Anybody who knows me personally knows I’m a huge fan of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band of all time, AC/DC. It all started when I was just a young chap, playing outside on a hot summer day. My dad was in the back yard mowing the lawn, all the while listening to a tape of High Voltage on a little portable stereo. I walked to the back yard and listened for a moment and then stopped him to ask who that was. That moment was a life changer.
A short while later, after collecting a lot of their music, I had my dad buy me their 1992 concert VHS, Live At Donington and I watched it religiously. It was then that I decided to learn to play guitar, all thanks to AC/DC and Angus Young.
Later in high school I did a report about why they’re the best band ever. I got a B, and turned my teacher on to them.
I’ve seen them live twice, both times seventh row. Both times I went home deaf, just like you should at a good rock concert. The first was excellent, as was the second, but during the second I got to see two topless chicks making out with one another and I got a souvenir. Slash’s Snakepit opened that night and I got a guitar pick tossed out by Slash that landed at my feet. Awesome.
Anyway, enough is enough. The other day I figured, for shits and giggles, that I would make a top 10 list of my favorite songs by them. This is a tough feat, considering they’ve put out 16 or 17 albums and numerous other sets including previously unreleased stuff and “back tracks”. I went through each album, wrote down the tracks that should be on the list and then narrowed it down from there. Here is the list, in no particular order except for the last one, which is my absolute favorite.
Never heard it but would like to? The songs are links that open in new windows to a youtube video of the song. I jammed to Riff Raff while writing this.
The Razor’s Edge (The Razor’s Edge) – Gritty, raw, and sort of freaky in the beginning. Even now when I listen to the song I get a little chilled at the eerie background singing that comes in a ghostly way.
Riff Raff (Powerage) – One of the biggest things I love about AC/DC is their ability to put out some seriously hardcore guitar solos with a no-back-down attitude. This song has that, as do most off of this album, which stands as probably my favorite all around album by them. It’s a real shame they don’t record more solos like this. Aside from that, this song is very fast, in your face and hard as hell. Even as a classic hard rock song, you can easily feel and hear the jazz and blues influence.
Whole Lotta Rosie (Let There Be Rock) – Another song with a solo that just doesn’t stop. Plus, it’s sort of a true story about a woman that basically raped singer Bon Scott, who wrote the song following the incident, and it became one of their classics.
Bad Boy Boogie (Let There Be Rock) – While this is a great song that I’ve always loved (Bon Scott’s lyrics are just awesome, especially in this), their live version of this song is absolutely killer.
Shot Down In Flames (Highway To Hell) – A nice, hard, song. Always has to be cranked up when listened to.
Can I Sit Next To You Girl (High Voltage) – I believe this was the first song I heard when my dad was cutting the grass. Just like with most of Bon’s lyrics, this one has a comedy edge to it, and, it tells a story. I love songs that tell a story.
Squealer (Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap) – Another hard jamming, awesome guitar solo song.
Anything Goes (Black Ice) – This one, from AC/DC’s latest album, sounds like an old rock tune, fully equipped with Brian Johnson… SINGING! Apparently he was told to use his jazzy voice as it was meant to be used, as a jazzy voice. He was a little nervous at first at how people would take it, stepping a little out of his comfort zone, but was happily shocked when everyone loved it. Including me. This will always be on my top list of their songs.
Ride On (Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap) – This one ties for my all time favorite with the next one. Their only slow song ever, it tells another story with some serious emotion from Bon Scott. But, it’s not entirely slow, it’s just slow, AC/DC style. Great tune, would’ve made a great video.
Gone Shootin’ (Powerage) – My favorite. This is my “Casket Song”. I was once asked what my casket song is, which is a song that, when dead and buried, you can listen to for the rest of eternity happily. This is it. A great riff, powered by a great guitar solo and great lyrics/singing from Bon Scott. A perfect song all the way around.
There it is. And for those that didn’t make the final cut? Here they are.
Rock and Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution (Back In Black)
That’s The Way I Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll (Blow Up Your Video)
Meanstreak (Blow Up Your Video)
Ain’t No Fun (Waiting ‘Round To Be A Millionaire) (Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap)
It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll) (High Voltage)
Girls Got Rhythm (Highway To Hell)
If You Want Blood (You’ve Got It) (Highway To Hell)
Let There Be Rock (Let There Be Rock)
Rock ‘n’ Roll Damnation (Powerage)
Gimme A Bullet (Powerage)
Kicked In The Teeth Again (Powerage)
Thunderstruck (The Razor’s Edge)
The Razor’s Edge (The Razor’s Edge)
Are You Ready (The Razor’s Edge)
Damned (Stiff Upper Lip)
All Screwed Up (Stiff Upper Lip)
Big Gun (Last Action Hero Soundtrack)
You’re not going to get a lot of “hits” in this list, this is a fan’s list. This is basically what I would refer to someone if they had never heard of AC/DC or wanted to hear more of them.
Got a similar list? I’d like to hear it, especially if it’s for a band I’m not too familiar with. I’m always up for new stuff, as long as it’s good.