Review: The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC by Jesse Fink

Title: The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC

Author:  Jesse Fink

Published: Random House AU November 2013

Status: Read from November 26 to 28, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

From TNT to It’s a Long Way To The Top (if you want to rock-n-roll) to Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap and Highway To Hell, the music of AC/DC has spoken to generations of Australian ‘bogan’ youths wearing torn denim jeans, flannel shirts and ugh boots. This year, AC/DC celebrates 40 years since its formation in 1973 having spawned 26 albums, From High Voltage released in 1975 to Live at RiverPlate in 2012, and more than 200 million in album sales.

At the core of the Australian band’s international success are guitarists, and brothers, Malcolm and Angus Young. Emigrating from Scotland to Perth, Australia with their family in the early 1960’s, the boys were encouraged by the success of their older brother George in the industry, who earned fame as a songwriter/producer for bands such as The Seekers and The Easybeats.

The Youngs are notoriously insular, granting few access to their inner circle and zealously guarding the control of their music and its vast business interests, consistently refused to contribute to any biographical work, though there have been several published over the years. Similarly Fink was unable to gain the cooperation of the Youngs or those close to them, so the biographical details of this book have been pieced together from known facts and the recollections of ‘a whole host of forgotten and unheralded people’ who have been a part of AC/DC’s journey, though in the end, Fink discovered, “There was no truth, no definitive AC/DC story, there were many different versions.”

But that wasn’t really an issue for Fink as for him The Youngs is, ‘Less a biography, more a critical appreciation’, “ultimately, about the power of their music and how they built the colossus of AC/DC.” This is a band that has endured despite the replacement of their lead singer (Bon Scott with Brian Johnson), and still command sell out performances despite the fact the band members are now in their 60’s.

Exploring the reasons why AC/DC shot to fame, why their music remains popular what makes AC/DC unique is at the heart of this book. Seeking the opinions of industry experts and insiders, Fink reveals some of the behind the scenes secrets and little known facts about the band’s development and management, exposing the crises, the arguments, the betrayals and the controversies. Fink also spends some time tracing AC/DC’s relationship with Atlantic records and their entry into the US music scene.

The music of AccaDacca (as they are affectionately known) is part of the soundtrack of my own life, though regrettably I never saw them live in their prime, being just that bit too young at the time. An accessible read, offering plenty of well researched details, The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC is a book for ardent fans and music aficionados, and the head-banging ‘bogan’ that still lurks beneath the present day middle class veneer. The best way to read this is to drag out those old vinyl records or load up your playlist, turn it up loud and let AC/DC so what it does best…rock!

Available to Purchase From

Random House Au I Boomerang Books I Booktopia I Amazon AU

via Booko

AmazonUS I BookDepository


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Brona
    Dec 05, 2013 @ 13:05:28

    I found a couple of weeks ago that Jesse Fink lives locally – when he popped in to sign some copies of this book for us.
    Next time he pops in I’ll let him know about your great review 🙂



I want to know what you think! Your comments are appreciated.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s