AC/DC: Every Bon Scott Song Ranked! Part 3

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It’s not far now to the top…

25 She’s Got Balls/o:p

It was the first song the band ever wrote with Bon, and its subject was the singer’s ex-wife. The title was not an insult: quite the opposite. There was genuine fondness in what he sang about her, albeit with a degree of candour she might not have appreciated: ‘She’s got balls, my lady/Likes to crawl, my lady/Hands and knees all around the floor/No one has to tell her what a fella is for.’ This bawdy humour, coupled to a grinding boogie, is much loved by the man who replaced Bon in the band. Brian Johnson says that She’s Got Balls is his favourite AC/DC song./o:p

24 Night Prowler/o:p

It was always sinister, this creepy blues song from Highway To Hell, on which Bon adopted the persona of a murderous stalker. But in 1985, six years after that album was released, Night Prowler came back to haunt AC/DC. American serial killer Richard Ramirez – dubbed the ‘Night Stalker’ – claimed after his arrest that it was this song that had driven him to commit 16 murders. Only when separated from this context can the song be viewed for what it really is: a deeply flawed yet immensely powerful piece of music. Angus never played a better blues solo than the one on Night Prowler. And for all the grisly imagery in the lyrics, this infamous song ended with a weird joke, as Bon quoted mock alien language from 70s sci-fi sitcom Mork & Mindy: “Shazbot! Nanu nanu!”/o:p

23 Up To My Neck In You/o:p

While the Powerage album has long been overshadowed by what came before and after it – Let There Be Rock and Highway To Hell – it is home to some of the band’s most ass-kicking songs. One such song is Up To My Neck In You: rock’n’roll as an all-out assault on the senses./o:p

22 High Voltage/o:p

With its no-brainer mission-statement chorus – ‘High voltage rock’n’roll’ – it’s one of the band’s defining early songs, the title track for their second Australian album and for their first international release. No frills, no bullshit, just heavy boogie. It ain’t rocket science./o:p

21 Walk All Over You/o:p

It might be one of the lesser-known album tracks from Highway To Hell, but Walk All Over You is a monster. It starts at a crawl, with Phil Rudd ratcheting up the tension; then it all kicks off like a pub brawl. And if the title of this song suggested a Neanderthal attitude towards the fairer sex, there was a clever twist in Bon’s sly payoff: ‘I’m gonna walk all over you/Do anything you want me to.’/o:p

20 Rock ’N’ Roll Damnation/o:p

On the rollicking leadoff track from Powerage, Bon delivered a classic put-down: ‘You say that you want respect/Honey, for what?’ On every level, it was a song that kicked ass./o:p

19 Rocker/o:p

As Angus Young has always maintained, AC/DC is a rock’n’roll band, nothing more, nothing less, and this is their purest rock’n’roll song. It channels Chuck Berry in 2.46 of blistering ramalama, with Bon creating his own mythology in the opening line: ‘I’m a rocker, roller, right-out-of-controller.’/o:p

18 Down Payment Blues/o:p

Although he is remembered as a legendary rock star, Bon spent the majority of his thirty-three years living hand to mouth. As such, he gave a gritty authenticity to _Down Payment Blues _– in his lyrics, and in the way he sang them. From Powerage, this was not a blues song in the conventional sense, but over a relentless, visceral riff, Bon laid out the harsh realities of a life on the breadline: ‘Can’t even feed my cat on social security.’/o:p

17 Sin City/o:p

It’s the most famous track from Powerage, and for Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, the best thing AC/DC ever recorded. As implied in its title, Sin City is a gambler’s song, and in Bon’s words there’s a powerful sense of the danger and the thrill of it all. ‘Spin that wheel/Cut that pack/And roll them loaded dice/Bring on the dancin’ girls and put the champagne on ice.’/o:p

16 Shot Down In Flames/o:p

For all his swinging-dick machismo, Bon could admit that even he got blown out sometimes. The title of Shot Down In Flames was self-explanatory, but the song had a groove that was undeniable./o:p

15 T.N.T./o:p

It was George Young who suggested they write a song with the chord progression: A, C, D, C. From this they created an anthem. The title track of their second Australian album, T.N.T. is hard rock with a hooligan mentality. The gang chant – ‘Oi! Oi! Oi!’ – is idiotically brilliant./o:p

14 Bad Boy Boogie/o:p

With a title that spoke volumes about the band and their rough-arsed sensibilities, this was one of many killer tracks on the Let There Be Rock album. But it was on stage that Bad Boy Boogie really came alive: extended to more than ten minutes, with Angus hoisted on to Bon’s shoulders and soloing like a motherfucker./o:p

13 Riff Raff/o:p

The ultimate AC/DC piledriver sounded great on Powerage and even better as the thunderous opening salvo on If You Want Blood You’ve Got It. Full-throttle, take-no-prisoners stuff, Riff Raff is AC/DC at their most electrifying./o:p

12 Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap/o:p

Bon loved to play the bad guy, and did it best of all on this piece of skullduggery from 1976. The riff sounds like a gunslinger riding into town, and Bon revels in the role of contract killer, with various means of disposal: ‘Concrete shoes, cyanide, T.N.T…’ It’s a song that has taken on a whole new level of meaning following the arrest of drummer Phil Rudd in 2014 for attempted murder./o:p

11 Gone Shootin’/o:p

Keith Richards said of AC/DC’s 1978 album Powerage: ‘The whole band means it, and you can hear it.’ Gone Shootin’ is that album’s best track and the funkiest song they ever did. And it wasn’t just the sound that Keef dug. He would also have related to the subject matter: Bon’s doomed relationship with a junkie girlfriend. The devil was in the detail, as he sang sadly: ‘I stirred my coffee with the same spoon…’/o:p

AC/DC: Every Bon Scott Song Ranked! Part 1

AC/DC: Every Bon Scott Song Ranked! Part 2

AC/DC: Every Bon Scott Song Ranked! Part 4

Bon Scott - The Man Behind The Myth