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Daniels, Neil
AC/DC:The Early Years with Bon Scott (Book Review)
March 2013
Released: 2013, Independent Music Press
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: JP

I really enjoy AC/DC in all it's incarnations but I must admit I never truly understood the cult of personality surrounding Bon Scott. I mean, I understand it intellectually, but having never met him I'm not one of those fans who worship him and still refuse to recognize Brian Johnson. Don't get me wrong, Bon was great but he was most the most prolific singer with the band. He was not the first singer. Nor was the band at their most successful with him singing. Evans was first and Johnson has been identified as the voice if the band for over three decades. When I read that Daniels was writing about a book about Bon my first question was, 'Why?' There are already a dozen books about AC/DC on the market and all of them extensively cover the Bon Scott era. There is even a Bon Scott movie coming out so the timing for AC/DC is good.

Slightly larger than your average paperback,AC/DC-The Early Years With Bon Scott is 207 pages long and has a dozen or so black and white photos. I felt the choice of cover for the book was poor. The book is about Bon Scott why not have a better shot, instead of Angus in the foreground and Bon lurking in the back? There are lies of better shots if Bon around. The technical aspects of the book are fine. There is an extensive early years discography, a nice foreword by Mick Box (Uriah Heep) and some closing comments from such luminaries as Doro and Bruce Kulick.

The biography is a quick, easy read in standard linear sequence. Daniels opts for a more positive approach rather than an extensively retelling of the events surrounding his untimely demise. Daniels style is engaging and covers in excellent detail the first six years of the band. He traces the bands roots back to Scotland and follows the band from beginning to end of the Bon era, and a little bit more on the last 30 years. Each chapter covers a year and Daniels provides great detail on the various Australian vs. International pressings of the first few albums. It's very detailed and well researched.

I must admit, I'm getting a bit tired of reading about AC/DC. Last year in June I did a four book review feature on AC/DC and I have half a dozen books about AC/DC in my personal library. How much more can be said about a guy who died over 30 years ago and who entire life has been analyzed and documented several times over? Daniels does his very best breathing new life into stale material and naturally AC/DC enthusiasts will want to get this right away. If you have never read about Bon this book is a fascinating examination of a flawed but very real character. Otherwise there is not an enormous amount of revelatory insight into his life or the early years of the band.
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