"Iron Man 2" is a soundtrack album released in 2010 on Columbia Records by Australian hard rock band, AC/DC. Band personnel appearing on the album was Bon Scott, Brian Johnson (vocals), Angus Young, Malcolm Young (guitar), Cliff Williams, Mark Evans (bass) and Phil Rudd, Chris Slade (drums).
What better band to do a soundtrack for a superhero film than AC/DC? After all, the Aussie rockers had already done "Who Made Who" for "Maximum Overdrive" and have an extensive back catalogue of songs to choose from. Some people are not huge fans of the sole band for a soundtrack idea, but what you get here is essentially a greatest hits album which is just put out as a soundtrack to boost sales for both, at a guess. Is it any good? Let's find out!
Shoot to Thrill
This song has Brian Johnson at his best, backed by yet another great AC/DC riff. It's not the best AC/DC song by any means, but it does have that certain 'feel' to it. According to Johnson, the song is about the amount of women in England on Valium because of depression, although the lyrics would suggest it's about a man who thinks he's the best in town in the bedroom department.
Rock 'n' Roll Damnation
This is another excellent song on the album. It encapsulates everything that is hard rock, turns it upside down and inside out, and then spits it out as driven music. Bon's vocals are in great form and the song has that classic AC/DC riff all over it. It's a song about how the rock genre is put down and discredited as being just 'noise', while most people that listen to it realise the musicians who play it have some serious talent.
Guns for Hire
This is an AC/DC song which gets off to a patchy start but once the rhythm kicks in, it is actually a very good track. When it was first released it was a setlist regular, but has rarely, if ever, been played live since, and that's something that the majority of fans don't understand. The song has a great rocking melody that doesn't fail to get your head nodding and is a straight out rock and roll track that rarely lets up. Angus performs yet another blistering solo and you can't help but admire his brilliance here.
Cold Hearted Man
Typical Bon Scott magic is the order of the day with this song, which was oddly emitted from the CD version of the "Powerage" album. Fans frown upon that because it's one of the better songs off of the European LP release, which I had. Some would say it sounds a little too much like the other slower songs on there, but when you have a talent like Bon, why not use it? Anyway, it's a wonderful number and I can't get enough of the harmony in Bon Scott's voice.
Back in Black
This is perhaps one of the most well-known songs in the whole hard rock genre. Most certainly the main riff is, anyway, and if you asked AC/DC fans what their favourite record was, a lot of them would name this one. The song appears to be about someone who has just been released from prison and how he goes back to his old ways not long after. However, some say it's a tribute to Bon Scott. The solo on this song is one of the best you'll ever hear.
Put simply, this is Angus Young's finest work on a guitar and for the first half of the song he's playing the same solo riff over and over which is truly magical. If you have been fortunate enough to see AC/DC live and even more fortunate to have seen this song played live, you have had an amazing treat. Bon Scott has always been the voice of the band, but this is where Brian Johnson had a chance to shine, and he doesn't disappoint.
If You Want Blood (You've Got It)
Here is a song about rocking hard on the stage and giving the audience what they want. The idea for the song came about when Angus and Malcolm saw a band play live that wasn't going down too well with the crowd and the singer apparently asked them 'What do you want, blood?" How can you go wrong with lyrics like these:
Blood on the streets
Blood on the rocks
Blood in the gutter
Every last drop
You want blood, you got it
This is another of those fun and rocking driving songs that you could easily listen to in the car, and the harmony is excellent.
This a really good almost ballad about a real life black widow - a woman that you have to look over your shoulder for in case she attempts to stab you in the back. The song structure here gets thumbs up from me and the chorus has Brian Johnson screaming into the microphone with plenty of gusto, assisted by the backing vocals and that typical Young brothers guitar style.
The riff on "T.N.T." is slow and easy and the song is just a basic blues rock and roll number that's punchy all at the same time. It's a song about a guy who thinks he's the top dog in town and has women crawling all over him. He's saying that if you mess with him, he will make sure you regret doing it. This is another of those songs that both Bon and Brian sing well. Even though AC/DC is a hard rock band, the guitars sound heavier than normal on live versions of the track.
Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be
This is one of the best songs on the album, but the live version of just as good on "If You Want Blood (You've Got It)". Bon's singing is sublime on this track and it is easy to enjoy the way AC/DC gives a blues-sounding song more of a rock feel. It's a song about cavorting with a woman, and the narrator knows he shouldn't be there but he figures it's too much of a good thing to let go.
Have a Drink on Me
This takes us on a journey of heavy drinking and fun times, and is a direct tribute to fallen singer, Bon Scott's way of life. Bon was a bit of a hell-raiser in his day, and this track is a perfect eulogy to the great man. You can almost hear Bon singing on the closing minute, although that isn't possible. It's another fun rock and roll song, and one of the best on the album.
The Razors Edge
Here is another track that makes you wonder if Angus eats the whole box of Shredded Wheat, never mind three, because that opening solo is excellent and the lead riff is something else. But the beauty of this song is Malcolm's rhythm that sets the beat and Brian Johnson's vocals fit around that backing riff perfectly. This is a song about war, being on the battlefield and scared for your life.
Let There be Rock
There's not much to be said about this song, which is one of the best known songs the band has ever written or recorded. It's a brilliantly frenzied song dedicated to rock and roll and all those that play the music and is about how the music genre has become an institution or religion if you will, with musicians as the preachers and the fans as the congregation. It's on this song where Angus shines. It has a great, heavy riff, but the solos are insane and from around the four-minute mark that's all you get - not that you'll be complaining! This is just a brilliant song, no doubt about it.
It takes a dedicated fan to like "Black Ice", the AC/DC album which was released in 2008. some say it was tired and labored and all heard before, but with a soundtrack album that features just one band, you have to put out songs from an entire catalogue. A lot of people will like it but the seasoned AC/DC fan will nod in agreement that there's nothing new here, except for the fact that it was recorded live in the studio - something which bands like Black Sabbath did in the 60s, but it is rarely done these days.
Highway to Hell
Since its release, this has become one of the band's most well-known songs, and certainly gives birth to one of rock's most famous of guitar riffs. "Highway to Hell" needs no introduction amongst the rock community and even some people that don't listen to the genre know what it sounds like. Bon Scott was certainly "Livin' easy, livin' free" as the first line goes. Just like Fruit Pastilles and their "I bet you can't put a Fruit Pastille in your mouth without chewing it" slogan, you can bet you can't listen to the chorus of "Highway to Hell" without singing along, it's that catchy.
15 of AC/DC's songs on one album might sound like a good deal - and it is a good deal - but it's only good if you don't have any of the albums in the first place. Though having said that, you might only be here because you liked "Iron Man 2" and if that's the case, you'll want the accompanying soundtrack to go with your DVD or Blu-ray of the movie.
1. Shoot to Thrill
2. Rock 'n' Roll Damnation
3. Guns for Hire
4. Cold Hearted Man
5. Back in Black
7. If You Want Blood (You've Got It)
8. Evil Walks
10. Hell Ain't a Bad Place to Be
11. Have a Drink on Me
12. The Razors Edge
13. Let There be Rock
14. War Machine
15. Highway to Hell