I’ve listened to a lot of bands in my lifetime. Some have been great, some okay and others flat out suck. Many bands have all the talent in the world, but no feel for the music. Some bands make decent sounding albums but can’t play live what so ever. For every band I enjoy listening to I can name 25 I can’t stand. Many bands come, and many bands go. Only a select few have made a major impact on music.
(AC/DC 1976, back row left to right, Mark Evans, Angus Young, Phil Rudd, front row left to right, Bon Scott and Malcolm Young)
AC/DC is one of my favorite bands of all-time, probably behind Metallica. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that Angus Young is the greatest guitar player of all-time. Not going to debate their “musical” talent with you. I could care less if you like AC/DC. If you think they suck, cool, don’t listen to them. Without AC/DC a lot of great music would be missing from rock n’ roll history.
Some bands were great innovators, such as Led Zeppelin. Others such as Elvis took the world by storm. People like Jimi Hendrix came and died way too soon. Then there’s AC/DC. They didn’t change music. They didn’t take the world by storm. Nothing they did was impressive. AC/DC played simple blues-based songs, normally three chords and backed by a simple 2/4 drum beat. I’m not sure who hated AC/DC more, music critics or parents.
AC/DC never cared what critics thought. Hell, they never took themselves seriously. They were simply five guys that loved playing rock n’ roll music. AC/DC would have been happy playing in front of 25 people no different than when they play in front of 80,000. AC/DC was never about being liked, being the best or famous. It was about fun. The fun can be found in the mass majority of their songs.
Love songs weren’t part of AC/DC’s vocabulary. AC/DC never cared to sing about politics, their feelings or thoughts on life. Their songs were about booze, parties, women, drugs, daydreaming of being rich, women, sex, whores, touring and women. They played the songs fast, loud and good. A lot of bands have tried to copy AC/DC ever since and almost all have come up short.
Seeing AC/DC live was another experience all in itself. The band sounded almost identical live as they did in the studio. You never hear or see AC/DC missing beats or chords. The sound is perfect, note for note. Then there was Angus Young. Seeing him perform live was worth the ticket price alone. You got two hours of non-stop head-banging, giant jumping leaps and his “spaz out”. Then there’s the famous (infamous) strip routine, not recommended for Bible thumpers, children or women. I also doubt you want mom to see unless she likes AC/DC.
(Angus and his famous [infamous] strip tease)
In 1980, AC/DC lost singer Bon Scott. Most bands are never the same once they lose a singer. Some quit all together while others never maintain the same level of fame. AC/DC did the exact opposite. Brian Johnson, along with the band recorded “Back in Black” just a few months after Scott’s death. And how did fans respond? Let’s just say “Back in Black” sold 23 million copies in the USA and 49 million copies worldwide, making it the second best-selling album of all time.
To date, AC/DC has sold 73 million albums in the USA, good for eight all-time. Worldwide AC/DC has sold over 200 million albums. Their tours sellout all across the globe, from 4,000 seat arenas to massive soccer stadiums. As head-liners, AC/DC once played with other bands in front of a few million Russians. Their last tour grossed $441,121,000, good for third all-time. Not bad for a band that critics blasted as “sucky”, “all songs sound alike” and “childish immature losers.”
You can think what you want about AC/DC. They rock. The band has withstood the test of time. They outlived glam rock, disco, new-wave, early 90’s pop, grunge and new-country. Their musical talent may be nothing when compared to that of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd or Jimi Hendrix. Could any of those bands fit such big balls in small shorts, survive the Highway to Hell and The Jack? Highly unlikely. That’s way AC/DC deserves to be mentioned among the “Gods” of rock music.
(AC/DC 2009, nothing like 70,000 South Americans rocking out)