Tag Archive | AC/DC

AC/DC’s Most Toppest Songs

According to me, some ding dong on the Internet.

“It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Want To Rock N’ Roll)”

They said bagpipes could never work in rock music. They were wrong.


Everything you need to know about the late Bon Scott in three and half minutes: he’s charming, he’s got a strong voice, he’s in control, he might sock you in the face if you give him any guff. Very Sinatra, in a way, and it isn’t hard to imagine Frank putting his spin on this rakish bruiser. Of course, the Old Man woulda cut the “oi” chant, on accounta it ain’t classy.

“Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”

AC/DC rewrite “T.N.T.” with the new angle: “what if we were mean, but like, professionally, as a commercial service?” The damn thing works, right down to the anguished scream that punctuates the ending.

“Big Balls/Rocker”

Yes, I’m counting these as one song. “Rocker” is a hilarious freewheeling apology for the juvenile “Balls”—it’s AC/DC saying, “listen, we’re just dirty rockers, what did you expect? We’ve happily wasted one of our best slower arrangements on a drawn out testicle joke.” I realize “Rocker” did not make its debut backing up “Balls” on Dirty Deeds; I know it came out a year earlier on T.N.T. and that it only appears on the international version of Deeds, but I refuse to apologize for not being Australian. Besides, as noted, this pairing gels like Moe’s hand and Curly’s forehead.

“Let There Be Rock”

As satisfying as watching a golden retriever chase its tail. Knocks over as much furniture, too.

“Whole Lotta Rosie”

A celebration of the zaftig woman built around one of history’s most shit-kicking guitar riffs. If you can’t boogie to this get the hell out of my car wash.

“Highway to Hell”

The sinner’s anthem, but it’s hard to tell where the protagonist is emotionally. Is he joyous? Is he resigned? Is he daring to exercise irony? It doesn’t matter when that hymnal of a chorus kicks in.

“Night Prowler”

Catchy strut of blues cloaked in darkness not just because it’s about murder but because AC/DC denied it being about murder after a murderer cited it as inspiration to murder. Does that compel me to keep returning? Sure, but so does the musical performance, and I remain more mystified by Bon Scott’s decision to end the tune by impersonating Mork from Ork. If this song is really so evil Richard Ramirez would have also tried to kill Pam Dawber.

“Back in Black”

A monster truck being driven by a grizzly bear in sunglasses, crushing your fears and doubts and delivering you a sizzlin’ onion burst of empowerment. I don’t know, you try to explain the omnipresence and worth of the ultimate “hard rock” song.

“Big Gun”

This band wrote a lot of material about their dicks. This selection is the least stupid. Also, for some strange reason, I’m really partial to the lyric about the “baaaaad man cruisin’ around in a big black limousine.” Maybe that’s what I aspire to, secretly.

Jockin’ Fair Use To Their Dismay

On the one hand, “Girls” is probably the stupidest song in the Beastie Boys’ storied catalog (in both concept and execution) and if reality could be bent in certain ways I’m sure even the band themselves would at least consider replacing the original Licensed to Ill version with a kinder, less chauvinistic rewrite. On the other hand, if toy company GoldieBlox did indeed violate the basic rules of fair use with their (admittedly clever) parody and the surviving Beasties just look the other way, that welcomes anyone to manipulate the group’s existing works on the precedent, “Well, those people didn’t get in trouble, why should we?”

Thus, I understand why Ad-Rock and Mike D (pictured, L-R) are now full-on suing GoldieBlox. It’s as much about preventing future headaches as it is about enforcing whatever legal doctrine may have been violated. And who knows how this plays into the stipulation deceased Beastie Adam Yauch placed in his will forbidding advertisers from using his likeness or image. GoldieBlox may have the best intentions about shaping young minds, but they’re still trying to sell something by piggybacking on a more successful and recognizable entity that does not necessarily want to be piggybacked upon.

Of course, the Beastie Boys did some blatant mainstream piggybacking of their own when they started, sampling no less than Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin on their 1986 debut, the aforementioned multiplatinum Ill, but the difference is the BBs were refolding art into other art. They did not rewrite “Sweet Leaf” to sell a toy—they just rapped over part of it. I also assume the Beasties obtained whatever legal permission they had to to use those samples, considering the fact their first single, 1985’s “Rock Hard,” was pulled after AC/DC objected to their anthem “Back in Black” being used as that song’s skeleton (“Rock Hard” remains unreleased despite the fact the Beastie Boys have become the AC/DC of hip hop, by which I mean classic rock radio stations now play “Fight For Your Right” at 5 PM on Fridays).

Disclaimer: I am not any kind of authority on Beastie Boys history. Maybe they didn’t clear any of that shit on Licensed to Ill and AC/DC were the only rockers paying any attention to the “new-fangled” hip hop thing. All I know for sure is fair use laws were very different in the ’80s (read: it was much easier to get away with reworking other people’s songs) and that “Girls,” which also appears on Licensed to Ill, samples nothing. It is two minutes of xylophone-based frat boyishness born entirely from the Boys of Beast. So they have the right to complain about people messing with it (even if said people are improving it by leaps and bounds).

Still, as a fan, I wish Ad-Rock, Mike D, and the estate of MCA could settle this fussin’ and a-feudin’ with a water balloon fight or a round of “Star Trek” trivia. What a shame this massive fortune-generating commercial entity has to act like a massive fortune-generating commercial entity. Let that be a lesson to anyone wishing their crude, underwritten anthem sell a trillion units. Do you really want to open yourself up to the possibility of one day going to court over a song that includes the phrase “new wave hairdos?”

Unsolicited The Avengers Haiku Review

Okay, we get it
Iron Man loves “Thunderstruck”
What’s on Hulk’s iPod?

AC/DC Pinball Machine Missing Crucial Testicle-Related Song

Sure, it may have a “groundbreaking rule set” and a “packed playfield,” but when none of the twelve songs featured on your AC/DC pinball machine are “Big Balls,” well, I’m sorry, but I think I’ll take my six thousand dollars elsewhere.

Man, if the cheapest model available today costs six grand, imagine how much this sucker would have set you back thirty years ago when pinball was still popular!