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Digipack Deconstruction 2: AC/DC - High Voltage


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Digipack Deconstruction 2: AC/DC - High Voltage

  1. 1. By Tom Medlock
  2. 2.  AC/DC are an Australian rock band, formed in 1973 by the brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, who have remained the sole constant members. Commonly classified as Hard Rock, they are also considered the pioneers of Heavy Metal and are sometimes classified as such, though describing themselves as solely Rock and Roll.
  3. 3.  The front cover of this digipack consists of the artists name and logo and their lead guitarist Angus Young. The name of the album and the artists logo have cunningly been placed in the top left hand corner of the album artwork, this is to draw the attention of the audience straight to this, as in the English language we read from top to bottom and left to right. Thus by doing this, the record label/band, are attracting as big of an audience as possible. (See point 1 on photo) By using the artists very well known logo, the bands name with a lightning bolt instead of a slash, it allows the audience/consumer to know whos album they are buying straight away, pretty much as soon as they see the album on the shelf of the place they are purchasing it.
  4. 4.  As well as aiming to attract as big of an audience as possible, the use of the band’s very well known logo is also used to establish a brand, this brand can the be used elsewhere to gain them more money, for example on clothing ranges. In this case it is not just the band’s own clothing range that have taken advantage of the logo but also shops like Topshop and River Island who released a t shirt with the logo.
  5. 5.  Angus Young is the lead guitarist for AC/DC, he is also one of the founding members. The record label have placed an animated photo of him on the front of the album in order to develop a motif, this is because of the way he is dressed. During live shows Angus is known for dressing like a school boy (shorts, blazer, white shirt and a tie). By placing him on the cover the record company are using his motif to establish a brand image. (See point 2 on photo) After noticing what the record label want us to see. We then see the big lightning bolt that spans from the top right hand corner of the artwork to the bottom middle, this lightning bolt is used to denote the name of the album, as lightning bolts carry a lot of electric energy meaning they are very high voltage. (See point 3 on photo)
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  7. 7.  The name High Voltage, I feel, is used in reference to the band and their music. The band are known, like many Rock and Roll bands, for their high energy live performances which are packed full of guitar solos as well as flames and fireworks. I believe that they named the album High Voltage to try and capture an essence of those things within their debut release and to once again reinforce the name AC/DC. It also relates to the contents of the album which is loud and fast paced, this high octane music connotes high voltage.
  8. 8.  As we open the digipack we can straight away see that on the left we have a picture of the band playing a live show. The first thing that we notice is that they are typically in the band setup we tend to see with Rock and Roll bands, the singer at the front with a guitarist to both his/her left and right with the drummer directly behind the singer. This picture is used to denote the fact that this band are a Rock and Roll band to the audience/consumer so that they instantly know what they will be getting from this CD without even listening to it. This setup also makes the audience feel comfortable with the band, allowing them to identify with them and the genre.
  9. 9.  The next thing we notice from this picture is the fact that the lead singer, Bon Scott at the time this album was recorded, has his shirt off and that all the members of the band are rather sweaty. This once again links back to my slide on High Voltage, where I said that they were known for their high energy live performances, this picture reinforces the fact that their live performances are high energy as they have clearly been putting all of their effort into performing for the crowd. This photo is also taken from below the kind of place an audience member would be situated, this allows the listener to imagine themselves as part of the crowd whilst listening to the music.
  10. 10.  On the right inside cover we have the CD tray, when we take the CD out its tray we see a giant AC/DC logo, this is once again used to develop the things I have already talked about in the previous slides. It is also used to advertise the band to the audience by allowing them to see their logo a lot, next time they see it they will recognise it as AC/DC.
  11. 11.  On the back of the digipack are four letters, each letter is basically complaining about the behaviour of the Young brothers, this once again connotes danger to the audience as it shows that they are reckless and willing to do anything. Danger can also be linked back to the album name as someone who is dangerous also has high energy and could be considered high voltage.
  12. 12.  Throughout the entirety of this album there is a reoccurring theme, this theme is the lightning bolt that appears on almost every panel of the digipack. This lightning bolt is a motif of AC/DC, it is used by the record label to make sure that if the consumer sees it anywhere else then they instantly think of AC/DC. It is used a lot on the album but the main place it is used is in the album title, in which every letter is made out of a lightning bolt.
  13. 13.  The colours used on this digipack once again link back to the title of the album, the yellows, oranges and whites are all colours that are bright and vibrant, this links back to the album title because they could almost be considered to be high voltage.