New AC/DC Box Set Packs Rarities Into Functioning Guitar Amp

AC/DC’s new $200 box set packs musical rarities and memorabilia inside a functional 1-watt guitar amplifier.

The AC/DC Backtracks packaging, pictured, is unique and fully operational. And what’s inside is impressive as well: The limited-edition box set includes a stunning variety of media and collectibles.

The working amplifier comes packed with three CDs, two DVDs, one LP, a 164-page hardcover book and “memorabilia from the band’s earliest days of touring,” including a button, sticker, tour flier, track sheet, temporary tattoo, guitar pick, three lithographs, a poster and a replica of one of the fake $100 bills used to shower audiences during the ‘91 Moneytalks tour.

The whole hard-rocking shebang is now available from the AC/DC Backtracks website.

Fans will be happy to find that the Backtracks CDs include “studio rarities” including six never-before-released tracks, plus two discs of “live rarities” spanning the band’s long career, from 1977’s Sydney Arts Festival to a 2000 show in Phoenix.

It’s hard not to be impressed by just about every aspect of this release, including the video elements on the two DVDs. Rather than forcing fans to buy stuff they already have, the DVDs pick up where the double-DVD Family Jewels left off, with music videos, live tour footage, 20 cuts from the band’s 2003 tour and “making of” videos for “Hard as a Rock” and “Rock ‘N Roll Train.”

As for the book, it includes “rare and unseen photos spanning 1974-2009,” original press releases, tour itineraries, tour books, test pressing labels and vintage advertisements.

The vinyl LP is audiophile-quality 180-gram vinyl featuring 12 studio rarities, also available on one of the three CDs for those who lack a turntable.

Don’t believe the band’s claim that the cool collectible can be played as an amplifier? Check the Backtracks website, which includes videos of fidgety guitar-slinger Angus Young playing his famous “You Shook Me All Night Long” and “Back in Black” riffs on one of the box sets.

Note to other bands: The deluxe-box-set ante has been raised.

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