Forgive me for this one, but I dislike ’74 Jailbreak‘s existence for nerdy reasons. It is part of what makes collecting early AC/DC tunes more difficult than it should be. *pushes up glasses*
The confusion begins with its title. It is incorrect. The song ‘Jailbreak‘ wasn’t released or recorded in 1974. It was part of the original Aussie version of Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap recorded in 1976. With the rest of the EP was recorded in 1974 for the Aussie version of High Voltage. A more accurate title would be:
Meaning there are some songs on here from 1974 and ‘Jailbreak’. But ‘Jailbreak’ is first on the track list. So an even more accurate title would be:
Just to be clear though, this EP wasn’t released in 1974. It was released in 1984. So I think a more accurate title would be:
Jailbreak, ’74, in ’84
Ah, but the cover photo is of Angus from no sooner than ’83. I can tell because his Gibson SG with a vibrato bridge and a “zebra” pickup in the neck position. This is a guitar he used almost exclusively during the Flick of The Switch tour. See the following video (or just look at the thumbnail) and compare it with the the album cover:
So really, the title should be:
Jailbreak, ’74, with a photo of Angus from no sooner than ’83, in ’84
OK, I’m taking the piss but I have to ask why does this bewildering EP exist? Well, its premise is innocent enough.
With AC/DC’s Flick of The Switch released ’83, ’74 Jailbreak was designed to cover a gap before the band’s next album Fly On The Wall in ’85. Ideally, what their label Atlantic should have done at this point is retire all international versions of AC/DC’s albums and made the Australian ones world-wide. Maybe hold off on Dirty Deeds for a bit since its international release in North America just happened in ’81, but Aussie High Voltage and T.N.T would have been fair game. And at least the mess would have begun to clean itself up 35 years ago.
But if we couldn’t have that, well… I suppose putting out some previously unreleased “rarities” isn’t the worst idea. And it does makes sense to feature the song Jailbreak. Not only is it a solid rocker, it already had a video made in ’76 for Australian telly. So, that would get them something for the MTV on the cheap.
But I can’t understand why they settled on an EP that only used 5 tracks:
- You Ain’t Got A Hold On Me
- Show Business
- Soul Stripper
- Baby, Please Don’t Go
…since they left 4 more still in Aussie limbo:
- Stick Around – Aussie High Voltage
- Love Song – Aussie High Voltage
- School Days – T.N.T.
- R.I.P. (Rock In Peace) – Aussie Dirty Deeds
Heck, add Cold Hearted Man, a track stuck in European limbo and we have a fairly solid album here. By 1984 AC/DC were world-renowned so there was no excuse to hold back.
Anyway, I’ll eventually get reviewing the Aussie albums and I’ll go into more detail about the music then. For now, I’ll just say the tunes picked for ’74 Jailbreak are a mixed bag of awesome and some forgivable “early band awkwardness”. Jailbreak and the cover of Big Bill Broozy’s Baby, Please Don’t Go are solid tunes. The others are the better ones from Aussie High Voltage that I dig as an AC/DC fan. Your mileage, however, may very.
As an AC/DC EP: 2/5
As a collector of all things AC/DC: Why does this exist?
Compared to everything else: It’s got Jailbreak on it so… 3/5
[Album Review] High Voltage (US)
[Album Review] Let There Be Rock (US)
[Album Review] Powerage
[Album Review] If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It!)
[Album Review] Highway To Hell
[Album Review] Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (INT)
[Album Review] For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)
[Album Review] Flick of the Switch
[EP Review] ’74 Jailbreak
[Album Review] Fly On The Wall
[Album Review] Who Made Who
[Album Review] Blow Up Your Video
[Album Review] The Razors Edge
[Album Review] AC/DC Live
[Album Review] Ballbreaker
[Album Review] Stiff Upper Lip
[Album Review] Black Ice
[Album Review] Iron Man 2 (Deluxe Edition)
[Album Review] Rock Or Bust
[Album Review] Live At River Plate
[Album Review] Power Up
[Album Review] High Voltage (AUS)
[Album Review] T.N.T.
[Boxset Review] Bonfire
[Boxset Review] Backtracks (Deluxe Edition)
[DVD] Review] Stiff Upper Lip Live
[DVD] Review] Family Jewels
[DVD] Review] Plug Me In
[Blu-ray Review] Live At Donington
[Blu-ray Review] No Bull | The Director’s Cut
[Blu-ray Review] Live At River Plate
[Book Review] Bon: The Last Highway | Jesse Fink