Stiff Upper Lip (album)

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This article is about the AC/DC album. For other uses, see Stiff upper lip (disambiguation).
Stiff Upper Lip
Stiff Upper Lip.jpg
Studio album by AC/DC
Released 28 February 2000
Recorded September–October 1999 at The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, British Columbia
Genre Hard rock, blues rock
Length 46:57
Label East West
Producer George Young
AC/DC chronology
Bonfire
(1997)
Stiff Upper Lip
(2000)
Black Ice
(2008)
Singles from Stiff Upper Lip
  1. "Stiff Upper Lip"
    Released: 2000
  2. "Safe in New York City"
    Released: 2000
  3. "Satellite Blues"
    Released: 2000
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [1]
Blender 2/5 stars [2]
Entertainment Weekly C+ [3]
NME (9/10) [4]
Q 4/5 stars [5]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars [6]

Stiff Upper Lip is an album by Australian hard rock band AC/DC. It was the band's thirteenth internationally released studio album and the fourteenth to be released in Australia. The album was co-produced by George Young, older brother of Malcolm and Angus Young. The album was re-released in the US on 17 April 2007 as part of the AC/DC Remasters series. It was re-released in the UK in 2005.

Background[edit]

The Young brothers began writing songs for what would become Stiff Upper Lip in the summer of 1997 in London and the Netherlands with Malcolm on guitar and Angus on drums, and by February 1998 the songs were completed.[7] The band had planned on recording a new album with Canadian Bruce Fairbairn, who had produced the enormously successful The Razors Edge and AC/DC Live, but Fairbairn died in May 1999. The Youngs turned to their older brother George, who had produced 1988's Blow Up Your Video as well as the band's early albums with Harry Vanda, and Mike Fraser, who had co-produced 1995's Ballbreaker, to complete Stiff Upper Lip.

Recording[edit]

The album was recorded and mixed at Bryan Adams' Warehouse Studios in Vancouver, Canada between September and November 1999 with a total of 18 songs recorded in all. [8] In 2000, bassist Cliff Williams remarked to VH1's Behind the Music, "It's a killer album. It was a very easy-to-record album in as much as Malcolm and Angus had everything ready to go, so we basically just had to come along and perform as best we could." According to Arnaud Durieux's memoir AC/DC: Maximum Rock & Roll, Malcolm takes a rare guitar solo on "Can't Stand Still" while Angus does the backing vocals on "Hold Me Back." The album delves even deeper into the band's blues roots than its predecessor Ballbreaker and features a remarkably clean sound. In an interview with Alan Di Perna of Guitar World, singer Brian Johnson commented on working with George Young:

In the past he's always worked with Harry [Vanda]. Not detracting from Harry, but it was kinda streamlined this time. You had no one to answer to or discuss things with except Malcolm or Angus. We were working pretty hard this time actually, from about 11 in the morning until one the next morning sometimes. Saturdays as well. It was good, though. George always had a game plan. I hate it when you're hanging around waiting for the next decision. George always had it all worked out.

Composition[edit]

Angus Young explained in interviews that the concept behind the album title occurred to him when he was stuck in traffic one day and he began ruminating on how vital lips were in rock and roll culture, citing icons Elvis Presley and Mick Jagger, and carried a certain sneering defiance.[9] He also noted that he had contributed to this tradition himself:

There was a bit of that and also with us there's always been a bit of humour, too. Even when we started, I used to always say, "I've got bigger lips than Jagger and I've got bigger lips than Presley when I stick them out." Actually, if you look on the Highway to Hell album, there's my lip stuck up there like this [curls his lip]. I remember when I was a kid I saw an early black-and-white movie of Brigitte Bardot and she had those pouting lips and you go, "Well, yeah! I like what she's serving!"[10]

The music video for the title track was directed by Andy Morahan,[11] and starts with the band driving down the street in a red 1997 Hummer H1 when they get caught in a traffic jam. They then pull into a back alley, get out of the car, and begin to play the song on the street. The song that the band was listening to before the car jam was "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)", a song released when the late Bon Scott was a member of the band. In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the song "Safe in New York City" was included in the 2001 Clear Channel memorandum, a list of "lyrically questionable" songs (six other AC/DC songs made the list: "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap," "Shot Down in Flames," "Shoot to Thrill," "Hell's Bells," "T.N.T.," and "Highway to Hell"). In a May 2000 interview with Alan Di Perna for Guitar World - just over a year prior to the tragedy - Angus Young was asked if he really felt safe in New York City, to which the guitarist replied with chilling insight, "I suppose that song is a little tongue in cheek. Last time I was in New York, that's all people were talking about: how safe it was, how it was gonna be such a great place to live. For me, New York has always been a city of unpredictability. You can never guess what's going to happen next."

The album cover features a bronze statue of Angus Young, something that would be mimicked on tour in the form of a gigantic stage prop bearing his demonic likeness that was several storeys high. The three singles to be released from it were the title track, "Safe in New York City", and "Satellite Blues". These three songs plus "Meltdown" were played live on the subsequent world tour. In Australia, New Zealand and Europe, a special two-disc tour edition of Stiff Upper Lip was released by Albert Productions in January 2001. The album includes the Stiff Upper Lip disc, and a bonus disc with a non-album track, five live tracks recorded from a concert at Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas, Madrid, Spain in 1996, and three music videos.

Reception[edit]

Stiff Upper Lip rose to #7 on the U.S. Billboard chart and peaked at #12 in the U.K. It hit #1 in Finland, Sweden, Germany, and Austria. It was better received by critics than Ballbreaker but was considered lacking in new ideas.[12][13]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Angus Young and Malcolm Young

No. Title Length
1. "Stiff Upper Lip"   3:34
2. "Meltdown"   3:41
3. "House of Jazz"   3:56
4. "Hold Me Back"   3:59
5. "Safe in New York City"   3:59
6. "Can't Stand Still"   3:41
7. "Can't Stop Rock 'n' Roll"   4:02
8. "Satellite Blues"   3:46
9. "Damned"   3:52
10. "Come and Get It"   4:02
11. "All Screwed Up"   4:36
12. "Give It Up"   3:54

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Angus Young and Malcolm Young, except where noted. 

Disc 1
No. Title Length
1. "Stiff Upper Lip"   3:34
2. "Meltdown"   3:41
3. "House of Jazz"   3:56
4. "Hold Me Back"   3:59
5. "Safe in New York City"   3:59
6. "Can't Stand Still"   3:41
7. "Can't Stop Rock 'n' Roll"   4:02
8. "Satellite Blues"   3:47
9. "Damned"   3:52
10. "Come and Get It"   4:02
11. "All Screwed Up"   4:36
12. "Give It Up"   3:54
Disc 2
No. Title Length
1. "Cyberspace" (Non LP Track) 2:59
2. "Back in Black (Live – Plaza de Toros, Madrid, 1996)" (Young, Young, Johnson) 3:41
3. "Hard as a Rock (Live – Plaza de Toros, Madrid, 1996)"   4:51
4. "Ballbreaker (Live – Plaza de Toros, Madrid, 1996)"   4:41
5. "Whole Lotta Rosie (Live – Plaza de Toros, Madrid, 1996)" (Young, Young, Bon Scott) 5:27
6. "Let There Be Rock (Live – Plaza de Toros, Madrid, 1996)" (Young, Young, Scott) 11:53
7. "Stiff Upper Lip" (Music video) 3:50
8. "Safe in New York City" (Music video) 4:01
9. "Satellite Blues" (Music video) 3:55

Video[edit]

Stiff Upper Lip Live
Acdc-Video-SUL.jpg
Video by AC/DC
Released 2001
Recorded Olympiastadion, Munich, Germany, 14 June 2001
Genre Hard rock, blues rock
Length 140 min.
Label Warner Music Vision
Director Nick Morris
Producer Rocky Oldham
AC/DC chronology
No Bull
(1996)
Stiff Upper Lip Live
(2001)
Live '77
(2003)

Stiff Upper Lip Live is the name of the live video released in 2001 by AC/DC, recorded on 14 June 2001, on their Stiff Upper Lip Tour at the Olympiastadion in Munich, Germany. The track listing is as follows:

  1. "Stiff Upper Lip" (Young, Young)
  2. "You Shook Me All Night Long" (Young, Young, Johnson)
  3. "Problem Child" (Young, Young, Scott)
  4. "Thunderstruck" (Young, Young)
  5. "Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be" (Young, Young, Scott)
  6. "Hard as a Rock" (Young, Young)
  7. "Shoot to Thrill" (Young, Young, Johnson)
  8. "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution" (Young, Young, Johnson)
  9. "What Do You Do for Money Honey" (Young, Young, Johnson)
  10. "Bad Boy Boogie" (Young, Young, Scott)
  11. "Hells Bells" (Young, Young, Johnson)
  12. "Up to My Neck in You" (Young, Young, Scott)
  13. "The Jack" (Young, Young, Scott)
  14. "Back in Black" (Young, Young, Johnson)
  15. "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" (Young, Young, Scott)
  16. "Highway to Hell" (Young, Young, Scott)
  17. "Whole Lotta Rosie" (Young, Young, Scott)
  18. "Let There Be Rock" (Young, Young, Scott)
  19. "T.N.T." (Young, Young, Scott)
  20. "For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)" (Young, Young, Johnson)
  21. "Shot Down in Flames" (Young, Young, Scott)
  • Mastered in 5.1 by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound, NYC

Notes[edit]

  • There was an original newsflash that was used for the European tour, but an alternate one was used instead for the film after the 9/11 attacks in New York City. However, the original newsflash was made available on the Bonus disc of the 2007 DVD Plug Me In.

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel
  • George Young – production
  • Mike Fraser – engineering and mixing
  • Dean Maher – assistant engineering
  • Alvin Handwerker – business management

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Chart (2000) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[14] 3
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[15] 1
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[16] 17
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[17] 10
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[18] 5
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[19] 36
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[20] 1
French Albums (SNEP)[21] 2
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[22] 1
Irish Albums (IRMA)[23] 46
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[24] 12
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[25] 6
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[26] 1
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[27] 2
UK Albums (OCC)[28] 12
US Billboard 200[29] 7

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Position
2000 "Stiff Upper Lip" Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
2000 "Satellite Blues" Mainstream Rock Tracks 7
2000 "Meltdown" Mainstream Rock Tracks 22
2000 "Safe in New York City" Mainstream Rock Tracks 21

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Argentina (CAPIF)[30] Gold 30,000x
Australia (ARIA)[31] Platinum 70,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[32] Gold 25,000x
Canada (Music Canada)[33] Platinum 100,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[34] Gold 27,417[34]
France (SNEP)[35] 2× Gold 200,000*
Germany (BVMI)[36] 3× Gold 450,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[37] Platinum 50,000x
United States (RIAA)[38] Platinum 1,000,000^
Summaries
Europe (IFPI)[39] Platinum 1,000,000*

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

References[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Blender review[dead link]
  3. ^ Entertainment Weekly review
  4. ^ NME review
  5. ^ Q review, October 2000[dead link]
  6. ^ Rolling Stone review
  7. ^ Engleheart, Murray & Arnaud Durieux (2006). AC/DC: Maximum Rock & Roll. p. 433-434. ISBN 0-7322-8383-3. 
  8. ^ Engleheart, Murray & Arnaud Durieux (2006). AC/DC: Maximum Rock & Roll. p. 434-437. ISBN 0-7322-8383-3. 
  9. ^ Engleheart, Murray & Arnaud Durieux (2006). AC/DC: Maximum Rock & Roll. p. 434-437. ISBN 0-7322-8383-3. 
  10. ^ Engleheart, Murray & Arnaud Durieux (2006). AC/DC: Maximum Rock & Roll. p. 437-438. ISBN 0-7322-8383-3. 
  11. ^ mvdbase.com – AC/DC – "Stiff upper lip"
  12. ^ Wild, David (30 March 2000). "AC/DC: Stiff Upper Lip". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 27 July 2008. Retrieved 2 August 2008. 
  13. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "AC/DC – Stiff Upper Lip". Allmusic. Retrieved 2 August 2008. 
  14. ^ "AC/DC – Stiff Upper Lip". Australiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  15. ^ "AC/DC – Stiff Upper Lip" (in German). Austriancharts.at. Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  16. ^ "AC/DC – Stiff Upper Lip" (in Dutch). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  17. ^ "AC/DC – Stiff Upper Lip" (in French). Ultratop.be. Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  18. ^ "Illegal name entered AC-DC/AC-DC/chart?f=309 AC-DC – Chart history" Billboard Canadian Albums Chart for AC-DC. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  19. ^ "AC/DC – Stiff Upper Lip" (in Dutch). Dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  20. ^ "AC/DC: Stiff Upper Lip" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  21. ^ "AC/DC – Stiff Upper Lip". Lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  22. ^ "Top 100 Longplay". Officialcharts.de. GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  23. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 9, 2000". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  24. ^ "AC/DC – Stiff Upper Lip". Charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  25. ^ "AC/DC – Stiff Upper Lip". Norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  26. ^ "AC/DC – Stiff Upper Lip". Swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  27. ^ "AC/DC – Stiff Upper Lip". Swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  28. ^ "2000-03-11 Top 40 UK Albums Archive". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  29. ^ "AC/DC – Chart history" Billboard 200 for AC/DC. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
  30. ^ "Gold & Platinum Certifications". CAPIF (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  31. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2001 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  32. ^ "Austrian album certifications – AC/DC – Stiff Upper Lip" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved 27 December 2012.  Enter AC/DC in the field Interpret. Enter Stiff Upper Lip in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  33. ^ "Canadian album certifications – AC/DC – Stiff Upper Lip". Music Canada. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  34. ^ a b "Finnish album certifications – AC/DC". Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland (in Finnish). Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  35. ^ "French album certifications – AC/DC – Stiff Upper Lip" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  36. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (AC/DC; 'Stiff Upper Lip')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  37. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (AC/DC; 'Stiff Upper Lip')". Hung Medien. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  38. ^ "AC/DC's Black Ice Is Red Hot". RIAA. Retrieved 27 December 2012. 
  39. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 2000". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 27 December 2012.