The Razors Edge (album)

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This article is about the AC/DC album. For the Dave Holland album, see The Razor's Edge (album). For other uses, see The Razor's Edge (disambiguation).
The Razors Edge
Studio album by AC/DC
Released 24 September 1990
Recorded 1990
Genre Hard rock
Length 46:32
Label Atco Records
Albert/EMI (AUS/NZ)
Producer Bruce Fairbairn
AC/DC chronology
Blow Up Your Video
(1988)
The Razors Edge
(1990)
AC/DC Live
(1992)
Singles from The Razors Edge
  1. "Thunderstruck"
    Released: 10 September 1990
  2. "Moneytalks"
    Released: 20 November 1990
  3. "Are You Ready"
    Released: 28 March 1991

The Razors Edge is the twelfth Australian studio album by Australian hard rock band AC/DC. It is also AC/DC's eleventh international studio album.

Released on 24 September 1990 on Atco Records, it is the only studio album to feature drummer Chris Slade. The album includes "Thunderstruck" and "Moneytalks," which are among AC/DC's most well-known tracks. The album reached #2 on the US Billboard 200 and #4 in the UK, a smash commercial success that returned the band to the popularity of its glory years of the late 1970s and early 1980s. The album has been certified 5x platinum (5 million copies sold) in the US,[1] and was re-released in 2003 as part of the AC/DC Remasters series. The album was produced by Bruce Fairbairn. Malcolm Young, having completed his rehabilitation for alcoholism, once again played rhythm guitar and co-wrote (with his brother Angus) all the songs on the album.

Background[edit]

The band had recorded Blow Up Your Video (1988) with their original producers, Harry Vanda and George Young.[2] It was a commercial success and sold more copies than the previous two studio releases combined. The Blow Up Your Video World Tour began in February 1988, in Perth, Australia. That April, following live appearances across Europe, Malcolm Young announced that he was taking time off from touring, principally to begin recovery from his alcoholism. Another member of the Young family, their nephew, Stevie Young, temporarily took Malcolm's place on rhythm guitar.

Following the tour, drummer Simon Wright left the group to work on the upcoming Dio album Lock Up the Wolves, and was replaced by session veteran Chris Slade. Lead singer Brian Johnson was unavailable for several months while finalising his divorce,[3] so the Young brothers wrote all the songs for the next album, a practice they continued for all subsequent releases through Black Ice in 2008.

The new album, The Razors Edge, was recorded at Windmill Road Studios in Dublin, Ireland and Little Mountain Studios in Vancouver, BC, Canada,[4] and was mixed and engineered by Mike Fraser and produced by Bruce Fairbairn, who had previously worked with Aerosmith and Bon Jovi. It is AC/DC's only studio album to feature Slade on drums, and was a major comeback for the band, featuring the hits "Thunderstruck" and "Are You Ready", which reached #5 and #16 respectively on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart, and "Moneytalks", which peaked at #23 on the Billboard Hot 100.[5] The album went multi-platinum (5 million copies sold) and reached the US top ten.

Several shows on the Razors Edge Tour were recorded for the 1992 live album, titled Live. Live was produced by Fairbairn, and is considered one of the best live albums of the 1990s.[6] It was during this tour that AC/DC headlined the Monsters of Rock show, which was released on DVD as Live at Donington.

Reception[edit]

Sales[edit]

The Razors Edge peaked at #2 on the Billboard 200 charts and stayed on the chart for 77 consecutive weeks. It also reached #4 on the UK charts. The album helped return AC/DC to its former glory. Currently, the album has sold 5 million copies in the US, certifying it at 5x platinum. The album has sold approximately ten to twelve million copies worldwide, making it the fourth highest selling AC/DC album (after Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Highway to Hell and Back in Black and ahead of Who Made Who).

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[7]
Entertainment Weekly A−[8]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[9]

The Razors Edge received generally mixed to positive reviews. Allmusic gave the album three out of five stars and complimented both the vocal performance by Brian Johnson and the guitar playing of Angus Young, and said that the album was "arguably [the band's] strongest album in over half a decade."[7] Entertainment Weekly gave the album a grade of A-, saying that "this is one album that really delivers."[8] Rolling Stone, on the other hand, gave the album two out of five stars, criticizing its similarity to past AC/DC works, and said that "with The Razors Edge, AC/DC sets a new record for the longest career without a single new idea."[9]

Tour[edit]

With the release of The Razors Edge, AC/DC undertook a world tour, possibly the most publicised tour they had ever done. The success of the tour was fueled by the crowd-pleasing songs, such as "Thunderstruck", "Moneytalks", "Fire Your Guns", "The Razors Edge", and "Are You Ready", which were also included on the AC/DC Live Collector's Edition album as live versions.

During the Australian leg of the tour, the band was supported by the controversial Sydney band Candy Harlots. Members of AC/DC were extremely impressed with the band's performance, despite the fact that it was only their fifteenth show since the then new singer Aiz Lynch had joined.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Angus Young and Malcolm Young

No. Title Length
1. "Thunderstruck"   4:52
2. "Fire Your Guns"   2:53
3. "Moneytalks"   3:48
4. "The Razors Edge"   4:22
5. "Mistress for Christmas"   3:59
6. "Rock Your Heart Out"   4:06
7. "Are You Ready"   4:10
8. "Got You by the Balls"   4:30
9. "Shot of Love"   3:56
10. "Let's Make It"   3:32
11. "Goodbye & Good Riddance to Bad Luck"   3:13
12. "If You Dare"   3:08

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]

  • George Marino - mastering
  • Stewart Young - management

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Year Chart Position
1990 Billboard 200 1
1990 UK Top 75 4
1990 Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart 3

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Position
1990 "Thunderstruck" Mainstream Rock 5
1991 "Moneytalks" Billboard Hot 100 23
1991 "Are You Ready" Mainstream Rock 16

Certification[edit]

Country Sales Certification
United States[10] 5,000,000 5x Platinum
Canada[11] 500,000 5x Platinum
United Kingdom[12] 100,000 Gold
Italy[13] 25,000 Gold
Finland[14] 63,926 Platinum
France[15] 100,000 Gold

References[edit]

  1. ^ Blabbermouth.Net – AC/DC: Classic Albums Reach New Sales Heights
  2. ^ Prato, Greg. "AC/DC—Blow Up your Video". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  3. ^ "AC/DC History". AC/DC—Bedlam in Belgium. Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  4. ^ "MusicMight :: Artists :: AC/DC". Retrieved 2014-04-15. 
  5. ^ "EveryHit". Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  6. ^ Weber, Barry. "AC/DC—AC/DC Live". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  7. ^ a b Allmusic.com review
  8. ^ a b Entertainment Weekly review
  9. ^ a b Mendelsohn, John (1990-11-15). "The Razor's Edge". Rolling Stone. 
  10. ^ Gold and platinum RIAA
  11. ^ musiccanada.com - Certifications for "The Razors Edge"
  12. ^ BPI - Certified Awards
  13. ^ FIMI.it - Certification wk38 year2014
  14. ^ Kulta- ja platinalevyt IFPI.fi
  15. ^ infodisc.fr

External links[edit]