AC/DC’s “Up To My Neck In You” (TSR Series, Studio)

08 Jun AC/DC’s “Up To My Neck In You” (TSR Series, Studio)

Now, this one I had already covered, like two or three eons ago. Seems like a few entire generations passed since then – it’s the passage of time under the effect of the internet(s); it makes time flow differently.

This is the old version, with a few details here. Not entirely a disaster, but not as accurate as I had wanted it to be, even at the time.

72420801 from SoloDallas on Vimeo.

My spirit is basically “unchanged” (watching myself again after years); I still love doing this “to life” (as opposed to common way of saying things, love it to death) but I have probably gained one or two more tricks in these last – what – 7 or 8 years (almost 10 years of continuous activity, babe). I Lost the studio though (sighs). Now I have my basement, and way more gear than even at the time (guitars, amps); I am more than content. Additionally now, I have you. Many more of you to share things with, and finally I can listen to you, too, and what you have to say in a much better way than I could ever have at the time (and if you remember, I did reply to youtube comments anyway! Always loved intensely the concept of community. Maybe, being the only child that I am, the idea of an extended family has always intrigued me).

What we also have as entirely new is our (well mine at least) Schaffer-related stuff. Either an original Schaffer-Vega or a Schaffer Replica, we can make that difference that I didn’t even suspect of at the time.
And I do hear a Schaffer-Vega Diversity growl on the sound of this song, while listening carefully to the original album version. Also, speaking with Angus, you might remember that he mentioned that his older brother George had wanted the Schaffer-Vega to be used in Powerage, to get the same sound he had onstage (and that they evidently and even admittedly loved). So I think that at least for this album (just as I had suspected in my previous version of Gone Shootin’, here) Angus may have used the Schaffer-Vega even with the rest of the band, from within the recording room. After all, I mean, why not? While it was slightly more hissy than a cable, by using mild SVDS settings the hiss would almost entirely go away, and you can experiment the same thing with your own Schaffer Replica now, by lowering both TSR Input (X10 companding circuitry) and TSR output (63EX monitor output). This is what I did here (I think I used half and half, but I may have used even less than that – my sound here it is slightly more aggressive than Angus’, so don’t be afraid to experiment with even lower settings!).

I truly like the outcome here. Fair rock and roll. You know, I work hard on these things, but the reward also includes watching yourself back and – at times – enjoying what you have done. For me, it’s a big part of why I do it. Re-listening (watching may be irrelevant) to what you played is a big thing for me. I can hate (so to say, but just metaphorically) myself for not having caught a nuance I really wanted to or praise myself in my head, telling myself I did a fair job at playing some part.

Evidently, the structure of this tune is not complicated. Real blues roots here. BUT the timing will demand your full attention at all times: lack of concentration for even a split second and you’re off. And with Mal being – as usual – so tight, not to speak of the rest of the band, your split second mis-concentration is going to be heard and heard loud. That’s AC/DC. That’s what happens with them. And that’s why I still play guitar listening to them, as opposed to with other bands. And yes, I’ll stretch to even further adding, this is why at times I just like to play along with AC/DC albums than go out and play with a real band. Very often, people in bands are not committed fully to playing together in a certain way. Whether they know it and are conscious (but still unwilling) about it or they simply can’t, this is still a fact. And rehearsing on albums is extremely formative as well. We can truly learn a world of things even playing alone along someone else’s music. Will stress this with the tutorials.

Even the solo, it sounds like it is a pretty simple thing. With its thin guitar sound, this partly because it has been left in the right channel (as opposed to the centre, where solos do sound bigger), where usually we hear Angus’ rhythm part, just like if it was a live thing, it probably won’t impress you much when you hear it the first time. I know – because I still remember! – I kind of thought that these solos on Powerage (some of these, the live sounding ones) weren’t much of a thing.  And this when I was probably 10 or 11 years old. Little I knew that it was just a mere “Production” difference, as the solo here kicks major bottoms. It’s pure rock and roll style, with its wise licks used with great timing and touch, as always. Even it goes up both on the fretboard and in intensity as the solo evolve; it is a long solo.

I like to tell you a bit about the microphone spot here. I didn’t like the first attempts I did with the microphone on the usual position as the two previous Powerage songs, where it was basically between the centre of the cone and its edge. I couldn’t capture enough that sense of hollowness that you can hear soundly if you listen carefully. That (hollowness) was always one of the things that impressed me the most when growing up and listening to recorded guitar sounds. It used to be my favourite nuance on recorded guitar: gotta sound hollow. How do you make it happen?

Well, that is the sound of the cabinet. So in order for you to capture it, you have to move away from direct speaker or it’ll cover those nuances. So I put the microphone exactly at the centre of my G12M 4×12 cabinet, upper speakers, and gently tilted it in the general direction of the left speaker. Did they do the same exact thing? Maybe. Maybe something similar. But to some extent, it works (Dries noticed this immediately). It was meant to be like that and I enjoy much the fact that it can be heard somewhat.

Also, the console EQ that I used here is the new Neve 1073 Universal Audio plugin. Really good stuff. It’s what they used both for the takes and for mixing, so it’s gotta be appropriate!

Amp was setup at the usual settings, p0, b2, m4, t5, v7 and p6; TSR was at half and half and the guitar – used an original 1971 Gibson SG Standard here, stock – minus the vibrola removed – had the tone knob set permanently at 3 and the volume was at 8 for the rhythm part and 10 for the solo.


Fil "SoloDallas" Olivieri

We Are Rock 'N Roll People.

  • avatar
    Posted at 12:40h, 27 June


  • avatar
    Posted at 01:59h, 01 July

    U killed that fil. Awesome timing and feal of the groove. That solo is not easy to get even close. Lot of pure angus in that song

  • avatar
    Posted at 22:24h, 30 June

    Yeah I have 79 2203 and 70 SG but I find if I do what Fil does on the powerage songs he’s been posting and put the tone knob off or around 3 it sounds way to flat and loses to much brightness/treble and sounds less close to song but his sounds prefect so.

  • avatar
    Posted at 05:56h, 24 June

    I could swear I´ve seen Angus (and I think Malcolm too) playing only the open strings during this G to A riff, with no G-shape at all. In my memory it was from No Bull, but either I remember wrong or there exists a No Bull-version with this song.
    Could of course be from the Stiff-tour, didn´t find these clues there last time I watched though, except for Angus playing the D-chord part in fifth position, coming from a C-power chord.

    Anyway, I´ve been experimenting with this da-da-da—>A chord riff, and playing two open strings at a time gets at little closer I think. Like open GB, DG, and the AD before hitting the A-chord, all with downstrokes.

    Still there seems to be some “trick” going on, so I´m still waiting for the final verdict. Your tone is spot on here, very nice performance. I couldn´t believe it wasn´t Angus guitar I heard, when you played those opening licks in the solo.

  • avatar
    Posted at 17:08h, 13 June

    I Just like the old version as well, it has these “plug in and rock” vibes.

  • avatar
    Posted at 18:25h, 11 June

    Just a note to all if you don’t know……Powerage was released in ruff form on album first….The boys after there success with let there be rock just quickly went on tour for this one and the record company wanted to get the record out quick so they put out rough copies/alternate recordings of the album while on tour and then a bit later they polished it all up and you have what we hear now so if you find the earliest copies of the U.K powerage records you can hear the different takes.

    • avatar
      Posted at 18:31h, 11 June

      These early European versions contained early edits of gimme a bullet, down payment blues and gone shootin’ due to them being released in a hurry to keep up with the bands rising popularity after let there be rock.
      Rock ‘n’ Roll Damnation was not included on the 1st UK versions of this album as it was released as a 12″ single.
      All CD versions were mastered from the later master tapes which contained extra backing vocals and guitar riffs and the track order is different on the CD’s than from the early vinyl releases.

      • avatar
        Posted at 19:05h, 24 June

        Yes, Rock ‘n’ Roll Damnation was omitted.

        Actually, it was not, because it was recorded additionally, because the record company didn’t hear any single on the record. That’s why they used maracas for instance – to make it more appealing to commercial stations.

        Originally, Cold Hearted Man was on the UK edition but eventually didn’t make it on the final version of the record.

  • avatar
    Posted at 15:22h, 11 June

    Awesome. One of my favourite solos of all. Will you ever be doing a tutorial on this? (or is there one?)

    • avatar
      Posted at 03:20h, 22 June

      Starting from next October, we will re-boot the entire tutorial thing. Two cameras, note for note, gear details etc. Pay-for though. Will have you guys pay a monthly fee of a couple of bucks or so – I will be trying to live off of this – and will see where this takes us. Ready for it?

      • avatar
        Posted at 04:35h, 22 June

        worth every penny Fil! Can’t wait

      • avatar
        go down
        Posted at 10:38h, 22 June

        Fil, this will be totally awesome, I cannot wait! It will be worth every cent and then some. Every Solodallas member should get behind this, as all of us will not get a better return for our money invested, for the knowledge an experience that Fil will impart,to make all of us better and correctly informed players in the art of real rock and roll.
        Sean in Oz

      • avatar
        Posted at 18:48h, 23 June

        I’m going to try my best to convince my parents to let me do this. They think everything involving money over the internet is a scam. Getting TSR is going to be a challenge wit them as well.

  • avatar
    Posted at 07:53h, 11 June

    One word: Amazing!

  • avatar
    Posted at 23:17h, 09 June

    The sound is great. I know exactly what you mean by hollowness. Did you use the FET47? How far from the cabinet did you place it?

    • avatar
      Posted at 23:27h, 09 June

      I should also say that I have two versions of this album. An old Atlantic pressing on vinyl and the re-master on CD by Marino. The guitars sound much better on the vinyl version. The difference is astounding.

      • avatar
        Posted at 08:45h, 10 June

        You probably mean this one 🙂 UK mix , came earlier I think.

        Sounds more live, less polished. Obvious more prominent guitars in the mix.

        • avatar
          Posted at 08:47h, 10 June

          Guitars are not that scooped too, they have a fair bit more low mids, what makes it a bit ‘muddy’ compared to the final mix.

          • avatar
            Posted at 10:14h, 10 June

            you know listening to it, Angus’s rhythm guitar track is from a different take its not the same, solo is the same though

            found the same with gimme a bullet too!

            • avatar
              Posted at 12:04h, 10 June

              Will listen closely later this day, do you think it’s not the same? I hear Ang’s guitar going a bit out of tune when he’s strumming the first chords, something I haven’t heard on the new mix. But it would surprise me if it were other tracks.

              • avatar
                Posted at 12:39h, 10 June

                one obvious part on up to my neck is the end of the solo and the Rhythm section kicks in

                Yep im certain, comparing other songs as we speak 🙂

            • avatar
              Posted at 06:30h, 24 June

              Thanks for letting us know, never thought about that before. I knew about the european mix (even owned that LP in the eighties, but it got stolen) vs the later version with overdubs, and this explains why I never got the same kick from listening to the final version. It´s not just about cd vs Lp, as I thought.

              What´s next to the moon, sounds radically different in the early version (heavier), and Kicked in the teeth has a completely different intro.

        • avatar
          Posted at 02:30h, 11 June

          No I don’t have the UK mix. The one I have on vinyl is the same mix as the Marino re-master on CD.

        • avatar
          Posted at 06:08h, 24 June

          Thanks for reminding me, this is where my AC/DC-journey started. Can´t think of anything with a more badass and outlaw feeling than that old european mix of Powerage. The tension from the difference in the brothers guitar tone is so great here… like Malcolm having the ultimate rock crunch, and Angus this screaming Marshall tone. This is their absolute peak, in my opinion.

  • avatar
    Posted at 14:34h, 09 June

    Hi Fil! Great stuff – as usual!

    What kind of cable are you using to plug your guitar into the replica? Looks like one of the retro-telefon-like spiral cables. Got a Fender-branded one myself. It has a huge (!) impact on the guitar tone. I suppose when Angus recorded the songs the cable which was pluged in the transmitter was much shorter.

    And what about the Replica: Are you going to sell them individually in the near future or do I have to wait? (Or will there never be the chance…?)


  • avatar
    Posted at 11:24h, 09 June

    Yes! that’s the golden tone we all love on this album!

    SVDS hiss, clears up nicely when on boost %50 that is what i have been using, cant get enough with experimenting with the TSR every amp in guitar rig has different results, love it!

  • avatar
    Posted at 22:12h, 08 June

    Cool Song-Great playing-Awesome sound!!!!!

    Man i wonder how many times i heard that album, Love it!!
    Many say that AC-DC are just the same thing over and over.
    For me there’s a different vibe and sound in the different eras and i kinda pick back and forth and never really gets
    Recently i got Stiff upper lip on vinyl, one word awesome.
    Side one(6 Songs) is just pure rock”n”roll heaven for me. I have seen here that some complain at the sound on this album, That leaves me with a ?
    Anyway keep up the great work!!!

  • avatar
    Tommi F
    Posted at 18:34h, 08 June

    Could you also upload the video directly to solodallas.com because it s blocked in my country?

  • avatar
    Posted at 12:30h, 08 June

    Just such a great tone, the TSR has allowed you to be what you wanted to be. I know you’re giving it everything but you’re starting to make it look easy which must mean that you have improved as a player. Full album to be covered?
    P.s what’s with the truss rod cover, last minute adjustments? Isn’t that the eBay guitar frm Glasgow?

  • avatar
    Posted at 11:29h, 08 June

    So agree for the solo, so much style, so rock n roll!!
    I ‘ll try to learn it, even if solos are difficult for me as I was playing the rythmn section in a band! Now with the schaffer it’s my new challenge : Play Angus parts and not Malcolm… now you have do do an Angus hand replica!!! 😉

  • avatar
    Posted at 10:41h, 08 June

    Awesome! One of my favorite songs!

    • avatar
      Posted at 10:42h, 08 June

      Merci Alex, writing some details as you read 🙂

      • avatar
        Posted at 12:49h, 08 June

        Having watched the older versions of your covers I now remember why so many people started following you and your playing…

        Yep, you should definitely bring back the clothing style you had going there…. 😀
        And perhaps the studio would be nice too.

        Seriously ,though, you were never far off on your attempts to recreate the tone, playing style and note for note accuracy.
        Glad to be a fan of your work and progress because it’s been a really rewarding experience (if that makes sense).
        Thank You and the staff at SoloDallas.com

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