Everyone loves AC/DC, right? It's hard to ignore one of the biggest party-starters on the planet who belt out rock anthem after rock anthem. But what are the ten tunes you need for the ultimate AC/DC party?
Almost a Bon Scott autobiography. And during the Bon era a real show stopper. Live, as on this video, it brings all the colourful elements of Scott’s character into focus, while Angus duckwalks and headbangs to blazing effect, that satchel strapped firmly to his back, as the shirt becomes ever looser.
One of Scott’s most introspective songs. A bluesy hymn to the downside of touring, ‘Another empty bottle, another empty bed’. One of the very few times when Scott opened up about how he dealt with the loneliness of touring. And the band also show a subtler side. The whole effect is slightly dark, without getting maudlin.
Let There Be Rock
The story of the birth of rock ‘n’ roll, done ‘DC style. For most of the video the band are dressed up as choirboys, with Angus also sporting a suitably silly cardboard halo. Bon delivers his sermon from a pulpit in full ministerial regalia, with the occasional smutty leer giving his priapic game away.
However, the official video doesn’t appear on YouTube so here’s a live version instead!
Whole Lotta Rosie
It’s gotta be the live version, because this is where the song bursts into flame. The crowd chanting ‘Ang-us, Ang-us’ during the opening riff salvo. Bon and Angus stripped to the waist, the former strutting and striding as the true original he is. The latter is perpetual motion covered in sweat. Truly mesmerising.
Highway To Hell
Who needs big effects and state-of-the art technology? This is AC/DC in all their finery. Just guitar, bass, drums and a voice. One of rock’s greatest anthems given real punch onstage by a band who are an explosive extravaganza through the music and the personalities.
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The mournful bell tools. The incomparable guitars chime in, and we’re off. AC/DC are always best in videos when playing live, and while this is the band performing on a sound stage, they still kick hard. Brian Johnson already looks as if he’s been in the band for years, as the coruscating rhythms rain down.
For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)
You can see the cannons ready at either side of the stage, as AC/DC hit their stride with one of the biggest stage shows of the era. It matches their status as a globally massive band by this point. The music and visuals meld into a cataclysmic concoction. But it is still all about the five lads up there playing.
Who Made Who
This slightly funky song is given an extra dimension in the video which sees a battalion of Angus clones churned out by an automatic futuristic process. It’s all good, clean fun, with the band playing on what looks like discarded Doctor Who set. The last shot is of A Gibson SG, with a multi-coloured schoolboy cap on the headstock. Yep, this really is all about Angus.
This is yet another deceptively simple gangbustin’ anthem through which AC/DC have always excelled. The video was filmed at Brixton Academy, which everyone in the audience wearing a T-shirt which said on the front ‘AC/DC – I Was Thunderstruck’, and date, August 17, 1990, on the back. And the resulting collision of sound and vision is volcanic.
Rock ‘N’ Roll Train
The video for this was filmed in London, in front of 150 contest winners and their guests. As usual, the band just play live, but to add a little frisson, clips from a 1953 BBC documentary called London To Brighton In Four Minutes are used as a backdrop. It all captures the spirit of one of the band’s best songs.
Read all about how AC/DC shook the world of rock with their riffage in the new issue of Metal Hammer available here (opens in new tab).