Today is February 20 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “how often can you ignore the critics and keep moving forward?” High Voltagewas the first internationally released studio album by Australian hard rock band AC/DC. It contains tracks from their first two previous Australia-only issued albums, High Voltage and T.N.T. (both from 1975).
Originally released internationally on 30 April 1976 on Atlantic Records and in the US on 14 May 1976 on ATCO Records, this edition of High Voltage has proven popular, selling three million units in the US alone.
However, initially the album was panned by some critics upon its release. Perhaps the most famous critic was Billy Altman, who in a December 16, 1976 review in Rolling Stone wrote “Those concerned with the future of hard rock may take solace in knowing that with the release of the first U.S. album by these Australian gross-out champions, the genre has unquestionably hit its all-time low. A band whose live act features a lead guitarist (Angus Young) leering menacingly while dressed in schoolboy beanie and knickers, AC/DC has nothing to say musically (two guitars, bass and drums all goose-stepping together in mindless three-chord formations).”
AC/DC ignored the review, continued making music and in 2009 the Recording Industry Association of America upgraded the group's US sales figures for all of its albums from 69 million to 71 million, making AC/DC the fifth-best-selling band in US history and the tenth-best-selling artist, selling more albums than Madonna and Mariah Carey.
As Eleanor Roosevelt said “Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you will be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.” AC/DC didn’t let being called ‘the all-time low of rock and roll’ stop them.
Have you allowed a critic to prevent you from moving forward?