AC/DC “For Those About To Rock We Salute You”

Somehow I got this far in life without ever dropping a needle on an AC/DC record. I mean, I’ve dropped other things on them… no, I’m just kidding. In fact, I had no idea they were from Australia– I think I thought they were from Scotland or something. I want to officially apologize to the band, and to the residents of both countries. All I really knew about AC/DC is that there was a screechy singer who died, and a guy who played a Gibson SG and wore shorts all the time.

I’m finding some of this record way too hi-octane in a really annoying way, and I can’t listen to it– but other songs, the less noisy ones have a nice quality, a little space, maybe a good sound. I guess I’m liking songs that remind me more of good Led Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones, essentially the more blues oriented side of heavy metal. Whenever things get too much sounding like Van Halen I have to take it off.

I guess this record came out (1981) after that singer died and was replaced by an even screechier guy. In that I pretty much never have listened to music with a screechy singer, it’s kind of fascinating, like having a really unlikely dinner guest over at your place. I’m pretty much enjoying it, I have to admit. I don’t have the energy to try to make out many of the lyrics, but once in a while I hear a line I really like, and I’m reminded of the compelling nature of the A,B,A,B rhyme scheme. Young kids should remember not to get away from that– it’s cool to rhyme, and not just for rappers. One songs starts out with “loose lips/sink ships,” and you don’t think for a minute they’re talking about national security. I think that line directly inspired a Spinal Tap song– or maybe it IS in a Spinal Tap song.

I have to say, I do like the overall sound and production of this record. There’s nothing too fancy, and the drums are just really solid sounding, and overall, when they stay away from the dumb choruses and double leads, the whole thing is tolerable, and about one third of it is pleasurable. And for rock music, that’s pretty good!


4 Responses to “AC/DC “For Those About To Rock We Salute You””

  1. April 6, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    yeah, I have never listened to a whole AC/DC album either. I always hated hearing their stuff on the radio when I was in highschool. Eventually though I kind of realized their music was almost as simple and straightforward as like the Ramones or something, but the lyrics are just *so* hard to take.

    Actually one song of theirs that I do really like a lot is “It’s A Long Way to the Top If You Want To Rock n Roll”. The first time I ever heard that song, it was that band Dead Moon from the great NorthWest doing it when I saw them play at the Grog Shop in Cleveland a long time ago. I thought they had written it – and the fact that they are a bunch of really old aged hippies still playing heavy underground music, it seemed like a perfect kind of ‘underdog’ sort of song. Eventually I realized that it was an AC/DC song, which surprised me. And then they use it pretty centrally in the movie “School of Rock”, which I think is a really great movie, and because of that movie, I had to actually learn the song so that I could play it on guitar with my daughter, who wanted to learn it. So – yeah. If they only existed to create that one song, I think it was worth it.

    Though I did always think the whole short pants/schoolboy outfit thing was kind of creepy.

  2. April 8, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    Yeah, I wonder if that Angus guy just really wanted to get away from that whole look, but by that time it was too late, and if put on long pants or something it would be like Bob Dylan going electric, the fans would say they sold out and betrayed them. Young kids should take that kind of thing as a lesson: don’t let yourself get painted into that kind of corner. Is success really worth having to live the rest of your life with an idiotic gimmick?

    I remembered the Spinal Tap song I was thinking of– it goes “My baby fits me like a flesh tuxedo, I want to sink her with my pink torpedo.” Pretty gross! I think that must have been inspired directly from AC/DC lyrics.

  3. April 8, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    haha – yeah, no doubt! I can remember the first time I heard a ‘new’ AC/DC song which was called “Stiff Upper Lip” and the DJ who intro’d it gave a huge audio ‘wink wink’ “get it? get it?” kind of explanation of it.. blehh..

  4. April 15, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    I was reading a little more about them (for some reason, don’t ask me why!) and I guess the Young brothers were BORN in Scotland, so I don’t feel so bad now. I also read about this story (which I remembered hearing about long ago) where a cab driver told them that AC/DC means bisexual and it freaked them out, but by then it was too late to change the name! Again, that sounds like a scene from Spinal Tap! You can imagine them, then, trying extra hard to be macho and to exert their heterosexual image, but the more they sing about their dicks the worse it gets!

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