Blow Up Your Video

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Blow Up Your Video
Studio album by
Released18 January 1988
RecordedAugust – September 1987
GenreHard rock
ProducerHarry Vanda, George Young
AC/DC chronology
Fly on the Wall
Blow Up Your Video
The Razors Edge
Singles from Blow Up Your Video
  1. "Heatseeker"
    Released: 14 February 1988
  2. "That's the Way I Wanna Rock 'n' Roll"
    Released: 26 March 1988

Blow Up Your Video is the eleventh studio album by Australian hard rock band AC/DC. It was the band's tenth internationally released studio album and the eleventh to be released in Australia. First released in Europe and Australia on 18 January 1988, it was later released in the US on 1 February 1988. The album was recorded at the Miraval Studio in Le Val, France, in between August and September 1987 with all songs written by Malcolm Young (guitar), Angus Young (guitar) and Brian Johnson (vocals). The album was re-released in 2003 as part of the AC/DC Remasters series.


Writing sessions for Blow Up Your Video took place in London's Nomis Studio in July 1987, with the band convening at Miraval Studio in Le Val in Provence in the south of France in August and September with Harry Vanda and George Young, the production team behind the band's early albums. This was also the final studio album to feature drummer Simon Wright.[1]

In a 2008 Rolling Stone cover story, George Young admitted to David Fricke that the Blow Up Your Video session was when he realized his brother Malcolm, who had always been a heavy drinker, was in the grips of alcoholism: "I saw the signs. Malcolm had a problem. I said if he didn't get his act together, I was out of there. I don't recall it having any effect."

The band recorded 16 tracks during the sessions, including the unreleased songs "Let It Loose" and "Alright Tonight," as well as other versions of "Heatseeker", and "That's the Way I Wanna Rock 'n' Roll." Two additional songs, "Snake Eye" and "Borrowed Time", were recorded but not featured on the album. The song "Down On The Borderline" was recorded, but not released until 1990 as a B-side. All three of these songs were later included on Backtracks in 2009. Demo tracks for the songs "Let it Loose" and "Alright Tonight" were stolen and bootlegged, so they were omitted from the final album cut.

Although he wrote all the lyrics on the album, it would be the last on which Brian Johnson was credited as a songwriter (all songs on subsequent albums were written by the Young brothers).

The title of the album was taken from a line in the song "That's The Way I Wanna Rock 'n' Roll." In 1988 Angus explained the title to MTV Australia: "We were probably a band that's best seen in a live situation and that's how the title came about...'Cause everything's automatic these days. A kid can flick on the button on a T.V., he's got a remote control and he can zoom through everything and get it coming in from all over the world. You can turn on your radio and get rock coming in from America. For us, the best thing as a band it was always we were great onstage."


The band began a world tour in Perth on 22 February, playing 16 dates in Australia for the first time in seven years. The band played four tracks from Blow Up Your Video on the tour: "Heatseeker," "That's the Way I Wanna Rock 'n' Roll," "Nick of Time" and "Go Zone."

On the eve of the North American leg of the tour (a massive stretch that would run from May to November), Malcolm Young decided not to participate in order to deal with a by-now problematic alcohol addiction. Unlike Angus, who had always been a teetotaller, Malcolm enjoyed drinking but in recent years it had escalated to the point where it began to affect performances. The band's former U.S. agent Doug Thaler recalls seeing the band one of the Monsters of Rock shows in 1984: "I'd gone into AC/DC's dressing room and had a scotch with Malcolm and Jonno [Brian Johnson] while Mötley Crüe played. When AC/DC went out to take the stage, Malcolm had clearly had too much to drink. And they were playing the song that Angus used to do his guitar solo and strip to, and Malcolm would just barely keep a steady rhythm—he couldn't even do that. And he fell into the drum kit, and I thought, 'Oh boy, this is not headed any place good.'"

By April 1988, Malcolm recognized he had a problem and, ever mindful of his former band mate Bon Scott's premature passing (the previous AC/DC singer drank himself to death in London in 1980), he began attending AA meetings, confessing to VH1's Behind the Music in 2000, "My drinking overtook my whole thing. I felt like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I had a talk with Angus...I was letting people down...I wasn't brain-dead, but I was just physically and mentally screwed by the alcohol." Filling in for him was Malcolm and Angus' nephew, Stevie Young, although Malcolm was present on the rest of the tour and in the Blow Up Your Video promotional videos. Stevie would also step in for Malcolm in 2014 when it was disclosed that the guitarist was suffering from dementia.[2]


The album was the band's biggest-selling album of new material since For Those About to Rock We Salute You, being certified Platinum in the US.[3] Blow Up Your Video reached #2 in the UK and #12 in the US. The album was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrumental in 1989. In the original Rolling Stone review, Jim Farber wrote, "Fortunately, the Young brothers continue to come up with enough inspired riffs to make the tunnel vision justifiable. In fact, the riffs here add up to the band's catchiest work since its classic album Back in Black." Greg Prato of AllMusic calls the album "unfocused" and "glutted with such throwaways as 'Nick of Time'..."

Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic2.5/5 stars link
Robert ChristgauC+[5]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[4]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Malcolm Young, Angus Young and Brian Johnson.

Side one
2."That's the Way I Wanna Rock 'n' Roll"3:45
4."Go Zone"4:26
5."Kissin' Dynamite"3:58
Side two
6."Nick of Time"4:16
7."Some Sin for Nuthin'"4:11
8."Ruff Stuff"4:28
9."Two's Up"5:19
10."This Means War"4:21

Two additional songs, "Snake Eye" and "Borrowed Time", were recorded but only released on the 12-inch single versions of "Heatseeker" and "That's the Way I Wanna Rock 'n' Roll", respectively. "Snake Eye" was also included on the 3-inch CD-single for "Heatseeker". The song "Down On The Borderline" was recorded, but not released until 1990, as the B-side of the Australian "Moneytalks" single in 7-inch, 12-inch and CD-single formats. All three of these songs were later included on Backtracks in 2009.




Year Chart Peak Position
1988 Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart
1988 US Billboard The 200 Albums Chart
1988 UK Albums Chart


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[6] 3× Platinum 210,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[7] Gold 37,844[7]
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[8] Gold 50,000^
United States (RIAA)[3] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Saulnier, Jason (22 January 2009). "Simon Wright Interview". Music Legends. Archived from the original on 27 September 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  2. ^ Grow, Kory (30 September 2014). "Malcolm Young's Family Confirms AC/DC Guitarist's Dementia". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b "American album certifications – AC/DC – Blow Up Your Video". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  4. ^ Jim Farber (7 April 1988). "Blow up Your Video | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  5. ^ Robert Christgau. "CG: AC/DC". Retrieved 24 September 2012.
  6. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2013 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association.
  7. ^ a b "ac%2Fdc" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  8. ^ Salaverrie, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (PDF) (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Madrid: Fundación Autor/SGAE. p. 953. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. Retrieved 23 August 2019.

External links[edit]

  • Lyrics on AC/DC's official website