”

1. Back in Black (1980)

“Ahh……..the sound of my youth. I am sure that just about anyone from my generation has heard every song on this album at least a couple of times. Party anthem after party anthem. The band basically has copied this formula on every album they have put out since this one. The album starts out with “Hells Bells” and ends up with “Rock N Roll Aint Noise Pollution”. The album contains one of my favorites “Have A Drink On Me” (tribute to the late Bon Scott). Some of the lyrics on the album are pretty bad, and the music is about as basic as it gets, but this one will always remain a classic rock n roll disc.”