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AC/DC – Family Jewels

AC/DC – Family Jewels

It’s always been quite rare to see AC/DC – unless you go to their concerts. Television appearances, and later music videos, have always been a necessary evil to this band of nononsense rockers. Consequently, only their early years were documented on television – mostly in Australia and Europe – and when the time came to switch to promotional video clips, the band always made their own and gave them the appearance of a live show. But they’ve also never wasted an opportunity to make a big statement with their clips. From singer Bon Scott dressing like a school girl (to Angus Young’s school boy) and smoking(!) on their first major television appearance, to the giant rocking spectacle of the “Big Gun” video (with guest appearance by Arnold Schwarzenegger), AC/DC has always been larger than life and their timeless brand of rock and roll has been as big on screen as it has off. Now for the first time Epic Records is proud to announce the first ever compilation of AC/DC videos from all parts of their storied career. Starting in 1975 on Australian TV’s Countdown show through the Spanish TV clips filmed just ten days before Bon Scott’s death – the first great era of the band is chronicled on Disc One. Disc Two starts with the promo videos for Back In Black (several never before available) and sees many of the 80’s and 90’s clips on DVD for the first time. This is truly a monumental collection of clips from one of the world’s greatest bands – all completely remastered for DVD with the same care as the Epic CD remasters and the Live At Donington DVD.Although this compilation ends fifteen years before its 2005 release, the double disc video summation of AC/DC’s colorful career from 1975-1990 is a bonanza for fans and an education for newcomers. Like fellow boogie veterans ZZ Top, these clips range from acceptable to embarrassingly dated, but through it all AC/DC’s intensity and trooper status remain intact.

Conveniently divided with 20 videos on each platter that split the band’s two vocalists (Disc 1, the Bon Scott era and Disc 2, the Brian Johnson years), this is a frills-free, no extras rundown of a journeyman outfit whose roaring blues rock hasn’t noticeably changed over the years. Still, lead guitarist Angus Young’s Chuck Berry on amphetamines duck walk, and the group’s thunderous, riff-happy sound remains a force of rock and roll nature, impervious to trends or fads.

There are some disappointing moments–the “Fly On The Wall” mini-movie of five tunes joined by a silly storyline with bad dancing, worse acting and substandard animation can charitably be considered a failed experiment–but the powerhouse energy of the Australian rockers never lags even in its weakest video moments.

This treasure trove of rare television appearances, promo clips and assorted odds and ends isn’t as much fun as seeing the group live, but delivers a history lesson along with a knockout, 2 ½ hour punch that’s nearly as potent. Hal Horowitz

List Price: $ 8.96

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3 Responses to AC/DC – Family Jewels

  • BBruins3733 says:
    55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    From Official Website,!, February 14, 2005
    This review is from: AC/DC – Family Jewels (DVD)

    Seeing AC/DC on television has always been a rare occurance. After all, this was the band that tried to “blow up your video” during the height of MTV’s late-’80′s boom. Television appearances and promotional music videos have always been a necessary evil to this band of no-nonsense rockers. But when they did grace the airwaves it was like a bolt of lightning – their energy and spirit transforming a typically staged video into something magical and larger-than-life.

    Here, for the first time, is the definitive history of AC/DC on video. DVD 1 starts with their breakthrough performance of “Baby Please Don’t Go” on Australian television, through early promo clips, their rare turn on 70′s mainstay The Midnight Special and ends with the Spanish television performance taped just ten days before singer Bon Scott’s death. DVD 2 traces the classic 80′s and 90′s videos and includes – for the first time on DVD – the home video titles Fly On The Wall, Who Made Who and Clipped. Family Jewels is indeed a rare glimpse of this giant band on the small screen.

    Tracklisting is as follows:

    DVD 1

    Baby Please Don’t Go

    Show Business

    High Voltage

    It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘N’ Roll)



    Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

    Dog Eat Dog

    Let There Be Rock

    Rock ‘N’ Roll Damnation

    Sin City

    Riff Raff

    Fling Thing/ Rocker

    Whole Lotta Rosie

    Shot Down In Flames

    Walk All Over You

    Touch Too Much

    If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It)

    Girls Got Rhythm

    Highway To Hel

    DVD 2

    Hells Bells

    Back In Black

    What Do You Do For Money Honey

    Rock And Roll Ain’t Noise Polluction

    Let’s Get It Up

    For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)

    Flick Of The Switch

    Nervous Shakedown

    Fly On The Wall


    Sink The Pink

    Stand Up

    Shake Your Foundations

    Who Made Who

    You Shook Me All Night Long


    That’s The Way I Wanna Rock N Roll



    Are You Ready

    Approx. running time 2 & 1/2 hours

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  • Bill M. says:
    39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Resurrected the AC/DC fan in me! I also underestimated just how great Bon Scott was., September 20, 2005
    Bill M. (MA, USA) –
    This review is from: AC/DC – Family Jewels (DVD)
    I remember being 8 years old in 1983, when I saw a video on Mtv that strangely frightened me. A dark stage, a screaming singer with a cap pulled down over his eyes, loud music whose structure I couldn’t place, with a loud electric guitar coming from a guy in knickers who moved with as much energy as any human could move. The credits revealed that it was it AC/DC with “For Those About To Rock”.

    Two years later at the age of 10, “Sink the Pink” and “Danger” were in good rotation, and that’s what prompted me to make one of my earliest music purchases, the “Fly on the Wall” album (I remember having to give up my allowance that week and the money in my pocket that night so that my parents would buy it for me).

    So fast forward 20 years. I’ve long since bought every AC/DC album on either cassette or CD, in some instances both. I saw them twice in concert (1988, 1991). I had loved them, but at some point just lost interest in the band all together. Maybe I just got sick of them. Then after renting the movie “Thunderstruck”, my interest was renewed, and I ran out and bought this DVD set, “Family Jewels”. Well, they re-sold me! This DVD reminded me of how many damn great songs they had, and the reasons why I liked AC/DC in the first place.

    Each disc is packed with 20 videos, one from the Bon Scott years and one from the Brian Johnson years. For the record, I’ve always lived both singers. But geez, I didn’t realize just how great of a showman Bon Scott was. Sporting a wig and giant mallet in “Baby Please Don’t Go”, a straw hat and cane in “Show Business”, bag pipes in “It’s A Long Way To The Top”, or even without any props, this guy was a full-fledged icon. This ain’t a case of a dead rock star being remembered just because he’s dead. Scott had this commanding presence and demented sneer that just screamed with carnal rock power.

    The second disc brings us to the Brian Johnson years. These videos include the ones that really introduced me to AC/DC, so they have a special value to me. The live video clips from the “Back In Black” album and the “For Those About To Rock” video are here, as is “Flick Of The Switch” with the similar-looking “Nervous Shakedown”. Also included are contents of the “Fly On The Wall” and “Who Made Who” home videos (which I had owned on VHS), and the videos from “Blow Up Your Video” and “Razor’s Edge”. People can criticze the “Fly on the Wall” concept video collection all they want, but I absolutely love it. Watching AC/DC play in a dive of a bar, with the 1-dimensional characters playing their parts (papparazzi photographer in Columbo trench coat, hack MC comic, rich couple who get the wrong drink order, etc.), just fits the music so well and is downright fun to watch.

    A couple of things are notably absent from this collection. The videos for “I Put The Finger On You”, “Big Gun”, and “Hard as a Rock” aren’t here. They proabably had more that I’m not aware of. I also remember the Mtv version of “Sink The Pink” being different than the home video version, where Angus uses his guitar to knock in the ball at the end, but that version doesn’t seem to exist anywhere. (Yet to think that this video convinced me as a kid that the song was really about billards!) There are also no bonuses like audio commentaries or interview clips. And of course the “Let There Be Rock” documentary is not here, but that really deserves its own DVD release.

    Still, this collection offers a generous 40 videos, many of which I’ve never seen. And to those fan too young to have been around in the days when Mtv actually played AC/DC videos (or any significant number of videos, for that matter), this might be their first time seeing these too. I couldn’t stop my head from nodding along, in fact I just wanted to headbang in some parts! Most rock videos made after this era seemed to just be blurry scenes of guys whining in public bathrooms. AC/DC’s music is just no-B.S., no pretentiousness, high energy rock n’ roll, and these videos show that the band likewise knows how to have a loud, fun time.

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  • Tome Raider says:
    33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    World History 101, September 11, 2005
    Tome Raider (California, United States) –
    Verified Purchase(', ‘AmazonHelp’, ‘width=400,height=500,resizable=1,scrollbars=1,toolbar=0,status=1′);return false; “>What’s this?)
    This review is from: AC/DC – Family Jewels (DVD)
    In 1979 I went to a “Day On The Green” at Oakland Coliseum. The day-long show was entitled “Monsters of Rock.” There was a vast audience, as Bill Graham opened up the grassy area for the full-on stadium concert experience. The warm-up band was Mahogany Rush, then a little-known band named AC/DC and then Aerosmith. The headliner was Ted Nugent.

    Suffice it to say, I don’t remember much that happened after AC/DC. AC/DC was the most incredible event I have ever witnessed in my life. These guys came out and just blow-torched 60,000+ people with the most staggering sonic pulsations known to man. There was this weird chemistry between the crazed guitarist–who was obviously posssessed by one or more demons–and the singer, who was obviously on parole for some hideous crime spree. The guitarist, later identified as one “Angus Young,” went down into the audience on the shoulders of security personnel. Mr. Young was doing a crazed guitar solo which lasted maybe ten minutes. His sweaty, pimply back was slapped by hundreds of maniacal onlookers. Mr. Young kept playing, he didn’t miss a frenzied note. The singer–later identified as one Mr. Bon Scott–had his extremely tight blue jeans rip-out up to the crotch. He didn’t seem concerned. He appeared older and more worldly than Mr. Young, who appeared as if he was just a mere child. At one point Young and Scott collided on stage as Young had been running about so frenetically, dangerously deranged and negligent. They both fell to the stage floor, laughing. They got up, and continued their felonius assault upon the enthralled masses. It was an amazing thing to see 60,000+ fists up in the air with every person chanting “Angus, Angus…”

    The next day I checked the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle, certain to read a banner headline about this amazing development in World History. For what I had seen the day before was not a mere concert, it was a Divine Event. To my surprise, there was no headline (but there was an extremely flattering review in the entertainment section). Lest you think I exaggerate, should you spend any time in the San Francisco Bay Area, it will only be a matter of time before you meet someone (because there were so many) that was there that day, and they will tell you what I’ve told you. I’ve seen hundreds of concerts since then, and nothing has come close. I saw AC/DC a few times after this show, and they were awesome, but Bon Scott had died. There was just something totally magical about that combination of Angus and Bon, a yin-and-yang thing, that created a musical tension and synergism beyond human comprehension. This is primal-stuff here; you don’t cognate it; you neurologically process it in your spine or in some primitive, low-order portion of your brain.

    So, this set, “Family Jewels,” what does it do to explain the inexplicable? What it does is take you back 25+ years to where these guys were at, where they came from. It answers so many questions, satisfies so many curiosities, as to who these guys were then, who they are now, what they were like before they became “famous.” No, there are not any interviews here. But, you get the far more fundamental and important information: What did they sound like and look like in smaller venues before they were anything bigger than a garage band? Answer: they sounded fierce and deadly, sinister and deranged. But they have never taken themselves seriously. Just the video clip of “Let There Be Rock” is worth the cost of this entire set (Bon is dressed up as a preacher; it’s hilarious; it’s perfect).

    With Bon’s death, there was an enormous gap to be filled. No one on Earth could have done it better than Brian Johnson. Whatever praise people sing about the legendary persona of Bon Scott, I have never heard anyone intend it as criticism of Johnson. To him, an enormous debt is owed. He has made an amazing contribution to the legacy of this band.

    The footage in these two discs is quite simply priceless. I personally consider it some of the best music in the world, and in saying that I am making every effort to avoid exaggeration or hyperbole. But it is simply true: these guys are great; they are historical figures; the only debate would be whether they are on the “Top Five Best Bands of All Time” or Top Ten. For me, they are on the Top Three, if not The Top. Watch these discs and you’ll see why.

    How much would I pay for these discs if they were bootlegs? Hundreds? Thousands? Answer: as much as I could beg, borrow, steal.

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