AC/DC, ‘Let There Be Rock’ – DVD and Blu-ray Review
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the theatrical release of AC/DC‘s 1979 concert film ‘Let There Be Rock,’ the movie is being released for the first time on both DVD and Blu-ray with a wealth of extras.
In December of 1979, Australian hard rockers AC/DC were on the verge of worldwide takeover, out on the soon-to-be legendary world tour for their blistering ‘Highway to Hell’ release. The collectively rising stars of AC/DC and fireball lead singer Bon Scott were captured for posterity with over 90 minutes of sweaty footage filmed in Paris.
The resulting ‘Let There Be Rock’ finds AC/DC cresting at the peak of their success with Bon Scott. Sadly, only a couple of short months after ‘Let There Be Rock’ was filmed, the singer passed away tragically due to alcohol-related circumstances.
In the bonus features that accompany the film, AC/DC author Anthony Bozzia (‘Why AC/DC Matters‘) really captures the essence of Scott as a vocalist, noting that Scott possessed the unique ability to lift a normal speaking voice up nearly a full octave, into a male falsetto, and just blast with a power that many vocalists can’t attain or consistently maintain.
Bozzia is part of a panel of hard rock and heavy metal experts featured in the bonus content sharing their love, respect and commentary on the legacy of AC/DC and Bon Scott. Others featured within the filmed segments are radio/TV personality Eddie Trunk, Rick Allen of Def Leppard, Lemmy of Motorhead, Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins, The Donnas and many more.
Ultimately, a panel discussion led somewhat ‘That Metal Show’ style, perhaps with moderation from Trunk, would have made the bonus content a stronger watch. It’s clear that everybody interviewed are big AC/DC devotees; it would have been cool to get some of them into one room to collaboratively enthuse on their Australian heroes.
Still, as bonus content, it works fine, and fans will enjoy hearing these insights and opinions. The deluxe edition, numbered and limited to 90,000 copies, comes packaged appropriately enough in a black metal tin with the AC/DC logo embossed on the cover.
The real money shot within the ‘Let There Be Rock’ package is the killer booklet, also written by Bozzia. Bozzia is unquestionably a scholar of the band, and he paints a riveting picture of the behind the scenes backstory of ‘Let There Be Rock,’ detailing Scott’s whiskey-aided attempts to put on a strong vocal performance despite a bout with laryngitis and having to perform two concerts in one night.
Warner Brothers has done a nice job of bringing the original video as close to today’s high definition standards as possible. It’s unbelievable that this legendary film hasn’t been available digitally prior to now, but without a doubt, this great package makes it well worth the wait.