Album: Back in Black.
I’m 100% sure that I’ve been underrating AC/DC for my entire life. On paper, they’ve always had everything I should love in a rock band: big dumb riff-filled songs that are actually more sophisticated than they initially come across; words that are about sex & drugs & rock ‘n’ roll & sex; and a dogged adherence to their pretty fucking awesome signature style.
But I’ve never really loved them as much as I think that I probably should, and as a matter of fact, I hated them for quite some time. Looking back, it’s clear that hatred was because AC/DC & I got off to an extremely rocky start. Here are a few theories why:
1. I discovered them after I discovered punk. If you look closely, most of the hard rock / metal bands I’ll write about here either pre-dated punk rock and/or had a punk influence. While AC/DC released their first album in 1975, they didn’t really make it to the radio in Fresno until the exact moment I started buying Clash & Ramones albums and started rearranging my musical identity in that direction.
2. They were the opening band for one of the worst concerts I’ve ever seen. In 1978, I saw AC/DC open for Aerosmith at Selland Arena in Fresno. It was the second concert I’d ever been to. Once again, on paper, DUUUUUUUDE!.
Unfortunately, at at time, Aerosmith was in the middle of their most drugged-out druggy drugs drugs drugs period and were absolutely fucking TERRIBLE. As was AC/DC, who were actually booed during their set. (Which was actually not an uncommon experience for opening bands in Fresno.) The whole thing kinda sucked, and might have thrown me off of concert-going if I didn’t love just about every aspect of concert-going.
3. Their fans in high school. All of the dudes who were into AC/DC in high school were all of the dudes whose taste didn’t exactly jibe with my taste. In just about anything. Even funnier, it felt like many of them only decided to love AC/DC because KISS had decided to do a disco song and they needed somewhere to go. Nowadays, I try not to hold the worst excesses of an artist’s fans against that artist, but things are way different in high school, of course.
Any one of those things by itself, probably not a problem: but all of them combined, I figured why bother with AC/DC when there’s a new Jam album every few months?
Of course that was 35 years ago, and while I could tell even then how great songs like “Whole Lotta Rose,” and “Touch Too Much” were, it took “You Shook Me All Night Long” for me to make me realize that maybe I was wrong about AC/DC.
But that was years and years later. Until then, I would only admit a grudging admiration for the big-ass kick drum, perfectly stoopid riff and insanely catchy glam rock chorus of “You Shook Me All Night Long,” which I now realize that I always kinda loved, even if I didn’t wanna admit it to anybody, least of all myself.
Official Video for “You Shook Me All Night Long”
My Certain Songs Spotify Playlist: