10 songs AC/DC need to play in their comeback

Angus Young AC/DC 1983
(Image credit: Getty Images/Ross Marino)

When it comes to the biggest rock and metal bill of 2023, surely Power Trip takes the cake. Guns N' Roses, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Judas Priest, Metallica and Tool - all in one weekend! Granted, most of these bands have been fairly active in 2023 - with mixed responses - but that doesn't stop the event from feeling truly momentous. 

For AC/DC, it's a particularly important gig: their first live show in seven years and the first to feature Brian Johnson since February 2016, fans could be forgiven for thinking the band were never going to return. But, rehearsal footage of AC/DC's new live line-up practicing 1979 classic If You Want Blood (You've Got It) has done plenty to drum up excitement about their return and kick off speculation about what exactly will make the setlist. 

With seventeen studio albums and one of the greatest collections of rock songs on the planet, there'll be no shortage of massive hits on the night, we're sure. But while the likes of Back In Black, Hells Bells or Highway To Hell are almost guaranteed, we've dug deep into our 'DC collection to pick out 10 songs we reckon the band would be mad not to play. 

If You Want Blood (You've Got It) (Highway To Hell, 1979)

Straight off the bat, we're saying it: if the band are teasing us with If You Want Blood, we damn well hope to hear it! The track has been sparingly included in sets over the past 40 years, dusted off by Brian Johnson for the first time in 2003 before being quietly retired again during that same run. Blood... returned to sets in 2016, but while Axl Rose was fronting the band, but with the aforementioned rehearsal footage we reckon it's quids in this one will make the final cut. 

Rock'n'Roll Train (Black Ice, 2008)

Eight years since their last album and after almost five years of near complete silence, Rock'n'Roll Train was the single that brought AC/DC roaring back to life. The lead single off 2008's Black Ice, this one's been a mainstay of sets ever since and a handy reminder that even as the decades were piling up, AC/DC were still producing absolute dynamite. 

Riff Raff (Powerage, 1978)

The opening track of the If You Want Blood You've Got It live album, Riff Raff has since been elevated into AC/DC legend for its showcase of how chaotic and utterly exhilirating the band could be. Riff Raff remained off setlists for much of Brian Johnson's tenure, but made a triumphant return when Axl took over vocal duties in 2016. Does that open the door for Brian to finally share his rendition? Time will only tell, but we can't pretend we're not giddy at the thought. 

Who Made Who (Who Made Who, 1986)

Stephen King's stab at directing one of his own novels with Maximum Overdrive was probably one of the writer's poorer decisions, but getting AC/DC to provide the soundtrack certainly wasn't. Almost 20 years before Iron Man gave AC/DC room to spread their cinematic wings, Who Made Who gave the band space to air their bangers in all their glory, and the title track remains a brilliant stadium rocker that has been sorely overlooked since the mid-90s. 

Rocker (T.N.T, 1975)

Teeth-gnashing rock'n'roll that veers almost all the way into the snarl of punk, Rocker was a regular fixture in AC/DC's early days, but dropped off as the band added more mainstream sheen in the 80s. Dusted off just once since - in September 1995 if Setlist.fm is to be believed - the track remains a quintessential showcase of just how  unhinged the band could be.  

Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution (Back In Black, 1980)

Much as we'd like non-stop bombardment of sweaty, massive riffs, AC/DC have just as much to offer in the groovy blues jam department. We all need a breather from time to time and we dare say 'DC are no different, so how better than dusting off Back In Black's triumphant closing track for the first time in 20 years? We can't think of a better statement of AC/DC's return than thousands of fans roaring "Rock'n'roll ain't gonna die". 

Stiff Upper Lip (Stiff Upper Lip, 2000)

Speaking of tasty blues riffs, the title-track of 2000's Stiff Upper Lip is the epitome of AC/DC's boogie blues style with a quirk of the lips and innuendos by the boatload. The song popped up around release, but disappeared from setlists after the band went on break in 2003, making this one a clear candidate for a late-career resurrection. 

Rock'n'Roll Damnation (Powerage, 1978)

Another one brought back when Axl was fronting 'DC in 2016, Rock'n'Roll Damnation strikes just the right balance between frenetic, frantic energy and steady duck-walking rhythm. Brian has only done the song a handful of times - all in 2003 - but this one feels perfectly placed to make use of his unique howl. 

That's The Way I Wanna Rock'n'Roll (Blow Up Your Video, 1988)

If you think Bon Scott held a monopoly on AC/DC's most furious and frenetic material, you're sorely mistaken. Brian had his fair share of upbeat rockers (Landslide from the criminally underrated Flick Of The Switch comes to mind) and Blow Up Your Video track That's The Way I Wanna Rock'n'Roll was immortalised on 1992's ACDC Live, which captured all of it's sweaty, shrieky glory. The track hasn't been played live since, mind, which feels like a crime of great proportions. 

It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock'n'Roll) (T.N.T., 1975)

There could be no question, could there? Perhaps one of the most iconic songs in rock'n'roll history, It's A Long Way To The Top has become regarded as the quintessential track that epitomised the Bon Scott era of AC/DC and hasn't been played once in the years since his death. But given this could well be the last time 'DC make a comeback - almost 50 years since their incredible journey began - it feels like Long Way finally deserves one last triumphant airing, an ultimate salute to the history and legacy of one of rock'n'roll's finest acts. 

Rich Hobson

Staff writer for Metal Hammer, Rich has never met a feature he didn't fancy, which is just as well when it comes to covering everything rock, punk and metal for both print and online, be it legendary events like Rock In Rio or Clash Of The Titans or seeking out exciting new bands like Nine Treasures, Jinjer and Sleep Token.