You all know the joke: AC/DC’s been making the same album over and over again for 40 years. While a gross exaggeration, it is true that the band has mostly stuck to one successful recipe since pretty much their formation. You’ll never get an unplugged album from them, or a collection of big band covers, or, perish the thought, a Christmas album. And despite their statements about “making albums” (which I addressed in a previous article), they’re usually serving up 10-12 singles packaged in a single product.
Why is it then that we always hear the same tracks from them? Am I the only one who’s lost most of my appreciation for Back in Black, You Shook Me All Night Long, T.N.T. or Thunderstruck? Considering they’ve never released a proper Greatest Hits album, and have apparently been releasing the same song over and over again, you’d figure that most of their catalog was interchangeable. But no, we keep hearing the same 10 tracks in arenas, on rock radio, at parties, etc
Nowadays when I feel like listening to AC/DC (because they do kick serious ass), I often find myself attracted to the unknown songs; songs that should be heard from time to time, and that if played more often, might even make us want to listen again to the mainstays. So here they are: the 10 best AC/DC songs you never hear.
- Flick of the Switch
Seriously, I could have put the entire Flick of the Switch album. I have no idea why the band has forgotten that record because it’s awesome. This track would be great live.
The opening track from the Blow up your Video album. That tour was my first AC/DC show, and they opened with it. A rocket came out of the stage and Angus kicked opened its door while playing the intro before jumping on stage with the band. Now THAT’s an entrance!
- Girls Got Rhythm
The band’s got rhythm on this one too! An infectious track where Bon Scott sings his guts out.
- Ride On
AC/DC does a ballad! OMG! I wish they’d play something like this more often. Bon Scott’s more subdued vocals, and Angus’s soulful soloing are delightful.
- Are You Ready?
Why they don’t open their shows with this is beyond me.
- Sink the Pink
One of the few gems from the Fly on the Wall album, and another forgotten song.
- Sin City
Powerage is another forgotten album. This track deserves more attention!
- This House is on Fire
Another gem from the Flick of the Switch album.
- Put the Finger on You
This was a single from For Those About to Rock but seems to have been forgotten in about 2 and a half week. It’s a shame because it rocks.
- Baby, Please Don’t Go
An often covered blues song from their early days (but only released in 1984 outside of Australia on the ’74 Jailbreak compilation). Their version is fast, full of snark and based on a simple but effective guitar riff.
Worthy of mention: That’s the Way I Wanna Rock ‘n Roll, Let’s Get It Up, Rock n Roll Damnation, Shake Your Foundations, Touch Too Much, Beating Around the Bush, Nervous Shakedown and Guns for Hire.
They may be a one trick pony to a certain extent, but not as much as some might think. Let’s play the deep cuts; a lot of these tracks were even singles! I should mention that the Iron Man 2 album (what is it exactly? a soundtrack? an Inspired By album? a compilation? a cash grab?) did go off the beaten path and included some lesser known songs. That’s a start!
Let’s celebrate the deep cuts:
He's also a regular contributor at the excellent news site Montreal Rampage